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Copyrighted Material

Tolkien at the End of Time;
Alchemical Secrets of The Lord of the Rings

By Jay Weidner and Sharron Rose


Introduction

It seems a simple story.

At first glance it appears to be nothing more than a very long fairy tale about good and evil. Peopled with Elves, Dwarves, Wizards, Monsters and more, J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings was not considered a great work of literature when it first appeared in 1954. Now it is hailed as the book of the 20th century. What is it about this book that caused it to be such a sensation? Why does it create such a warmth and resonance in the hearts of its readers? Our answer to these and other questions to be discussed in the course of this article is that Tolkien was aware of the hidden esoteric history of humanity and the powerful influence of the Great Work of Alchemy on European culture.

Using Tolkien's splendid tale as a tool, this article will reveal that like the great masters of old, Tolkien is initiating us into a new level of awareness of our past, ourselves and the planet we inhabit. It will also reveal that Tolkien somehow knew the deepest secrets of Alchemy and embedded this mysterious knowledge into the heart of his work. This is the real reason why The Lord of the Rings has such a great and universal appeal, for it is our true history and secret heritage that is being revealed to us through its pages. Tolkien has mined a deep vein of mythic resonance that rings true to all who delve deeply into this extraordinary work of Art.

In a fantastic land called Middle-earth a young Hobbit named Frodo becomes entangled in an all-consuming spiritual and political war that ultimately changes the entire face of the world. As documented in Tolkien's first book, The Hobbit, by way of his uncle Bilbo's adventures, Frodo has acquired a mysterious Ring. Through the efforts of his friend Gandalf the Wizard, Frodo comes to understand that this Ring, forged in an earlier Age by the evil Sauron in the subterranean fires of Mt. Doom, not only grants its bearer the power of invisibility, and possibly immortality, but also holds the key to the dominion of Middle-earth.




With all of the odds against him, Frodo, the modest, sincere and good-natured Hobbit of the Shire embarks on a quest to destroy this ill-omened Ring of Power. Although he has little to gain and much to lose by destroying the Ring, Frodo nevertheless is ultimately successful in his quest. Despite being hunted by thousands of Orcs, lost in an unknown wilderness with only the assistance of his friend and gardener Sam and the shifty covetous creature named Gollum, Frodo selflessly moves towards the ultimate conclusion of the tale in which the great Ring of Power and domination is destroyed in the blazing underground inferno of Mt. Doom.

This destruction of the Ring of Power appears to have unintended consequences that bring forth what Tolkien describes as the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth. At the conclusion of this compelling story of good and evil, heroes and villains, magic and mystery, all of the fantastic inhabitants of Middle-earth, Wizards, Elves, Dwarves, and Ents disappear from the landscape of Middle-earth leaving the next Age, the Fourth Age to be ruled by Men. Aragorn, the most noble of the human race, is crowned King of Middle-earth and Men become the ultimate victors of this Great War against Sauron and his agent Sauruman that ends the Third Age of Middle-earth.

When Lord of the Rings was published in 1954 no one, including J.R.R. Tolkien himself ever dreamed that his trilogy would go on to sell millions and millions of copies, be translated into nearly every language on earth, and turned into one of the biggest motion picture projects ever undertaken.

What is it about this simple story that could cause such an enormous reaction? How is it possible that a simple fairy tale of a selfless little Hobbit saving the world from ultimate evil could be heralded as the greatest work of literature in the twentieth century? Why do the books and the subsequent film resonate so vividly in the hearts, minds and perhaps the souls of nearly all of us? And who is J.R.R. Tolkien? Did he intentionally write this story knowing the powerful impact it would have on the reader? Our contention is that Tolkien somehow, someway had personal knowledge of the pre-history of our planet and the extraordinary fact that at this point in time, human history is moving irrevocably towards the end of what is known by the mystics from many of the world's great spiritual traditions as the Fourth Age of Humanity, just as The Lord of the Rings relates the story of the end of the Third Age of Middle-earth. In this context you will not only come to understand the fundamental story that is being told to us, the mytho-poeic story and its relevance to our lives, but also why Tolkien time and time again insisted that The Lord of the Rings is not an allegory.

 

Part One ­ Rings of Time:

The Four Ages, the Precession of the Equinoxes and the Quality of Time

In contrast to the materially based teachings offered to us by today's schools and institutions of higher learning, the teachings of Alchemy (which flowed from Egypt into the mystic heart of the Hebrew, Islamic and Christian traditions) as well as the Tantric teachings of India and Tibet, present a deeply spiritual view of human history and evolution. As documented in the book, The Path of the Priestess; A Guidebook for Awakening the Divine Feminine, by Sharron Rose, this view is completely at variance with that of the modern scientific Darwinian perspective.1 Rather than perceive past and future from a purely linear point of view, the great adepts, and masters of these ancient spiritually based traditions, knew that the flow of time and human experience is not linear but cyclic. In other words, in the same way that we as human beings experience the ebb and flow of cycles such as the seasons of nature, the phases of the moon, birth, growth, maturation and death, humanity, as a whole, experiences the rise and fall of a larger cycle of existence known as the Maha Yuga. This Maha Yuga or Great Cycle is composed of four ages known as the Satya Yuga, or Golden Age, the Treta Yuga or Silver Age, the Dvapara Yuga or Bronze Age and the Kali Yuga or Iron Age.

The teachings state that as this cycle begins, the world and all of its inhabitants are totally aligned with deep spiritual principles, the natural world and shimmering realms of Divinity. It is a time of unity, splendor, grace and luminosity. However, as the cycle unfolds and these Ages metaphorically progress, from gold to silver to bronze to iron, the bulk of humanity moves further and further away from this pure, unsullied, essential knowledge and experience of spirit. As time moves on, there is a gradual distancing from the Primordial Source and descent towards an age of total materialization and concretization. With each successive Age, faith, integrity, and allegiance to spiritual values is decreased by one-fourth. The veils between the realms of spirit and matter become thicker, and our resistance to the forces of darkness becomes weaker. By the final Age of the cycle, the pure light of spirit is all but extinguished. Only a quarter of the original Divine energy of truth, virtue and integrity remains and even that energy diminishes with the unfolding of the final Age. This final stage of the cycle, in which we now reside, is known as the Iron Age. According to the texts, it is the Age our race has lived in for at least 6000 years. It is the period of time known to us today as history.

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