Deenagh: The Pictish Years Chapter 15 – The First Flight

This is a Disabled Pagan Voices Project Submission

The Dragon felt that the time had come for Deenagh to have her first flight, taking her rightful place as his Rider. It was a few days after she had made her life changing decision to leave her home, family and friends. Deenagh didn’t realise just how many people loved her, and they were all going to miss her. She was so excited at the prospect of leaving with her best friend that she didn’t ponder for long over all that she would miss about her first home, her birthplace. It was a clear, star filled sky, and without the Moon the stars shone their glory, and galaxies could be seen, faraway planets full of life. The Dragon and Deenagh were alone in the clearing, enjoying each other’s company. Deenagh was recounting the events of the recent Clan Gathering, told in her amusing way, and The Dragon was entertained with the stories of the peculiar ways of humans, who he had to admit, did know how to have fun when they put their minds to it.

The Dragon asked Deenagh to climb onto his back and to sit in the place on his neck between his shoulders. Deenagh felt honoured, because not since she had to climb on him to tend to his wounds had she been so close to him. Of course she had shown her affection by reaching out to touch his face
and neck, but she hadn’t climbed on top of him since the weeks of healing so long ago. She was speechless, but with reverence she did what was asked. As she stepped onto the hard scales of the crown around The Dragon’s head and huge neck, she felt the immense power of this magnificent creature. She climbed with ease onto the soft area in the centre of the back of the wide neck of this Great Golden Dragon. With her knees bent and tucked in behind her, she sat down in a seat that seemed to be specially designed for her. She was able to hold onto the golden spikes that came out from the crown, like shards of crystal, but they felt like great antlers. Deenagh beamed with joy, and had a smile that could light a darkened cave. She just sat there for a time with such a feeling of pride
and thought briefly that she could burst with sheer happiness.

The Dragon allowed Deenagh the time to become accustomed to her position, and then suddenly he lifted himself off the ground and propelled himself into the air in a vertical fashion with the strength and speed that was needed for lift off. Nothing could have prepared Deenagh for her first Dragon flight, and she was literally petrified. In the same instant she had a panic attack that caused her to gasp for breaths that weren’t coming and she stopped breathing altogether. Her body now unconscious went limp and she slumped where she sat. The Dragon immediately sensed that Deenagh was in grave danger, and he lowered himself to the ground as quickly as he possibly could. The Dragon spoke gentle words to his Rider, and enveloped her in a calming energy, imploring her to come back
to him. Deenagh was gone, and in a time that was no longer time, and a place that was not a place, she had a vision in which she saw a Shadow Man, and he was asking her to trust him as he offered her his hand. He was the most gentle and kindly being that she had ever encountered before, and
with a spark of recognition she felt that she knew him and could trust him. Deenagh instinctively knew that this Shadow Man loved her unconditionally, and she loved him too in the same way, so she took his hand. It was in that second that Deenagh gasped a deep breath as she regained consciousness. She sat still, unable and unwilling to move, clinging onto The Dragon for a long time, while her energy returned to her body.

It was when the shock had subsided that Deenagh began to cry, and The Dragon cried too, tears that released their joint emotions of the love they shared and the fears they had of ever losing each other. Dragon and Rider, openly and honestly told each other how much they loved one another, and they held nothing back. They shared the joy they felt at finding each other and the emotional journey they both had as they learned to trust one another. They shared their insecurities and doubts, and they promised that they would love each other until the day they would be reborn into new beings, pledging that they would find each other, because now that they had forged the bond of Dragon and Rider, they were linked in a deeply Spiritual way that could not be broken. Dragon and Rider cried until
there were no more tears left. Their emotions had been laid bare and out in the open for each other to see and it helped them understand one another better. As they both felt drained from the sheer emotion that had been spent, Deenagh drifted into sleep where she sat, resting her head against The Dragon with her arms around him. The Dragon rested too, not moving from the position he had lowered to so, he would not disturb his Rider who now needed to heal through sleep. It was some time later when Deenagh awoke feeling refreshed and lighter somehow, and she knew that she had
freed herself from some of the emotional baggage that she hadn’t even realised that she was carrying. She had shared her most intimate fears with her best friend, and he told her that he would always be with her and that she would never be alone. Deenagh believed and trusted The Dragon, and she had understood the nature of their bond, as she knew that her best friend would never hurt her intentionally because he loved her unconditionally just as she loved him. They had a powerful love between them which was a strong foundation for any relationship, and together they would face and overcome any obstacle or challenge that may lay ahead. Their relationship was an adventure, and they could achieve anything they set themselves on this journey that was their’s for the making and
one they were going to make together.

