y Mehl Renner
Ignus, The Dragon of Mysteria, produced by the Green Man Camp, was the recipient of a creativity grant award at the 2010 Transformus regional burn event in North Carolina. Clad in Mardi-gras colors (mostly green) Ignus came alive for the first time as the main feature in a pre-burn parade. Four individuals were required to operate the dragon that had lights, a mouth opening and closing and CO2 smoke blowing out of its nostrils.
Three people danced inside Ignus, and a lady jester waved its tail. Since “he” was dressed in rip stop nylon, his fire was allegorical. Ignus was joined in the parade by green men, green ladies, a fire breather, drummers, and Celtic penny whistlers. The Green Man puppet – a giant puppet which first debuted in 2009 and takes three people to operate – also joined in the parade with his dragon brother.
Dragons are the most persistent of the elementals to have curled their way out of the universal unconscious. Though they have come into being in many different corners of the world, they are surprisingly alike in their appearance and what they can do. The family of the horned serpent of the bible, the ancient Greeks, and the Amerindians keeps adding members from talking dragons in Tolkein books to ‘Avatar’.
Their origins probably stem from our innate awareness of the lines of power in the earth. In England and Europe they haunt the ley lines. The Chinese called them Dragon lines, and Native Americans, as well as Druids, traveled along them, and made monuments at their crossroads. Images brought to the surface by Shaman were so appealing to their audience that they were accepted, enlarged in the imagination of the tribe and concretized with visible images.
We invite dragons to our most important festivals – New Years, Beltane, festivals of light, and for seasonal change. Dragons play for the sake of play, and help us to realize that play and creativity are our most sacred activities. They are our allies, and we glory in their power, which becomes ours by association. They help us to remember the festivals we hold in our minds. When we dance with them in the company of our friends, we perceive the exhilaration of the moment to be never ending. Chemistry in a caldron of celebration indeed!
It seems appropriate that dragons manifest at burn events, where their attributes can be appreciated, their presence will evoke joy, and connect us to the countless dragons past and present at festivals across the world and centuries. People who come to a burn expect to experience change within them. Perhaps Ignus can lead us on a dance into the rampant imagination.
The Green Man Camp was established at Transformus 2009 and pays homage to the 2007 Burning Green Man theme. They are an earth friendly group with a concern about our environment and otherwise enjoy fun in the sun. They are flower children of the sixties and soilmates. Ya dig?