Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Star of the Sea ~ The Ocean Star

Varda Elentári [ˈvarda elenˈtaːri] is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. She appears in Tolkien's Silmarillion as one of the Valar (powers) of Middle Earth. The longest sample of the Sindarin language published by Tolkien is addressed to her.

"O stars that in the Sunless Year
With shining hand by her were sown,
In Windy fields now bright and clear
We see your silver blossom blown!
― Hymn to Elbereth

Elves love and revere her most of all the Valar, and they call upon her in their hours of deepest darkness. Her handmaiden is Ilmarë, a Chief of the Maiar.
Varda knows all the regions of Eä. She rejoices in light and was said to be too beautiful for words. Within her face radiated the light of Ilúvatar. She appeared in shining white fana in visions to the Elves of Middle-earth, and thus was called Fanuilos (Snow-white).
Varda is one of the Valar, the pantheon or Gods in the legendarium. She is the greatest of the Valar, being associated with light, she is central to the dualism of light and darkness in Tolkien's cosmology.
Varda with the dews from the vats of Telperion she made the brightest stars in the heavens, most significantly the Valacirca, The Sickle of the Valar (The Big Dipper) and Menelmacar (Orion).
She resided with her husband Manwë, with whom she shared a complementary power. When they were together, Manwë "sees further than all other eyes, through mists, and through darkness, and over the leagues of the sea" and Varda "hears more clearly than all other ears the sound of voices that cry from east to west". When the evil Vala Melkor first began to create his discord, Varda saw his true nature and rejected him. Melkor feared and hated Varda the most out of the Valar because he greatly desired to possess light.
Tolkien's work often repeats characters in "doubles" in different settings or ages. Thus, Varda's Marian characteristics are repeated in Melian (an angelic being of a lower order), Galadriel (a queen of the high elves) and again in "a more homey way" in Goldberry.
Like most of the legendarium's characters, Varda has a different name in each of Tolkien's invented languages. Her Quenya name Varda means "sublime" or "lofty", from Primitive Quenya barádâ (root barád-, whence also Noldorin brennil "lady", brand, brann "lofty, noble fine"). The corresponding Noldorin form is Berethil, Breðil (Primitive Quenya Barathī). Telerin Baradis, from a related stem barathî (while the expected cognate form would have been Barada). The Adûnaic reflex of the name is Avradî.
When invoked by Elves, she is more commonly addressed by epithets reflecting her role in making the stars, as "Star-queen" and "Star-kindler", in Quenya Elentári and Tintallë, and in Sindarin Elbereth and Gilthoniel, respectively. Another Sindarin epithet is Fanuilos "Ever-white". In the English text, she is also addressed by the epithets The Kindler, Lady of the Stars, Queen of the Stars, Snow-white, ostensibly translations of her Elvish names.
Source: HERE and HERE
Manwë was the King of the Valar, husband of Varda Elentári, was conceived in the thought of Iluvatar as a brother of Melkor, and King of Arda. He lived atop Mount Taniquetil, the highest mountain of the world, in the halls of Ilmarin, in the realm of Valinor. The winds, airs and birds were his servants, and he was lord of air, the wind, and clouds in Arda. He was the noblest and greatest in the authority of the Valar, and only less powerful than Melkor.
In Tolkien's early Qenya, Vard- was a root referring to royalty. Related words were vardar "king" and vardo "prince"; they do not appear in the later inception of Quenya.
The Valar, being divine beings below the ultimate Creator, Ilúvatar, are thought of as being the Middle-earth equivalent of saints and angels; it has therefore been suggested that Varda, in her role as the most loved and prayed-to Vala, may be an equivalent of the Virgin Mary in Tolkien's own Catholic faith. Another suggestion is the goddess of wisdom, Sophia, also associated with the stars.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel is an Elvish hymn to Varda (Elbereth) in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
There are three versions of this iambic tetrameter hymn, the first of which being the largest portion of Sindarin found in the novel:

A Elbereth GilthonielO Elbereth Starkindler,
silivren penna mírielwhite-glittering, slanting down sparkling like a jewel,
o menel aglar elenath!the glory of the starry host!
Na-chaered palan-dírielHaving gazed far away
o galadhremmin ennorath,from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,
Fanuilos, le linnathonto thee, Everwhite, I will sing,
nef aear, sí nef aearon!on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Ocean![1]
A Elbereth GilthonielO Elbereth Starkindler,
o menel palan-diriel,from heaven gazing afar,
le nallon sí di'nguruthos!to thee I cry now beneath the shadow of death!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!O look towards me, Everwhite!
In Peter Jackson's films The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first few lines of the poem can be heard in the movie soundtrack when Frodo Baggins, or Bilbo Baggins', respectively, enter Rivendell.

