Bentley LeBaron Potter / Sculptor

Bentley: I think of dragon energy as being universal energy. Everything is dragon, including you and me.

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DRAGON ENERGY

 

Dragon is from an archetypal standpoint, a union especially of earth and air. But, in the fully embroidered mythologies you get earth, air, fire, water, all combined, in the dragon story and image. It pretty well covers everything.

Another way of looking at dragon energy, is as spiral energy. So if you ever check into images from outer space, one of the things you notice is everything is spiral. Look at each of us, a spiral comes up through your spine, to the top of your head.
In the earliest mythologies I know of, the great serpent, coiled around the earth, prevented it from falling apart, blowing apart. It’s a widespread image, around the world. In the odd case, the serpent is coiling around the roots of the tree. It takes different forms, but the coiling, and protective versus flying apart energy, takes different form in different mythological traditions. That all becomes articulated in complex dragon imagery.

TITANS AND TITANESSES

Before the great gods on Olympus came the titans and the titanesses. They were somewhat humanoid, somewhat divine creatures, but they were very earthy, mountainous, rocky, boulderish. There are three titanesses over there, with really big feet. Heavy feet, legs, and hips. Gradually getting more human as you get up to their breasts, and arms.

 

 

 

MOON GODDESS

There are a lot of incarnations of great mother in her moon face. Moon mother shows up as a triple goddess: full moon, new moon, dark moon. The dark moon would correspond to the hag, the hag version. The full moon, beneficent mother version, would be more like Cinderella’s godmother. And the new moon would be Cinderella herself. The same archetypes show up in fairy tales, as in mythology.If you picture the doubleface there, as the full moon and the new moon, you have to imagine the dark of the moon. It actually disappears, is dark, so to get the full effect of the triple goddess you have to imagine her dark face, invisibly, behind two other faces.

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GEORGE & MARTHA

This is actually female, we’ve neglected her breasts here, you have to imagine them. But she does have a vagina. She’s a female wooden inukshuk, and her name is Martha. There’s a George over there. They’re from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, a bit of modern mythology. She has a hag’s hairdo too.

George is a minor character, he’s been banished to a less significant corner, because Martha is the dominant character in this drama. You translate these figures back, they’re androgynous. Hermaphrodites, you know, are the perfect union…. and the hermaphrodite for the ancients was something very ancient, and very special.

The main thing about George and Martha, is that they remind us not to take mythology too seriously.

PAN

Did you see Pan over here, innocent Pan?

He’s not very goaty yet, still in the innocent phase. This little guy hasn’t even discovered he’s an old goat yet. Pan and nymphs, these are my forest guardians.

I’m probably closest to the smelly goat god. if my talent lended itself to music, I’d sit all day and play the pan pipes. But my talent lends itself to the work of the hands, I work in clay and paint.

But it’s the Pan tradition that’s closest to me. He’s the god of dance, and the god of music.

 

Read David Morrison’s article “Bentley LeBaron and the Great Mother Dragon” in The Beacon magazine, August 2011