Mischief Night…Angel Night…Dragon Night…

the secret keeper:

Mischief Night. Hope Everyone had a great All Hallow’s Eve. —– Remember: everyone who leaves a Comment here at Dragon’s Nest this October gets their name put in the hat for a signed copy of either Dragons for Beginners or The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook. Just two days to go!

Winners to be announced November 1, 2012.
J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest:

The weather gods have been up to a great deal of mischief of late: earthquakes off British Columbia, tsunami warnings in the Hawaiian Islands, blood rain over Denmark, and Hurricane Sandy storming through the Caribbean and up the East Coast of North America.


Last night was not fit for man or beast, save perhaps the most intrepid of Dragons, willing to brave gale winds and driving rains. I hope all of you are safe and sound and none the worse for wear. Today – well, the trees are bare, waters are beginning to recede and winds die down. Now comes a time to clean up the mess.

Tonight is Mischief Night – or Devil’s Night or Cabbage Night as local traditions dictate. In centuries past it was a time for late night raids and scarecrows ablaze with Dragonfire. When humans got in on the fun there were eggs dripping off…

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Samhain: Thinning of the Veil, the Return of the Dragons

the secret keeper:

Out of the darkness, Dragons roared, reminding us we need them. Reminding us of their right to be. With horns charmed and scales ashimmer, they walk amongst us. They share our lives and lend mystery to the mun­dane. They fill the skies and sing in thunderous tones for all to hear, “We are Everywhere!” The Month of the Dragon ends in EST in 2 hours. You really need to check out all these fantastic Posts from this month. The illustrations, the stories, the books, the cat that roared like a lion, and i you leave a comment by midnight tonight Oct 31st. you have a chance to win one of two books written by Shawn MacKenzie, signed by the author. Winners will be announced Nov. 1st. Emjoy and Good Luck to the WInners. J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest:

Another Month of the Dragon has come to a close. We all made it through in one piece, I trust, without too many scratches or scorch marks or visits to the emergency room.

I want to thank everyone who has contributed, in few words or many. Without your help, we would not have celebrated with such draconic gusto and erudition. I hope between now and midnight you’ll drop by, leave a comment, and insure that your name is in the hat for a signed copy of Dragons for Beginners or The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook.

                     

I have always thought it most fitting that MotD ends on Samhain (Halloween). This is a very special day for Dragons, especially Westies and the lesser dragons in their ken. Indeed, as much as Dragons have holy days, this is right up there at the top of the list.

Which takes us to a…

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National Cat Day…

the secret keeper:

Hello Carter, my your voice has matured into quite the big kitty voice. Happy National Cat Day One and All. CATS RULE!!!!!!! J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest:

‘And this has what to do with Dragons?’ you ask.

Well, my experience tells me that Dragons are very fond of cats and don’t mind sharing a piece of their month with these furry little wonders.

So…From Little Carter and his housemates to all of your feline companions:

HAPPY CAT DAY!

And everyone in Sandy’s path, keep safe!

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Seven Psychopaths

Seven Psychopaths
Created by the secret keeper
10.31.12

‘Seven Psychopaths’ follows a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu.

Marty (Farrell) is a struggling writer who dreams of finishing his screenplay, “Seven Psychopaths”. Billy (Rockwell) is Marty’s best friend, an unemployed actor and part time dog thief, who wants to help Marty by any means necessary. All he needs is a little focus and inspiration. Hans (Walken) is Billy’s partner in crime.

A religious man with a violent past. Charlie (Harrelson) is the psychopathetic gangster whose beloved dog, Billy and Hans have just stolen. Charlie’s unpredictable, extremely violent and wouldn’t think twice about killing anyone or anything associated with the theft. Marty is going to get all the focus and inspiration he needs, just as long as he lives to tell the tale. — (C) Official Site

R Rated 1 hr. 49 min. – Comedy – Directed By:Martin McDonagh – Written By:Martin McDonagh
Rotten Tomatoes Give it 85% on Tomatometer 82% Audience Rated

