"The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien has inspired more commentary, creativity and following than arguably any other modern-day work of art or literature. Surprisingly, it has also been interpreted by--and, thus, embraced by--the adherents of such wildly divergent philosophies as neopagans and evangelical Christians." Lord of the Rings: True Mythology
"In making a myth, in practicing 'mythopoeia,' and peopling the world with elves and dragons and goblins, a story-teller ... is actually fulfilling God's purpose, and reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light." J.R.R. Tolkien [emphasis added]
"...the thing seems to write itself once I get going...." The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, page 91.
"Harry Potter and Frodo Baggins, Tolkien's protagonist, will soon battle not only evil but also each other for the hearts and minds of a generation," wrote Brian Carney in the Wall Street Journal article, Tolkien runs rings around Potter, back in December. "If there is any justice in the world, Frodo should win."
The race isn't over. Both studios bet their success on top-selling books and on the soaring popularity of myth, magic and mystical forces in our post-Christian world. Harry Potter's theme and thrills are simpler, more readable for today's visually oriented youth. But Tolkien's sophisticated mythology has gathered a huge following through the decades.
Both stories involve wizards, spells, mythical creatures and magic charms. Both demonstrate the battle between a mythical "good" and evil. Both pit heroic "white" magic against dark menacing occultism.
But Potter wields his "good" magic in an obviously occult setting with no claim to Christian symbolism. In contrast, Frodo, the hobbit hero of "The Lord of the Rings" lives in a world that supposedly reflects Biblical truth and Christ's redemptive love. But does it?
Does Frodo's suffering really represent the suffering of Christ? Does wizard Gandalf's self-sacrifice typify the crucifixion? Many Christian fans argue "yes." If they are right, what do these comparisons actually teach us about truth and redemption?
Or might this popular "gospel" be distorting God's truth? Perhaps Tolkien himself can provide some answers.
The man and his message. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) was a man of many contradictions. For example:
Back in 1969, he wrote a letter affirming that "the chief purpose of life, for any one of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks." Yet the primary focus of his life was his mythical Middle-earth, headed by a distant and impersonal "God" who might confuse rather than clarify the nature of the Biblical God.
In his personal letters (many are included in a book titled The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien), he expressed caution toward occult practices. But he equipped his team of mythical heroes -- the fellowship of the Ring -- with the pagan powers that God forbids. For example, "Gandalf [a helpful wizard] is able to wield potent magic... To do battle with the forces of darkness, Gandalf the Grey can call upon not only his spellcraft, but also his staff of power and the Elven sword Glamdring."
A staunch Roman Catholic, he affirmed his faith in the One God who created the universe. But his mythical God stopped creating before the work was finished, then turned the rest over to a group of lesser gods or "sub-creators." In other words, Tolkien invented a hierarchy of deities that defied the Biblical God's wise warnings concerning both real and imagined idolatry.
You won't meet those gods and spirits in The Lord of the Rings, for their creative work finished long before the current story began. But this strange creation story laid the foundation for all the other parts in Tolkien's many-faceted tale. It also helps us understand the author's thoughts and evaluate the message he spreads through his popular myth.
Dr. Ralph C. Wood, Professor of English at Baylor University and an expert on Tolkien's work, described those "lesser gods" or ruling spirits. Notice that the reigning God sounds more like the aloof deity of deism than the caring God of the Bible. Other "gods" would fit right into Norse and Celtic mythology (two areas of research that fascinated Tolkien):
"At the top stands Ilúvatar, the All-Father, corresponding roughly to the One whom Christians call God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth. From him all things proceed, and to him all things return. He is the beginning and the end, the One who shapes all events to his own purposes. He... only rarely intervenes in his Creation, preferring instead to work through... fifteen subordinate beings....
"ManwĎ, the Good and Pure.... is most concerned with air, wind, clouds, and the birds that fly. ManwĎ's spouse is Varda, the Exalted. She made the stars, established the courses of the Sun and Moon, and set the morning and evening star Erendil in the sky. Thus is she known to the elves as Elbereth (Star-Queen) and Gilthoniel (Star-Kindler). She listens to the cries of both men and elves in order to come to their aid and succor.
