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Reading the Tengwar

Primary URL for this Web page: www.modemac.com/tengwar


Magical Readings using Elvish Script

Reading the tengwar: kuru tekele ("a system of magical writing")

A method for translating a written question or statement into a series of tengwar for magical interpretation.

Reading the tengwar: apacenda ("reading the prophecy")

Interpreting the meaning of the tengwar sigils.

As I've learned about the practice of Chaos Magic, I've realized that a good exercise to engage in is the creation of an Alphabet of Desire, a "magical alphabet" that can be used in the creation of sigils and symbols. My artistic talents are minimal, and as such I found myself gravitating towards a system of writing that I've known and loved for most of my life: the tengwar, the Elvish writing system invented by J.R.R Tolkien for The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Back in my junior high and high school days during the early 1980s, my love of Tolkien was something of an obsession (in much the same way I'm enjoying my cooking today), and I had long since memorized the tengwar script and used it for writing. I consider this alphabet to be very close and personal, as a result; and as such, I feel that using the tengwar as a script for magical writing and sigils would be a way to express myself through magic. It's not just fanboy worship, nor is this an attempt to cash on Peter Jackson's upcoming Hobbit movies (though I'm crossing my fingers and hoping against hope that they will succeed as good movies). This is an expression of my own magic, using something personal that I consider a true part of myself.

In addition, I've recently been looking into the usefulness of magical reading, and how to apply this to magic. My dear friend Panik EVlynn Bedlam created her own entirely original Tarot deck, and she has had a great deal of success using it. This, in turn, inspired me to give The Book of Runes a try and discover the results. My first forays into runecasting were more successful than I had expected. This, in turn, made me wonder how I could apply this to my own magic. From this, I struck upon the idea of applying the tengwar to runecasting – and thus, I began developing the system of magical reading that you see here.

I fully admit and declare that I am little more than a beginning magician. In the same way that I am an amateur cook, and likely to be one for many years to come, I make no pretense as to my lack of long-term experience, nor my expertise (and lack thereof) in magical reading. That said, I have come to a few conclusions about magical readings that are about as accurate as I can make them.

First of all, magical readings are just that – they are not science, they are magic. They are an expression of belief based upon the willingness of the subject (either the reader or the person requesting the reading) to apply his or her own interpretation of the reading to himself or herself. In such amanner, this system is similar to all other systems of magical reading. Whether you use runes, tarot, I ching, the entrails of a goat, astrology, magic 8-ball, or Bible codes, the actual method of interpretation is the same. After generating the symbols in question, you then introduce a random element (shuffling cards, pulling runes from a bag, etc.) and assign "meaning" to the resulting symbols. From there, you then apply this interpretation to yourself, and use your own experience to determine the accuracy of the reading.

With this in mind, I offer this system for using the tengwar in magical readings. Feel free to apply this system as you like.

Some folks would see the significance of my introducing this system on the date of 12/12/12 – but, as with many occurrences in magic, this is a coincidence. It's also a partial coincidence that I developed this system at the time of the release of the first of the movies in The Hobbit trilogy. I realized that this would be a good time to introduce this to the public, as the movies are bringing J.R.R Tolkien into the public eye once again. However, this system is not based upon the movies – if it was, then I would be using the Futhark Runes instead of the Tengwar. Also, just as important: I am not selling anything based upon this system or the movies.
E.W. Modemac – December 12, 2012

I hope to produce illustrations of the tengwar and their meanings in this system in the near future, but I have no immediate plans to sell them. This is for two reasons: First, my intent is to make this reading system available for all to use, with no restrictions. Second, the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien is notorious for enforcing copyright restrictions on many fan-based uses of its works (especially ones intended to make revenue), and I have no intention of being sued.

By the way, I know about the Lord of the Rings tarot deck. I have never looked at it and I don't own a copy.