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Luthien Istaria
08 April 2009 @ 11:15 am
... still the center of your own universe, still a captive in the Matrix, the Ring of
Doom remains intact.

Different cultures and authors have chosen to associate the elements with different points of the compass. The earliest reference to this I have seen is in the way the tribes of Israel were directed to camp around the temple while Moses led them through the wilderness. On the east side was Judah the Lion. Ephraim was on the west was the ox or bull. Reuben was on the South was Aquarius and Dan was on the north as an eagle(a well known alternative symbol for Scorpio. From where they were geographically these associations made perfect sense.

East/LEO/FIRE - Dawn
WEST/TAURUS/EARTH - Africa
South/Aquarius/Air - Sahara, and the disease carrying winds of Set
North/Scorpio/Water - Mediterranean

Frank Baum has his imaginary world set up thus:
WEST/YELLOW/TIN/AIR/Aquarius - Winkie Country. It is distinguished by the color yellow which is worn by most of the local inhabitants as well as the color of their surroundings. This was the country ruled by the Wicked Witch of the West before Dorothy melted her with a bucket of water in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; since then, the Tin Woodman has ruled the Winkies as their Emperor.

EAST/BLUE/SILVER/WATER/SCORPIO - Munchkin Country. They are described as being somewhat short of stature, and wear only blue. The Wicked Witch of the East is the ruler of Munchkin Country. The young girl's house lands on top of The Witch. The Witch, who had been ruling over the Munchkins, is killed instantly with only her feet sticking out from under the house. The Witch was wearing magical shoes (made of silver in the book).

NORTH/Purple/GOLD/EARTH/Taurus - Gillikin Country is the northern division of L. Frank Baum's land of Oz. It is distinguished by the color purple worn by most of the local inhabitants as well as the color of their surroundings.
* The forest of the Winged Monkeys, creatures that obey whoever wears the enchanted Golden Cap
* The palace of the Good Witch of the North (never actually mentioned, but assumed to exist because the Good Witch of the North rules this particular province)
* The ruby palace of Gayelette

SOUTH/RED/COPPER/FIRE/LEO - Quadling Country is the southern division of L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz. It is distinguished by the color red, worn by most of the local inhabitants as well as the color of their surroundings.
*Glinda, the Good Witch of the South
*The Cowardly Lion kills a giant spider, who is terrorizing the animals in a forest, and he agrees to return there to rule them.
In the books, Glinda is depicted as a beautiful young woman with long, rich red hair and blue eyes, wearing a pure white dress. Glinda lives in a palace near the southern border of the Quadling Country, attended by one hundred beautiful maidens (twenty-five from each country of Oz). She also employs a large army of female soldiers, with which she placed Ozma on the throne of Oz at the end of The Marvelous Land of Oz. Men are not prominent in Glinda's society.

CENTER/GREEN/Emerald Tablet of Hermes _ The Oz books describe the Emerald City as being built of green glass, emeralds, and other jewels. The buildings were decorated with gold as well.

JKRowling seems to place them thus:
Air/West - Ravenclaw house.

Water/East - Slytherin

Fire/North - Gryffindor

Earth/South - Hufflepuff

Modern Pagan(and I am going to lump Wiccan in with the whole) practice seems divided on whether air or earth should go in the north.

Geographically it would make sense if the elemental/directional correspondences changed to reflect your place on the earth. In that view a person practicing on the east coast of the US would put water in the east(the Atlantic), fire in the south, earth in the west(the continent), and air to the north. Or if you lived far enough north to see the aurora you might even put fire in the north.

Fortunately, for me at least, we are talking about a deeper, more universal understanding. This is my case for Earth being in the north/spiritual realm -
1) The qualities that make "earth"/solid, different from the other elements are its density, and resistance to flow. The further north you go the more solid, the earth is, due to frost. The hardest form of earth is the diamond(as far as I know), and in the north we have diamond-like snow.
2) The alchemists say the highest form of matter is gold, and the highest form of gold is the philosopher's stone, which is not a stone at all, but a fine white powder - like snow.
3) While we are the God at the axis mundi of our own known, microcosm, the one who stands as axis of the world is God of the Earth, and all the world is known to him. He sees all that passes beneath and above. He is the Observer.

