Seadragon – Shelter

Leafy Sea Dragon illustrated by Ravenari


Placidity. Currents. Gentle movement. Free-flowing. Gentle masculinity. Paternity. Going with the flow. Shelter. The protective ocean. Reef magic. Dragon energy. The protective father. Using beauty and brightness as camouflage. Façade.

General Description:

Australia possesses both of the world’s seadragon species – the leafy and weedy seadragon – and both are members of the seahorse family. They are larger members of the seahorse family, growing up to 45cm. Seadragons have beautiful, elaborate camouflage which enables them to blend into sea grasses in shallow waters. They also have a long pipe-like mouth that helps them to vacuum up small crustaceans and other foods.

They live quite sedentary lives, usually only moving in time to currents to help their disguise. The male carries the eggs on the underside of his tail and raises them himself. Recently there have been suggestions that the leafy and weedy seadragon are the same species.

Lessons and Challenges:

Seadragon is a wonderful, gentle guide for people who need to learn how to slow down and ‘go with the flow.’ Seadragon teaches us how to accept and embrace placidity, not as a sign of ‘laziness,’ but as a way to move in time with the deeper currents of the earth. Seadragon teaches us to be more free-flowing, and in turn relaxation and a more peaceable way of existing follows.

It is a time for gentle movements. Consider your day to day actions, are they rushed and fidgety? Do you rush your shower or bath? Do you rush your meals? Are you a quick walker and talker? Seadragon quietly urges you to foster gentle movements. Consciously slow your walking, become more aware of your body and find ways for it to move which are both slow and comfortable for you.

Consider investing times in methods of exercise which promote health through a slowness and deliberateness of movement, such as tai chi, yoga and other activities that promote stretching or calm action.

Seadragon also teaches us – particularly those who identify as father figures – how to be gently masculine, or how to search out what it means to be a ‘gentle father.’ Seadragon is a gentle and caring father, like seahorse in general, and imparts wisdom to those who wish to know how to accept and embrace aspects of fatherhood.

Seadragon can indicate a protective father figure is in your life at this time, assisting you, or that a protective father figure may be coming into your life soon. Alternatively, you may find that you are more protective towards yourself.

The ocean is a force of power, often shown in its towering rogue waves, its storms and the fierce food cycles that occur within its ecosystems. However, the ocean can also be a gentle, protective ocean. It is a place of slowly swaying seaweeds which provide a haven for the fragile seadragon. This sheltering aspect of the ocean can also provide shelter for you as well. You can use it as a tool in visualisation, or alternatively work with seadragon to see how even some of the more violent forces of nature can provide times of shelter and safety.

Seadragon reminds us that our lives are governed by currents. Sometimes these currents are volatile and fast-flowing, but sometimes they are slower, global, life-long currents. It is the slower currents that benefit us the most when seadragon is present, those currents which do not push us along a path at a breakneck rate, but the ones which remind is quietly to self-soothe, nurture and comfort.

Like all animals that camouflage, seadragon teaches the importance of using a façade when necessary. At times it is right and appropriate to hide aspects of yourself from others. This might be because others just won’t accept those aspects, or alternatively because it just might take more energy than you’re willing to give.

There is further emphasis on using beauty and brightness as camouflage. A cheerful attitude, or a bright disposition is an effective façade, as is dressing to blend into your environment. With seadragon, who has an intricate and beautiful camouflage (as opposed to a stonefish, which looks like a…never mind), the emphasis is on appearing more aesthetically pleasing to others in order to blend in, and to hide your vulnerability.

Seadragon suggests using reef magic, or reef imagery to achieve some of your goals. Consider using visualisation to create a rich reef ecosystem, which can then be used as both a place of shelter and rejuvenation. Alternatively consider physically visiting a reef (if you can), or research them online. They are complex, nutrient rich places, and when ‘re-created’ in the mind can provide a lot of nourishment for your spirit.

The Shadow Aspects:

If the shadow energy of seadragon is showing up in your life, it might be time to learn how to truly relax and let go. It’s not just a matter of having a massage or a nap, it’s also – like coral – about releasing your fears and unhelpful emotions and learning how to ‘drift’ within your life, comfortably and peacefully.

Seadragon’s shadow energy often alerts you to the importance of safety and gentleness by withholding it. It’s hard to take something for granted if it’s not common in your life. Invite safety back into your life by making your room and other places of shelter into beautiful safe places. Invite gentleness back into your life by taking the time to work with seadragon, and by being gentle to yourself or others.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Seadragon can be a very cryptic guide, its presence alone tends to indicate a need to relax, but its energy is so gentle that it is easily (and often) pushed aside by ‘louder’ animal energies. One of the lessons that seadragon actually teaches, is how to really train your focus, because if you don’t, the energy of seadragon literally just drifts away.

Seadragon is a very gentle and reassuring guide, neither fierce nor prone to anger or aggression. Seadragon is often difficult to communicate with, and trying to hear seadragon’s lessons or speech is like trying to strain your ears for a message that’s coming from far, far away. So despite the seadragon’s lovely disposition, it is – I feel – a very challenging guide to interact with for beginners.

Seadragon appreciates offerings of shells and shell-type ornaments and effigies. Creating a reef rich with seaweed in visualisation can be an ideal place to ‘find’ or create an archetype of seadragon to work with. In journeying, seadragon will often wait to be consciously sought out by someone, otherwise it keeps to itself.