Weve all heard of them,lines of power that criss cross the earth, but are they really lines of power? what if any effect do they have on the people who travel along them and over them? Ive been to Stonehenge where many of these lines are supposed to intersect and the overriding feeling I had was of boredom. Have the hippys sucked all the power out of them? I think someone referred to the earths magnetic field randomly generating em fields in another thread, is this relevant to them ?
Did the ancient peoples of this land believe they had some effect on their lives or is this just new age lunacy?
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Post by The Legendary Barb on Feb 19, 2010 17:33:30 GMT
Hi Pillsbury, yes I have heard of LEY lines,though only recently. I never really knew what they are ,I still dont. Are they something that has been made up, or are they the real thing. I know they are refereed too in paranormal programmes, although this could just be for effect. It will be interesting to see/read what other forum users have to say about them. This is what I like about this site you can always learn something new.
I would imagine they were once footpaths between well used and known locations (markets, towns etc). This mystical earth energy stuff is utter new age bulls*it. There is nothing mystical about a straight line that people traverse. Now we simply call them roads. There is a problem mapping them out accurately though, simply because a lot of stuff will intersect along the route. There seems to be a marketed idea that the ancients had more knowlege and a closer relationship with the earth. They were somehow keepers of mysteries lost to a technological man. Unfortunately again, its all bulls*it.
Post by The Legendary Barb on Feb 19, 2010 22:21:12 GMT
Bob, I can not say that I am disappointed in what you have posted. I had an idea that it was all a lot of tosh, made up to yet again ensnare the unsuspecting into believing what others would have them believe. All in the name of, all things spooky. Ah well never mind. ;D
your never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream[C.S Lewis]
Leys are bulls*it in terms of energy, but they do seem to have some symbolism. Living in Gloucestershire and knowing Herefordshire well I've developed a sad interest in noting them.
This is something I wrote on them some time back. Unfortunately I have mislaid the reference list:
Legend is that in June 1921 amateur antiquarian and travelling businessman Alfred Watkins stood with a map of Herefordshire on the Powys border and noticed that Stone Age and Bronze Age sites (earthworks, barrows, standing stones etc.), ancient roads and churches (sometimes built on previous sacred sites following the Christianisation of what is now England) often appeared to fall into straight alignment. Noticing the frequency at which the Saxon suffix ‘ley’ – a clearing – appeared in the place names on these straight lines, Watkins adopted to call each individual alignment a ‘ley’. In his 1925 book ‘The Old Straight Track’, Watkins outlined his discovery and drew upon his own experiences as a travelling salesman, employed by his family’s brewing business, to reach the conclusion that leys were once the routes trodden by his prehistoric counterparts. Whatever the reality of Watkins’ discovery ‘The Old Straight Track’ set minds to work and sharp tongues wagging. Establishment archaeologists refused to acknowledge that our ancestors would have the ability to build distant sites in perfectly straight alignment; the sour point being that the academic journal Antiquity refused to publish an advertisement for Watkins’ book. Meanwhile, enthusiasts set to founding the rather twee sounding Straight Track Club and conducted their own ley hunting expeditions.
The arrival of war clouds over Europe saw interest in leys decline although not before Dion Fortune released her 1935 work of fiction, ‘The Goat-Foot God’, in which leys were romanticised as carriers of mystical energy. The seeds of a myth were sown, and two years later dowser Arthur Lawton came forward with his claim that leys were dowsable veins of energy – never mind the questions hanging over his ’science’ that have time and time again proven to be more than just. Yet it was not until 1958 that the ley story would embark upon its next chapter; one based upon speculation and the word of dubious UFO contactees. UFO researcher Aime Michel published ‘Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery’, an assessment of reports from across France during the 50’s, and came to the conclusion that these unidentified objects travelled distinguishable straight routes.
Enter Tony Wedd, a devotee of the UFO and healing phenomena; variously described as ex-WWII RAF pilot, designer and artist. It is worth quoting from the website devoted to his memory to explain his ‘discovery’: ‘During the period that he [Tony] was studying the landscape around Chiddingstone and plotting the alignment of pine clumps [which he believed to have healing properties], he was also investigating local UFO sightings as they occurred, and was, in fact, the local representative of the International UFO Observer Corps, whlch had been set up by the journal Flying Saucer Review. One sighting, which he mentions in Skyways and Landmarks, happened at about 4 o’clock in the morning of Tuesday 23rd August 1960. Mrs. Everest who lived just under the hill at Mark Beech, saw a pulsating red and white object, moving in a rough north-west directlon, more or less along the line of a ley from the pine clump on Lyewood Common. About a week before and a week after that sighting UFOs had been seen at Keston Mark, also in Kent. As Tony records: "The conjunction of the two place-names was too big a hint to miss – and I began to suppose from that date that the saucers’ crews knew about the leys.” Tony had already suspected that something of the sort was true, however, several years previously. His reference in Skyways and Landmarks to Buck Nelson is significant here. Nelson was one of the contactees, and Tony already had his book ‘My Trip to Mars, the Moon and Venus’. One sentence in it now struck him with significance: "The Space People tell me that the places where magnetic currents cross is comparable to a crossroads sign." The idea was that the flying saucers appear to travel along certain well-defined lanes and execute a "falling leaf" manoeuvre at the "crossroads" point before setting course along another line was put forward by Aimé Michel in 1958 in his Flying Saucers and the Straight Line Mystery. Tony suddenly realised the significance in the word "sign" in the quotation from Buck Nelson. The sentence would be complete without it. "Places" must mean places on Earth and "signs" must relate to some features on the Earth’s surface. It suddenly fitted into place: the lines along which the saucers travel are actually identical to leys and the crossroads signs are the ley mark point.
