HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Calacirya

Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels

Region: Aman

Meaning: Cleft of Light

Location: A pass through the Pelóri delved by the Valar to allow the light of the Two Trees to shine on Elvenhome; contains the hill of Túna.

Description:

[All] aboard... cast looks... to that low place amid the hills where Valinor may just be glimpsed upon the far off plain; and that opening is nigh Taniquetil where is the strand of Eldamar.

The Book of Lost Tales 1, HoME Vol 1, Ch 3, The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor

Behold there is a low place in that ring of mountains that guards Valinor, and there the shining of the Trees steals through from the plain beyond and gilds the dark waters of the bay..., but a great beach of finest sand, golden in the blaze of Laurelin, white in the light of Silpion, 1 runs inland there, where in the trouble of the ancient seas a shadowy arm of water had groped in toward Valinor, but now there is only a slender water fringed with white. At the head of this long creek there stands a lonely hill which gazes at the loftier mountains. Now all the walls of that inlet of the seas are luxuriant with a marvellous vigour of fair trees, but the hill is covered only with a deep turf, and harebells grow atop of it ringing softly in the gentle breath of Súlimo.

Here was the place that those fair Elves bethought them to dwell....

The Book of Lost Tales 1, HoME Vol 1, Ch 5, The Coming of the Elves and the Making of Kôr

Even among the radiant flowers of the Tree-lit gardens of Valinor [the Vanyar and the Noldor] longed still at times to see the stars; and therefore a gap was made in the great walls of the Pelóri, and there in a deep valley that ran down to the sea the Eldar raised a high green hill: Túna it was called. From the west the light of the Trees fell upon it, and its shadow lay ever eastward.... Then through Calacirya, the Pass of Light, the radiance of the Blessed Realm streamed forth, kindling the dark waves to silver and gold, and it touched the Lonely Isle, and its western shore grew green and fair. There bloomed the first flowers that ever were east of the Mountains of Aman.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 5, Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

Through the dim ravine of the Calacirya fogs drifted in from the shadowy seas and mantled [Tirion's] towers, and the lamp of the Mindon burned pale in the gloom.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 9, Of the Flight of the Noldor

... [Alqualondë] lay upon the confines of Eldamar, north of the Calacirya, where the light of the stars was bright and clear.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 5, Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

But the memory of Middle-earth under the stars remained in the hearts of the Noldor, and they abode in the Calacirya, and in the hills and valleys within sound of the western sea....

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 5, Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië

[The Valar] fortified their land anew, and they raised up the mountain-walls of the Pelóri to sheer and dreadful heights.... [No] pass led through them, save only at the Calacirya: but that pass the Valar did not close, because of the Eldar that were faithful, and in the city of Tirion upon the green hill Finarfin yet ruled the remnant of the Noldor in the deep cleft of the mountains.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 11, Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor


Etymology
kal- (gal-)  This root, meaning 'shine', appears in Calacirya, Calaquendi, Tar-Calion; galvorn, Gil-galad, Galadriel....

kir-  'cut, cleave' in Calacirya, Cirth, Angerthas, Cirith (Ninniach, Thoronath). From the sense 'pass swiftly through' was derived Quenya círya 'sharp-prowed ship' (cf. English cutter), and this meaning appears also in Círdan, Tar-Ciryatan, and no doubt in the name of Isildur's son Círyon.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names


Notes
1Silpion: Early name for Telperion.

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 27Nov05, 7Mar10

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