Next comes Melkor ("He who arises in Might"). Ilúvatar gave to him greater power and knowledge than to any of the other Valar.... He desired to have his own power to create things out of nothing--to give them true Being--as the All-Father did. So he searched in the Void for the Flame Imperishable, disturbing the original Music which Ilúvatar had created to keep the Timeless Halls in harmony....
Ulmo ("pourer, rainer") is... lord of waters... he dwells in the Outer Ocean or in the waters underneath Middle Earth, governing the movement of all oceans and rivers. Ulmo cares greatly for the Children of Ilúvatar, advising them by direct appearances, by dreams, or through the music of waters....
"Irmo ("master of desire") is the author of visions and dreams...." emphasis added
Together, Ilúvatar and the lesser gods suggest an unbiblical blend of impersonal monotheism and personal polytheism, for only the lesser gods become involved in the lives of the people. In contrast, Christian faith rests on a clear understanding of God as He has revealed Himself in His Word. He alone is Creator and Lord of all, and He continues to be intimately involved in the lives of His people. He does not delegate that Lordship to any other deity.
Of course, myths and stories can't be held accountable to reality. Unlike God's absolute truth, myths are changeable -- a timeless product of man's subjective search for meaning. Birthed in the human imagination and subject to human dreams, they are free to twist and stretch any "truth" they supposedly illustrate. We see this process in classrooms across the country, where the world's myths are altered in order to provide the "right" kind of models for the envisioned global spirituality. (See Establishing a Global Spirituality: http://crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/4-Global%20Spirituality.html).
Tolkien, himself, assures us that he didn't intend to teach Biblical reality through his mythical fantasy. In a 1956 letter he wrote, "There is no 'allegory' -- moral, political, or contemporary -- in the work at all. It is a 'fairy-story' ... [written] for adults. 232 Later he continued,
"It is, I should say, a 'monotheistic but 'sub-creational' mythology.' There is no embodiment of the One, of God, who indeed remains remote, outside the World, and only directly accessible to the Valar or Rulers. These take the place of the 'gods', but are created spirits...."
Yet, many Christians argue that Tolkien's spiritual hierarchy does indeed parallel the Biblical account. Even Tolkien, in spite of his denials, has compared parts of his myth with corresponding aspects of truth. But the obvious similarities tend to confuse rather than clarify Biblical truth. For Tolkien's myth twists Scriptures enough to change their meanings and muddle the true nature of God. Like the serpent's temptation in the garden, Tolkien's illusions of truth appeal to human feelings and may lead to deception.
For example, his elves and wizards -- the creatures empowered with magical skills -- enjoy the certainty of unconditional eternal life. But humans do not. Their lives -- with rare exceptions  -- must end with their physical death.
Instead of the Christian's hope of eternal life, Tolkien's world offers re-incarnation -- but only for a select group. This popular notion defies the Scriptures that tell us that "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment..." [Heb 9:27] Concerned about this contradiction, the manager of a Catholic bookstore asked Tolkien if he might have "over-stepped the mark in metaphysical matters." Tolkien wrote this response,
"'Reincarnation' may be bad theology (that surely, rather than metaphysics) as applied to Humanity... But I do not see how even in the Primary world any theologian or philosopher, unless very much better informed about the relation of spirit and body than I believe anyone to be, could deny the possibility of re-incarnation as a mode of existence, prescribed for certain kinds of rational incarnate creatures."
Since Tolkien denies any supposed allegorical link between his myth and Biblical truth, it's not fair to hold his stories accountable to that truth. Nor is it wise to continue claiming that they teach us God's truth. Those who do could easily be tempted to lower their guard, set aside discernment, internalize the fascinating suggestions and be drawn to occult images -- the opposite of God's warning in Romans 12:9: "Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good."
The movie version of The Lord of the Rings idealizes occultism and cheers the pagan practices used by "good" characters. Like Star Wars, Harry Potter and the world's pagan cultures, it seduces its fans into an imaginary world that pits "white" or benevolent magic against dark, evil magic. Both sides of this imagined "battle between good and evil" use occult practices that God forbids. (Deut 18:9-12). Those who walk with Him, cannot delight in what He calls evil.