He may have two "wives", one representing the point of contact with the earth(the earthen mound usually being an under statement for the nearest holy mountain), and the other representing the point of contact with the heavens(the pole star or circumpolar constellation). We see this in the two forms of Arianrod's name. Arianrhod - the Welsh arian, "silver," and rhod, "wheel". Alternately, the earliest form of the name may have been Aranrot "Round Hill, or Mound".

The Wise amongst ancient people surely knew that the axis mundi was as far North (speaking only of the Northern hemisphere) as north existed on this earth - the shortest distance between the earth and the celestial pole.

Symbolically it may have been seen as the nearest holy mountain, or oracle, because at these places the unknown could be seen more clearly. But in truth it was in the distant north, behind the north wind, so to speak.

If you have ever stepped back and just watched yourself, perhaps observing your body instincts wanting to react to some stressor, then you have "become the observer". That is your spiritual place of power. In that state you can know the unknown, the occult, the hidden, heal yourself and others, remote view, all that. That is embodying your God. And where is that God found? At the North Pole. He IS the North Pole, but he is also Santa, and he has gifts of occult knowledge in his "sack". And since that God is also within, you don't even have to travel.

These things, to me, equate the element of earth with north and Spirit.

There was also an understanding I read once that explained how ancient thinkers believed the immaterial became manifest. They thought it descended through the different elements, from finest to solid. So it would travel from ether to fire, to air, then water then solid. My understanding of this is that they may have actually thought it traveled through the actual elements, or they may have been using the elements as symbolic of the actual process. In the symbolic scenario it would go something like this. There is a spark of inspiration (fire) received from the All(ether) that is then contemplated(thought/air) which produces emotions(water - the chemicals of emotion in the blood stream) and the chemicals of emotion stimulate the cells to make proteins, matter. In this scenario we literally become what we have given focus to. The next step would be that we draw to ourselves what we are, then the think contemplated on should show up in our explicit reality. Since this is how I have been taught manifestation actually works, I am sort of reconstructing what the old teaching seems to have really meant. To me this is why - fire is associated with innocence, beginnings, and the passion that comes with epiphany; air with thought and intellect; and water with emotion. Earth or solid then becomes a thing we can actually experience and gain wisdom from - making known the unknown - and wisdom is the diamond, or fruit of the earth.
 
 
Luthien Istaria
The Terraces of Purgatory

First Terrace: Pride, by carrying a heavy weight on their backs. The wearer is unable to stand up straight (Cantos X through XII). This teaches the sinner that pride puts weight on the soul and it is better to throw it off. Furthermore, there are stones of historical and mythological examples of pride to learn from. With the weight on one's back, one cannot help but see this carved pavement and learn from it.

Second Terrace: Envy, by having one's eyes sewn shut, and wearing clothing that makes the soul indistinguishable from the ground (Cantos XIII through XV).

Third Terrace: Wrath, by walking around in acrid smoke (Cantos XV through XVII). Souls correct themselves by learning how wrath has blinded their vision, impeding their judgment.

Fourth Terrace: Sloth, by continually running (Cantos XVIII and XIX). Those who were slothful in life can only purge this sin by being zealous in their desire for penance.

Fifth Terrace: Avarice & Prodigality, by lying face-down on the ground, unable to move (Cantos XIX through XXI). Excessive concern for earthly goods - whether in the form of greed or extravagance - is punished and purified. The sinner learns to turn his desire from possessions, power, or position, to God.

