Aryong-Jong : Lady of the Dragon Palace
Aryong-Jong is a dragon goddess of water, rain, and fertility and the consort of the first King of Silla, an ancient Korean kingdom. The people of Silla decided they needed a king. They looked long and hard but were unable to find anyone suitable. Finally a magical white horse led them to the foot of a mountain where they discovered an unusual red or blue egg. The horse gave a cry and flew up to heaven, and a beautiful, radiant baby boy emerged from the egg. The people of Silla realized that they had found their king; soon they decided he also needed a suitable mate. Again they searched but couldn’t find anyone suitable until a kyeryong (chicken-dragon) emerged from the sacred Aryong-Jong well near Saryang-ni village.
Reports vary. Either the dragon gave birth to a baby girl or the dragon died and the living girl emerged from the dragon’s body. She was the perfect bride for the prince except that her mouth was formed like a chicken’s beak, but when bathed in a sacred stream, even this fell away. Aryong-Jong was named after the sacred well. When king and consort were thirteen, they were married and lived happily ever after, ruling wisely and justly and having children. The king died first after reigning for sixty-two years; his wife followed shortly. The people desired to bury them together in the same tomb, but a huge snake emerged, preventing this. Separate funerals were held. Their tombs became pilgrimage sites.
Aryong-Jong emerged from a well and she herself serves as a well, providing rainfall during drought. A traditional ritual for rain involves petitioning her assistance while pouring water through a sieve simulating rain. Her dragon well is a pilgrimage for women seeking to marry or conceive.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
- Dragon Queens
- Korean Mythology
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.