January 7, 2001 - The Valaquenta

Once again Mae Govennan all,

First off may I wish you all and Happy, prosperous and productive New Year. As we think at this time of the year what is ahead for us, I wish to take a step into the past and explain to you a bit of the History of the lands we travel and in particular the Valar who fulfilled the creation of Ea. (note: This is the real history not mume's).

In the Lore of the Elves called the Valaquenta it is written...

"In the beginning Eru, the One, who in the Elvish tongue is named Iluvatar, made the Ainur of his thought; and they made a great Music before him. In this Music the World was begun; for Iluvatar made visible the song of the Ainur, and... Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Eš."

"Then those of the Ainur who desired it arose and entered into the world at the beginning of Time; and it was their task to achieve it,... Long they laboured in the regions of Ea, which are vast beyond the thought of Elves or Men, until in the time appointed was made Arda, the Kingdom of the Earth. Then they put on the raiment of the Earth and descended into it and dwelt therein."

"The Great among these spirits the Elves name the Valar, the Powers of Arda, and men have often called them gods..... The names of the Lords (of the Valar, called Vala) are in due order: Manwe, Ulmo, Aule, Orome, Mandos, Lorien and Tulkas; and the names of the Queens (of the Valar, called Valier) are Vada, Yavanna, Nienna, Este, Vaire, Vana, and Nessa. Melkor is counted no longer among the Valar and his name is not spoken upon the Earth."

I shall digress a little here to describe why this is so, as is explained in the Ainulindale .

"But as the theme (of the Music of the Ainur) progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Iluvatar; for he sought therein to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself."

In this way Melkor corrupted the Music and though Iluvatar thrice redeemed the Song (which in the History of Middle Earth may correspond to the 3 ages of the world), the theme differed and Melkor's thoughts became the fell things of the World. In a later Age the Ainur fought with Melkor before the coming of the Children of Iluvatar (being the Elves) and banished him forever. (Though as we see in this Age his power and corruption lives through his servant Sauron .) Back to the Valar now.....

Manwe Sulimo is Iluvatar's Herald and the dearest and most powerful (beside Melkor) of the Ainur. His love is with the Air and all that travels within it. With him lives Varda, Lady of the Stars. Her beauty is beyond words (even those of the Elves) and in light is her power and joy. Among the Elves she is named and honoured as Elbereth.

Next in power is Ulmo , Lord of the Waters. He lives and moves in the deeps alone and has never abandoned the Children of Iluvatar. If any hear the music of his great horns, Ulumuri, the desire for the Sea shall never be quenched.

Aule , a little less in power than Ulmo, has lordship of the substances which make the foundations of Arda. The Noldor learned from him the love of craftsmanship with gems and gold. Again a small diversion for of Aule a great work was done......

"It is told that in the beginning the Dwarves were made by Aule in the Darkness of Middle Earth; for so greatly did Aule desire the coming of the Children, to have learners to whom he could teach his lore and crafts......he wought in secret: and he made the first Seven Fathers of the Dwarves in the hall under the mountains of Middle Earth."

Aule gave to them speach and the skills of craftsmanship. The Dwarves thus honour Aule their Maker above all other Ainur and call him Mahal. Iluvatar knew of Aule's secret and had Aule lay them in a slumber until after the coming of the Firstborn, the Elves.

The spouse of Aule is Yavanna, Giver of Fruits and by the Eldar she is named Kementari, Queen of the Earth. She is second to Varda and cares for all things that grow on Earth.

Next are the Feanturi, Masters of Spirits. They are brethren and called most often Mandos and Lorien, though these are the places of the dwelling and their true names are Namo and Irmo. Namo lives in Mandos (which we all would know quite well) and is Keeper of the Houses of the Dead and summoner of spirits that were slain. Vaire the Weaver is his spouse. She weaves the History of the world and clothes the walls of Mandos with her tapestries..

Irmo, the younger, is the Master of Visions and Dreams. His gardens, called Lorien, are the fairest in all Ea. Este , his spouse, is the healer of hurts and weariness. The Vala come to Lorien to find easing of the Burden of Arda.

Mightier then Este is Nienna, sister of the Feanturi. Alone she dwells and grieves for the wounds of Arda caused by Melkor . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength and wisdom to suffering.

Tulkas is the greatest in Strength and prowess. He is surnamed Astaldo, the Valiant. He delights in contests of Strength and wrestling and faster can he run then all other things of Iluvatar's thought. He laughs always, even into the face of Melkor's rage. Nessa , his spouse, also is fleetfooted and a lover of deer and dance.

Orome is a mighty lord. Less strong then Tulkas but awesome and dreadful in anger. He loved the lands of Middle Earth. Often he rode his steed, Nahar, to battle the monsters and fell beasts of Melkor's creation. He is called Aldaron or by the Sindar Tauron. He carries a great horn, the Valaroma. His spouse is Vana , the Ever-young, sister of Yavanna. Flowers spring at her coming and birds sing as she passes them by.

These are the Valar and Valier as the Eldar, the Firstborn beheld them in Valinor. Among them were nine of chief power, but now only eight remain, these are called the Aratar, the High Ones of Arda: Manwe and Varda, Ulmo, Yavanna and Aule, Mandos Nienna and Orome. Though Manwe is their King they are equal in majesty and are beyond compare of all others.

For your travels and dealings in Middle Earth remember your creator and the Valar who brought into being the lands you walk upon and the creatures and plants you see and often destroy. In particular, take note of the Vala or Valier that would hold closest likeness to your own heart. All elves should honoured Elbereth, the Noldor in particular should be thoughtful to Aule for his teachings and likewise the Dwarves should 'worship' their Creator, Mahal. A hunter and tracker should look to Orome for inspiration and a warrior to Tulkas. An evil one to the likes of Melkor (though do remember his name is never spoken on Earth). Each to his own as they say.

In conclusion, my reference is The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolikien. I apologise for the lack of accents, but I am unable to type them. Refer to The Silmarillion of the characters by these names in Mume for the correct accents. For more information or comments please mail me at einalem@elvenrunes.com .

I wish you well and may you find in your heart the kindling of the Secret Fire.

Namarie mellon.

Einalem Lothinya