Sixth Terrace: Gluttony, by abstaining from any food or drink (Cantos XXII through XXIV). Here, people's desire to eat a forbidden fruit causes their shade to starve. Once they master their desire to be a glutton, their appetite for sin leaves them and they are no longer starved by it.

Seventh Terrace: Lust, by burning in an immense wall of flames (Cantos XXV through XXVII). All of those who committed sexual sins, both heterosexual and homosexual, are purified by the fire. Excessive sexual desire misdirects one's love from God and this terrace is meant to correct that. In addition, perhaps because all sin has its roots in love, every soul who has completed his penance on the lower six cornices must pass through the wall of flame before ascending to the Earthly Paradise.

I think the parallels are obvious
 
 
Luthien Istaria
14 November 2006 @ 10:45 am
Nifty Number Nine
This is my research on number nine:
Hebrew 9 - Tet/teth - means "the coiled serpent."
Nine, the value of the Hebrew letter tet, represents the 9th sefirah yesod (meaning foundation). Yesod is a secret (sod - the Hebrew word for secret) beginning with the Hebrew letter yod. Yod has the value of 10. Consequently, the letter tet (with an ordinal value of 9) is really "the secret of a hidden 10". Tradition tells us that the secret of the number 10 is seamless unity among the sefirot "as befits a GoD who is One". Thus, the hidden 10 of tet represents this seamless unity and, importantly, represents wholeness of the Divine Name.

The secret ten in nine comes from the pyramid form of the nine dots with the middle dot omitted, but inferred by the space left absent (there would be one dot on top, then two dots beneath, the third row would normally have three dots but thr middle one is omitted, the fourth row would have four dots)
The letter tet, being one letter drawn in two parts one being the crowned man, and the other being the serpent man, indicates god in a body, with the choice of being god man or body mind consciousness.

The letter which represents the month of Av is Tet, which is the 9th letter in the Hebrew alphabet, and its gematria (numerical value) is also 9. As the first letter of the word tov, the Tet represents the concept of concealed good which is waiting to be revealed. It also represents the concept of pregnancy, both in its form (with its rounded, introverted shape) and numerical value (alluding to the nine months of pregnancy).
Indeed, one of the classic metaphors in Jewish thought is that pregnancy represnts a state of constriction, for it is a time when hidden good is concealed and constricted within, until the moment comes for it to be birthed and revealed into this world. It is vital to remember that pregnancy does not just exist on a physical level, but rather we are all--both men and women-- considered to constantly be in various stages of pregnancy, be it spiritual or emotional or intellectual. Thus the mitzvah of pru u'revu, to "be fruitful and multiply," does not just mean to physically have children, but also that we are commanded to be creative, to use our G-d-given talents to create within this world.

In Hindu tradition the Kundalini is the energy located at the base of the spine, which lends it self to reproduction by descending from the fourth seal, at puberty, into the sexual seals. It is pictured as a coiled serpent. In focused meditation, ideally, this serpent ascends through the spinal cord up to the brain and we experience a different sort of orgasm. One in the head. Both the spinal cord and the heart are ruled by Leo, the astrological sign associated with this path.

Tet 9
Tarot:Strength
Direction:North-above
STRENGTH symbolizes the power that comes from letting go of the ego and becoming a channel for the pure energy of the One. The card depicts a woman effortlessly opening the mouth of a lion. Her strength derives not from her muscles but from her spiritual will.

Pharaohs wore the serpent crown to indicate enlightenment.
The Adder of the Druids is symbolic of wisdom and spiritual energy.
Druids often carried an amulet called gloine nathair or serpent glass, which they stated was formed from the egg of an Adder.
Nwywre is a Druidic name for the invisible force that governed both life and the material universe, symbolized by the serpent. Nwywre 'was the creative power of the physical world'. Nothing happened without it.
Snakes have long been associated with wisdom, reincarnation and cunning.
In Greek myth there is Ladon, the serpent who guards the apple-tree on the island garden of the Hesperides.
The Hindu serpents Ananta and Vasuki, who in the Mahabharata help the gods to churn the ocean with Mount Mandara, to make ambrosia.
It is interesting that several medieval Germanic sources associate serpents with the number nine.
The Old English Nine Herbs Charm says that 'Woden took nine glory-twigs and struck the adder so that it flew into nine parts'
tet/teth looks scorpion-like and the scorpion is related to Horus as well as Orion and Artemis (thus the serpent or scorpion that was likely to sting the ankle of so many heroes, related to the curse between the children of Eve and the children of the serpent).
The rising of the kundalini is a quickening not unakin to a poisoned sting.

