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Old 10-11-2020, 04:14 PM   #1
Animated Skeleton
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 35
monks is still gossiping in the Green Dragon.
3 Falls of 3,7,9 and Christ on the Via Dolorosa.

Linking from my statements about the Ring poem and Tolkien's use of Dante's number system.

Regarding the numbers in the Ring poem. I did some research about 4 years ago.

3, 7, 9 are the numbers representing the Fall of Elves, Dwarves and the Mortal Men. The Rings are intended to bring about their fall. Christ also fell at the 3rd, 7th and 9th stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa.

In the Liturgy on the Vatican website You can also find 3 scriptures, meditations and prayers associated with the Via Dolorosa which bear uncanny resemblance to the narratives and characters of those 3 races.

Ok I've cut loads of stuff from this. It's 47 pages long with a lot of etymologies in it. The briefest overview:-

From wiki:

In fourteenth century, Pope Clement VI achieved some consistency in route with the Bull, "Nuper Carissimae," establishing the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, and charging the friars with "the guidance, instruction, and care of Latin pilgrims as well as with the guardianship, maintenance, defense and rituals of the Catholic shrines of the Holy Land."[3] Beginning around 1350, Franciscan friars conducted official tours of the Via Dolorosa, from the Holy Sepulchre to the House of Pilate—opposite the direction traveled by Christ in Bible.[4] The route was not reversed until c. 1517 when the Franciscans began to follow the events of Christ’s Passion chronologically-setting out from the House of Pilate and ending with the crucifixion at Golgotha.[5]From the onset of Franciscan administration, the development of the Via Dolorosa was intimately linked to devotional practices in Europe. The Friars Minor were ardent proponents of devotional meditation as a means to access and understand the Passion. The hours and guides they produced, such as Meditaciones vite Christi (MVC), were widely circulated in Europe.

Although no such thing is recounted by the canonical Gospels, and no official Christian tenet makes these claims, popular tradition has it that Jesus stumbled three times during his walk along the route; this belief is currently manifested in the identification of the three stations at which these falls occurred. The tradition of the three falls appears to be a faded memory of an earlier belief in The Seven Falls;[17] these were not necessarily literal falls, but rather depictions of Jesus coincidentally being prostrate, or nearly so, during performance of some other activity. In the (then) famous late-15th-century depiction of the Seven Falls, by Adam Krafft, there is only one of the Falls that is actually on the subject of Jesus stumbling under the weight of the cross, the remaining Falls being either encounters with people on the journey, the
crucifixion itself, or the removal of the dead body from the cross.

The first fall is represented by the current third station, located at the west end of the eastern fraction of the Via Dolorosa, adjacent to the 19th-century Polish Catholic Chapel; this chapel was constructed by the Armenian Catholics, who though ethnically Armenian, are actually based in Poland. The 1947–48 renovations, to the 19th-century chapel, were carried out with the aid of a large financial grant from the Polish army. The site was previously one of the city's Turkish baths.
The second fall is represented by the current seventh station, located at a major crossroad junction, adjacent to a Franciscan chapel, built in 1875. In Hadrian's era, this was the junction of the main cardo (north-south road), with the decumanus (east-west road) which became the Via Dolorosa; the remains of a tetrapylon, which marked this Roman junction, can be seen in the lower level of the Franciscan chapel. Prior to the 16th century, this location was the 8th and last station.[1]
The third fall is represented by the current ninth station, which is not actually located on the Via Dolorosa, instead being located at the entrance to the Ethiopian Orthodox Monastery and the Coptic Orthodox Monastery of Saint Anthony, which together form the roof structure of the subterranean Chapel of Saint Helena in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; the Coptic and Ethiopian Orthodox churches split in 1959, and prior to that time the monastic buildings were considered a single Monastery.

Map of the Via Dolorosa.

So...I believe Tolkien used these numbers for that reason. The Rings were intended to bring about the FALL of the 3 races, 3,7,9 of them.