There you have it: magnetically powered UFOs travelling in straight lines across the earth, sucking the energy from leys and using pine trees as markers. Wedd attempted to back his theory by taking a trip across the English Channel and studying sites where Michel had chronicled UFO sightings. Here he again found his pine trees and became convinced of his findings. All very well and good but Wedd’s theory falls down on a number of counts. Firstly, the word of alleged contactee Buck Nelson is taken as fact when there is no solid evidence to support his often outlandish claims. For example, Nelson claimed to have piloted a UFO to Venus and is also alleged to have profited from the sale of alleged extraterrestrial Saint Bernard hair! Secondly, what is there to suggest that the UFO sightings plotted by Michel were extra-terrestrial in origin rather than cases of misidentification, hoax or otherwise? Finally, trees such as the Scots Pine are amongst the most common evergreens in Northern Europe and are particularly widespread in Southern England. At least the Nazis had the sense to use more distinguishable markers such as church spires on their WWII bombing raids over England. As you would expect, Wedd found numerous sympathisers and even founded his own society, The Star Fellowship, to welcome alien visitors to Earth. However, by his death in 1980 the space people were yet to arrive en masse and in public.
Despite the flaws in Wedd’s theory, it attracted sufficient followers to do more than scratch the surface of public belief. A succession of authors began to further interest, best chronicled by author Paul Devereux on his website: ‘In 1972, Janet and Colin Bord published their extremely widely-read book, "Mysterious Britain", in which they summarised all the New Age thinking about leys and powerfully mixed this with many photographs of ancient monuments and themes from folklore.
In 1974, The Ley Hunter editor, Paul Screeton, published his book, "Quicksilver Heritage", in which he further amplified ideas about leys, earth energies and mystic, occult themes. Another book came out by John Michell at this time, as well, called "The Old Stones of Land’s End", in which he described alignments of standing stones in Cornwall, at the southwestern tip of England. This was classic Alfred Watkins ley hunting, and was good fieldwork, standing in quite a contrast to the more New Age ‘energy’ ideas about leys being peddled almost everywhere else. In this same year of 1974, the first article on leys was published in the USA by the then president of the American Society of Dowsers. The author, Terry Ross, had read the Bords’ Mysterious Britain and he talked only about leys as being lines of energy. This was picked up and amplified by various elements in the New Age movement in America. In the USA, leys were energy lines, and there was little or no knowledge of Alfred Watkins, or the original old straight track theory.’
Oddly enough John Michell also did much to cement the mythical view of leys in his 1969 book ‘The View Over Atlantis’ in which he discussed leys in terms of geomancy and possible energy currents circling the planet. His argument was that leys are identical to ‘dragon lines’, measurable magnetic currents that circle the planet. From Earth Mysteries: ‘The science of feng shui, literally "wind and water", recognized that certain powerful currents and lines of magnetism run invisible through the landscape over the whole surface of the earth. The task of the geomancer was to detect these currents and interpret their influences on the land through which they passed. These lines of magnetic force, known in China as the "dragon current", or lung-mei, existed in two forms: the yin, or negative, current represented by the white tiger, and the yang, or positive, current, represented by the blue dragon. The landscape will display both yin and yang features; gently undulating country is yin, or female, while sharp rocks and steep mountains are yang, or male. It was the aim of the geomancer to place every structure precisely within the landscape in accordance with a magic system by which the laws of music and mathematics were expressed in the geometry of the earth’s surface. The landscape itself may be manipulated in order to achieve the harmony sought through the placement or adjustment, or removal, of trees or rocks, or bodies of water. Every feature of the landscape may be contrived to produce an effect which ultimately is perceived as beautiful; indeed, perceived beauty in a landscape may in fact be simply when the lines of the dragon current are in balance.’ As Michell convinced himself that leys and dragon lines were identical there were those who followed suit without undertaking any research necessary to substantiate the claims.
Energy carrying leys had seemingly become factual in the public psyche, but with little in the genuine way of research to confirm or deny things, was it any wonder? In 1977 then editor of the Ley Hunter magazine, Paul Devereux, finally undertook some much needed research on the ley phenomemon. He founded ‘The Dragon Project’, a study of supposed strange energies which manifest at ancient sites. Based at the Rollright Stones, just inside the Oxfordshire border with Gloucestershire, volunteers monitored various sites for a variety of factors including magnetism, ultrasound and radioactivity. Psychics and dowsers were also invited to find the alleged earth energies attached to sites on leylines. The results are published in Devereux’s ‘Places of Power’, although subsequent Ley Hunter editor Danny Sullivan neatly describes the findings of The Dragon Project: ‘The conclusion was that apart from variable and rare anomalous features in the earth’s geomagnetic field, natural background radioactivity and ultrasound there was no evidence at all for an unknown ‘earth force’.’ Devereux himself has been more blunt by stating ‘a lot of the talk about energies at sites is just…crap, quite honestly. It’s just belief systems that are regenerated by people who don’t actually do research’.
