Do any of you have any strong ideas about the ancient origins of the Eastern Dragon iconography? For instance, modern Chinese dragons are shown chasing a flaming pearl, yet the image of the pearl is late and was used to replace an older archetype. In the late Shang or early Zhou (Chou) dynasties, around 1050 bc, the Dragon was shown chasing not a pearl, but a device that was used for Divination. This was a turtle shell (plastron) which was heated by a hot needle-like tool & the cracks were then interpreted to give the augury (usually for rain). The Chinese turtle represents wisdom and the Moon, as does the pearl, whose flaming aspect was, I contend, inherited from the Oracle Bone method of heating the surface to produce divining cracks. Now it appears that the Chinese are unaware of this progression generally, as the old Zhou Dynasty practices faded into Confucianism and Taoism, and while all sectors of Chinese culture adopted and expanded the iconography of the Dragon. By the end there were 7 or 8 kinds of Chinese Dragon. But I claim that the original one was SHEN, or SHENLONG, who was known as a Thunder deity. I also suspect that this was the Dragon of the early Zhou Dynasty kings, particularly of kings Wen and Wu who originated it. Any thoughts?