Ship of the Moon

The vessel on which the last Rose of Silpion was placed and set up in the skies = the Moon as envisioned in Tolkien’s earliest mythology (BoLT1).

Details and Comments

From BoLT1; "The Tale of the Sun and Moon” :

“Of Vírin now he (Aulë) built a marvellous vessel, and often have men spoken of the Ship of the Moon, yet is it scarce like to any bark that sailed or sea or air. Rather was it like an island of pure glass, albeit not very great, and tiny lakes there were bordered with snowy flowers that shone, for the water of those pools that gave them sap was the radiance of Telimpë. Midmost of that shimmering isle was wrought a cup of that crystalline stuff that Aulë made and therein the magic Rose was set, and the glassy body of the vessel sparkled wonderfully as-it gleamed therein. Rods there were and perchance they were of ice, and they rose upon it like aëry masts, and sails were caught to them by slender threads, and Uinen wove them of white mists and foam, and some were sprent with glinting scales of silver fish, some threaded with tiniest stars like points of light - sparks caught in snow when Nielluin was shining.”

The myth of the Moon is remarkably beautiful as told in the BoLT1!

Here it is how the various stages of the Moon are explained:

“Thus was the Ship of the Moon, the crystal island of the Rose, and the Gods named it Rána, the Moon, but the fairies Sil, the Rose and many a sweet name beside. Ilsaluntë or the silver shallop has it been called, and thereto the Gnomes have called it Minethlos or the argent isle and Crithosceleg the disc of glass.”

“So comes it that for fourteen nights men may see Rána's bark float upon the airs, and for other fourteen the heavens know it not; while even on those fair nights when Rána fares abroad it showeth not ever the same aspect as doth Sári the glorious……..Ilinsor's bark is heavier and less filled with magic and with power, and fareth never above the skies but saileth in the lower folds of Ilwë threading a white swathe among the stars. For this reason the high winds trouble it at times, tugging at its misty shrouds; and often are these tornand scattered, and the Gods renew them. At times too are the petals of the Rose ruffled,and its white flames blown hither and thither like a silver candle guttering in the wind. Then doth Rána heave and toss about the air, as often you may see him, and mark the slender curve of his bright keel, his prow now dipping, now his stern; and whiles again he sails serenely to the West, and up through the pure lucency of his frame the wide Rose of Silpion is seen….. Then indeed is the Ship of the Moon very fair to look upon, and the Earth is filled with slender lights and deep quick - moving shadows, and radiant dreams go with cool wings about the world, but Lórien has ruth amid his gladness, because his flower bears yet, and will for ever, the faint marks of its bruising and its fall; and all men can see them clearly.”

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