In Tolkien's legendarium, Varda, also known as Elbereth, is one of the Valar and the highest of the "guardians". Peter Kreeft sees her as one of the clearest reflections of Roman Catholic Marian devotion in Tolkien's work. In A Elbereth Gilthoniel, Marjorie Burns sees an echo of the Marian hymn, Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star.
Ave Maris Stella (Latin, "Hail Star of the Sea") is a plainsong Vespers hymn to Mary from about the eighth century. The melody is found in the Irish plainsong "Gabhaim Molta Bríde", a piece in praise of St. Bridget. The popular modern hymn Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star, is loosely based on this plainsong original.
The Latin text of the hymn as authorised for use in the Liturgy of the Hours of the Roman Rite (ordinary form) is the following:
Ave, maris stella,
Dei mater alma,
atque semper virgo,
felix cœli porta.
Hail, star of the sea,
Nurturing Mother of God,
And ever Virgin
Happy gate of Heaven.
Sumens illud «Ave»
Gabrielis ore,
funda nos in pace,
mutans Evæ nomen.
Receiving that "Ave" (hail)
From the mouth of Gabriel,
Establish us in peace,
Transforming the name of "Eva" (Eve).
Solve vincla reis,
profer lumen cæcis,
mala nostra pelle,
bona cuncta posce.
Loosen the chains of the guilty,
Send forth light to the blind,
Our evil do thou dispel,
Entreat (for us) all good things.
Monstra te esse matrem,
sumat per te precem
qui pro nobis natus
tulit esse tuus.
Show thyself to be a Mother:
Through thee may he receive prayer
Who, being born for us,
Undertook to be thine own.
Virgo singularis,
inter omnes mitis,
nos culpis solutos
mites fac et castos.
O unique Virgin,
Meek above all others,
Make us, set free from (our) sins,
Meek and chaste.
Vitam præsta puram,
iter para tutum,
ut videntes Jesum
semper collætemur.
Bestow a pure life,
Prepare a safe way:
That seeing Jesus,
We may ever rejoice.
Sit laus Deo Patri,
summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto
tribus honor unus. Amen.
Praise be to God the Father,
To the Most High Christ (be) glory,
To the Holy Spirit
(Be) honour, to the Three equally. Amen
The words Star of the Sea are a translation of the Latin title Stella Maris. Our Lady, Star of the Sea is an ancient title for the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The title was used to emphasize Mary's role as a sign of hope and as a guiding star
Stella Maris "sea-star" is a name of α Ursae Minoris or Polaris, the "guiding star" (also "lodestar", "ship star", "steering star", etc.) because it has been used for celestial navigation at sea since antiquity. 
Sailing the Universe by Christian Schloe
In English-speaking nations, a professional space traveller is called an astronaut. The term derives from the Greek words ástron (ἄστρον), meaning "star", and nautes (ναύτης), meaning "sailor". 
 The first known use of the term "astronaut" in the modern sense was by Neil R. Jones in his short story "The Death's Head Meteor" in 1930. The word itself had been known earlier. 
Art by Anjo for Chris Bluetit Stylist
Cosmic Ocean/Sea
For reaching this meaning the Hebrew name Miryam had to go through a series of transformations: in Judeo-Aramaic it became Maryām, and this form was rendered in Greek as Mariam (Μαριάμ) or Maria. Mariam, in Hebrew, can have the meaning of "drop of the sea" if understood as "mar-yam": מר mar is a rare biblical word for "drop" (Isaiah 40:15 is the only instance in the Hebrew Bible where it takes this meaning), and yam means "sea". St Jerome adopted this interpretation and translated the name into Latin as Stilla Maris, "drop of the sea", but at some later stage a copyist transcribed this into Stella Maris, "star of the sea", and this transcription error became widespread. Another opinion states that Jerome himself interpreted the name as meaning "star of the sea" or Stella Maris, by relating it to a Hebrew word for star, מאור (ma'or), from the verb אור ('or), to be light or shine.
Read more HERE and HERE.
Stars in the Cosmic Ocean/Sea
New Space Theory: Universe is 'Liquid', Claim Scientists ~
The universe should be regarded as a liquid 'superfluid', claim scientists seeking to discover the fundamental nature of space.  "If spacetime is a fluid, then according to our calculations it must necessarily be a superfluid. This means that its viscosity value is extremely low, close to zero." More HERE and HERE Dark Fluid HERE Liquid Universe - Space Documentary Video HERE
'Superfluid' Sea
Eärendil the Mariner (pronounced [ɛaˈrɛndil]) is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is depicted in The Silmarillion, as a child of Men and Elves and a great seafarer who, on his brow, carried the morning star across the sky.
Eärendil means 'Lover of the Sea' in Tolkien's invented language of Quenya. However, Tolkien borrowed the name from Old English literature.
Evening Star ~ The planet Venus when it appears in the west (evening sky), after sunset. The ancient Greeks gave it the name Hesperus. Less commonly, the planet Mercury when it appears in the west (evening sky) after sunset. Venus is the only planet in the Solar System that is named after a female figure. Cytherean is an adjective meaning pertaining to Cythera (Greek Κύθηρα, also transliterated Kythera or Kithira). It is also an adjective meaning pertaining to the planet Venus.
Morning Star ~ Mythology/theology
Phosphorus (morning star), the Morning Star in Greek mythology
Morning Star, one of the Zorya (gods in Slavic mythology)
The Latin name of the Morning Star ("Lucifer") has been given to Satan in some Christian theology. Lucifer is referred to as Son of the Morning in the bible (Isaiah 14:12).
Jesus is described as "the bright morning star" in in the bible (Revelation 22:16)
John the Baptist, called a "bright morning star" in Eastern Orthodox Church hymnnology
Mary the mother of Jesus, called "morning star" in the Litany of Loreto

