Sunday, September 27, 2015

Blood Moon

     Tonight, a red mood greeted the earth. It did not linger, lasting only a mere hour, but it left its mark. Thinking of the blood moon, and of Tolkien's concept art of the surface of the moon, I beheld this spectacle with a question in mind: What makes Tolkien's concept of enchantment inherent to things? A fog appears and Frodo is lost in the barrows, Tom Bombadil sings away old trees. Why do these things have power? What is "enchantment," and how is it natural. Perhaps the blood moon will prompt your answers to these questions, or simply enchant you for its hour on earth.

2 comments:

Varda said...

I think aspects of enchantment in fiction and in reality are one in the same, strictly for the obvious reason that fiction can only really be derived from manipulations of our reality; however, enchantment itself appears to me as a form of evoking feeling both in fiction and in reality. Enchantment is natural, and yet is unnatural in the way that it cannot really be explained. When I glanced at the blood moon last night, I felt reflective, as though I needed to ponder the true vastness of the universe and consider how small I am in the scheme of things. When we, as humans, are found in silence amongst the natural elements of our world, we are enchanted by nature because it reminds us to think about our own purpose and lives, and it makes us feel something. When surrounded by fog, we are afraid because, not only are we somewhat limited in our vision, but we are encompassed by the overwhelming sense of quiet. A sense of enchantment causes the world to stop; aside from the source of the enchantment, we are left only with our thoughts and the sound of our own breath. Enchantment is beautiful in the most intimidating way.

Uinen said...

We have talked about Tolkien's ties to old mythology for quite a while now. A lot of pagan and ancient religions denoted nature as spiritual or having their own spirits.
Why are these things alive? They have spirits in them. Old trees swallowing hobbits may not be as obvious as a Tree Ent, however, there is still a living element about each of these trees.
In the case of the fog, spirits were also used to describe natural phenomena as well.
And this belief is still around today in modern pagan religion. Now, trees and plants and the rest of nature may not be alive in the sense of Tree Ents and natural phenomena being autonomous spirits, but all things are considered alive and working in a sort of system. There are also branches of pagan religion that don't retain this idea of spirituality.
Religious belief and ancient mythologies, I think, are still the main driving force in Tolkien's use of enchantment and power in natural objects.