The Lord of the Rings and the Esoteric Symbolism of the Abrahamic Faiths

Tolkien was a Roman Catholic and he delved deeply into the world of archetypes and symbols. Mahmoud Shelton demonstrates how Tolkien used many of these symbols in a distinctly Sufic, alchemical manner in the quest pursued by, and in the lives of, his characters. The mystical traditions of all three Abrahamic religions, while possessing their own distinct perspectives and practices, are nevertheless also very close in what one might term an Abrahamic symbolic pool which is shared by all three religions in varying alignments and semantic expressions, To speak in Sufi terms, the core of the quest is the journey of return to a realization of unity with the One. The path is love, the fuel is love, and the goal is love. Alchemy is the process of transformation that love effects.

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Alchemy in Middle-Earth: The Significance of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

Never before has the esoteric significance of the “Novel of the Century” been explained. At last its profound symbolism is made clear in light of the Hermetic tradition, establishing The Lord of the Rings to be the work of an illuminated imagination. Alchemy in Middle-earth traces J.R.R. Tolkien’s motifs to unexpected connections with Scotland, the Middle East, and legendary Atlantis, and unveils the ancient wisdom in Tolkien’s great work not only with the Alchemy of the past, but also with the living spiritual alchemy of Sufism. In the process, the mysterious relationship between the spirituality of Islam and Tolkien’s Christianity is revealed, signifying nothing less than the completion of the Grail quest at the end of an age.

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