In Greek mythology, Hesperus (Ancient Greek: Ἓσπερος Hesperos) is the Evening Star, the planet Venus in the evening. He is the son of the dawn goddess Eos (Roman Aurora) and is the half-brother of her other son, Phosphorus (also called Eosphorus; the "Morning Star"). Hesperus' Roman equivalent is Vesper (cf. "evening", "supper", "evening star", "west"). Hesperus' father was Cephalus, a mortal, while Phosphorus' was the star god Astraios.
Morning star, a name for the star Sirius, which appears in the sky just before sunrise during the Dog Days. The expression "dog days" refers to the hot, sultry days of summer, originally in areas around the Mediterranean Sea, and as the expression fit, to other areas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
Hesperus as Personification of the Evening Star by Anton Raphael Mengs (1765).
 His name is sometimes conflated with the names for his brother, the personification of the planet as the "morning star" Eosphorus (GreekἘωσφόρος, "bearer of dawn") or Phosphorus (Ancient Greek: "bearer of light", often translated as "Lucifer" in Latin), since they are all personifications of the same planet Venus. "Heosphoros" in the Greek Septuagint and "Lucifer" in Jerome's Latin Vulgate were used to translate the Hebrew "Helel" (Venus as the brilliant, bright or shining one), "son of Shahar (god) (Dawn)" in the Hebrew version of Isaiah 14:12.
Middle-earth star map
When named thus by the ancient Greeks, it was thought that Eosphorus (Venus in the morning) and Hesperos (Venus in the evening) were two different celestial objects.The Greeks later accepted the Babylonian view that the two were the same, and the Babylonian identification of the planets with the great gods, and dedicated the "wandering star" (planet) to Aphrodite (Roman Venus), as the equivalent of Ishtar.
"The Voyage of Eärendel"
There is a poem by Tolkien dated to 1914 entitled "The Voyage of Eärendel the Evening Star" (published in The Book of Lost Tales 2 267–269). (Old Norse Aurvandill, Lombardic Auriwandalo).
 The Old Norse together with the Anglo-Saxon evidence point to an astronomical myth, the name referring to a star, or a group of stars, and the Anglo-Saxon in particular points to the morning star as the herald of the rising Sun (in Crist Christianized to refer to John the Baptist).
Flammifer. 2016
Tolkien was particularly inspired by the lines in the Crist written by Cynewulf:
éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended
"Hail Earendel, brightest of angels, over Middle-earth to men sent" 
which can be taken as the inspiration not only for the role of Eärendil in Tolkien's work but also for the term Middle-earth (translating Middangeard) for the inhabitable lands (c.f. Midgard).
The first line is paralleled by Frodo Baggins' exclamation in The Two Towers, Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima, which in Tolkien's invented language of Quenya means, "Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars." Frodo's exclamation was in reference to the 'Star-glass' (the light of a star trapped within the Star-glass) he carried, which contained the light of Eärendil's star, the Silmaril.
Eärendil story HERE
Peredhil of Middle Earth- of Earendil and Elwing
The Sindria shine as brightly as stars, very much like the imagery of Galadriel from the LOTR films. Their hair is silver-white, with soft lilac eyes reflecting the cosmos, all knowing, endless. They are elementals that can take form but still remain slightly transparent, not flesh, as such. It's as if flesh is unable to contain such brightness. 
The Sindria were inspired from many different sources: Angels, Goddesses, Mythology, Spirits. I created them as the earliest beings and the guardians of universal life thereafter. Souls in their purest form, light, from which we all derive. 
In my first manuscript, there was a much longer scene with characters Bethany and Jonathan. He talks from a scientific viewpoint, which I was advised to leave out, too complicated. I've included a couple of excerpts removed from the early draft below. 

