A Brief History of Ilsaluntë Valion and Tië eldaliéva

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Meneldur Olvarion
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A Brief History of Ilsaluntë Valion and Tië eldaliéva

Post by Meneldur Olvarion »

Of the two groups, Tië eldaliéva was founded first on the 23rd of August, 2005. Before this, I had been searching since the early-1980's for people who viewed Tolkien's Legendarium not primarily as fiction, but rather as mytho-history. [def] [def] These early searches did not produce many useful results, but I persevered until I founded the Yahoo group UTolk in February of 2005; I met Lisa (Calantirniel) – the other founder of T-e – on UTolk in May of that year and the creation of our spiritual group happened shortly thereafter.

About a year before creating the UTolk group, I had listened to an audio lecture by Bishop Stephen Hoeller of gnosis.org entitled J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gnosis for our Day. {MP3} [transcript] This made a strong impression upon me and provided the impetus to create the Yahoo group and search for like-minded people "one final time" in what was a very chaotic time in my life. It was not done in an attempt to "catch the wave" of popularity surrounding Peter Jackson's movies, as Markus supposes in his thesis, as I was only peripherally aware of them and didn't like the one film I eventually saw in the theater. It was done primarily out of a strong urge to bring something True into a world that had mostly forgotten that such a quality even existed.

At first, we attracted a plethora of 'Otherkin' (everything from elves to vampyres) who seemed to compete with one another as to how many 'halves' of each Kin-type they were ("I'm half Wood-elf, half Vampyre, half daemon, half High-elf, half..."). That was a bit confusing to me as I was never attracted to elves as an 'archetype', or to any other hominan mentioned by Tolkien: I was, rather, attracted to his ability to 'paint pictures in my mind'. That's because I am a visual thinker on the autism spectrum, and highly value that talent in story-tellers. The humanoids of all sorts were, in large part, just "part of the furniture" – I was always far more interested in the landscapes.

Another difference was that many newbies at that time wanted to use Tolkien's mythos as a minor element in whatever form of neo-Paganism struck their fancy at the moment (which from my POV, seemed to change by the week), whereas for me, being at my core observationally/scientifically-oriented, it was of primary importance to me that anything worth observing must be considered for its own sake, and that if anything remarkable comes out of the thing under observation, it must be on that thing's own merits. Or as I like to say: the signal must arise from the data.

Thus we were, even in our beginnings, a trifle different from the various overcultural expressions also interested in Tolkien's works.

Also, around this time, I began to personally develop my skills in shamanism, particularly in entheogenic shamanism, finding my Plant Ally after a number of disconcerting attempts. Within T-e, were were hard at work inventing observances (concerning which, Lisa's help in this area was invaluable) and harmonizing these incipient rituals with information from the Legendarium. It was around this time that I began to use a targeted phrase-search program (called Recoll) to mine the entire Legendarium corpus. The development of my shamanic talents rapidly merged with my default scientific mode of research to allow me to make value judgements as to what new material was or was not compatible with the Legendarium's central ideas, which was quite useful in ritual design and vetting. After about 6-8 months of this, we set up a forum and began to present our creations to the wider world to see if there was interest. As it happened, there was.

We continued to make refinements and occasional discoveries for about a year and a half, but I never really got used to the strong "elven identification" of many of the new members, something I simply didn't share. Also, during this time I had met and married my wife and we now had a new baby on the way. As anyone who has been a parent can attest, that does bring about a certain alteration in worldview all its own...

So, towards the end of 2007, Lisa and I decided to form two separate groups, with her keeping the structure and name of Tië eldaliéva, and me forming a new group called Ilsaluntë Valion (The Silver Ship of the Valar) with a more Valarin/gnostic/shamanic focus.

This is the site you are on right now, although Lisa and I are collaborating closely again and T-e has its sub-forum here.

In 2008, Lúthien – who is our webmaster as well as an expert in Sindarin – joined the IV forum and ever since has been a great help to us in keeping everything running and well organized, in addition to contributing valuable insights to many of the forum topics.

Since those early days, both T-e and IV have had people come and go as the interest generated by Peter Jackson's films died down. I believe Tië eldaliéva always had more members at any given time than we did, as Lisa does more outreach (and in the past few years, videos) than we have ever done.

As the years rolled on towards 2020, Lisa met a YouTube influencer and brought me in as a technical advisor to deal with the questions of the larger user-base. Eventually, that ended up not being viable, as said influencer wanted to bring in elements not in accord with the Legendarium, but by that time we had become used to working together again.

Lisa started doing the Tië eldaliéva videos herself beginning in mid-2020, and now you are (mostly) caught up to the present day. Although, this history has been, of necessity, very abbreviated.
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† I have been interested in Tolkien's works since I was first exposed to them at age 8.
‡ In the original Greek sense of that word meaning wisdom and knowledge. It has no essential link to "capital-G" Gnosticism, although some of their documents are interesting to certain individuals here at certain times and in certain situations.
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