There are nine planets, and nine worlds in norse mythos
9-storied pagodas are symbolic of heaven in China,
In Islamic countries there are believed to be nine spheres of the world,
Dante depicted 9 circles of Hell and 9 spheres of Paradise in his Divine Comedy,
Also in Norse Myth 9 billows maidens turn the norse mill of the world,
And for the Celts Ariandhod's castle sat at the hub of the heavens,
Ariadne had nine jewles in her crown - the northern crown,
The pictograph of tet/teth looks like a wheel,
The celtic year is represented by a wheel with eight spokes and a hub
The meaning of tet/teth is a coiled snake.
It is made clear that the nine consist of a leader (the center of the wheel) and eight others. This is strikingly illustrated in the Celtic year which celebrates the 2 Solstices, 2 Equinoxes, and 4 crossquarter days, which revolve around the hub of the seasons, Ariandhod's castle.

 
 
Luthien Istaria
03 January 2006 @ 08:47 pm
Another point I want to make before diving into the books is that, to a student of esoteric lore, the map of middle earth is very obviously related to brain anatomy; and the functions of various areas of the brain are symbolized in Tolkien's descriptions of these areas, their culture and history. The three chief markers of this are the three elven settlements that come into the story: Rivendell, Lorien, and the Grey Havens. The Shire, the river Greyflood, and Fangorn Forest also can be fairly easily located by function and position on an anatomic cross section of the brain. This is important to the initiate's understanding of Tolkien's masterpiece, because, in part it is meant to act as a guide to spiritual evolution.

In brain anatomy the structure which roughly corresponds to both The Greyflood and Rivendell, is the Sylvian Notch, or fissure. This area of the brain was first defined by Franciscus de la Boe Sylvius, in 1641 .(1) It is now usually referred to as the lateral sulcus or lateral fissure, and it is one of the most prominent structures of the human brain, dividing the frontal lobe and parietal lobe above from the temporal lobe below. (3) In more modern times it was understood to house neural complexes vital to hearing, language skills, language comprehension, and speech. (2) But most interesting to this discussion is that electrical stimulation studies of the right sylvian fissure found that patients often heard heavenly music, reported “seeing God", saw dead friends and relatives, and even had a panoramic life review. One patient is reported as saying: "Oh God, I'm leaving my body," and another saying "I'm half in and half out."(4) This particular part of the brain is now under scrutiny by scientists interested in the Near Death Experience phenomenon.
Poetry and song, an otherworldly air, life review (Bilbo is writing his book there), remembrance of the past... these are the essence of Rivendell. And the word Sylvian is too obviously related to Sylvan. There may not be many Sylvan elves in Rivendell, but the closeness of Sylvan and Sylvian is very evocative of Elves. And, of course, Rivendell is in a notch, or fissure, near the Misty (grey and brain-like) Mountains.