The fellowship of the Ring. Tolkien's talent as a storyteller, gives life to this mythical world. He makes sense of the deadly ambitions of the power-hungry Lord Sauron who serves the evil Melkor. Therefore, the wizardry we would shun in the real world becomes a welcome solution in the context of this story:
A young Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, has inherited the Ring from his uncle, Bilbo Baggins. Unlike many previous owners, Frodo resists the impulse to keep the ring and use its magic for selfish purposes. Instead, he sets out on a difficult journey to destroy the cursed Ring in the fires of Mount Doom where it once was forged. But he can’t do it alone.
Three of his loyal Hobbit friends join the team: Sam, Merry and Pippin. So do Aragorn and Boromir (two humans), Legolas (an elf) and Gimli (a dwarf). With help from three other powerful elves, the wizard Gandalf guides them along the way. Tolkien describes his nature:
"Gandalf is not, of course, a human being (Man or Hobbit). There are naturally no precise modern terms to say what he was. I would venture to say that he was an incarnate 'angel'.... with the other Istari, wizards, 'those who know', an emissary from the Lords of the West, sent to Middle-earth as the great crisis of Sauron loomed on the horizon. By 'incarnate' I meant they were embodied in physical bodies capable of pain and weariness...."
"Why they should take such a form is bound up with the 'mythology' of the 'angelic' Powers of the world of this fable. At this point in the fabulous history the purpose was precisely to limit and hinder their exhibition of 'power' on the physical plane, so that they would do what they were primarily sent for: train, advise, instruct, arouse the hearts and minds of those threatened by Sauron to a resistance with their own strength.... The wizards were not exempt, indeed being incarnate were more likely to stray, or err. Gandalf alone fully passes the test, on a moral plane anyway. For in his condition it was for him a sacrifice to perish on the Bridge in defense of his companions.... Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted and enhanced and returned."
Gandalf really 'died' and was changed.... 'I am Gandalf the White, who has returned from death'."
This incarnate "angel" wouldn't fit into the host of Biblical angels. But he could well fit in the hierarchy of "devas" or "angels" and ascended masters in the elaborate spiritual system called Theosophy or "Ancient Wisdom." Founded by Madame Helena Blavatsky, this esoteric blend of Hinduism and Western occultism received its doctrines from "ascended masters" or spirit guides such as Djhwal Khul who channeled his messages to the medium Alice Bailey.
The allure of Atlantis. The legendary Atlantis played an important part in the Theosophical world view -- just as it did in Tolkien's grand mythology. In the Secret Doctrine, written for the Theosophical Society, Madame Helena Blavatsky told about "revelatory spirits from the Orient" who brought insights from Atlantis and described its people as one of humanity's seven "root" races.
Countless other leaders and mystics, authors and psychics have dreamt of Atlantis. They include the "sleeping prophet" Edgar Cayce (who linked it to "Mayan land"), Rudolph Steiner (founder of Waldorf Schools) and Dr. Shirley McCune, keynote speaker at the 1989 Governor's Conference on Education in Kansas. In her book The Light Shall Set You Free (based on channeled messages from various angelic beings or ascended masters), she writes,
"The Atlanteans operated on this superior level of existence, connected to their Higher Selves. With the fall of Atlantis, humanity experienced a struggle for survival and became aware of the lower self, dominated by the will of the ego. Now after thousands of years of evolution, most people have forgotten ... how to connect with higher dimensions...."
Tolkien paints a similar picture of Atlantis. He put the legend into the First Age of his mythical history. The destruction of Atlantis came in the Second Age. The Lord of the Rings takes place in the Third Age. But they all fit together:
"The particular 'myth' which lies behind this tale... is the Downfall of Numenor: a special variety of the Atlantis tradition. That seems to me so fundamental to 'mythical history' -- whether it has any kind of basis in real history.... that some version of it would have to come in.... "
"Numenor is my personal alteration of the Atlantis myth and /or tradition, and accommodation of it to my general mythology. Of all the mythical or 'archetypal' images this is the one most deeply seated in my imagination, and for many years I had a recurrent Atlantis dream: the stupendous and ineluctable wave advancing from the Sea or over the land, sometimes dark, sometimes green and sunlit." emphasis added
"Numenor," explained Tolkien in an earlier letter, "topples and vanishes for ever with all its glory in the abyss. Thereafter there is no visible dwelling of the divine or immortal on earth.... So the end of the Second Age draws on a major catastrophe...."
