Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Middle-Earth: Lore, Legends, Symbols & Maps

Middle-Earth: Lore, Legends, Symbols & Maps


The World of JRR Tolkien -

Tolkien's Middle Earth - 

The Complete Timeline of Middle-earth
Jan 13, 2020

The timeline of Middle-earth is vast and expansive, for it was the work of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life. In this video, we explore the major parts of the entirety of the timeline of Arda and Middle-earth, from its beginnings to what we know of its end. As always, a great thanks to the online artists whose visual works made this video possible! If you are one of the artists, please let me know and I will post your name and a link to your work in this description!

Timeline articles:


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Author, Poet, Storyteller J.R.R. Tolkien

Middle Earth's Symbols & Maps

The Fellowships of the Ring

A composite symbol of Gondor with the Ring's Elvish language around it. This is almost certainly a fan image as MPF points out in the comments below. The Gondorians had no reason to display the Ring Verse on a banner, and almost certainly were unaware of its existence in the end of the Third Age, with only Gandalf having read it while hunting for evidence of the One Ring.

The Fellowship before the Enchanted Door of Moria

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The Two Trees of Valinor

Overview of the Simlmarillion - link to enlarge

The Undying Lands - link to enlarge

Map of Middle Earth and the Undying Lands - link to enlarge

The Age of the Valar

Valinor (EQ, pron. [ˈvalinor]) or Valinórë (Q, pron. N [valiˈnoːre], V [βaliˈnoːre]) was the realm of the Valar in central Aman.

Valinor was the place to which the Valar moved after Almaren was destroyed by Melkor. Valinor properly refers to the inhabited lands of the continent of Aman, home to the Valar and the three kindreds of Elves: the Vanyar, some of the Noldor, and some of the Teleri. Valmar is its central city. The island of Tol Eressëa was located just off the eastern shore.


Valinor was encircled by the Pelóri mountains to the east, which were raised by the Valar as a defense against Melkor.

Everything in the realm, from the stones and the waters were hallowed and stainless and there was no sickness, corruption or withering. In Valinor the Valar brought what beauty and light they salvaged from the Spring of Arda before the marring, and they created new things, making Valinor even fairer than Almaren.

Its major city was Valmar of many bells, built in the midst of the plain,[1] where the Vanyar and the Valar reside. To the west of Valmar was a green mound called Ezellohar and from this mound grew the Two Trees that lit the land.

Two other cities are Alqualondë and Tirion, the respective homes of the Teleri and the Noldor. It also had an island, Tol Eressëa, just off its east coast. The sea to the west of the island was called Ekkaia, the encircling sea which surrounded both Valinor and Middle-earth.

Each of the Valar had their own region of the land where they resided and altered things to their desire:

  • Yavanna, the Vala of nature, growth, and harvest, resided in the Pastures of Yavanna in the south of the island.
  • Oromë, the Vala of the hunt, lived in the Woods of Oromë to the north-east of the pastures. The forest was home to many creatures which Oromë could track and hunt.
  • Nienna, the lonely Vala of sorrow and endurance, lived cut off in the far west of the island in the Halls of Nienna where she spent her days crying, looking out to sea. Just south of the Halls of Nienna and to the north of the pastures there were the Halls of Mandos.
  • Mandos, the brother of Nienna, was the Vala of the afterlife. All inhabitants of Arda went to the Halls of Mandos should they happen to die, mortals and immortals alike although it was said that in death as in life, they were separated. Also living in the Halls of Mandos was his spouse Vairë the weaver, who wove the threads of time.

To the south were situated the Gardens of Lórien, where dwelt Irmo, the Vala of dreams. And on an isle situated in the middle of the lake of Lórellin in Lórien, dwelt Irmo's wife Estë.

To the north of this were the Mansions of Aulë the smith Vala who was spouse to Yavanna.

In the north-east lay the Mansions of Manwë and Varda, the two most powerful Valar.

To the west of them stood the Ring of Doom, and nearby the mound Ezellohar with the Two Trees of Valinor, Telperion and Laurelin.

After the destruction of Númenor, the Undying Lands were removed from Arda so that Men could not reach them and only the Elves could go there by the Straight Road and in ships capable of passing out of the Spheres of the earth.


In Year of the Lamps 3450 the Spring of Arda ended when Melkor cast down the Two Lamps and destroyed the original dwelling of the Valar upon the isle of Almaren. The Valar departed from Middle-earth and settled in Aman. There they established the realm of Valinor.

After the destruction of the Lamps came the Years of the Trees and in Y.T. 1050 the Elves awoke. At first the Elves were unwilling to heed the summons of the Valar to come to Valinor. The Vala Oromë selected three ambassadors, Ingwë, Finwë, and Elwë in 1102 who were swiftly brought to Aman and beheld the light of the Trees. These three Elven-kings persuaded many of the elves to journey to Aman. In 1132 the Vanyar and Noldor departed from Middle-earth upon an island that was drawn across the Sea to Aman. The third group of the Elves, the Teleri remained in Middle-earth until 1149 when many of them were brought to Aman.