Firstly, a FALL in Tolkien's system of planar geometry consists of a TURN. A TURN is a reorientation according to the planar geometry. You can see a TURN here. That TURN in itself is 3 turns of spirit->physical ->language. Each of those turns is a 90 degree turn. Trace a line that turns 3 times by 90 degrees and you get a circle. That's the geometric equivalent of a 'closed circle' in Tolkien's scheme- the ouroborus. That circle is a Ring. In other words the Rings symbolize ourobori. And we have 3, 7 and 9 of them. So the final result is to, in total, turn by 90 degrees- through the megalithic door turning either right or left- to God or away from God. We move between left and right hands of Ilúvatar via this process= that's Tolkien's dialectic as I've stated loads of times on here (Plato The Republic). A Fall will always take you away from God.

Tolkien reveals just what these ourobori, Rings do...

As far as we can go back the nobler part of the human mind is filled with the thoughts of sibb, peace and goodwill, and with the thought of its loss. We shall never recover it, for that is not the way of repentance, which works spirally and not in a closed circle; we may recover something like it, but on a higher plane. Letter 96.

The Rings prevent a way to God because repentance works spirally and not in a closed circle. And that's why Rings = FALL. So 3,7,9 of them will equate to the falls of Christ at 3rd, 7th, 9th stations of the Via Dolorosa. The spiral goes up to God in heaven or down to Hell. There are in fact two- one goes up and one goes down depending on whether you turn left or right at the Megalithic Door. The One Ring and the Iron Crown are both ourobori, as is The Wheel of Ixion which Tolkien mentions in letter 75.

So a turn is a reorientation- for e.g. turning away from God, e.g from the West into the North. So each of the narratives of the 3 falls of Elves, Dwarves and Men will be accompanied by this process. I first discovered the TURN in 2006 in the Akallabêth. I then later demonstrated it in the fall of Denethor (see The Turn in Principle, and Practice). I touch a little on this in the section on the Dwarves.

Let's look at the 2nd part to this: the scriptures, meditations, and prayers on the vatican website.

The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam - the state of fallen humanity - and the mystery of Jesus' own sharing in our fall. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. In his First Letter, Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

1 John 2:16 King James Version (KJV)

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Straight away in the John verse, you can see the potential for correspondence between the 3 races and the 3 lusts.

From the Catechism


You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ***, or anything that is your neighbor's. Every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.300

2514 St. John distinguishes three kinds of covetousness or concupiscence: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.

The Bible scriptures, meditations and prayers in the three falls below were provided by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005 and published by the Vatican publishing house Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Pope Benedict XVI born Ratzinger served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013.

My point being the Pope is extremely well versed in the liturgy and dogma with many advisors and protocols and traditions and this would have reflected the state of this particular part of it in the the 1900s.

It's possible that Ratzinger took his inspiration from Johannis de Caulibus Meditaciones Vite Christi which were widely circulated. The work's popularity in the Middle Ages is evidenced by the survival of over two hundred manuscript copies, including seventeen illuminated ones. The popularity of the work increased further with early printed editions, with a surviving Venetian blockbook of 1497.

More research needed on the sources of those meditations and prayers.


From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:4-6

Surely he has born our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The Elves coveted the Gift of Men which was mortality which we can interpret as a kind of lust of the flesh- the flesh being the chief indicator of mortality. Mortality freed men from the circles of the world. Using the above definition of lusts given in the Catholic Catechism, Elves were guilty of the lust of the flesh. That is they coveted the gift of Men, which was the gift of mortality.

Tolkien states in his letters:
The Doom (or the Gift) of Men is mortality, freedom from the circles of the world. Since the point of view of the whole cycle is the Elvish, mortality is not explained mythically: it is a mystery of God of which no more is known than that 'what God has purposed for Men is hidden': a grief and an envy to the immortal Elves.


The doom of the Elves is to be immortal, to love the beauty of the world, to bring it to full flower with their gifts of delicacy and perfection, to last while it lasts, never leaving it even when 'slain', but returning – and yet, when the Followers come, to teach them, and make way for them, to 'fade' as the Followers grow and absorb the life from which both proceed.

