Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

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Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 11:57 am

I've recently added a new page to my website, for those who are seriously interested in following the Valar as a genuine spiritual path:

http://3rings.webs.com/elf-friends

At present we have more than 80 members worldwide.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by halfwise on Thu May 22, 2014 12:19 pm

Odo's a devotee. We'll try to rouse him up.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 22, 2014 3:50 pm

Hold on is this like a real religion you are trying to create here?  I mean ok its no dafter than a real religion but I doubt Tolkien would approve.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 22, 2014 4:53 pm

But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, ‘translator’) of this material, then he may not have fully understood some of its ramifications – or, perhaps, was reluctant to do so because of his Catholic beliefs.

If you're just going to pick and choose which parts of Tolkien you want to pay attention to, then why are you dressing up your neo-pagan revivalism in Tolkienian clothes? I hate to be rude, but it feels more and more like the Tolkien stuff is just a hook to lure the unwary into listening to your sales pitch.
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 5:21 pm

Eldorion wrote:
But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, ‘translator’) of this material, then he may not have fully understood some of its ramifications – or, perhaps, was reluctant to do so because of his Catholic beliefs.

If you're just going to pick and choose which parts of Tolkien you want to pay attention to, then why are you dressing up your neo-pagan revivalism in Tolkienian clothes?  I hate to be rude, but it feels more and more like the Tolkien stuff is just a hook to lure the unwary into listening to your sales pitch.

That isn't the case. Tolkien created the basis for a genuine spiritual movement, but that doesn't mean he has to be slavishly followed in every single point.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 22, 2014 5:26 pm

Tolkien deliberately left organized religion almost entirely out of his orks (with the main exception being Satanism). None of the characters ever venerate or worship the Valar, and the notion of this goes deeply against the moral and spiritual beliefs that underpin Tolkien's writing. Just about the only examples of "good" organized religion in Tolkien's work was the Kings of Numenor's ceremonies in praise of Eru on top of the Meneltarma. But this was not resumed after the destruction of Numenor.
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 5:50 pm

Eldorion wrote:Tolkien deliberately left organized religion almost entirely out of his orks (with the main exception being Satanism).  None of the characters ever venerate or worship the Valar, and the notion of this goes deeply against the moral and spiritual beliefs that underpin Tolkien's writing.  Just about the only examples of "good" organized religion in Tolkien's work was the Kings of Numenor's ceremonies in praise of Eru on top of the Meneltarma.  But this was not resumed after the destruction of Numenor.

And yet he created a deeply spiritual work.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Elthir on Thu May 22, 2014 6:03 pm

If you're just going to pick and choose which parts of Tolkien you want to pay attention to...

I have to agree with Eldo here about the Bombadil part of your site Kenelm. You cite Tolkien where he basically spells out that Bombadil cannot be Eru, then [in my opinion] you try to work around that with 'if' and 'perhaps' scenarios, and then quote Tolkien where he says something you can interpret as meaning Tom is Eru!

I think only I am allowed such arguments  Very Happy  given my elected status here.
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Elthir on Thu May 22, 2014 6:16 pm

Eldorion wrote: '... in praise of Eru on top of the Meneltarma.'

Yes Eldo, and I echo 'of Eru'. For the thread...

JRRT, letter 212

Since I have written so much (I hope not too much) I might as well add a few lines on the Myth on which all is founded, since it may make clearer the relations of Valar, Elves, Men, Sauron, Wizards &c.

The Valar or 'powers, rulers' were the first 'creation': rational spirits or minds without incarnation, created before the physical world. (Strictly these spirits were called Ainur, the Valar being only those from among them who entered the world after its making, and the name is properly applied only to the great among them, who take the imaginative but not the theological place of 'gods'.)

My emphasis. Or another letter, slightly edited for brevity...

'But they are only created spirits — of high angelic order we should say, with their attendant lesser angels—reverend, therefore, but not worshipful; […] For help [the people of Middle-earth] may call on a Vala (as Elbereth), as a Catholic might on a Saint, though no doubt knowing in theory as well as he that the power of the Vala was limited and derivative.

JRRT letter 193
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by azriel on Thu May 22, 2014 6:32 pm

Hi kenelm, Ive not had a discussion with you yet but, Im not sure this all sits well with me ?? Some of the text from your site reads as tho from Wikipedia ? the rest sounds like a miriad of 'bible bashers' Ive had at my door ? I dont deny you the right, obviously !, to say the things that feel important to you ! thats your right, & belief but, I dont feel comfortable ? If its a group or sect you are promoting ? I dont really like joining things like that, I kinda go my own bumbling way? But, there again, Tom Bombadil is an interesting topic, plenty of ideas of who or what he really is, & is it significant ? does he make any impression or impact on Middle Earth & its goings on ?

