Walking around Rivendell we come across this pair of statues place in front of a staircase ascending to a bridge. The statues, one male the other female stand in front of the stairway holding a flaming circle. The pair symbolise the union of male and female principles and the circle they hold indicates a portal to a higher relam. The portal theme is emphasised by the stairway leading to a bridge. Rivendell, like Lothlorien is a portal or bridge to a world beyond.
Stepping back from the statue we might wonder why they are joined by a ring of fire. What is this telling us about Rivendell as a portal to a realm beyond its physical construction.
Just off from the statues we find this little sanctuary garden. In the garden we find a water fountain. The fountain has been crafted to show phoenixes in its upper structure and herons below them. The phoenix symbolises renewal. The phoenix renews itself by immersing itself in flame and then being reborn. It's female aspect is the heron. So again we find a union of male and female around the theme of fire but with another element featured:water.
So we step out to get a broader view of the whole of this sanctuary. We want to see if we can find out how this place is a portal, we know it involves the union of the feminine watery aspect and the male principle of fire.
We notice again that the phoenix appears on the columns near to our room. The stonework seems to echo the theme of fire, renewal and the portal.
We wake and realise what we have found out. Maybe the female guide carved above our bed has interceded in our dream to give us the answer. We realise that Rivendell is a living entity. If there were noone here it would still be alive. The wind blows freely through the buildings and water flows through like blood through its veins. The fire signifies the place has a soul of its own and the architecture is like a skeleton. The interiors have winding vines carved intricately which recall veins or a nervous system. The elements in Rivendell function like a living system. This sanctuary is a living, immortal being in its own right. The immortal rests here and they live on the rim of a great portal to an eternal place of healing and rest.