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       Ley-lines:  ('Ley','lea' - 'A clearing')

('Heilige Linien' to the Germans 'Fairy paths' to the Irish, 'Dragon Lines' to the Chinese, 'Spirit Lines' to Peruvians and 'Song Paths' to the Australian Aborigines - and so on around the world).

 

Most cultures have traditions and words to describe the straight, often geometric alignments that ran across ancient landscapes, connecting both natural and sacred prehistoric structures together. Usually the names given to represent these invisible lines are translated to an equivalent of 'spirit', 'dream', or 'energy' paths. However, apart from the physical presence of the sites themselves, proving the presence of a 'connection' between them is something that researchers have found notoriously elusive.

Amongst the widely differing (and often simplistic) theories that attempt to explain why ley-lines and landscape alignments first appeared, the following theories probably say as much about us now as at any time in the past, yet we are bound to acknowledge and respect the following writers opinions and conclusions as 'they', the following few, are the giants upon whose shoulders this field of  study current sits:

 

 

   The Definition of a Ley-line:

Even though the term 'Ley-line was originally conceived  by Alfred 'Watkins, by 1929, he had discarded the use of the name 'ley' and referred to his alignments only as 'old straight tracks' or 'archaic tracks'

"It is quite useless looking for existing fragments, however old, of roads which may remain from the first track, although, as we shall see, some bits may form useful indications of its site. The changes from early days have been so many in the matter of roads. We must therefore clear our minds, not only of what we think of roads, even Roman ones, but of our surmises, and begin again." -  Alfred Watkins (4)

  • The current definition of a Ley-line according to http//:Wikipedia.en.org/ is as follows:

'Ley lines are hypothetical alignments of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths. Their existence was suggested in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, whose book 'The Old Straight Track' brought the alignments to the attention of the wider public'.

This explanation by no means completes the modern definition of a ley-line, as we cannot say for example that all alignments of stones are ley-lines, however old they are. Nor does it follow that all ancient sites were aligned deliberately, even those that appear to have been.

Alfred Watkins, the modern founding father on the subject, created the first basic set of guidelines in order to describe ley-lines according to his perception. As we have learned more about ley lines, so we have had to adapt these original guidelines in order to explain our findings, whilst keeping to the context with Watkins' original ideas.

  • Ley-Markers:

The following natural and man-made features were suggested by Watkins to be reliable ley-markers:

Mounds, Long-barrows, Cairns, Cursus, Dolmens, Standing stones, mark-stones, Stone circles, Henges, Water-markers (moats, ponds, springs, fords, wells), Castle, Beacon-hills, Churches, Cross-roads, Notches in hills, Camps (Hill-forts),

Any true Watkinsian ley requires it to have a start (or finish) point in the shape of a hill. (4)

From map and fieldwork, Paul Deveraux concluded that all Henges are likely to indicate the presence of a Ley. (2)

We can therefore begin to gauge the strength of a ley-line according to its length, accuracy of deviation, number of ley-markers and their individual significance. We can also separate ley lines into basic categories such as astronomical, funerary, geometric etc, as the following examples illustrate:

(Return to the top)

 

 

   What was the Original Purpose(s) of Ley-lines?

 

There are several developed theories on the purpose of ley-lines, many of which offer valid potential; something  which in itself illustrates the complexity of unravelling the myriad of alignments from several millennia of activity.

It is likely that ley-lines are a product of different elements from several of the following theories, being created at different times, for different purposes. The following examples are the current contenders for explaining how such a dedication to straight-lines has led mankind its present position.

It is important to recognise the distinction between ley-lines and geometric alignments.

 

  • Spirit ways and Death roads - (Funerary paths):

Although there is little direct evidence for 'religious' worship in the modern sense of the word at megalithic sites, there is certainly evidence that funerary rites were involved at several important locations (some of which may be classed a secondary use). The burial of valuable goods alongside funerary remains, placing of remains inside stone chambers underground, and alignment of funerary structures or their inhabitants with the rising sun, all attest to the fact that funerary ley-markers were not placed according to purely 'scientific' criteria, although they may also have been added to existing pre-existing ley-lines.

A number of rituals and traditions have been associated with the path taken by funerary parties. Traditionally known as 'death roads' (dood-wegen or geister-wege). The fact that 'spirit paths' are traditionally straight and seem to include the same 'markers' as ley lines significantly increases the argument for some of the leys having once served this function. Spirit lines are also invisible, and are viewed as 'tracks' or 'paths' for the movement of the spirits, which may explain why markers are often not visible from one location to another (an argument traditionally used against the existence of leys themselves).

Funerary Traditions: Watkins mentions the English funerary tradition of stopping at a crossroads and saying a prayer, a custom still practiced to this day.  Other customs involve walking around or 'bumping' churches and stones en-route. Processions are not supposed to carry a corpse twice over the same bridge and custom forbade singing or music on a bridge  Another interesting funerary-custom, still practiced into the 20th century was for mourners to carry a pebble and when they passed certain spots, throw their pebbles into a pile of previous mourners pebbles.

The 'Fairy paths' of the Irish also have folklore associated with them. There are numerous stories of houses being built over Fairy-lines and being then being destroyed or cursed. Stones, crosses, crossroads, bridges and Churches are all the same points on Watkins list of ley-markers, although it is probable that many of the alignments that involve churches and cemeteries, or which pass areas with traditional funerary rites or death rituals have been mistakenly classified as 'ley lines' as funerary paths are not necessarily always straight.  

