Moving up the steps we can make out more of the star mosaics. We can also get a glimpse of Varda’s feathered dress. Her sandals are modeled after an ancient European type. I try to incorporate ancient history, mythic and religious symbology into my Middle-earth paintings. Tolkien did this in his writings by referring to the historic and mythic cultural memory of the European peoples.
The eagle sitting next to Varda is ready to take flight. Eagles play a major role in Tolkien’s stories so I thought one would be appropriate on the heights of Taniquetil.
Looking past the eagle we can see part of the Bay of Eldamar. This view is inspired by my time on mountain tops in Alaska and the Alps.
Looking to the right of Varda, two Ravens swoop down over the Bay of Eldamar. From the top of Taniquetil, one can make out the Pelori mountains. These were created by the Valar to defend against Melkor.
Taniquetil reminds me of the high seat of Odin from where he could view the world. From this peak, he would send two ravens, Thought and Memory, out each day to inform him of the happenings of Middle-earth.
One can make out the steps leading to the high seat upon which Varda sits. The mosaic designs were inspired by Tolkien’s sketches for the devices of the Elves.
In her left hand, she holds a vessel containing the silver dews from the vats of Telperion. Stars emerge from it ready to be placed in the sky.
The sky is filled with newly created stars that become the Milkyway.
In ancient times the sight of the returning flocks of birds confirmed the cycles of nature, and that once more the fertility of the land would be restored. Birds since ancient times were sacred and magical animals for this reason. Many tales from ancient Europe involve goddesses or spiritual beings shapeshifting into swans or other birds. This is why Varda wears a dress of feathers. In Middle-earth the feathers denote a magical and spiritual being.