Myth and inspiration. In "Lord of the Rings: True Mythology," an introduction to a series of articles on Tolkien, Leadership U (sponsored by Christian Leadership Ministries) notes that "Many critics have scorned the trilogy as mere escapism, but Tolkien saw it as discovered reality, that his mythmaking was an attempt to uncover what is real in the clearest way possible: 'true myth.'" [emphasis added]
Tolkien's mythical reality sounds a bit like an oxymoron. Myth, by standard definition, implies something other than reality. Tolkien himself denies the link between his myth and God's truth. Still, that link lingers in many contemporary minds -- especially among those who love the story. But can it represent Biblical reality?
Leadership U continues, "Biblical imagery, many claim, abounds within the tales--which actually contain no explicit mention of God, Christ or worship. This seeming ambiguity has left much room for neopagans and others to point out the abundance of gods, spirits, sprites and other mythical and pagan characters in the text."
Today's culture is well accustomed to ambiguity. We see it in ads, in political propaganda, in the new laws being passed.... Lofty promises are in; defining terms are out. The latter clarifies and allows rational choices rather than feel-good conformity.
To see through some of Tolkien's ambiguity, one might look at his sources of inspiration. Once again, Tolkien expert, Professor Wood, can help us out. In his review of Verlyn Flieger's A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkien's Road to FaĎrie, he acknowledges that Tolkien was influenced by 19th century Romantics such as George Macdonald," since his friend and literary companion C. S. Lewis was also decisively shaped by them." He continues,
"What comes as a genuine shock is the news that Tolkien's mind and work were marked by the fictional dream-journeys of George Du Maurier, by the psychic experiences of Charlotte Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain, by the time-travel fantasies of H. G. Wells....
"Flieger has shown us a darker, less cheering Tolkien than many of his Christian apologists have acknowledged. Here again she is right: Tolkien was a man whose faith was shadowed and doubt-filled.... Yet if the worth of a critical study lies in its illumination of an author's main work, then Flieger's book must be faulted even as it is to be praised. She fails to illuminate The Lord of the Rings nearly as much she explains two minor works that interest few folk other than Tolkienian archivists....And because she finds Tolkien entertaining notions of reincarnation and psychic time-travel and occult experience at these particular points in his fiction, she assumes that they are at work everywhere in his work.
"Flieger is right to contend that Tolkien shared their neo-gnostic critique of our century's decadent and violent materialism. Yet she fails to see that Tolkien also resists what is spurious in the attempt to have God without incarnation or cross or resurrection--in short, to have God without God...."
Yes and no. On this point, ambiguity reigns. Tolkien's mythical world does include a "God without God." A God is there, but not the cross or resurrection. Christians, like pagans, may interpret him in whichever way best fits their worldview or satisfies their lust for imaginary flights into the occult realms of magic and mysticism.
Terry Donaldson, the Founder and Director of the London Tarot Training Centre makes this imaginary flight seem easy.. Already steeped in occult practices, he packaged his interpretation of Tolkien's myth in an attractive gift box. It's title reveals its nature: "The Lord of the Rings Oracle: A Mystical Pack with Middle-earth Cards, Map, and Ring for Divination and Revelation." The back explains:
"The realm of the Middle Earth lies within each of us, so cast the gold ring over the map, and foretell the future through the cards. The Lord of the Rings Oracle is a new and extraordinary divinatory system based on the bestselling Lord of the Rings... a story laden with mysterious magic."
Surrounding the gift box were Harry Potter books and a multitude of more recent publications on witchcraft, palmistry, tarot cards and spell casting. Together they show the growing acceptance of a forbidden world once regarded with a sobering caution.
This spiritual shift has taken many Christians by surprise. For others, it took little more than an initial glimpse into occult mysteries to stir curiosity and cravings that drove them ever deeper into the unseen world their minds have unlocked.
The Lord of the Rings is no exception. Decades ago, when witchcraft and wizardry were hidden from public view, young "Middle-earth" visionaries had no real-life place to test the new suggestions. That has changed. Through books, local covens, the Internet and other available sources, seekers can easily find tutors and practices that turn wizardly fantasy into practical occult reality. This sobering fact makes our world today radically different from the times when Tolkien and his friends shared their stories with each other.