The Grey Havens represent what is known in esoteric understanding as the “Seat of God”. Anatomically this is the extreme forebrain. The “quiet area”, as it is called. Its name is not to imply that God dwells in that particular place in the brain, but that anything focused upon in this part of the brain, long enough, will be communicated to God, and will manifest in one's life. If one imagines these focused upon images as Elven boats leaving the harbor and sailing beyond the curve of the Earth to the realm of the Valla, you will have a very visual understanding of how this works. Michelangelo's "Creation of Man" panel from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, gives further evidence that this part of the brain is indeed seen as having divine implications. I have included a picture to illustrate my point in the comments section. Note how the pointing arm, and finger, of God protrude out through what would be the extreme frontal lobe, as if his will is focused in a powerful yet very specific manner. He strains to reach Adam, but Adam seems distracted, or perhaps very comfortable. It is important that Michelangelo did not name this panel “Creation of Man”. Also of note is an experiment that was performed at the U of Wisconsin. The experimenters took a group of Buddhist monks who had between 10,000 to 50,000 hours each of focused meditation under their belts; and as a control, a group of non-meditators. The subjects had electrodes attached all over their heads for the purpose of mapping the differences, if there were any, between the two groups. What the readings showed was that the monk’s frontal lobes lit up incredibly when they began to focus. The control group showed little of this effect. This is important not only because it indicates that focused meditation is a process of the frontal lobe, but more so because it shows that with disciplined practice this area of the brain can be developed. Thus, if the ordinary observer affects the quantum level of reality, perhaps the trained observer can do more.

Lothlorien corresponds to the cerebellum. This is the House of God in the human body. To establish Lorien as the Cerebellum I need to explore the origins of the word, the meaning of the tree, and the forest in symbolic language, and the way Tolkien has characterized Lorien.
Generally the word cerebellum is said to mean “little brain”, but its root lies in the Indo-European word Kara, which means “head” and Keas which means “horn”. From this it is important to recall that divinity was often represented, iconographically, as horns. Also of note in this, is the goddess Caryatis, or Carya, a pre-classical goddess of the walnut or hickory tree, who was later assimilated with Artemis. Artemis Caryatis was goddess of healing and wisdom. The walnut was called caryon, in Latin, which Cowley suggests, is due to the resemblance of the kernel to the form of the brain. What is of note in this is that Galadriel offers the company both healing, from their grief at the loss of Gandalf, and wisdom; and when they leave she gives Sam, along with soil from Lorien, a silvery nut. A mallorn seed. The goddess Ceres, as goddess of grain, is related to the nut goddess in both the origin of her name, and in that the kernel of the grain replaced the kernel of the nut as a food staple. She is also associated to the cerebellum in that its texture is grainy in comparison to the other brain tissues. Thus cerebellum can be seen as Ceres bellum, or “beautiful” Ceres. Grain goddesses are always portrayed with long golden hair, which when shorn, as in the case of Siff (recalling that Galadriel cut her hair for Gimli) represents the harvest, or end times of a cycle, in this case the end of an age.
In symbolic language the neuron is a tree, the nervous system is also a tree, in an “as above so below” manner. Thus a forest represents a brain structure, as all the trees in it have achieved a symbiotic balance. The neurons of the cerebrum, on average have 50,000 synaptic connections per neuron. These are the branches of the tree. The neurons of the cerebellum, however, have more than 1,000,000 synaptic connections per neuron. To symbolize this one needs a much greater tree. Such as a tree is the mallorn. To add to the divinity of the mallorn we find it came from Tol Eressea, the island off the coast of Aman in the Undying Lands; and that its name means “golden tree”. (5) All things gold and golden are symbolically divine.
In esoteric understanding the state of trance is understood as a state of consciousness outside of time, and mundane space. The external reality of the senses is not as real as the inner reality of the dreamer. This is very much in keeping with the way Frodo and Sam feel in Lorien. Sam says: “Well, I can remember three nights there for certain, and I seem to remember several more, but I would take my oath it was never a whole month. Anyone would think that time did not count in there! “
I would also like to pass on a few examples of the unconscious processes the cerebellum oversees:
It runs all the organized processes of digestion.
Every second we loose 10 million cells, and in the next second it makes another 10 million to replace them.
Every one of the 100 trillion cells in the body goes through 100,000 chemical reactions every sec.
There are 3.2 billion nucleic acids that make up the genes in one cell, and enzymes are sent up and down those chains all the time repairing mutations.
The heart beats pumping over 2 gal of blood every minute, over a hundred gal every hour. It beats 100,000 times every day, 40 million times a year, and over 3 billion times in one lifetime.
These are just a few examples, but I find them very impressive. If I could consciously orchestrate all of that, and more, I would call myself a God. This is why the cerebellum is called the house of God in man.
Fangorn Forest is a bit of an anticlimax after the cerebellum. Still it represents a part of the brain that is quite important, the reticular formation. The reticular formation is a group of neurons located in the core of the brainstem. It is considered a very old part of the brain. Its function is to pass information from the cortex to the spinal cord and body; or, deny the information passage. In addition it appears to control physical behaviors such as sleep, walking, and eating, and has been shown to play a major role in alertness, fatigue, and the motivation to perform various activities. Fangorn is characterized by its age, its sleepy ents who must be motivated into action. Fangorn himself spends much of the time he is with Merry and Pippin walking, eating, sleeping, or getting motivated. We are told that many who enter Fangorn are never seen again, and we see this as well in the case of Saruman’s army. This is the filtering of thoughts that is so important. Why, if thought creates change in the body, does every thought not do so? Because the thoughts that are not consistent with your plan for this lifetime are denied access to the body. They are filtered out. Thus you may contemplate the thoughts which lead to diabetes, for instance, and possibly never get the disease.

