• The Queen of Earth

    Graphic by Ey@el

    Original en français

    Then the seeds that Yavanna had sown began swiftly to sprout and to burgeon, and there arose a multitude of growing things great and small, mosses and grasses and great ferns, and trees whose tops were crowned with cloud as they were living mountains, but whose feet were wrapped in a green twilight.

    ~ The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien

    Three days before the spring equinox and beginning of the new astrological year (with the Sun entering Aries, which is the first sign of the zodiac, symbolising renewal and inception), what could be more appropriate than referring to Yavanna, second queen of the Valar (the divine powers that govern the world in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium), also going by the name of Kementári “Queen of Earthwhich means “Giver of Fruits” in Quenya (the language of the Elves).   

    She was responsible for all things that grew in the earth, from the towering trees to the moss on the rocks. She asked her companion Aulë the Smith, King of Fire and father of the Dwarves, to make two lamps which Varda, Queen of The Stars, filled with light to be activated by her husband Manwë, King of Air. This is how greenery, meadows, trees, forests and all vegetation appeared.

    While her usual form was that of a tall woman, she could take other forms. ”She has also been seen in the form of a tall tree growing from the waters of Ulmo to the winds of Manwë spilling golden dew from her branches, which made the barren earth green with corn.” She also besought the creation of the Ents, wood spirits in tree form, in order to protect the forests from Orcs, Dwarves and other perils. The Ents were probably the most ancient living creatures on Middle-Earth and were featured in The Lord of The Rings.

    Yavanna only appears in The Silmarillion, which Tolkien spent a lifetime working out to be eventually posthumously published later on by his son Christopher (also recently deceased) who scavenged material from his father's older drafts to fill out the book. In a few cases, he completely devised new material, trying to remain as true as possible to his father's initial vision.

    The Lords of The Rings is so closely entangled with the mythology of The Silmarillion that Tolkien greatly desired to publish the two works together, but his publisher opposed to that.

    For me, reading the latter greatly enhanced my understanding of the former, allowing me to fully appreciate its magnitude. Clearly, it's full of Judaeo-Christian ideals and biblical rehashing and there are so many characters and so many happenings you definitely have to be a dedicated reader to keep up (note-taking is a prerequisite). Nevertheless, the world depicted is so full of poetry and heedless heroism and candour, it's just as spellbinding to my child-like soul as the fairy tales of yesteryear. So far, this is probably the most exalting fantasy book I've ever read.

    If you wish to look at Elves in a new way, much less glamourous than in the movies, just read The Silmarillion. You will also learn more about Galadriel and find out that Sauron wasn't the mightiest Lord of Darkness, but merely emulated his master Melkor aka Morgoth, another Vala and brother of Manwë, (equivalent of Lucifer, the fallen angel in the Bible).

    In the meantime, I wish you all a great Saint Patrick Day, a golden opportunity to go green!

    (I also had a couple of puns with rhymes and poetry and glass versus plastic for green issues, but it simply won't work in English.)


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