The Dragon sensed that Deenagh had awoken, and it was still night time, so he gently asked her if she was ready, and a determined young woman bravely sat up in her seat, knowing what The Dragon was proposing, and she shouted “Yes!” into the night and up at the stars. In an instant, The Dragon had propelled himself directly upward and Deenagh laid her head deep against the back of his neck, her arms wrapped around his great crown. She allowed herself to experience the sensation of the strength and speed at which they were travelling. The Dragon’s magnificent wings beat in a slow rhythm and he levelled off to fly horizontally but with a slight incline. Deenagh looked around her and she saw an incredible view of this land that was her home for the first thirteen years of her life. The clearing was now a tiny green patch far below and she could make out the circular dwellings of Anoc-Par, and with this unique vantage point she had an even greater appreciation of her Pictish people. The mountains loomed all around her and the tops of the trees had merged into a network of branches. Her eyes had adjusted to the dark of night, and the twinkling lights of the faraway stars cast a hazy glow over the land, and it was a truly spectacular sight.

The Dragon had a surprise for Deenagh as he was flying them both to her Sacred Mountain, the one he had heard so much about, with her tales of the Clan Gatherings, the mountain he knew she loved above all others. As Deenagh took in the splendour all around her, she felt as though her whole life had led her to this moment, and the realisation that she was a Dragon Rider actually dawned on her for the first time. She was overcome with a sense of pride, as her chest swelled and her head tilted itself higher as though it were an automatic reflex. She also realised that she was feeling The Dragon’s pride too at finally having his own Rider. They were linked emotionally, and they could experience each other’s feelings, and they were both aware that this meant not just the happy but the sad too. Deenagh felt a responsibility to stay happy because she didn’t want her best friend to feel sad just because she felt sad. She loved The Dragon and wanted him to always be happy. The Dragon smiled at this thought, because they were mentally linked as well, and although he could shield his thoughts from her, Deenagh had yet to learn how to do that. But The Dragon was amused at the thought that Deenagh still had alot to learn if she thought it was going to be easy to stay happy all that time, especially as a Dragon Rider which had it’s own responsibilities, which Deenagh would come to realise soon enough. For now The Dragon wanted Deenagh to enjoy this first flight as his Rider, and they didn’t need to count the failed attempt as her first, merely a practice run. This was Deenagh’s first flight, and The Dragon wanted it to be memorable for her, so he flew around her Sacred Mountain and then he softly landed at the summit. Deenagh got off his back, unsteadily at first as she got her legs earthed again and her balance restored to her. She walked on this Sacred Mountain that held so many fond memories for her, and she was excited to share this place with her best friend. She eagerly told The Dragon about what happened where at the Clan Gatherings, pointing out where her village would normally set up camp, and where she danced with her Tribe. Deenagh loved being able to show off her Sacred Mountain to The Dragon, and he listened, eager to hear all about the rituals and
practices of these Pictish people to whom his Rider had been born to. Dragon and Rider sat together on The Sacred Mountain and watched the sky become lighter, with the Sun slowly making it’s presence known, as the stars in the night sky disappeared. Before the Sun had risen, they were back in the clearing, and Deenagh slept under wing of The Dragon, who rested with a sense of contentment that had not come easy to him before, and he was looking forward to the adventures that lay ahead with his Rider.

My name is Deenagh Jackson and the process of my writing has helped me understand my own Pagan beliefs in this modern day, while also helping me to connect with my Ancestors of old.

The Deenagh series of books which I started writing almost 2 years ago are about the main character Deenagh who can remember her past lives and each book tells the story of the lifetimes she has lived and the lessons learned, with her Spiritual beliefs at the heart which are important to Deenagh.
This is the first time I have shared my stories outside my close circle of friends, but as a wise man once told me “a stranger is a friend yet to be”, so feel free to contact me by email 
Brightest Blessings, Deenagh