Even in light of The Dragon Project the notion of leys as carriers of mystical energies remains a popular one in the public eye. It seems that belief can be a very tough barrier to break down. Until this mysterious energy makes itself known on a wider scale all claims of their power is just speculation. The onus is therefore on the believer to produce evidence which backs their claim. So, if leys are not energy carriers, ancient track routes or navigational aids for extraterrestrials, what are they? There are hardline sceptics that entirely dismiss the concept of the ley as nothing more than a succession of chance alignments. Alfred Watkins had defined a ley as being a straight alignment upon which certain features could be found (these include ancient mounds and barrows, standing stones, moats, holy wells, wayside crosses, ancient crossroads, beacons, hill camps and forts, ancient castles and churches built prior to the Reformation). To each feature Watkins awarded a ‘points value’; a total of four or more points suggesting to him that the ley was far more than a chance alignment. Noting this, Robert Forrest undertook his own study of landscape alignments and concluded that Watkins’ four point ley was not statistically significant. Not one to shy away from the possibility of examining what really lies behind the ley question, Paul Devereux and Nigel Pennick provided Forrest with details of a number of known leys considered ‘genuine’ and asked for a statistical analysis as to the likelihood of their statistical authenticity. Infuriatingly the results proved inconclusive.
Remaining with Devereux and Pennick, the pair made a curious discovery as to the ground covered by many straight landscape alignments. These typically coincided with ancient paths and roads which seemed to possess links with religious processions, ceremonies and pilgrimages, each of which seemed linked to a belief in spirits of the dead, or their passage. Such a discovery may not seem particularly important at first glance, but it was to prove revolutionary in explaining a considerable proportion of alignments, although certainly not all. But why were these routes straight? Some suggest that spirits prefer to travel in straight lines – although others claim the opposite! Likewise, it was once a widely held belief that the route taken by a funeral procession subsequently became a public right of way … and what better route to take than that which was most direct, especially as once travelled it became considered cursed for future processions to deviate from funeral paths.
Here it is worth mentioning that many funeral processions in rural areas had to travel long distances with their burden in sometimes atrocious weather conditions. As such, a straight route was perhaps necessary.
From the roots of Alfred Watkins’ trade paths, the humble landscape alignment has grown into a much greater phenomenon to which all kinds of claims have been attributed. The notion that leys are some form of mystical energy carriers appears to be founded upon little more than speculation and some wishful thinking. Although some would consider this statement harsh, the onus remains with the believer to provide some solid proof of these mythical powers. Similarly, those who attribute all leys to nothing more than chance alignment conveniently opt to ignore Devereux and Pennick’s research into the ritual use of certain straight routes as spirit paths or funeral roads. Danny Sullivan neatly summarises contemporary thinking in an article that appeared in the Autumn 1997 edition of 3rd Stone. He draws upon the ritual significance of straight alignments to our ancestors and concludes ‘Watkins saw the remains of archaic spirit lines, medieval corpse ways and church road alignments and hundreds of chance alignments. He didn’t recognise what he saw and chose to weave a theory around the remaining evidence shaped by his own personal experience. The decades of wild speculation that buried his original vision have relegated ley hunting to the academic sidelines whilst all the time archaeologists, anthropologists, geographers and folklorists have been advancing our knowledge of the archaic landscape line, side-stepping the excesses of the energy line modellers and twig twitchers.’
. There seems to be a marketed idea that the ancients had more knowlege and a closer relationship with the earth. They were somehow keepers of mysteries lost to a technological man. Unfortunately again, its all bulls*it.
I agree with that Bob. There seems to be this perpetuation of the myth of 'the wisdom of the ancients' that's a central tenet of new age beliefs - as if we've some how 'lost' something as we've embraced scientific thinking and progress. It manifests in all areas of new age booshat - from the Pyramids to Crystal Healing and everything from hopi ear candles to astrology and anything with the word Spiritual or Healing in it.
Ley lines are a prime example and much mentioned by the Dowsing community - all probably total sh*te of course and not a scrap of valid evidence to lend any credibility to the believers claims.
You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
Shortest travel time between two points is obviously a straight line (I'm not even going to get into curved space). Straight lines seem the most logical travel path, so obviously anywhere where there are travellers, you will find straight travel routes. It saves time, doesn't overcomplicate things and sometimes you can use line of sight to see your destination.
I recommend some further research particularly in a pub called “The Ley Arms” in Kenn, Devon. They do a very nice pint and you can read about all the location of the pub which is supposedly situated on a Ley line from somewhere to somewhere else !! I’m not sure it makes the beer taste any nicer but it could be used as a marketing point ;-)