The Elves are like sheep. On the awakening of the Elves Oromë finds them. The Valar decide that they must be guided to Aman for fear they will become victims of Melkor. In the Silmarillion there is a definite sense of a helpless flock of sheep being tarried by shadowy threats surrounding them:

Yet many of the Quendi were filled with dread at his coming; and this was the doing of Melkor. For by after-knowledge the wise declare that Melkor, ever watchful, was first aware of the awakening of the Quendi, and sent shadows and evil spirits to spy upon them and waylay them. So it came to pass, some years ere the coming of Oromë, that if any of the Elves strayed far abroad, alone or few together, they would often vanish, and never return; and the Quendi said that the Hunter had caught them, and they were afraid. And indeed the most ancient songs of the Elves, of which echoes are remembered still in the West, tell of the shadow-shapes that walked in the hills above Cuiviénen, or would pass suddenly over the stars; and of the dark Rider upon his wild horse that pursued those that wandered to take them and devour them. Now Melkor greatly hated and feared the riding of Oromë, and either he sent indeed his dark servants as riders, or he set lying whispers abroad, for the purpose that the Quendi should shun Oromë, if ever they should meet.
Thus it was that when Nahar neighed and Oromë indeed came among them, some of the Quendi hid themselves, and some fled and were lost. But those that had courage, and stayed, perceived swiftly that the Great Rider was no shape out of darkness; for the light of Aman was in his face, and all the noblest of the Elves were drawn towards it.But of those unhappy ones who were ensnared by Melkor little is known of a certainty.

Tolkien uses the word 'stray' which is very much a Biblical word as used in the above book of Isaiah. The description of them straying alone or few together very much suggests the process by which in individuals in herds and flocks of animals are separated from the herd.
The Elves are repeatedly described in the Silmarillion as wandering, and in their journey to Aman, slowly but surely they are fragmented and fall by the wayside for various reasons.'we have turned everyone, to his own way'.

We are told by Tolkien that the Elves have a fall before the story of Fëanor and the Noldor.

So, proceeding, the Elves have a fall, before their 'history' can become storial. (The first fall of Man, for reasons explained, nowhere appears – Men do not come on the stage until all that is long past, and there is only a rumour that for a while they fell under the domination of the Enemy and that some repented.) The main body of the tale, the Silmarillion proper, is about the fall of the most gifted kindred of the Elves, their exile from Valinor (a kind of Paradise, the home of the Gods) in the furthest West, their re-entry into Middle-earth, the land of their birth but long under the rule of the Enemy, and their strife with him, the power of Evil still visibly incarnate.
The fall of the Elves comes about through the possessive attitude of Fëanor and his seven sons to these gems.
[Letter 131].

The Fall is the whispering lies of Melkor at Cuiviénen. It certainly begins there. And note the ouroborus:- The Elves, like sheep are hunted by Melkor but Melkor persuades them that the Hunter has caught those that strayed. That's a swap of truths, an inversion. I have good reason to believe that Tolkien creates an ouroboros through many narrative means in this way in every one of his stories, that his stories are cycles- that is links in a chain. This involves the planar geometry mentioned and the TURN.

From the Liturgy..


Man has fallen, and he continues to fall: often he becomes a caricature of himself, no longer the image of God, but a mockery of the Creator. Is not the man who, on the way from Jerusalem to Jericho, fell among robbers who stripped him and left him half-dead and bleeding beside the road, the image of humanity par excellence? Jesus’ fall beneath the Cross is not just the fall of the man Jesus, exhausted from his scourging. There is a more profound meaning in this fall, as Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians: “though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men... He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8). In Jesus’s fall beneath the weight of the Cross, the meaning of his whole life is seen: his voluntary abasement, which lifts us up from the depths of our pride. The nature of our pride is also revealed: it is that arrogance which makes us want to be liberated from God and left alone to ourselves, the arrogance which makes us think that we do not need his eternal love, but can be the masters of our own lives. In this rebellion against truth, in this attempt to be our own god, creator and judge, we fall headlong and plunge into self-destruction. The humility of Jesus is the surmounting of our pride; by his abasement he lifts us up. Let us allow him to lift us up. Let us strip away our sense of self-sufficiency, our false illusions of independence, and learn from him, the One who humbled himself, to discover our true greatness by bending low before God and before our downtrodden brothers and sisters.