Friendship with C. S. Lewis. Did Tolkien really lead the unbelieving Lewis to a saving faith? Many Christians would answer "yes" -- and therefore assume that Tolkien's myths would teach a Christian message. Walther Hooper, Lewis' last personal secretary, gives us a partial glimpse of that event.
"Lewis became an atheist when he was fourteen," wrote Hooper in Tolkien: A Celebration, a collection of essays. Apparently, the teenager was frustrated by teachers who viewed pagan beliefs as "nonsense." When they wouldn't show "how Christianity fulfilled paganism or how paganism prefigured Christianity," young Lewis concluded that Christianity was equally "nonsensical."
His mind was changed on the night of September 19, 1931, the "most momentous of his life. Lewis had invited Tolkien and Hugo Dyson, a teacher at Reading University, to dine. By the time Tolkien left Magdalen at 3 a.m. Lewis understood the relationship between Christianity and paganism." A month later, Lewis wrote the following letter:
"Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it Really happened: and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God's myth where the others are men's myths; i.e. the Pagan stories are God expressing Himself through the minds of the poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through what we call 'real things' ... namely, the actual incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection."
Maybe Lewis did, at that moment, receive Christ as Savior and Lord. But this statement falls far short of such assurance. Two other accounts fill in some of the pieces.
According to Colin Gunton, Professor of Christian Doctrine in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College, London, the three friends were discussing the truthfulness of myths. Lewis questioned the compatibility of Christianity and paganism, and Tolkien explained why myths "are not lies:"
"Man is not ultimately a liar. He may pervert his thoughts into lies, but he comes from God, and it is from God that he draws his ultimate ideals ... Not merely the abstract thoughts of man but also his imaginative inventions must originate with God, and in consequence reflect something of eternal truth.
"In making a myth, in practicing 'mythopoeia,' and peopling the world with elves and dragons and goblins, a story-teller .. is actually fulfilling God's purpose, and reflecting a splintered fragment of the true light."
The God of the Bible has a far lower view of the human imagination than does Tolkien, and He certainly does not take credit for its mythical speculations. Instead, He warns us repeatedly that "the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth." [Genesis 8:21, NKJ] While Tolkien seems to view Christianity and oneness with Christ from a universal perspective, God tells us that only those who are "born of the Spirit" can understand His truths and receive His thoughts. And even this select group is easily tempted to imagine or "invent" unholy myths and images.
Another report, C.S.Lewis and Emil Brunner: Two Mere Christians, by Mark McKim, tells us that Lewis "was in part led back to Christianity as a result of his love for and knowledge of the great pagan myths. In Christianity, he concluded, the hints and suggestions in pagan thought were fulfilled.... For the rest of his life, and throughout his writings, Lewis would assert that non-Christian faiths could be the entre to Christianity."
Like Dr. Hooper, Mark McKim included a portion of Lewis' letter to Arthur Greeves:
"...if I met the idea of sacrifice in a Pagan story I didn't mind it at all: again if I met the idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself... I liked it very much and was mysteriously moved by it: again, that the idea of the dying and reviving god . . . similarly moved me provided I met it anywhere except in the Gospels. The reason was that in the Pagan stories I was prepared to feel the myth as profound and suggestive of meanings beyond my grasp even tho' I could not say in cold prose 'what it meant'. Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth: a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with this tremendous difference that it really happened...." emphasis added
Lewis was wrong in calling the gospel "a true myth" that works "on us in the same way as the others." The gospel is made alive in us by the work of the Holy Spirit, not by human imagination. God's mercy has always reached out to pagans around the world through the sacrificial lives of faithful missionaries. But His gift of salvation comes through His Word and Spirit. Believers who were formerly oppressed by occult forces were transformed in spite of, not because of their pagan beliefs.
Commenting on the same "momentous" event, historian Glenn J. Giokaris wrote,
Lewis had insisted myths were lies but Tolkien responded, 'they are not . . . We have come from God, . . . and reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal-truth that is with God. Indeed, only by myth-making . . . can man aspire to the perfection he knew before the fall.'
