The Three Sacred Dragons of Mt. Shasta
By Raylene Abbott
Everything in nature has a signature, or a symbolic meaning. This
is known as the Book of Nature which is written in every flower, tree, rock and sacred place. The ancients knew how to interpret
this book and read wisdom from its pages.
Mt. Shasta is well known as a Sacred Mountain, referred to as the
Himalayas of the Western Hemisphere. Mt. Shasta is rich in nature’s signatures. Through the years Mother Nature has
opened her book and taught me the meanings of many Sacred Places around Mt. Shasta.
I would like to share with you my story of the three dragons of Mt
Shasta. You do not have to have clairvoyant vision to see these dragons. Their bodies is the land itself, although behind
the physical form there is also the spirit of the dragon. Feng shui practitioners call this Green Dragon Energy. Green Dragon
bodies are the mountains or ridges of the land. The land actually can look like the massive body of a dragon. The tree line
begins at their back, creating the fertility in the valleys below. Every dragon also is a guardian of a fresh water spring
that is connected with the fertility of the land.
But let me tell you a little history about dragon energy in other
lands so we can begin to understand how important our Shasta Dragons truly are. Dragons are also known as Nagas in India and
Tibet. They are the magical creatures that control earthquakes, waterways and Mother Earth’s treasures such as crystals,
veins of gold and natural gems. When the Nagas are not honored we see disasters in the form of earthquakes, floodings or diseases
such as cancer and AIDS. Issues of fertility arise. Diseases that involve the imbalance of the water element are Naga diseases.
Nagas are very powerful beings and must be approached with respect. In Tibet people believe the breath of a Naga can bring
The Nagas of India are associated with the snakes, especially the
cobra. There are Naga temples outside the villages where offerings are left to the snakes to bring rain to the land. Women
are the priestesses of these temples since a woman’s body contains the secrets of fertility. These women would leave
offerings of milk, honey and prayers. When the offerings were accepted fertility would come to the fields in the form of rain.
The herds would have healthy offspring and women could get pregnant easily.
Christianity created a religious doctrine that separated God from
Mother Earth. Deep in the unconsciousness of the western mind is the fear of the serpent energy. The western mind has been
brought up with the myth of Adam and Eve and the serpent. Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat the apple of knowledge. She
was punished for her sin, and women thereafter would suffer the pains of child birth. The forces of nature and fertility strongly
pulsate through a woman’s body. Women became sexual temptresses to celibate monks, and since monks were writing the
bible, we are left with a negative archetype for women.
But in the East the same serpent was symbolic of the sleeping kundalini
at the base of the spine. When the kundalini is awakened that very same power can generate enlightenment. The kundalini is
uncontrollable spiritual power that moves through the central channels of the body. This power can remove both emotional and
psychological hindrances. But one must have a firm foundation in spiritual practice to endure the intense experiences that
come with the awakening of the kundalini, otherwise it can cause both emotional and mental turmoil.
As we travel though history we return to the Three Shasta Dragons
that live upon the mountain. The first time I saw the dragon’s face was in Grey Butte, above panther meadows spring.
The spring was sacred to the late Flora Jones who was a great Indian doctor of the Wintun Indians. It is important to note
that a medicine woman was the caretaker of this spring. I was climbing the face of Mt. Shasta and I stopped to take a rest
and look down at the beautiful meadow below when I realized I was face to face with the dragon of the mountain - its snout
was the beginning of the butte. Its eye was the green lichen that grew upon the rock and its jagged back stretched across
the sky line. The beginning of the dragon’s tail was the tree line which became a thick forest running down the sides
of Mt. Shasta. I was honored to recognize this mighty being whose presence was reflected by stone, rock and lichen. When the
light is soft, such as in the morning or the evening, the face of the dragon appears easily.
The second dragon I discovered with the help of a Japanese man. This
man was a banker from Japan. His interest was finding the ley lines of the land. I was his tour guide for the day. When I
pointed out Grey Butte Dragon to him he said, “where there is one dragon there always is another, but where is the second
dragon?” We both looked at Green Butte. There was the jagged back of the dragon and the tree line was trailing down
his back, but where was his head? I looked again and I saw his head humbly bowing at the face of Mt. Shasta. It wasn’t
until one year later when I visited with two Japanese friends that I looked at Green Butte dragon with different eyes. We
were hiking down the face of the mountain and I pointed out the humble dragon of Green Butte. As I was showing the head of
the dragon my friend said it looked like the dragon had two heads. It was then that I saw that indeed the dragon had two heads.
