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38 39 holY dragonslaYers Pictures of dragonslayers often show the saints spear forcing the dragons head to the earth, or poised in front of its open mouth. This echoes the traditional method of recharging serpentine, telluric currents by piercing the ground with a rod to fix the energy flow. Earthly St George, patron saint of England, is often identified with earlier pagan gods like the fertility figure of the Green Man or Jackin theGreen and especially with the Celtic God Belinus, who also fought with a dragon. Historically, however, he poses a problem as none of his British contenders have any reputed connection with a dragon. Heavenly St Michael is the chief archangel, and represents the sun. Often invoked for his healing energies, he rules high places and mediates healthgiving solar powers, taking over the roles of the GraceoRoman Aesculapius and the Hellenic Seraphis both of whom have a healing serpent as their symbol. The Bible describes St Michaels battle with the dragon Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not ... he was cast out into the earth. Above left After Raphael, am early 1900s engraving by J. L. Petit. Above right Durers etching of St. Michael casting out the dragon. Below A drawing by F Anstey of the slaying of a family of dragons. Opposite, left to right The three most important Christian dragonkilling saints St Michael St Margaret who, though eaten by a dragon, burst it asunder with her cross and St George.
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