The Tresco manuscript
and the Lore of Life, Leaf & Stone
The 'Tresco manuscript' is named for Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, where it was reputedly discovered in the 19th century.
It comprises the only documented link between Tolkien's tales of Middle-earth and our own, modern world.
As well as unique historical details, the Tresco MS contains a wealth of lore dating from the early Fourth Age, based on the 36 letters of the Fëanorian Tengwar.
In this tour you will learn the history of this remarkable document, discover its contents and explore the wisdom traditions for yourself.
In his seminal article The manuscript unveiled, Martin Baker reveals the extraordinary lineage of the "Tresco manuscript":
... a document of almost unprecedented antiquity and lineage. The material contained within the manuscript dates back - via the 9th and 10th centuries of the Common Era - to a period hitherto described only in the 'fantasy' writings of Professor JRR Tolkien.
You can view a timeline covering the history of the Tresco MS from the Fourth Age of Middle-earth to the present day.
You can also take part in our map-dowsing experiment to find the location of the missing 'Great Book of Finan' on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
In its extant form the manuscript is a collection of separate, though related, texts:
The manuscript in translation
In Martin's modern translation of Ærlinn's Notes we read the origins of the Parma Taratirion - together with descriptions of two distinct 'wisdom traditions', each derived from the Parma lore. Aerlinn also provides a wealth of historical detail concerning the first centuries of the Fourth Age, most of which is unrecorded elsewhere.
Hundred's Preface describes how the ancient texts arrived at Lindisfarne and were translated into Old-English by Herefrid and Witwaer of that house. Hundred - in whom we meet the historical Ælfwine - befriends Witmaer after the sacking of Lindisfarne and later completes the translation and recompilation of the texts, aided by the Ylfe of Scilly.
The Lore of Life, Leaf & Stone
The traditions themselves can be divided into the calendar-based "Wisdom of Life" and the divinatory "Lore of Leaf & Stone". Click here to see how they relate to each other.
In the first part of his exploration, Martin takes us behind the Wisdom of Life. Discover how the 36 letters of the Tengwar alphabet underlie the Taratiri archetypes. Uncover the calendars behind the Wheel of Visions and find out why 2001 was year one of the Seventh Age of Middle-earth.
Next, Martin takes us along the "Royal Road", with the astonishing claim that Tarot cards are ultimately and directly derived from the Taratiri archetypes of Fourth Age Middle-earth.
If you want to try out the Wisdom of Life for yourself, read on! Discover how to calculate your LIFE-vision, your lifetime Year-vision profile and your Inner and Outer Wheel of Visions. In Professor Tolkien's best tradition there are no fewer than seven appendices!
A: Calendar concordance
The calculator page can automatically generate your LIFE-vision and your Year-vision profile. Much easier than doing all the maths yourself!
In Living the Visions, Martin Baker reveals how he personally uses his LIFE-, Year- and day-visions to explore the happenings of his own life.
The divinatory systems of the "Lore of Leaf and Stone" are fully described here. This detailed article covers the "Taratir" deck of cards and how to make a set of serni stones. Aspects of divination are described, together with the Sickle and Star of the West spreads. The process of performing a reading is covered in depth.
To be continued ...