"This conversation led Lewis to see that the relationship between the images of literature and the myth of truth was such that myths inevitably led to a point where myth comes together with God to form reality. Eleven days later, C.S. Lewis wrote to Arthur Greeves, 'I have passed from believing in God to definitely believing in Christ-in Christianity. My long night walk with Dyson and Tolkien had a great deal to do with it.'" emphasis added
Finding God through "myth-making" can easily lead to compromise. And when "myth comes together with God" it produces an illusion of Biblical faith -- a faith based on a misleading blend of truth, myth and human philosophies. We see this deceptive process today in the post-modern church movement (see: http://www.hfe.org/resource/articles/postmod.htm). But long ago, God told us to --
"Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables [myths]. But you be watchful in all things..." 2 Timothy 4:2-5
To be ready and watchful, we need to fill our minds with God's truth, not enticing myths. We need to put on the whole Armor of God (http://kjos.to/text/articles/armorofgod.html)-- a set of vital truths about God and of our source of righteousness, peace, faith and salvation -- then take our stand on His Word and refuse to compromise, no matter how unpopular our position.
Those who trust their imagination more than God will neither see God's greatness nor tolerate those who follow Him. That's why Jesus continues to warn His disciples,
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.... If they persecuted Me they will persecute you... for they do not know the One who sent Me." John 15:19-21
1. "Lord of the Rings: True Mythology" at http://www.leaderu.com/focus/tolkien.html
2. Quoted by Colin Gunton, Professor of Christian Doctrine in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King's College, London. His article first appeared in the King's Theological Review (Vol. 12, No 1), in 1989. Included as a chapter in Tolkien: A Celebration, edited by Joseph Pearce (London: Fount, 1999), page 130.
3. Brian M. Carney, "No contest. Tolkien runs rings around Potter" (November 30, 2001) at http://interactive.wsj.com/articles/SB1007090082966403280.htm
4. The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, editor (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1981), page 400.
5. Jude Fisher, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Visual Companion (Boston: Nw York, 2001), page 57.
6. The Letters, page 284.
7. Dr. Ralph C. Wood, " Tolkien's Cosomogony" at http://www.leaderu.com/humanities/wood-cosmogony.html
8. The Letters, page 235.
9.But, says, Tolkien, "there always seems to be exceptions; and so certain 'mortals' who have played some great part in Elvish affairs, may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome." The Letters, page 198.
10.The Letters, page 189.
11.The Letters, page 202.
12. The Letters, page 201.
13. Norma Milanovich and Shirley McCune, The Light Shall Set You Free (Albuquerque, NM: Athena Publishing, 1996), pages 104, 38.
14. The Letters, pages 197-198.
15. The Letters, page 361.
16. The Letters, page 156.
17. "Lord of the Rings: True Mythology" at http://www.leaderu.com/focus/tolkien.html
18. Dr. Ralph Wood, "A Question of Time: J. R. R. Tolkien's Road to FaĎrie" at http://www.leaderu.com/humanities/wood-review.html
19. Terry Donaldson, The Lord of the Rings Oracle (New York: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc., 1998). "The Lord of the Rings Deck & Book Set includes the tarot and card game deck plus a spread sheet for card readings and The Lord of the Rings Tarot Book, by Terry Donaldson. Donaldson's discussion of the cards wends through Tolkien's works, traditional tarot inspirations, astrological associations and original spreads and meditations. The Lord of the Rings Tarot is the ultimate guide for all visitors exploring Middle-earth via the tarot."
20. Walter Hooper, "The Other Oxford Movement: Tolkien and the Inklings." Included as a chapter in Tolkien: A Celebration, edited by Joseph Pearce (London: Fount, 1999), pages 184-185
21. C.S.Lewis to Arthur Greeves, 18 October 1931, in They Stand Together: The Letters of C.S. Lewis to Arthur Greeves (1914-1963), ed. Walter Hooper (New York: MacMillan, 1979), 427. McKim's essay: http://capo.org/premise/98/july/p980715.html.
22. The Philosophical Journey of C.S. Lewis at http://www.stanford.edu/group/ww1/spring2000/Glenn/Lewis.htm by Glenn J. Giokaris. This paper was used in a history class at Stanford University.
"I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be perceived in this mode." The Letters of J. R. R Tolkien, page 131.
Copyright (c) Kjos Ministries. All rights reserved. Used by permission.