David Denby New Yorker Top Critic October 22, 2012

The kind of messy, absurdist movie that can lift you out of a crappy mood—at least for a while. A blocked, alcoholic Los Angeles screenwriter (Colin Farrell) is provoked by a chaotic actor friend (Sam Rockwell) into contacting a variety of murderers and making their stories part of a script. Each of the nut jobs is introduced on the screen with a helpful title (such as “Psychopath No. 4”), and we see their bloody obsessions. There are crime sprees and serial killings; the Zodiac Killer turns up, as does the singer Tom Waits, holding a rabbit, as a serial killer who kills other serial killers. All of this is staged as a broad parody of slasher-style junk moviemaking. The actual movie is a debauch (it should play well at midnight). What the Irish writer and director Martin McDonagh seems to love is snapping back and forth between tragedy and farce, raiding the entire grab bag of terrible cinematic styles and making them shine by exaggeration. With Christopher Walken, as an elderly con man who steals dogs and “returns” them to their owners for cash, and Woody Harrelson, as a burning-eyed gangster who has a thing for a fluffy Shih Tzu. The women, including Abbie Cornish, are treated abominably.

Pulp Meta-Fiction
Seven Psychopaths is Quentin Tarantino meets Charlie Kaufman.
By Dana Stevens
Posted Friday, Oct. 12, 2012

The bracingly weird Seven Psychopaths is the second film written and directed by the Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. His first movie, In Bruges, about a pair of squabbling hitmen cooling their heels in that medieval Belgian city, attracted a small but passionate following for its idiosyncratic blend of semi-comic violence and bro-on-bro chitchat.

Like Quentin Tarantino, McDonagh excels at writing sharp, funny dialogue for people (men, usually) who are just passing the time while they wait for something violent and inevitable to happen. But McDonagh has his own distinctive voice and a set of obsessions quite different from Tarantino’s: For one thing, his characters tend to be introspective, yearning types, very different from the deadpan fatalists who populate Tarantino’s world. McDonagh also brings up ethical and spiritual questions it’s hard to imagine, say, Uma Thurman’s avenging bride in Kill Bill taking the time to ponder: Is violence ever really the right answer? What happens to us after we die?

That’s not to say that those questions ever get addressed satisfactorily in Seven Psychopaths. This is a movie that throws a lot of stuff at you (jokes, subplots, philosophical riffs, arterial jets of blood) and leaves you puzzling over what to do with it all. It’s at once a gangster movie, a buddy comedy, and a meta-fictional exploration of the limits of both genres—and if that sounds impossible to pull off, well, McDonagh doesn’t, quite. But the pure sick brio of Seven Psychopaths takes it a long way.

Colin Farrell, who also co-starred in In Bruges, plays an Irish screenwriter named Marty. Yes, he’s a same-name stand-in for the writer, like Nicolas Cage’s Charlie Kaufman in Adaptation. And like that character, Marty is suffering from epic writer’s block on his latest, now wildly overdue script. All he has is a title, one that everyone seems to agree is awesome: Seven Psychopaths. But his inability to progress beyond writing “Psychopath #1” on a legal pad has him depressed and drinking heavily, and his girlfriend Kaya (Abbie Cornish) is about to send him packing.

Marty’s loose-cannon best friend, Billy (Sam Rockwell), is desperate to collaborate on the script—his job as an actor is going nowhere, and he’s been making a living by kidnapping dogs, then sending his courteous, ascot-wearing buddy Hans (Christopher Walken) to return them and collect the rewards from their owners. One unlucky day, Billy and Hans kidnap a Shih Tzu that turns out to be the adored pet of a notoriously ruthless crime boss, Charlie (Woody Harrelson). When Billy refuses to return the dog (pointing out that “that would defeat the purpose of kidnaping”), Charlie and his henchmen come after the dognapping duo, providing Marty with an all-too-close view of the many varieties of human psychopathology.

