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Fascinating Facts about Wizards & Dragons Scramble Squares®
Myth and legend describe a wizard as a male magician who uses magic to seek wisdom and spiritual truths. From early priests who used magical tricks to influence their followers, through the alchemists, who promised to turn led and other base metals into gold, wizards were thought to practice beneficial “white magic,” which they learned by experimentation and by apprenticeship. Sorcerers, on the other hand, were thought to be the practitioners of “black magic” with a lust for power, who seek to master the universe with potions and incantations for their own selfish desires. Perhaps the most well known wizard in history is Merlin, who legend describes as the magical mentor to Britain’s King Arthur during the 5th Century A.D. Wizards were often called upon to use their vast supernatural powers to destroy otherwise indestructible dragons that terrorized the populace.

Dragons are mythological fire-breathing monsters, usually depicted as gigantic winged and scaly reptiles having crested heads, enormous lion's claws and serpents tails. Dragon myths were prevalent among virtually all early cultures from the beginning of recorded history. Among their earliest forms, dragons were associated with the water god and the warrior sun god. In these capacities they had the power to be both benevolent and destructive and were all-powerful creatures. In ancient times, dragons were believed to be real creatures and were thought to be responsible for natural disasters and other unexplainable phenomena. Rain clouds and thunder and lightning were believed to be the dragon's breath, which gave rise to the image of a fire-breathing monster. Dragons were thought to have direct control over the destiny of mankind. As the myth developed in the western world, dragons came to represent the chaos of original matter, challenged by man's growing knowledge.

Dragons were first believed to have power of control over the waters of the earth, living at the bottom of the sea, where they guarded vast treasure hoards of pearls and other gems. On many early sea maps, unexplored areas were marked with the notation, “dragons lie here.” Even today, many persons believe in the existence in Scotland of The Loch Ness Monster, a creature described by various eye witness accounts and fuzzy photographs as strongly resembling the form of a dragon.

In Asia, the dragon adopted a rather different significance. It was essentially benevolent, son of heaven, and controlled the watery elements of the universe for the benefit of the people. Dragons have been an integral part of the culture of the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese peoples since the beginning of recorded history. In China they are used to mark the stairways over which only the Emperor could be carried. In Japan they are used in Buddhist temples both as decoration and as fountain heads for purification before worship. In many cases the dragon is combined with the phoenix to symbolize long life and prosperity.

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