Archive for the ‘Meryalë – Elven Holidays’ Category

Anar – the Sun

June 21st (Solstice): The “Gates of Summer” (Tarnin Austa) is the Elven Midsummer festival which starts the prior night and anticipates the rising of the Anar, the Sun in the East, who is “steered” in the skies by a fiery Maia (meaning “Beautiful One”) named Arien.

In the Elven stories, the Sun was created by the last fruit from the female Golden Tree named Laurelin (whereas Isil, the Moon was created from the last flower from the male Silver Tree, Telperion, and “steered” in the skies by the Maia Tilion). The trees themselves (before their destruction by the Dark One) were created by Yavanna Kementari, Queen of the Earth and Giver of Fruits (in what could be seen as the “Elven Pantheon” that are collectively called the Valar). The Sun, Moon and Stars were all made by Varda Elentari, Queen of the Stars – the Elves deemed her their favorite of all of the Valar. She is the one in Lord of the Rings referred to as Lady Elbereth Gilthoniel, and her energies are very protective! She also created out of Telperion’s sap Valacirca, the Sickle of the Valar to keep the Dark One at bay – today, we know this star constellation as the Big Dipper.

The fullest description of Tarnin Austa is set in the hidden Elven city of Gondolin, as shown in this quote from JRR Tolkien’s Book II of the Lost Tales (aka HoME Vol. II):

“[…] and now at length is that great feast Tarnin Austa or the Gates of Summer near at hand. For know that on a night it was their custom to begin a solemn ceremony at midnight, continuing it even till the dawn of Tarnin Austa broke, and no voice was uttered in the city from midnight till the break of day, but the dawn they hailed with ancient songs.

“For years uncounted had the coming of summer thus been greeted with music of choirs, standing upon their gleaming eastern wall; and now comes even the night of vigil and the city is filled with silver lamps, while in the groves upon the new-leaved trees lights of jewelled colours swing, and low musics go along the ways, but no voice sings until the dawn.

“The sun has sunk beyond the hills and folk array them for the festival very gladly and eagerly — glancing in expectation to the East.”

For more information, see the “Loa” or the Elven Calendar post.

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These links were posted throughout 2009 and also in print in Llewellyn’s 2009 Spell-a-Day Almanac, and I thought it a great idea to post them all at once on a blog post here, for easy reference.

Llewellyn published 5 Elven Spells, and these will be linked again when we upload them (since Llewellyn no longer hosts them on their website):

* (Isilnarvinyë)

* (Yestarë)

* (Nost-na-Lothion)

* (Isilyavannië)

* (Enderi)

All of these Elven Holidays are in the older Elvish language, called Quenya.  Yestarë, Nost-na-Lothion and Enderi are explained more fully on the Elven Calendar post.

Isilnarvinyë and Isilyavannië are referring to the Full Moons that relate to that particular Elven Month.  Isilnarvinyë, the Moon of New Fire, occurs in the Elven January.  Isilyavann, the Moon of Yavanna (the Giver of Fruits) is held in the Elven September.  To find the Elven month of which a particular Full Moon is assigned, visit Encyclopedia of Arda’s Interactive Calendar, using the “Numenorean” months.  You will also notice the Elven Season of the date chosen.

These links will be available for every year, so you can enjoy these short spells and get to know some of the Valar.

Thanks for visiting – ENJOY!


Artist – John Howe

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Ted Nasmith Elven Awakening Cuivienen Silmarillion

Cuivienen – Waters of Awakenings (Artist TedNasmith.com)

November 21st is the Gregorian date that Tië eldaliéva (the Elven Path) has assigned this observance (which means it is not one of the seven feasts in Tolkien’s calendar in the Appendices of Return of the King). However, it is also the First Day of Hrivë, the Elven Winter. The Elven Calendar has 6 seasons, with the ones bearing the Solstices being the longest.
At midnight this night, the Pleiades (called Remmirath by the Elves, meaning Netted Road) is directly overhead. The description of the starry sky was shown in The Silmarillion to be very much like this time of year when the Elves were first awoken on Arda (Earth) in the Waters of Awakening, or Lake Cuivienen; thus, Tië eldaliéva’s reason for this observance at this time.


Click to View Silmessë by The Fellowship InElvenLands.com

According to these stories, the Elves were awoken before the creation of the Sun and the Moon. The sky then was always a twilight color with stars that were lovingly created by Varda Elentari, the Queen of the Stars, which the Elves loved indeed. In fact, it was the nearby Helluin (Sirius) that was deemed the star that actually awoke the Elves.  They arose from the waters and looked up at the stars, and exclaimed “Eä!” which in this case means “Behold!” It was the same word that “The One” Iluvatar used when bringing forth the song of creation that was indeed sung by the Ainur (likened to “angels” and were the “thoughts” of Iluvatar).

It is a time when we reconnect with the Elven Origins, and thereby reconnect to All that Is. Indeed, we remember our source and where we come from.

(See Dave’s article for deeper research on this, and stay tuned for a 2020 update – or look at our free Elven Calendar resource)

Remmirath – the Pleiades

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The following is the Elven Calendar, or “Loa” with what could be termed as the Solar observations.

From Tolkien:
Turuhalmë (Elven “LogDrawing”) December 21st
Solvalwaris (Purification, begin Stirring): February 2nd
Yestarë (Elven New Year, begin Spring): March 28th
Nost-na-Lothion (Day of Flowers, begin Summer) May 22nd
Tarnin Austa (Gates of Summer) June 21st
Yavië (begin Elven Autumn) August 2nd
Enderi (Middle Days, begin Fading) September 25-27th (all 3 days)

Improvised by Tië eldaliéva:
Cuiverë Quendiva (First day of Winter/Origins of the Elves) November 21st

Tië eldaliéva improvised the Full Moons too, using the Legendarium as much as possible, and will be in the book when published.  We hope to republish Dave’s in-depth Calendar article in the near future!  In the meantime, you can find the dates of the Elven Moons by using the Encyclopedia of Arda Interactive Calendar – the months in the Quenya language are termed “Numenorean” so you know which one we use.


P.S. Dave/Aikanar/Eluyon, the author of said Calendar Article can also be found at www.westofwest.org.

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