This dognapping plot is only one of multiple concurrent stories in Seven Psychopaths, some of them nested inside others. A masked serial killer stalks Los Angeles, leaving a Jack of Diamonds playing card at each murder scene. A dour Quaker (Harry Dean Stanton) figures out how to avenge his daughter’s murder while staying true to his pacifist beliefs. A Vietnamese priest (Long Nguyen) sits in his hotel room in America, plotting revenge for the Vietnam War. What do these stories have to do with one another? Is Marty generating them himself, as his screenplay-in-progress makes its tormented way from brain to pen? And is the increasingly unhinged Sam right when he insists that it can all end only in a no-holds-barred, Hollywood-style macho shootout?

All this narrative nesting and genre-skipping sounds very cerebral on the page, but in practice, Seven Psychopaths is as pleasurably kinetic as can be, full of double-crosses and gunplay and sun-kissed SoCal locations (the last third or so of the movie takes place amid the sci-fi-worthy vegetation of Joshua Tree National Park). There’s a crisp, witty score by Carter Burwell; there’s (too briefly) Tom Waits, telling a tale of murder and lost love while cradling a pet rabbit. Above all, there’s Sam Rockwell, whose manic turn as the gonzo Billy steals the movie even from notorious gonzo-character specialist Woody Harrelson. Walken, as the mysteriously unflappable Hans, does wonderful work in a more minor, low-key mode; when he turns down a proffered drink with the casual demurral “I take peyote,” his comic timing is pure gold. Farrell has less to do as the naive audience proxy Marty, but his permanently quizzical wedge-shaped eyebrows express the audience’s own confusion. There’s not really time during Seven Psychopaths to think through how, or if, all its almost-clever narrative puzzles fit together, and after the movie’s over, it doesn’t quite seem worth worrying about.

Seven psychopaths Trailer

Bipolar—Marijuana—Relaxation—Meditation

Bipolar—Marijuana—Relaxation—Meditation
By Jennifer Kiley
10.30.12

Energy flowing through the seven chakras in no partiular order

I have mixed among my writing this post videos that I have worked with in the past while I meditated. I hope you will give them a try to see if they might help. They did help me, maybe they will do the same for some of you.

It just may be time to reconsider my lack of using meditation as a means of relaxation and bringing my bipolar moods under some kind of acceptable control where I would be more able to level them out a bit more evenly. A fellow blogger brought my attention to his own attempts at mediating which drew me to a post I did a while back. I posted several videos of meditation related chanting and relaxing music and natures sounds that once helped me to relax so well that i would often fall into a semi-consciousness and eventually into a state of the most deep and renewing sleep. I needed to meditate at that time to bring down my high level of feeling so stressed out that I needed far too many toxic psych meds I have since removed from my collection of medications that I take regularly. No more psych meds with the one exception of one for anxiety and panic.

No Mind – Piano – Paul Collier

Now in my life I have extended to a great degreee all of the activities in which I am involved. I need to destress or get more sleep. I often forget to sleep, eat or take my health meds. Bipolar highs and lows can lead one to forget to take proper care and attention to some of the rather important necessities of ones life.

Chanting Om II – Splendour of Yoga

I have retrieved some of the material from this post on Meditation and Contemplation to help me and any others who might be interested in revisiting this type of interest in order to relax and release the tensions of their lives on a moderate to regular or daily basis.

Chanting Om II – Meditation Music

It is time to remember and to be inspired if I want to reconnect and start to write more thoroughly on my many projects: a screenplay, my poetry, a resurrected novel, a memoir of a period in my life I am exploring for the profound effect it had on me in a metaphysical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual way, and to return to my activities around the visual arts of photography and short film making. The need in me to do photography has been speaking to me from out of my dreams. The choice was either to paint or to take photographs. Photography has been in my mind for quite a while. I, also, want to return to the creating of collages. They inspire me immensely.

Chanting OM by MUSIC FOR DEEP MEDITATION

All of this has to do with reconnecting with my memories through feelings and thoughts that are buried within me. I want to retreive from my subconscous and unconscious all that is hidden from my conscious awareness, so that I might be of assistance to my muse while I work on my screenplay that relates in many ways to the experiences that have touched my life in a most profound way. In other words, I want to exorcise some demons and clearly understand what I feel and think about a particular decision that I intend to make at some point in my near future. In my screenplay, the answer is revealed to me, but I want to write the story out to see if that really is the intended conclusion.

