Of Magic and Dragons: Revisiting my Favourite Childhood Stories
Before the age of 12, I was well versed in the works of Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, the legends of King Arthur, Enid Blyton and Andrew Lang’s fairy books, the Greek myths and various folk tales from around the world. I devoured storybooks and also read sensational non-fiction written for kids (the equivalent of today’s Horrible Histories series).
When I hit 14 years of age, I discovered contemporary fantasy fiction and read almost everything in the genre exclusively for several years. What grew to obsess me was a series of books called Dragonlance, based off a Dungeons&Dragons[tm] campaign world. I also became interested in the role-playing game; I found the D&D and AD&D (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) books fascinating for the “stats” and info on obscure Egyptian, Sumerian, Japanese etc., deities and demigods . (These were the days before the computer role-playing games, MMORPGs and the Internet; I’m older than I look. Looking up esoteric information in the early 90s was not as easy as it is today. That said, what the Deities & Demigods book could provide that other sources still cannot are the various deities’ armour classes and hit points–a joke, haha!)
The 1980s controversy over D&D, AD&D and the “danger” of “Satanic” role-playing games that played out in the US had its echo in Singapore, even though the game never got a large following here. That I had latched onto a very unusual and relatively obscure hobby (especially for a girl) only added to the persecution complex I already had for other reasons.
Now I can look back and see that what I had viewed as a “pointless” hobby in my teenage years had actually been a stepping stone between the folk and fairy tales of childhood, to knowing the various creation stories and deity pantheons from around the world and being familiar with archetypes–useful stuff now in recognising ascended masters, decoding dreams and signs, and making sense of the awakening/ascension process.
It’s a bit of a mindf*ck to realise that so much of the information I use now has actually been with me a long time. And they were “just” stories and books I had collected since childhood.
The Pleiadian Coincidence
It was also around 15 or so that I became obsessed with the Pleiades. Fantasy fiction gave me an escape, but then somehow I also had to create my own, and I chose to create a world based on the cluster of stars that I knew from my father’s astronomy books and charts. My Pleiadian stories were very much inspired by the obsessions in my own life, both real and read from fantasy books. I think I wanted to resolve my own life by writing stories that moved it elsewhere and married it with magical and powerful archetypes. Because this was such an interior exercise, I was introverted and relatively homebound for a teenager.
By odd “coincidence”, my obsession with the Pleiades was concurrent with Barbara Marciniak and Barbara Hand Clow channeling/writing about the Pleiadians (Bringers of the Dawn, 1992 and The Pleiadian Agenda, 1995), though I had entirely no knowledge about this. (I’m not saying I was channeling–I had too much teenage angst in the way–but I was intuitive, and perhaps possessed of my own past links with this cluster.)
Dragonlance and Hopi Prophecy
Well, I’ve always suspected this may get me definitively filed for the looney bin, but I’m going to bring up the coincidences between the (still fictional) Dragonlance 5th age books and the 5th age of Hopi/new age prophecy, even if the only people who may appreciate this are in that (I suspect) tiny space of the Venn diagram who have familiarity with both. Maybe this blog post will expand that space. I am simply compelled. The universe (or multiverse) works in mysterious ways, and drawing the connections will either show how archetypes work in the noosphere/collective unconscious, how mysteriously inspiration works, or how everything seems to intersect with meaning and uncanny coincidence given enough time.
In 2oo0-2001, the world of Dragonlance, as covered in the fiction books and role-playing game since its 1984 creation, was changed beyond recognition. The planet, Krynn, was sent through another apocalypse, even though it had already had one Cataclysm 384 years ago in Krynnish time. On the Dragonlance newsgroup online (finally, Internet!), many WTFs were expressed by Dragonlance fans who had liked Krynn just fine before its Second Cataclysm. The landscapes and maps of Krynn were changed, many beloved heroes were killed, the gods went AWOL (except for “The One True God” who sounded like a real bastard), and the dragons became bigger and meaner–promoted from mere dragons to gargantuan overlords. The stakes for control were higher in this New Age after the Second Cataclysm–in an epic war/trilogy (of course), the entire mortal population of Krynn/Ansalon was pitted against the One True God.
The themes, landscapes, stakes, anti-heroes, style of writing, and the monumentally high death count in this trilogy was almost a 180-degree turn from what the Dragonlance books had been up to that point. It was a demonstration of how the creators of a beloved shared world could unilaterally (or so it seemed) upset the chessboard–not only dash it to pieces, but change the game entirely. Fans still following the developments were given a surprise–Krynn, the planet itself, had expanded, or was an entire new world altogether, explaining the changes in the continents, the new lands to explore, the bigger dragons, and the absence of the old gods. This was Krynn shifting into its 5th Age.
(I hope Dragonlance fans who do not read alternate history, new age literature and channeled writing–if any read this–give these unfamiliar genres a try. At the least, look for David Icke, Graham Hancock, or the online videos/texts from Bringers of the Dawn and The Pleiadian Agenda. One of two things will happen as you explore these works; you’ll either think all these alternate journalists are mad, or that your favourite fictional books just got massive–if weird–validation.)
Fantasy and alchemical archetypes are common in fairy tales and fantasy fiction, of course, but the religious undertones, reptilian races, cataclysms, and the number of the ages in the Dragonlance world are more “spot on” and detailed than all the other fantasy books I’d read in profusion, once I was discovering Earth’s hidden/alternate histories (specifically of Lemuria, Atlantis and the reptilians) from “conspiracy authors” and channelers. As I began reading, starting in 2012, about conspiracy theory-history, I had vivid dreams about Krynn/Dragonlance that I had never had during my obsessive years reading those fantasy books. (Something in them had clearly resonated with the teenage me, perhaps more than I understood at the time. That being said, I had given up on the Dragonlance books since 2002. ) In these 2012 Dragonlance dreams, I was caught in the Second Cataclysm–great changes were afoot, massive dragons flew overhead, and I wondered, while dreaming, if I was in the 4th or 5th age. Not long after these dreams, I learned about the Hopi prophecy of our time.
For a while, my spirit guides/Higher Self seemed to be confirming/leaving clues for my waking research topics by way of fantasy/Krynnish dreams. I loved this dance of discovery and synchronicity. In my dreams, I met/became my heroes, saw awesome mythical creatures, and explored a new expanded world where magic was real. These dreams completely reflected my feelings of real-life spiritual discovery. Because of these dreams, my childhood/teenage memories and my discovery of alternate, channeled and prophecy literature felt like an utterly magical and epiphanic period. The symbols were real and interactive, and let me see the beloved books of my childhood and teenage years in new light.
Last word: By no means am I constructing any conspiracies about the creators and writers behind Dragonlance, Weis & Hickman–I met them long ago, they’re nice, brilliant even, but they are also very much in my past. I recognise, however, that they gave me books and a world I strongly connected to in my teens, a fandom through which I made some of my closest, best and longest-lasting friends, and tools/symbols with which I decode my dreams now–sleeping and waking.
I do wonder if Weis & Hickman ever read the Pleiadian books or were inspired by Hopi prophecy… but I don’t really have to know. (Comments are always welcome.)