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 6:38 pm

azriel wrote:Hi kenelm, Ive not had a discussion with you yet but, Im not sure this all sits well with me ?? Some of the text from your site reads as tho from Wikipedia ? the rest sounds like a miriad of 'bible bashers' Ive had at my door ? I dont deny you the right, obviously !, to say the things that feel important to you ! thats your right, & belief but, I dont feel comfortable ? If its a group or sect you are promoting ? I dont really like joining things like that, I kinda go my own bumbling way? But, there again, Tom Bombadil is an interesting topic, plenty of ideas of who or what he really is, & is it significant ? does he make any impression or impact on Middle Earth & its goings on ?

There's nothing from Wikipedia on it! Smile

There are many people who regard the works of Tolkien as a spiritual path, but I honestly hope we don't come across as "bible-bashers". Each to their own, and we certainly don't judge others.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by azriel on Thu May 22, 2014 6:42 pm

Oh dear gawd ! I was not judging you by any means ! I believe everyone has the right to believe in whatever they like ! & its no one elses business to make nasty remarks !  Very Happy I was just seeing things in my own weird way  Very Happy

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 6:58 pm

azriel wrote:Oh dear gawd ! I was not judging you by any means ! I believe everyone has the right to believe in whatever they like ! & its no one elses business to make nasty remarks !  Very Happy I was just seeing things in my own weird way  Very Happy

Sorry, I wasn't suggesting you were judging us. I was trying to point out that we're not like Bible-bashers, who do indeed judge others.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Elthir on Thu May 22, 2014 8:48 pm

And for the record Kenelm, I am not suggesting that you or anyone can't indulge in 'following the Valar as a genuine spiritual path' as you say...

... my distinction is that I don't think Tolkien intended the Valar to be 'worshipped' as gods. Also, with respect to your Bombadil statements, it's not as 'if' and 'perhaps' scenarios can't ever be convincing in some measure, but in this instance I don't find the following argument very compelling.

But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, 'translator') of this material, then he may not have fully understood some of its ramifications – or, perhaps, was reluctant to do so because of his Catholic beliefs. On the other hand, maybe he was simply unwilling to reveal all he knew, because it is clear that Tom Bombadil is, indeed, Eru Ilúvatar.

To my mind this is rather too broad. Your Orald connection is better (and interesting), but still not convincing enough for me given the amount of commentary about Bombadil from Tolkien himself. Especially not for a conclusion that states it is 'clear' that Bombadil is 'indeed' Eru. I think that's too strongly worded for this matter, in any case.

Arguably I'm not easily convinced however, unless I'm convincing me, but there it is  Suspect
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 9:03 pm

Elthir wrote:And for the record Kenelm, I am not suggesting that you or anyone can't indulge in 'following the Valar as a genuine spiritual path' as you say...

... my distinction is that I don't think Tolkien intended the Valar to be 'worshipped' as gods. Also, with respect to your Bombadil statements, it's not as 'if' and 'perhaps' scenarios can't ever be convincing in some measure, but in this instance I don't find the following argument very compelling.

But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, 'translator') of this material, then he may not have fully understood some of its ramifications – or, perhaps, was reluctant to do so because of his Catholic beliefs. On the other hand, maybe he was simply unwilling to reveal all he knew, because it is clear that Tom Bombadil is, indeed, Eru Ilúvatar.

To my mind this is rather too broad. Your Orald connection is better (and interesting), but still not convincing enough for me given the amount of commentary about Bombadil from Tolkien himself. Especially not for a conclusion that states it is 'clear' that Bombadil is 'indeed' Eru. I think that's too strongly worded for this matter, in any case.

Arguably I'm not easily convinced however, unless I'm convincing me, but there it is  Suspect

As he grew older, Tolkien gradually sought to expunge from the Legendarium anything that went against monotheistic dogma. In other words, he second guessed himself. Originally the Valar were frankly described as gods and goddesses, and Iluvatar was originally "Sky-father", which was later changed to "All-father". All Pagan mythologies have a creator-god, often called Sky-father. Tolkien's repeated denials that Tom Bombadil is Iluvatar came from this later period, and one could be forgiven for suspecting that perhaps he was protesting a little too much.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Elthir on Thu May 22, 2014 9:47 pm

As he grew older, Tolkien gradually sought to expunge from the Legendarium anything that went against monotheistic dogma. In other words, he second guessed himself. Originally the Valar were frankly described as gods and goddesses, and Iluvatar was originally "Sky-father", which was later changed to "All-father". All Pagan mythologies have a creator-god, often called Sky-father.

I would have to look more deeply into the matters of transmission and framework for The Book of Lost Tales [if there is enough there to glean anything compelling about this, that is] to really respond to this better [not that I will, but I would have to]...

... but for now, why isn't an older Tolkien still the conduit of your argument, receiving [from his Awen, Muse or whatever] his inspiration and better defining what only seems to be 'the case' based on unfinished, abandoned, and contradictory texts written in his youth?  

Tolkien's repeated denials that Tom Bombadil is Iluvatar came from this later period, and one could be forgiven for suspecting that perhaps he was protesting a little too much.