‘Where does their belief system stem from?’
‘From truth, the cycle of life – your form dies and recycles back into matter. The soul however never dies. It is the true self, enabling the cycle of rebirth. There is no past, present or future. Every form contains energy – for everything that is alive is energy and exists without time. Do you understand Bea?’
‘I think so.’ 

‘The Sindria realm is one of energy?’
‘Yes. Have you heard of near death experiences?’
 ‘People say they see a white light.’
‘Yes, a tunnel of pure light, the opposite of matter, the energy leaving the body. The soul is merely returning home. It is the point of division in which the true self departs from its vessel before the resting period prior to rebirth. This is the basis of belief for the Heaven Stone Order, ensuring the soul’s journey is as it should be in keeping of the universal balance. Human physics states that our Universe appears to be full of matter rather than antimatter, yet at the time of creation, they were equal in part. Where did the anti-matter go they ask? This is referred to as the baryon asymmetry problem in physics, Baryogenesis. However, they must remember Bethany that the cycle of life does in fact still contain equal amounts of both, of everything although not in the way they think. The black hole, dark energy, dark matter, the big bang, creation of life is not just a scientific route, it is a spiritual one. One without the other cannot exist. The unseen universal language is written everywhere around us, within us… we are but children learning to read.’

‘I saw something about anti-matter and matter unable be forced together. It destroys itself...’
‘Yes, if forced. But I speak of a marrying at the time of creation, the rebirth of energy, a time when both existed as one. In death, the two separate until a new marry made. The two halves of each create a whole that in turn creates life, new energy. It is a unique blending of biological and spiritual uniting.’
 ‘It’s quite a lot to take in.’
He laughed. ‘I don’t mean to over complicate, but it is quite difficult to separate the complexities of the Heaven Stone teachings into one simple explanation.’
The"Evening Star", visible after sunset
The "Morning Star", visible before sunrise.
The more I read of Tolkien's earlier world, the more I appreciate his connection to deeper thinking. I wonder how often he pondered on the meaning of life while gazing up at the stars.

"'Ilúvatar was the first beginning, and beyond that no wisdom of the Valar or of Eldar or of Men can go.'
'Who was Ilúvatar?' asked Eriol. 'Was he of the Gods?'
'Nay,' said Rúmil, 'that he was not, for he made them. Ilúvatar is the Lord for Always who dwells beyond the world; who made it and is not of it nor in it, but loves it.' 
― The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "The Music of the Ainur"
Eru Ilúvatar or The One is the single omniscient and omnipotent creator. He has been existing eternally in the Timeless Halls and possesses the Flame Imperishable in his spirit which kindles existence from nothingness.
Love and light,

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