Lord Jesus, the weight of the cross made you fall to the ground. The weight of our sin, the weight of our pride, brought you down. But your fall is not a tragedy, or mere human weakness. You came to us when, in our pride, we were laid low. The arrogance that makes us think that we ourselves can create human beings has turned man into a kind of merchandise, to be bought and sold, or stored to provide parts for experimentation. In doing this, we hope to conquer death by our own efforts, yet in reality we are profoundly debasing human dignity. Lord help us; we have fallen. Help us to abandon our destructive pride and, by learning from your humility, to rise again.

c.f Fëanor's god-like Promethean figure, and self-destructive will..

More elsewhere...


From the liturgy at the Vatican.

From the Book of Lamentations. 3:1-2,9,16
I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light. He has blocked my way with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes.

The fall of the Dwarves is in the Moria. Correspondences. The rod is the whip of the balrog. Wrath is the balrog. Darkness and no light= Moria the Black Chasm as it becomes known. The Chant of Gimli frames both the history of the Dwarves, their fall and the current narrative and its relation between the two. The Chant forms an important part of the Riddle of Mazarbul.

The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.

There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin's halls

The path being made crooked is a reference to the TURN (see my homepage)- the Dwarves move from east to West towards the Elves. They both prosper. The Dwarves then go north under Caradhras and their Fall begins. That's a turn of 90 degrees from west to north in orientation = Spiritual orientation. That's the crooked part of the passage. The reference to their way being blocked with hewn stones is fairly obvious but we can specifically find a very good reference to it. See the heart of
stone in the rock
(Compare to two hearts in Eeriness.) The heart of stone symbolizes the stone over the door of the tomb which prevents resurrection, the Resurrection of Christ. No passage is possible through the Megalithic Door, the Straight Road, leading to Higher Truths or the Afterlife. The Straight Road leads down the centre line between the two Trees. The heart of stone blocks it. The Two trees are also the two spirals I referred to which lead up to heaven or down to hell. The Straight Road which leads over the bridge of Khazad dûm is lost and now is crooked. The cower in ashes is "ashen-cold" in Gimli's Chant.

Clearly the Dwarves are also guilty of avarice and materialistic lust of the eyes.


The tradition that Jesus fell three times beneath the weight of the Cross evokes the fall of Adam – the state of fallen humanity – and the mystery of Jesus’ own sharing in our fall. Throughout history the fall of man constantly takes on new forms. In his First Letter, Saint John speaks of a threefold fall: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life. He thus interprets the fall of man and humanity against the backdrop of the vices of his own time, with all its excesses and perversions. But we can also think, in more recent times, of how a Christianity which has grown weary of faith has abandoned the Lord: the great ideologies, and the banal existence of those who, no longer believing in anything, simply drift through life, have built a new and worse paganism, which in its attempt to do away with God once and for all, have ended up doing away with man. And so man lies fallen in the dust. The Lord bears this burden and falls, over and over again, in order to meet us. He gazes on us, he touches our hearts; he falls in order to raise us up.

We find some interesting things in the Prayer of Ratzinger on the same page...I'm arguing this corresponds to the Dwarves remember...


Lord Jesus Christ, you have borne all our burdens and you continue to carry us. Our weight has made you fall. Lift us up, for by ourselves we cannot rise from the dust. Free us from the bonds of lust. In place of a heart of stone, give us a heart of flesh, a heart capable of seeing. Lay low the power of ideologies, so that all may see that they are a web of lies. Do not let the wall of materialism become unsurmountable. Make us aware of your presence. Keep us sober and vigilant, capable of resisting the forces of evil. Help us to recognise the spiritual and material needs of others, and to give them the help they need. Lift us up, so that we may lift others up. Give us hope at every moment of darkness, so that we may bring your hope to the world.



From the Book of Lamentations. 3:27-32
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust - there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.


