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Beowulf - Encounter with the Dragon guarding the Treasure



Type of Spiritual Experience


A good example of a shamanic encounter with a guardian.  If the door or portal is not locked or in some way barred, it is usually guarded.  In other words, instead of needing a key or password or similar to gain access, the person is often expected to symbolically provide authorisation information to the guardian.

The barrow here is acting as a tunnel and leads to the Fire level, symbolically a dragon.  Beowulf is not authorised to use this tunnel, he is to all intents and purposes taking it by storm.  The 'treasure' he seeks is beyond in the aether level.


A description of the experience


The strong champion stood up beside his shield
Brave beneath helmet, he bore his mail shirt
To the rocky cliff’s foot, confident in his strength
A single man; such is not the coward’s way!
Then did the survivor of a score of conflicts
The battle clashes of encountering armies
Excelling in manhood, see in the wall
A stone archway and out of the barrow broke
A stream surging through it, a stream of fire
With waves of deadly flame; the dragon’s breath
Meant he could not venture into the vault near the hoard
For any time at all without being burnt
Passion filled the prince of the Geats
He allowed a cry to utter from his breast
Roared from his stout heart; as the horn clear in battle
His voice re-echoed through the vault of grey stone
The hoard guard recognised a human voice
And there was no more time for talk of friendship
Hatred stirred.  Straightaway
The breath of the dragon billowed from the rock
In a hissing gust; the ground boomed

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Activity not known