The clouds above us then began to swirl and shape into dragon forms. This was a day to remember!
Green Butte was a place where I have had very powerful experiences.
As I walked the trail that runs aside the butte I have seen massive stones that symbolically reflected the history of the
Earth. Within the body of this humble dragon I have seen Egypt, the time of Christ and stories of Shiva and Shakti. Through
their signatures and shapes the stones were reflecting the Earth’s history. I realized this area of the mountain was
a great earth library. I related some of my experiences to a Tibetan Lama and he said that a similar library was in the mountains
of the Himalayas.
Further up the steep trail of Green Butte is another fresh spring.
Where there is a dragon, there also is a spring. This spring runs down the right side, creating a ribbon of green flora which
exists in strong contrast to the gray stone.
The third Shasta Dragon I found on a mantra walk that I began at the
foot of the mountain. I went to the upper parking lot on the mountain. I slung my water bottle over my shoulder, put my sandalwood
mala in my hand and began to recite a Sanskrit mantra to the Mother Earth. “Samudra Mekhale Devi”- your oceans
are your girdle and your mountains are your breast, forgive me for treading upon you. I silently walked the trail, keeping
track of each mantra as the scented beads slipped through my fingers. The mantra started to take hold of my mind, my daily
problems began to fall away and all that was left was my breath, my step and my prayers. I stopped and paid my respects to
the Grey Butte Dragon.
Then I turned to the West and honored the humble dragon of Green Butte.
The trail kept climbing higher to what is called the Saddle of the Mountain. As I went over the saddle, green meadow stretched
out before me and to the East another rugged ridge arose. I carefully crossed the ice glaciers that still covered the mountain
trail. Now I could see the back side of the Grey Butte Dragon. The layers of shale rock appeared like dragon scales. When
I reached meadows I emptied my water bottle on the nearest plant. I refilled my bottle with the bubbling fresh water spring.
This spring was the greening power of this alpine wonderland. I made my way down the meadow as the trail slowly began to rise
again. The Valley of the Moon stretched out to the south, looking barren and silvery from a rock perch I rested upon.
A great stillness had come over me and the mantra ran through me effortlessly.
A gentle wind played with my dangling prayer beads. I imagined nature spirits catching my mantras and distributing prayers
wherever they were needed. I had arrived at the third butte, known as Red Butte. To my wonder another face of a dragon had
appeared and its scaly back became the rugged ridges. Its eye danced with the color of lime green lichens. Faces within the
lichen were dancing within the eye of the dragon. I knew I had to look deeply into the stone eye of this dragon. And then,
I saw it - a rock image in the shape of a statue standing in the eye of the dragon. The rock was in the shape of a traditional
Kuan Yin statue. Kuan Yin, Asian goddess of mercy was in the dragon’s eye. She was joined together with another
rock image in the profile of Amida Buddha's blessing all those who passed. Amida Buddha is traiditional painted
next to Kuan Yin in Asian art.
Amida Buddha is the infinite light and Kuan Yin is the female form
that Amida Buddha's Light emanates.
Many spiritually gifted people around this mountain have had inner
experiences of Kuan Yin’s presence. I myself have seen her image in the ever-changing cloud formations. Mt. Shasta is
famous for its unusual cloud formations that reflect the inner realties of the area.
Kuan Yin’s mantra, Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa, now arose in me.
She is the Goddess of compassion, the bodhisatva of mercy. Her presence is written in stone here. The Kuan Yin mantra surrounds
the earth with compassion. With my mala in hand and Kuan Yin’s name on my lips I made my way down the mountain.
There are many stories and vision that have been associated with Mt.
Shasta over time. Every year more people come here, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Sacred. The Three Dragons of Shasta have
stood for eons waiting and watching, measuring historical time as their bodies have been chiseled by the elements. They bless
the state of California with abundant water supply, filling the great Sacramento river. Silently they have watched unrecognized
by many who have walked by. It is now a time of honoring. It is now a time for the return of the Dragons, and the power of
Earth Kundalini awakening. I am truly blessed for witnessing the Earth’s secrets. I am truly honored to share the Earth’s
message. May the Earth Mother’s beauty be restored.
Raylene Abbott is a nature mystic living in Mt. Shasta, California.
The land of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. The land where her ancestors are buried. Her specialty is interpreting
the Book of Nature, her passion is researching Eastern and Western religion. Her devotion is mantra practices.
Go to "Walking the Trails of Mt. Shasta" to see Kuan Yin and the Buddha.