There is certainly more to be gleaned from this train of thought. What do Mirkwood, the Misty Mountains, Rohan and Moria all represent. Where is the pituitary? Is the Pineal present? I am certain there is more, and I will be looking for more clues as I progress. But, why is all this important? Why did Tolkien include these things? We have searched all creation for God. We have run out of high mountains and finally put him in the sky. Could it be that God was in us all along? Could it be that we are part of the holy trinity, and that our brain is our hookup to the divine? Could be.
 
 
Luthien Istaria
29 December 2005 @ 05:14 pm
The first thing to understand about the Lord of the Rings is the One Ring it self. Nothing else makes sense without understanding what the quest really was about. To understand The Ring we must look at nature's rings, the most obvious of which is the wheel of the year, the seasons.

A great deal of spiritual symbolism is tied to the cycle of the seasons. And yet true understanding is a thing that has eluded so many. It it easy to say that when Sirius rises the Nile is going to flood, or the hottest part of summer is due, to assign this occurrence to some God, and look no deeper. But the cycle of the seasons, while its simplest form did placate the farmers need to have the Gods on his side, in higher understanding demonstrated a life lesson. The lesson was that the correct way to live was to dream a dream in the fallow spiritual winter; see it manifest in the "spring"; experience it at the fullness of its manifestation, in "summer"; and resolve it into wisdom when it's time has passed, in the "fall". And then one dreams a new dream, a better dream based on the wisdom gained from the past experience so that there is evolution, as opposed to the stagnation of doing the same thing over and over. Seen as stagnation the wheel of the year goes around and around in the same rut, making it deeper and harder to get out of. Seen as evolution, the wheel becomes an ascending spiral, but it is still ring form.

A greater ring however, and even more pertinent to The Ring, is the circle of the horizon. It is so present that most of us forget it is there limiting what our eyes might otherwise make known to us. It is our ring of perception. In symbolic language it represents the limits of our experience, our know universe; which can be very limited. The reason it is both perilous and addictive is that at a certain point in life everything beyond the ring of what is known starts to become viewed, by our animal nature, as a threat to our survival. At this point we stop making know the unknown, and when we do this the body begins to die. The spirit withdraws from the body the life force, which would otherwise preserve us indefinitely, because we have fallen into stagnation, and there is no further purpose for that life to continue.

The Shire could also be viewed as The Ring, because it is a limited world. A comfortable little universe, for comfort loving little people, who don't even see their own smallness unless something uncomfortable comes along like adventurers, big people, or even news of these things. It, like the ring is hard to give up; and yet very confining to a select few who have seen bigger things, like mountains, and known greater people, like wizards and elves.