Chanting Om II – Meditation on the 7 Chakras

Hopefully, they will work in centering me before I colaborate with my muse as we work together. The videos inspired me or caused me to relax or meditate most easily and the tension melted away on most occasions.

No Mind – Gentle Piano Meditation Music

These are all videos I’ve listened to while letting my mind settle down as I was going into a state of meditation. Thoughts would travel through my mind but I would just try not to attach myself to any of them. Just let them go. When I felt my self drifting back to engage in my thinking I would start to listen to my breathing as it guided me back on track to the goal of letting go of my thoughts and emotions and drift into a place where I was free from this space we call reality.

Air – Paul Collier – Relaxing Music

I worked on letting go of the sensations of my body that distracted me. I just kept letting go. Whenever I returned to this reality I would work on my breathing again and let that be my focus. Eventually, without realizing it I was not with my body and mind i had floated onto a different plane of consciousness that I was not aware of. It was more like being set free from all physical connections of the body and mind.

Slow Down – Paul Collier

These are very soothing videos to work with to bring one into a state of relaxation so that you are able to let go into your meditation. The contemplation was the act of meditation. A focusing on one thing so that all else slid away. In this instance I contemplated on meditating so that all of the world slipped into another realm away from that which I was actively seeking to find so that I could also let that pass away from my awareness. Some call this attainment Nirvana. Sometimes reachable but also elusive like a butterfly. Sometimes the relaxation of the meditation dropped me off into such a relaxed state I actually drifted into a deep and restful sleep. Which is a perfectly fine end to the crescendo of meditation.

Sounds of Rain and Thunder on the River

My goal this time in meditating is to work on bringing my bipolar under a reasonable level of control. I will not take the toxic medications that are prescribed today. If someday the government changes its mind and allows marijuana to be used with all of its medicinal properties, one of which is in assisting bipolar treatments and a plethera of other treatments. I would consider using a medication such as medicinal marijuana for the treatment of my mood swings and racing thoughts, my highs and lows, my delusions which make me think what I sometimes perceive a situation as real, when in the true reality of the perception, it is not at all the way the delusional part of my mind sees it.

Smoothing Meditation Music – Paul Collier

I am actually getting better at stepping out of the delusiosn while they are occurring and see them from another part of my mind for what they truly are, a total misperception of all the stimuli that is being presented to me and mixing them all up into a distorted view of what does not exist. Reality is usually expected of us to live in this world in order to be accepted. If one allows delusions to rule what we perceive we are more then likely going to fuck up relationships because we will doubt our partner or friends and feel they are hurting us when in truth, what we think is happening is not at all what is really happening. Now sometimes what is happening is exactly the way we perceive it, but when we are in a state of delusion we can never really be sure.

No Mind – Piano – Paul Collier

That is why I feel the government needs to allow bipolars access to marijuana to use in their treatment of bipolar and all other ailments that it can be used to treat. My own doctor is trying to help me to work with the government in my state to try to push this issue forward. She actually can see the benefits of marijuana for my treatments for bipolar, chronic pain, anxieties and all sorts of other physical and psychological issues that I am dealing with.

Self Esteem Affirmations with Music – Paul Collier

So for now meditation and psychotherapy may be the only thing I can use to help myself with the bipolar and then the various doctors I see for specialty treatments. Plus my friends, family and partner, who are there as part of my support system and I am part of theirs, also, quite willingly. J.K. the secret keeper…I hope these are of help in some way for some people who would just like to listen to something that might just be a sound they just might enjoy kicking back and listening to. Namaste!

Relaxing Rain on a Metal Roof – 1 hour

What Makes A Bully?

the secret keeper:

It is hard to try to understand someone who does such harm to other people, especially if they are children that often end up feeling so bad from the bullying that they end up committing suicide. Yet, in this post you get a feeling for the bully that most of us would not have even thought of as the possible cause and/or reason that they are doing the bullying because of their own awful experiences. It makes sense and there is some compassion that goes through you when you read this post. But then I think that all those who are abused do not turn into abusers, So what makes someone seek self awareness and one turn to being the bully. Dr. Clune suggested in an answer to my comment that it might just be the “soul.” There is something to think about in that answer, This a brilliant series and a great post with incredible insight. Take the time and visit ontheplumtree to read this section of the series on Emotional Fitness(TM). It will be well worth your time and understanding. J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on Plum Tree Books Blog:

orange_rose1.p

What makes a bully, bully?

