One might think it is a stretch to link Dragons and Farms. A look to communities long ago reveals the contrary. People of the farms in the East and the West have either feared or revered the local dragons.
In the East in ancient time, the Dragon had become an image of the force of nature, of the power of the feminine principle, of the benevolence of the Great Mother who holds the universe in her restorative fire and who holds enough power to destroy all that is created. The Dragon is a wise guardian for strength and protection, a devouring beast whose rage unleashes generative power to start anew. Her image to this day is upon on temples, altars, ceremonial robes, and holy places.
In the West, however, the image is different. By the Middle Ages, this same imaginal dragon had become a force to fear, to subdue, to dominate, to annihilate. Old lore tells the story of St. George, a local hero. He freed the members of a regional feudal system from the demanding rages of a dragon who lived outside the village in a remote and wild part of the realm.
These stories and traditions tell us that the human community over time separated itself from a vital connection to the instinctual part of life. The separation from the all powerful mother, the dragon, has become dangerous to the survival of human communities as people live in fear of and out of balance with the natural force of the earth.
Dragon Farm began on St. George Peninsula in midcoast Maine over twenty years ago with the intent to created functional partnerships between the powers of the great natural forces-the Dragon, and the little taming powers of small communities-the Farm. It has offered many educational collaborations, supported several successful organizations programs, and provided hundreds of women and men with collaborative leadership skills. All of the programs it has supported empower women to stand in their full authority.
Dragon Farm went into a fallow period for a few years in order to regenerate and wait for its next calling. That time is now. We are hearing the call to provide educational forms and platforms that will empower women and men to reach outside of our individual lives and build strong, sustainable, and peaceful local communities.
We know that such communities can thrive when women and men live and lead in full recognition of our struggles with working across differences, giving special attention to race, gender, heritage, religion, class, sexual identity, and sexuality.
We know that we cannot wait for a current day “St. George” to ride into town. The hero is not someone else. Only through linking with our neighbors can we build strong networks of communities, even in rural areas. These networks will strengthen our lives and can connect us to others across the nation and around the world.