The Land of the Three Dragons

In my first sailing trip with Kim along this coastal haven, I noticed the mountains gracing the landscape, prompting my exclamation “Oh, this is the land where dragons play!” Thus unfolded Kim’s introduction to my esoteric world of the Dao and Feng Shui.

To entice me to ‘hop across the ditch’ from Australia to New Zealand, Kim seized the opportune moment suggesting that we explore the possibility of finding a plot of land along this captivating stretch of coastline. Our search led us to the now cherished abode, affectionately named Ditiantai 地天泰, meaning ‘The Prosperous/Harmonious Place where Heaven and Earth Unite.’

In a moment of inspiration, I named this sacred haven “The Land of the Three Dragons,” a tribute to the three mountain ranges that graciously adorn each flank of the peninsula.  According to my Feng Shui Tradition, dragons serve as metaphors for mountains, a symbolism consistently echoed in classical texts within this discipline.

Embedded within Daoist philosophy is a profound perspective on our planetary abode, 地 (planet earth), portraying it as a dynamic, breathing entity—aptly termed the ‘mother of ten thousand things.’ This figurative expression within the Dao encapsulates the boundless diversity and myriad manifestations of our world, underscoring the extensive scope and intricate interconnectedness of all things.  These myriad manifestations of life on earth are considered sacred and worthy of reverence. Since ancient times the sages considered the earth ‘alive’ undergoing perpetual transformation and we now know the Earth’s core is molten lava orchestrating a rhythmic dance that moulds and sculpts the very countenance of our terrestrial home.

Undeniably amongst Earth’s most prominent features, mountains stand tall, embodying the essence of dragons. Their peaks, resembling regal crowns, bear witness to the ageless majesty of these celestial beings.  The rocky protrusions mimic the horns that adorn these mythical creatures. The ridges carve out the dragon’s back, while the spurs extending from the flanks mirror the limbs, and sometimes extends splayed out resembling the dragon’s claws. 

Yet, not all mountain ranges unveil dragons with equal prominence. The smaller dragons may exhibit less defined forms, and the elder dragons wear the patina of time, a testament to the eons they have witnessed.  But it is amidst the magnificent entities adorned with lush greenery, often cloaked in the embrace of clouds and mists, where vital Qi resonates most potently.  This is where the benevolent sky creature’s spirit reside.

Dragons in traditional tapestries and paintings are depicted in ethereal imagery among clouds.  As here in my photos, these dragons, guardians of the landscape, manifest their benevolence in the form of rich greenery, often shrouded in mist and clouds—the very essence of life. The accompanying photos offer glimpses of the serenity and beauty found in the Land of the Three Dragons.

Perhaps now the dragons will appear before you each time you look at a mountain.

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