A bully hurts. Because they hurt inside, they hurt others.

A bully’s emotions are out of control. Their emotions are a tangled web of complex emotional responses, so they seek control over others.

A bully is angry, uncontrollably so, having never resolved any of the issues at work within his/her Psyche. A bully does not understand anger, how destructive it is to self and to others. Anger consumes their emotional responses.

A bully lives in a perpetual state of anger, unknowing of any other state of being, unaware of the amazing purpose that properly channeled anger might serve.

A bully is insecure so seeks dominion over others. They do this to big-up a fragile, disintegrating ego with false bravado, false power, false control.

Within a bully is a victim. A bully is a victim.

If a bully perceives a ‘victim,’ s/he despises that victim because s/he despises that…

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And the Winner Is…

the secret keeper:

AND THE WINNER OF THE SHORT STORY: “Because The Pleasure-Dragon Whistles” by Shawn MacKenzie is? Got to go to MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest to find the answer to that. Congrats To the Winner! J.K. the secret keeper ps. You really didn’t think I was going to say did you. And spoil the surprise. Don’t forget to leave a Comment on MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest for the chance at winning one of two books by Shawn MacKenzie: Dragons for Beginners or The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook. Both will be signed by the author. Good Luck to who ever WINS!

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest:

Happy Sunday one and all!

Time to catch our breath and prepare for the last few wild and woolly days of the Month of the Dragon.

First, I want to thank everyone who dropped by over the past 7 days and chimed in on Tell a Dragon Tale Week. 

And now the moment I am sure you’ve all been waiting for:

The recipient of a copy of Because the Pleasure-Dragon Whistles is…The Dragon Master. Congrats!

*****

Remember: everyone who leaves a Comment here at Dragon’s Nest this October gets their name put in the hat for a signed copy of either Dragons for Beginners or The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook. Winners to be announced November 1, 2012.

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why does “one” make a difference?

why does “one” make a difference?
by jennifer kiley
10.28.12

iranian-fifth day of creation by farshchian

why does “one” make a difference?
by jennifer kiley
10.28.12

speaking not of self
but of soul
a thing with power
within
and around us
so many influenced
by its presence
as though a deity
a spirit contained within
is a bounty of plenty
love and nurturing
offerings are mystical
no denying its power
felt strongly when present
missed
when appears
to have vanished
ethereal
in presence
in absence
still within
loving and nurturing
renewal needed
when demands are great
being able to give
to the giver
is divine in nature
within there is a need
to be heard

tension released
building up
what is served daily
into the world
touches of the spirit
is feeling of a lightness
but other energies
out of the darkness
balances
equilibrium
lasts a long moment
in time
the dam has limited give
release is then necessary
something needs
to absorb the after shock
that works for a time
but total release
is what is needed
space needed
for total renewal
letting go is not easy
from either side
of dynamic
separation occurs
going away
to come back again
it is difficult
but more powerful
for all who make it
through the transitory period
it’s a cleansing
it is painful
for pain must be released
it is a sweat lodge
the spirits need their freedom
flowing freely into
the outer realm
feelings and thoughts
must be set free
processed into
sanity from insanity
every moment creates
something new to explore
like tripping on acid
or mind expanding
from mushrooms
enlightenment
shall be found

john lennon by stephen anderson

if all can be released
letting go of the chaos
in one’s mind
in one’s emotional field
frees the spirit
from being grounded
by the earth forces
of gravity
holding the spirit hostage
when it needs freedom
to explore the expanses
of the infinite ethereal world
allowances need
releasing
in no prison
can a spirit
be contained
like a shadow
it follows you
where you go
but you can never
hold on to it
or touch it
but it is a part of you
it just does not
belong to you
there is no ownership
the spirit is always free
travels where it choses
no one can hold it
neither death nor life
nor need or friendship
it needs to be what it is
boundless
free
infinitely
eternal
but most of all
it belongs to
no one
it cannot be owned
the devil
cannot trade for it
no deals can be made with it
it is beyond all of us
let it be what it is
an uncontrollable
boundarieless
energy force
beyond our imagination
to perceive or describe
words do not exist
in any language
to give it names
or substance
it just is