The Elves who arrived to Aman in the Years of the Trees were called Amanyar or Calaquendi because they saw the light of the Two Trees. The Valar opened a cleft between the Pelóri, the Calacirya, so that the Light reached the Elves in their lands and cities, Eldamar, Tirion, Alqualondë and Tol Eressëa.

After the Exile of Feanor, the Noldor were not allowed to return to Valinor, and it was hidden from Mortal lands. The Valar heightened the Pelóri even more, fortified Calacirya and raised the Enchanted Isles in the Shadowy Seas. There were many attempts to reach the Undying Lands from Beleriand by ship, of which only Voronwë Aranwion survived; it is told that maybe Tuor was, alone of the mortals, allowed to find Aman before his son Eärendil.

Eärendil was the first known navigator to succeed in passing the Isles of Enchantment, guided by the light of the Silmaril, who came to Valinor to seek the aid of the Valar against Melkor, now called Morgoth. His quest was successful and the Valar went to war again.

After the War of Wrath and the destruction of Beleriand, Aman was no more connected to Middle-earth by the Helcaraxë but could be reached by the ships of the Elves.

Soon after this, the great island of Númenor was raised out of Belegaer, far from the shores of Aman, and the Three Houses of the Edain were brought to live there. Henceforth, they were called the Dúnedain, and were blessed with many gifts by the Valar and the Elves of Tol Eressëa. The Valar feared—rightly—that the Númenóreans would seek to enter Aman to gain immortality (even though a mortal in Aman remains mortal), so they forbade them from sailing west from Númenor.

In time, and not without some corrupting help from Sauron, the Númenóreans violated the Ban of the Valar, and sailed to Aman with a great army under the command of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden. A part of the Pelóri collapsed upon this army, trapping it but not killing it. It is said that the army still lives underneath the pile of rock in the Caves of the Forgotten.

In light of this development, the land of Aman was decisively and forever isolated from the other lands. The flat Arda was cloven in two, and the rest was made round, so that a mariner sailing west along Eärendil's route would simply emerge in the far east. For the Elves, however, a Straight Road remains that peels away from the curvature of the earth and passes to Aman. A very few non-Elves are known to have passed along this road, including Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, and possibly Samwise Gamgee and Gimli.


Valinor (archaic Valinórë) is Quenya meaning "Land of Valar". There is also the name Valandor of roughly the same meaning.

The terms Ever-eve or Evereven also referred to Valinor. In Hobbit lore, the mythical West was known as Faery.

The Lamps of the Valar

The Lamps of the Valar were two lamps created by the Valar to illuminate the world. They were higher than mountains and illuminated Arda , the Earth.


Before their creation, there was no life and no light. Yavanna , a Vala queen of nature asked Aulë , blacksmith, to create lights that would illuminate Arda and thus make growth and life possible. This was done and they were placed on mighty pillars higher than any mountain. Illuin , the first light, stood in the north and Ormal stood in the south and they were the two great lights that illuminated the land of Arda .

Everything Yavanna had sown thus began to sprout and blossom, animals emerged, the light had brought life to the world.

After taking up residence on the isle of Almaren , the Valar threw a big party where everyone was invited.

Transformation of Middle-earth due to Falling Lamps


But Melkor , jealous and mad with rage, hating all that had been created, left his abode of Utumno and his calamity swept over the spring of Arda . The plants had become sick and rotten, and the waters stank. The animals had become dangerous and bloodthirsty creatures. The Valar then realized all the disaster Melkor had wrought.

In 3450 AL , the latter attacked the Valar and overran them. He then rushed towards the Illuin and Ormal lights and knocked down the pillars destroying the lights without the Valars being able to do anything. Their fall caused an important modification of the morphology of Arda, creating seas and continents, breaking the lands and lifting the oceans. Arda's boundaries between sea and land were greatly altered and darkness spread over Arda. The Fall of the Lamps is considered the Second War of the Valar.

Melkor then fled to the Walls of Night and the Valar tried to salvage what could be saved but what they had imagined and created could never be fully restored. They then left Almaren and took up residence in Valinor .

The lights were later replaced by the Trees of Valinor in Aman, then by the Sun and Moon on Arda.


In early versions of the legend, Melkor makes peace with the Valar and it is he who crafts the Pillars of the Two Lamps. He calls them Helkar in the north and Ringil in the south. Their unknown matter is like a bluish crystal sounding like metal. But his intentions are evil, and the pillars are made of nothing but ice, which melts in the heat of the lamps and throws the world into chaos. The water from the melting pillars creates two great inland seas, the Sea of ​​Ringil and the Sea of ​​Helcar [1] [2]

The false surrender of Melkor and the pillars of ice will disappear from the legendary, but Tolkienwill retain the idea of ​​inland seas, especially the Sea of ​​Helcar which appears in The Silmarillion published.

First Age of Middle Earth - link to enlarge & to Beleriand Map

Early Map of Beleriand

RIP Beleriand - Middle Earth Before

RIP Beleriand - Middle Earth After

link to enlarge

Map of Middle Earth - link to enlarge

link to enlarge

Gondorian Shield of the Second Age

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