Well, protesting a little 'too much' is a question of measure, about which I doubt we will agree.
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 10:09 pm

Elthir wrote:
As he grew older, Tolkien gradually sought to expunge from the Legendarium anything that went against monotheistic dogma. In other words, he second guessed himself. Originally the Valar were frankly described as gods and goddesses, and Iluvatar was originally "Sky-father", which was later changed to "All-father". All Pagan mythologies have a creator-god, often called Sky-father.

I would have to look more deeply into the matters of transmission and framework for The Book of Lost Tales [if there is enough there to glean anything compelling about this, that is] to really respond to this better [not that I will, but I would have to]...

... but for now, why isn't an older Tolkien still the conduit or your argument, receiving [from his Awen, Muse or whatever] his inspiration and better defining what only seems to be 'the case' based on unfinished, abandoned, and contradictory texts written in his youth?  

Tolkien's repeated denials that Tom Bombadil is Iluvatar came from this later period, and one could be forgiven for suspecting that perhaps he was protesting a little too much.

Well, protesting a little 'too much' is a question of measure, about which I doubt we will agree.

The younger Tolkien seemed to be closer to the source, as evidenced by the vibrant and chaotic nature of what he produced, looking very much like inspired (in the literal sense of the word) writings. This is not to say that the older, more refined Tolkien had lost his connection with whatever inspired him (about which I have my theories), but rather, that he was more able, and willing, to override it.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 22, 2014 10:25 pm

Kenelm wrote:The younger Tolkien seemed to be closer to the source, as evidenced by the vibrant and chaotic nature of what he produced, looking very much like inspired (in the literal sense of the word) writings. This is not to say that the older, more refined Tolkien had lost his connection with whatever inspired him (about which I have my theories), but rather, that he was more able, and willing, to override it.

Okay, since you're doubling down on this, I really have to ask a question that I think I brought up in one of your other threads.  How do you square your contention that Tolkien was receiving true knowledge of ancient pagan times with our exhaustive, detailed knowledge of his creative process, the decisions he made as a writer, his deliberating over certain elements of plot and character, etc.?  Did he just create all this material (including private notes and personal correspondence) to cover up the fact that he was actually recording the historical/spiritual truth?
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 10:34 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Kenelm wrote:The younger Tolkien seemed to be closer to the source, as evidenced by the vibrant and chaotic nature of what he produced, looking very much like inspired (in the literal sense of the word) writings. This is not to say that the older, more refined Tolkien had lost his connection with whatever inspired him (about which I have my theories), but rather, that he was more able, and willing, to override it.

Okay, since you're doubling down on this, I really have to ask a question that I think I brought up in one of your other threads.  How do you square your contention that Tolkien was receiving true knowledge of ancient pagan times with our exhaustive, detailed knowledge of his creative process, the decisions he made as a writer, his deliberating over certain elements of plot and character, etc.?  Did he just create all this material (including private notes and personal correspondence) to cover up the fact that he was actually recording the historical/spiritual truth?

No, all that was part of the inspirational process. There was no cover up, and on some level he may not even have been aware of what was happening.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Eldorion on Thu May 22, 2014 10:39 pm

Can I ask how you came to discover the true nature of Tolkien's books, then?
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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 10:47 pm

Eldorion wrote:Can I ask how you came to discover the true nature of Tolkien's books, then?

Do you know much about modern Pagan practices? They involve techniques for communication with the gods. It was not a great leap to try the same techniques with the Valar.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 22, 2014 11:05 pm

Do you know much about modern Pagan practices?- Kenelm

I do, I was once in my youth Wiccan. Ceridwen and Cerrnunnos were my deities.

Its largely an invented religion of the Victorians.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 11:10 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Do you know much about modern Pagan practices?- Kenelm

I do, I was once in my youth Wiccan. Ceridwen and Cerrnunnos were my deities.

Its largely an invented religion of the Victorians.

Actually, Wicca is largely an invention of Gerald Gardner, in the 1950s. Like his contemporary Tolkien, however, there is no doubt that he tapped into an older source.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu May 22, 2014 11:20 pm

Yeah a Victorian one.

The entire notion of modern paganism belongs right alongside seances, spiritualism and all the other stuff the Victorians popularised, like faeries. They were really big on it- middle class entertainment. We get our modern notion of the Druids from them too, even though it has almost no basis in anything much.

It was codified later true, in the early 1900's and through to the 60's by people like Gardner, A. E. Waite and Crowley.
They also had a hand in what passes for modern Freemasonry in some countries.

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Re: Following the Path of the Ancient Ones - the Valar

Post by Kenelm on Thu May 22, 2014 11:30 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Yeah a Victorian one.

The entire notion of modern paganism belongs right alongside seances, spiritualism and all the other stuff the Victorians popularised, like faeries. They were really big on it- middle class entertainment. We get our modern notion of the Druids from them too, even though it has almost no basis in anything much.

It was codified later true,  in the early 1900's and through to the 60's by people like Gardner, A. E. Waite and Crowley.
They also had a hand in what passes for modern Freemasonry in some countries.

Yes, nothing you're saying is news to me.

There are, however, Traditionalist lines of the modern Craft that predate both Gardner and the Victorians.

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