© Jennifer Kiley 2012

phantom limb by odani motohiko

josh groban-to where you are

The Balance of Dragons, by Shawn MacKenzie

the secret keeper:

The Balance of Dragons, by Shawn MacKenzie…A magnificent story Shawn presents as a Guest Blogger on Karen S. Eliott’s Blog “The Word Shark.” Here is some information about the author. Shawn MacKenzie had her first Dragon encounter when she was four years old and happened upon a copy of The Dragon Green by J. Bissell-Thomas. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Author of The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2011), and Dragons for Beginners (Llewellyn, 2012), she is an editor and writer of sci-fi/fantasy. Her fiction has been published in Southshire Pepper-Pot, 2010 Skyline Review, and as a winner of the 2010 Shires Press Award for Short Stories. Shawn is an avid student of myth, religion, philosophy, and animals, real and imaginary, great and small.

Her ramblings can be found on her blog, MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest and at her web site. If you look along the right column of my blog The Secret Keeper you will find your way to MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest by clicking on the photo of the three kittens but hold off until you have a chance to scroll further down the right side of the page where you will come to both of Shawn MacKenzie’s Dragon Books, Just click on the books’ covers and they will take you to one of the places where you can purchase or find out more about them. The best place to find out about dragons is to visit Shawn MacKenzie at her Blog. That’s when you go back to the photo of the three little kittens. Be sure to go to Shawn’s guest blogging and read her story. Then Be sure to go to her blog and Enter the Contest to Win a chance at one of her two Dragon books, autographed, bu leaving a comment. The Winners will be announced November 1st. J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on Karen R. Sanderson's Blog:

The Balance of Dragons, by Shawn MacKenzie

The wind rolled across the moor, heavy with autumn heather and the scent of paper leaves. A trace of bitter salt from the Suthan Burh cut the air with endings and loss and the promise of early snow.

It had been a hard year in the land between the rivers. Spring came late, summer was tinder-dry; ewes cast before their time and the salmon ran light and small. Now came the killing frost before the Blood Moon

King Sevuk blamed it on the dragons. He blamed everything on the dragons. From the moment he planted his standard on the hillside and unearthed the first fieldstones for his castle, the inhabitants of the local weyr were the bane of his existence. It did not matter that he was trespassing in their home, poaching their woods and waters. It never crossed his mind to ask…

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Dragon Books —- Part IV

the secret keeper:

More wonderful books to discover written about Dragons in Fantasy or Truth. Wanted to make the deadline for all those who have been following October the Month of the Dragon. Visit the blog MacKenzie’s Dragonsnest to uncover more knowledge about Dragons for your mind and your imagination. Plus, the deadline draws near for entering the contest to win a chance at being chosen to WIN a copy of either Shawn MacKenie’s new book Dragons for Beginners or her other Dragon book The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook. Both to be signed by the author. Be sure to leave a comment to Enter the Contest. Enjoy your visit and Good Luck to whomever the Winners will Be! J.K. the secret keeper

Originally posted on MacKENZIE's Dragonsnest:

Happy Dragon Fire Festival!

Dragon Fire – dudziak

A time to turn our eyes to the lights in the sky as “night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast.” (Thanks you, Mr. Shakespeare!) But more on that tomorrow – it is a two day festival, after all.

Today I present Dragon Books, Part IV.

Though not my field of expertise, I felt it would be remiss of me to discuss Dragon books without touching on the Old Age/New Age area of Dragons and Magic(k). So, for those who believe in Dragon Magic and working with Dragons in a ritual fashion, and for the casually curious, I offer the following books for your consideration. Some I have read, some I have only had recommended to me, so forgive me if my commentary is brief. As with all things Dragon, I urge you to explore for yourselves and come to your own conclusions.

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