What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism. Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall! All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison - Lord, save us (cf. Mt 8: 25).


Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.

Immediately in the Book of Lamentations we get the sense of mortality, the Doom of Men. Fall into Godless secularism c.f the Worship of Melkor the naming of the Marian figure Galadriel to be a Sorceress.. The Downfall is intended to be the Enlightenment. In the Prayer we see the Downfall and the 9 ships of Elendil the keel of Minas Tirith. The boat about to sink is the Fellow-"ship".

The words: "when we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs," requires demonstration that the World is turned on its head at the Downfall and Man (the Church- 'She That is Fallen', She being womankind and specifically Mary) is put at the bottom of the Wheel of Fortune and the Devil, the Bull at the top. Over the course of the LoTR the World TURNS 90 degrees clockwise twice and the wheel of fortune puts Man back on top again and the Devil on the bottom.

From the verse in Lamentations: "It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust.."

This is a very relevant statement. C.S.Lewis said that the Devil wanted man to becomes cattle. Cattle of course bear 'yoke'. Oxen bear a yoke and in the Scriptures it states that Man and wife are to be best 'equally yoked'.Tolkien also uses this idea.

Tolkien uses the 4 figures of the Tetramorph of Ezekiel found in illuminated manuscripts for e.g. He assigns them to the 4 cardinal points on the Wheel of Fortune: Rota Fortunae. Eagle = W. Bull (Devil) = N. Lion - E. Man (the Loathly Lady theme) = S. The top of the wheel is the north on the map. The bottom is the south. At the end of the LotR the Eagle goes into the east and the Lion goes into the west. That's why the Eagles arrive and rescue Frodo- there are no M-e taxis. If you want me to explain tell me....
Tolkien was heavily influenced by Plato. Minas-Tirith represents the City of God and the soul of Aragorn and Arwen. The keel of the ship is a reference to the ship from Plato's The Republic- the city is described as a ship there which can be "shipwrecked". In The Republic the city is also compared to a soul. That being in Tolkien's scheme the soul of Tolkien-Aragorn and Edith-Arwen. Tolkien refers to man and woman as being shipwrecked in their relationship in his letter to Michael his son. The ship of Minas-Tirith symbolizes the shipwreck of the relations of Man and Woman after the Downfall. That goes all the way through the Akallabêth and culminates when Ar-Pharazôn seizes the Sceptre from Tar-Miriel. The whole theme of the man-woman relation-"ship" is explored in Aldarion and Erendis- they are unequally yoked. This is why the Star of the North is carried by Aragorn- provided by an obscure character form the Akallabêth called Silmarien. The "star" is the Sun, the woman, Womankind, Mary, a symbol of the the Church. She is restored to the "north" of the map, the top of the Rota Fortunae. Hence, Star of the north. The ship of Minas Tirith is a symbol. She That is Fallen, womankind and Mary, on the Wheel of Fortune must be restored to the top of the Wheel. Mary is Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea who guides the ship. The island of Númenor is an obvious ref to this. The opposite of Mary is Shelob. That's why she's called Her Lady-"ship". She is the inverse of Mary, the Whore of Babylon. More explanation needed but I've covered much of it elsewhere in my posts on this site.
The Fall of Man brings about his movement from the top of the Wheel to the bottom of the Wheel. The mouth of Man is in the dust, on the ground. In the movement of the Wheel, the positions of the Bull, the Devil and Man are swapped. In this way the Devil has turned Man into cattle. The Fall includes the theme of the Loathly Lady because the Devil has whispered his lies into the hearts of both Man and woman. Man has tried to dominate his wife- silence her, and so we get 'She That is Fallen'. At the end of the Lord of the Rings, Aragorn and the Quest restores the Sun to the north. The positions of Man and Devil are swapped. In this way he takes off his yoke that he put on in youth.

The Fall of Men is at the Downfall.

So...thought I'd post this and you might find it intriguing. This was from 4 years ago- about- and I never got around to returning to it and exploring it more. It's a work in progress and there are some important questions still unanswered.


Last edited by monks; 10-20-2020 at 05:46 AM.
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