So, the ring must be destroyed, not because comfort is a bad thing, but because boredom is. To the spirit boredom is like death, it is a form of spiritual death to live lifetime after lifetime in the same confined and boring box. Can you imagine living in the Shire forever, (with no adventures, no friends who are dwarves or wizards)? When your Divine self is bored enough with you, you pass this life, and may not be given a new one untill you have grown enough to know what use to make of it. So, for the initiate the Ring must go.

In our world the pertinent message is to leave the known, and seek outside of the little world we are so comfortable in, for greater experiences, and in the end find that we are greater beings than we ever thought we were.
 
 
 
Luthien Istaria
15 December 2005 @ 07:29 am
It is easily seen on reviewing The Lord of the Rings that hobbits represent common people. They are charming at first, enjoying the baser things of comfort. We all can identify with the desire for such comfort, and yet, at the same time, we all feel a bit superior to the Hobbits, or most of them. We don't act like buffoons when we drink too much ale. We aren't of ignorant opinion... oh no, not us; until we see ourselves from a superior point of view.

Tolkien is very kind to his Hobbits. He wrote in letters of his dislike for them, and yet he made it plain that there was nothing about them that deserved mistreatment, or correction. They should simply be left alone to live peacefully and evolve at their own rate. They didn't need therapy. They didn't need welfare. They didn't need the elves to come in and intervene.

This reminds me of the town where I grew up, although the heart of a human is a bit more sordid than, I suspect, your average Hobbit. The men sit about down at the warf, drinking coffee and discussing politics, and the doings of other fishermen, and whatnot. Their collective pointsof view are ignorant, but they have every right to still feel good about themselves. If you came in and pried open their minds by force and gave them enlightenment, maybe they would thank you eventually... But then "the only inpossible thing in the universe is a closed mind".

As a child I felt superior in myself that even I could see the ignorance of these adult men. Later I felt superior to many of the people I met in the world. And I was very careful to stay in the company of those I could feel superior to. Eventually I saw that I did this because I only saw value in myself if I was more enlightened than people around me. I still suround myself thus.

I think out of this, one important lesson I could glean is that, as far as I can see, there will always be people who are greater and lesser than you in terms of knowledge and experience. Self esteem comes from being a God, not being better than other Gods, not competition; for if you could win out and rise to the top of the heap as "the Best" think of all those other people you would have had to climb over to get there. You would feel guilt and a lessening of self esteem for having treated other people thus.

So, Tolkien was kind to his Hobbits, even though he did not admire them, or at least the common ones like poor Sam, whom I DO like, though perhaps more because of the movie Sam. We see in them the common people quite acurately drawn, and an atitude toward them on the part of Gandalf and some of the kinder elves that is tollerant, and worthy of emulating. Superficially this is the begining of the LOTR trilogy, but I will bring up next some of the more esoteric meanings in the opening chapter; the numerology and symbolism.
 
 
Luthien Istaria
13 December 2005 @ 12:28 pm
I first read The hobbit and the Lord of the rings trilogy more than twenty years ago. For many years thereafter I read them each spring, and even now I still find I must pick them up fro time to time. Tolkien has informed my inner mythos so that I would not be who I am today without his influence. In adition, the world would not be right for me if I were forced to believe that none of it was true, in any sense fo the word. Fortunately I will never have to face that grim prospect, for not only is it imbued with superficial truth, there is also a master's hand at work in his use of symbolism. Esoteric Symbolism. And, indeed Ramtha tells us Tolkien was a 32 degree mason, and was assigned the project of documenting known prehistory (known to certain very old societies) as his masterpiece. So, as far as is knowable, there is also history in his books, though I prefer the Gnostic symbolism, personally.

