(Here we go, first PBP post! And I am ridiculously nervous, but let’s do this…)
In my pantheon, Aulë is one of the Aratar, or Greater Powers. I have given him the kennings of Lord of the Stone and the Lord of Mountains. In the Valaquenta (The Account of the Powers), Aulë is said to have lordship over “all the substances with which [the Earth] is made”. During the creation of Earth, he created many things together with Manwë and Ulmo, and he is said to take as much joy in the small gems that can fit in the palm of your hand as much as he does in the great mountains.
I personally have felt his energy very strongly when I’m in the mountains not far from where I live; a huge, strong, yet kind energy that thuds along with the heart. It’s not a calming sort of feeling, but it is clearing, unclogging the mind and helping me think straight. I haven’t yet tried speaking with Aulë while in the mountains, nor even just meditating, but I am looking forward to doing so.
Aulë is also the master of things made by hand, especially with great skill and dedication. Whenever I start on a project that will require careful use of my hands, such as chainmaille’ing, if the project is especially tough or worrisome, I will reach out to Aulë for reassurance, and sometimes guidance.
The most interesting thing about Aulë’s cleverness with handcrafts is that Morgoth — the Enemy, the master of destructive forces — was equal to him in both skill and thought. In the Valaquenta it is said that Morgoth spent much time undoing Aulë’s works, out of jealousy. When I look at both Aulë and Morgoth I am shown two paths that any skill can take, and which of the paths is the more rewarding and ultimately the most beautiful.
This is shown best of all in the tale of the creation of the Dwarves: Aulë, inspired by Iluvatar’s creation of Men and Elves, wished for a people of his own creation — not to rule over, but to teach his own crafts and to share his knowledge with. Iluvatar chastened him for this, for Aulë did not have to right to do so, but let Aulë put the fathers of the Dwarves to sleep beneath the earth, to awaken after Elves and Men.
Morgoth, on the other hand, created another race spoken of…if ‘creation’ is the correct word for it. He took Elves, tortured and mutilated them, until they became Orcs. Morgoth in fact could not create, despite his intellect and skill, equal to Aulë’s – all he could do was pervert and mutate what was already made.
Aulë’s colours on my altar for him are usually rich, earthy tones: deep browns, and the strong dark reds of the soil where I live. If I can, I usually light a dark brown candle for him. He enjoys handmade things as offerings — I often find myself making detailed little objects out of Sculpey or other such modeller’s clay to gift him. He is very fond of stones, especially things like bornite (peacock ore), tektites, and micah. I’ve also found that Aulë very much likes “human crafted” gemstones, such as mystic topac, Mercury mist, opalite, and goldstone.