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Valacirca (Q. "Sickle of the Valar") was one of the constellations set in the heavens by Varda to enlighten the awakening of the Elves and gathered by Varda from among the ancient stars.[1]

Valacirca is by far the most important constellation in the heavens of Arda. It is also the first to appear in the mythology that J.R.R. Tolkien begun to develop in the 1910s.[2]

Other names

In Sindarin, the name was translated as Cerch i-Mbelain. The names Otselen and Edegil were also used in reference to the seven stars of the constellation. Hobbits called it the Burning Briar (it was also referred to as the Wain in The Hobbit)[3]. The constellation is also known as the Plough, a name used in British English to refer to the seven brightest stars in Ursa Major,[4] known in US English as Big Dipper. It is unclear whether the Dwarvish constellation Durin's Crown, seen in the reflection of Mirrormere, is the Valacirca.

Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See Also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, passim.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Warm Welcome"
  4. Ursa Major at Wikipedia