In this journal I hope to explore his use of symbolism, as well as some of the themes in the books, mainly because I find the exsisting forums are so dry, tired, and uninspiring. So many people ought to keep quiet and listen, or read; because, like new alcoholics in AA, they have little to say that is worth saying and could benefit hugely from putting their own thought processes to rest for a while. I say that fully aware that there are those in the world who might say the same to me. I welcome them with all my heart, and beg them share with me.
 
 
Ethring: crankycranky
Lindorie: LOTR soundtrack
 
 
Luthien Istaria
13 December 2005 @ 11:16 am
"The leaves were long, the grass was green,
The hemlock-umbels tall and fair,
And in the glade a light was seen
Of stars in shadow shimmering.
Tinuviel was dancing there
To music of a pipe unseen,
And light of stars was in her hair,
And in her rainment glimmering.

There Beren came from mountains cold.
And lost he wandered under leaves,
And where the Elven-river rolled
He walked alone and sorrowing.
He peered between the hemlock-leaves
And saw in wonder flowers of gold
Upon her mantle and her sleeves,
And her hair like shadow following.

Enchantment healed his weary feet
That over hills were doomed to roam;
And forth he hastened, strong and fleet,
And grasped at moonbeams glistening.
Through woven woods in Elvenhome
She lightly fled on dancing feet,
And left him lonely still to roam
In the silent forest listening.

He heard there oft the flying sound
Of feet as light as linden-leaves,
Or music welling underground,
In hidden hollows quavering.
Now withered lay the hemlock-sheaves,
And one by one with sighing sound
Whispering fell the beachen leaves
In wintry woodland wavering.

He sought her ever, wandering far
Where leaves of years were thickly strewn,
By light of moon and ray of star
In frosty heavens shivering.
Her mantle glinted in the moon,
As on a hill-top high and far
She danced, and at her feet was strewn
A mist of silver quivering.

When winter passed, she came again,
And her song released the sudden spring,
Like rising lark, and falling rain,
And melting water bubbling.
He saw the elven-flowers spring
About her feet, and healed again
He longed by her to dance and sing
Upon the grass untroubling.

Again she fled, but swift he came,
Tinuviel! Tinuviel!
He called her by her elvish name;
And there she halted listening.
One moment stood she, and a spell
His voice laid on her: Beren came,
And doom fell on Tinuviel
That in his arms lay glistening.

As Beren looked into her eyes
Within the shadows of her hair,
The trembling starlight of the skies
He saw there mirrored shimmering.
Tinuviel the elven-fair,
Immortal maiden elven-wise,
About him cast her shadowy hair
And arms like silver glimmering.

Long was the way that fate them bore,
O'er stony mountains cold and grey,
Through halls of iron and darkling door,
And woods of nightshade morrowless.
The Sundering Seas between them lay,
And yet at last they met once more,
And long ago they passed away
In the forest singing sorrowless."

-- J R R Tolkien
 
 
Ethring: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
Luthien Istaria
13 December 2005 @ 10:44 am
I sang of leaves, of leaves of gold, and leaves of gold there grew.
Of wind I sang, a wind there came and in the branches blew.
Beyond the sun, beyond the Moon, the foam was on the Sea,
And by the strand of Ilmarin there grew a golden Tree.

Beneath the stars of Elven-eve in Eldamar it shone,
In Eldamar beside the walls of Elven Tirion.
There long the golden leaves have grown upon the branching years,
While here beyond the Sundering Seas now fall the Elven-tears.

O Lorien! The winter comes, the bare and leafless Day.
The leaves are falling in the stream, the River flows away.
O Lorien! Too long I have dwelt upon this Hither Shore
And in a fading crown have twined the golden elanor.
But if of ships I now should sing, what ship would come to me,
What ship would bear me ever back across so wild a Sea?
 
 
Ethring: creative
 
 
Luthien Istaria
13 December 2005 @ 07:44 am
Where is now the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest, and the tall corn growing?

They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow,
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?