 

  • Feng shui - (Earths Magnetic Field)

Many important ley-markers are associated with springs and water sources.

The Chinese art of 'Feng-shui', or 'wind and water', also means 'that which cannot be seen and cannot be grasped'. The duty of the practitioners of the art was to determine the flow of 'lung-mei', or 'Dragon currents'. Every building, stone and planted tree was so placed into the landscape as to conform to the 'dragon currents' which flowed along these lines. The main paths of the forces were believed to be determined by the routes of the sun, moon and five major planets. We know that the Earth is encompassed within a magnetic field. The strength and direction of the magnetic currents vary according to the position of the sun, moon and closer planets. The magnetic field is also affected. 

It is possible that this field may have been detected (i.e. through dowsing), and mapped out in the past. Noobergen (6), reminds us that the earths natural magnetism was believed to have been used to re-fertilise the soil, in the same way as the aborigines did with their 'turingas' or 'dream lines'. He also mentions that there is scientific research that shows that water is extremely sensitive to electromagnetic fields, and that as the fields are changed or influenced, so the chemistry of the water may be altered too. Horticulturalists have discovered that plants placed within a magnetic field grow more than six times faster than in normal conditions. We are able to show today that the strength and direction of the Earths magnetic currents vary according to the positions of the Sun, Moon and other planets. 

 

  • Astronomical Alignments:

The fact it took so long for us to realise that astronomy was in any way involved with megalithic culture is almost as surprising as the fact that it was ever forgotten. Although there has been a traditional resistance to this theory from the scientific establishment, we live in a time when it is finally accepted that many of the larger megalithic constructions were designed so as to be able to accurately identify celestial objects or measure their cycles.

The clear link between megaliths and astronomy can also be said for megaliths and ley-lines, as they are often found to be prime ley-markers, and intersections of several ley-lines (i.e., Arbor-Low, Avebury, Stonehenge etc).

One of the largest Leys in England, the so-called St. Michaels Ley, is aligned along the path of  the sun on the 8th of May (The spring festival of St. Michael) and can therefore be considered astronomical. This line passes through several megalithic sites before it reaches Glastonbury, (artificially shaped to follow the direction of the ley), and then on to the Avebury/Silbury complex, both significant English landscape features.

The St. Michael's Leyline.

The St. Michael's Leyline follows the path of the Sun on the 8th May (The spring festival of St. Michael).

(More about St. Michael)

The St. Michael's ley has been shown to be inter-related with several other prominent British megaliths through geometry, astronomy and an apparent knowledge of longitude/latitude, not least of all to Stonehenge. Stonehenge, whilst not being a part of the St. Michael ley, is connected with both Glastonbury and Avebury/Silbury through geometry, and also forms the crossing point of several prominent ley-lines - both astronomical and non-astronomical. The first astronomically significant ley-line to pass through Stonehenge was first identified by Sir Norman Lockyer, and later extended to 22 miles in length by K. Koop. This ley follows the path of the mid-summer sunrise on a bearing of 49° 15'. (2) Another significant ley-line to pass through Stonehenge was also identified by Lockyer, and can be shown to extend accurately for 18.5 miles. It skirts only the edge of the henge at the junction of the avenue, missing the centre (and the sarsen stones) altogether. This line runs on a bearing of 170° 45', and appears to have no astronomical significance.

The alignments at Stonehenge therefore appear to offer a fusion of funerary, astronomical and geometric practices, simultaneously connecting three of the most significant locations in southern England. Glastonbury, Stonehenge and Avebury/Silbury, which all align to create a perfect right-angled triangle, accurate to within 1/1000th part. It is from this historic starting point that we can begin unravelling the complexity of prehistoric geometry of the British landscape.

 

(More about Archaeoastronomy)

 

  • Geometric Alignments:

The previous examples have offered a indication that geometry might be involved in the orientation of some ley-lines. It is arguable that as many of the sites are aligned astronomically, and as geometry is a natural product of astronomy, the effect might be a product of 'automatic' or 'accidental' geometry within the layout of certain sites, but this does not explain geometry between sites which certainly involves surveying techniques, which in turn requires deliberate and applied mathematics (logarithms and trigonometry or their equivalent).

Sir Norman Lockyer (Astronomer-Royal), was the first 'respectable' person to recognize geometry in the ancient English landscape. He noticed the geometric alignment between Stonehenge, Grovely (Grove-ley) castle and Old Sarum (The site where the original Salisbury 'cathedral was built). The three form an equilateral triangle with sides 6 miles long, with the Stonehenge-Old Sarum line continuing another 6 miles to the site of the present Salisbury Cathedral, and beyond.

This extremely significant finding shows both that the early megalithic builders were aware of both astronomy and geometry, and combined them deliberately into their constructions. At the same time as this reasonable astonishing revelation, we are able to see how many ley-markers may have been introduced along pre-existing alignments, and it is important to know the origin of all the markers on  ley in order to accurately determine its origin and purpose.

The megalithic tradition in the British Isles can apparently be traced back to at least 3,000 B.C., if not earlier still. This tradition seems to have been based on a very sophisticated philosophy of sacred science such as was taught centuries later by the Pythagorean school.  As Professor Alexander Thom observes in his book Megalithic Sites in Britain (1967): “It is remarkable that one thousand years before the earliest mathematicians of classical Greece, people in these islands not only had a practical knowledge of geometry and were capable of setting out elaborate geometrical designs but could also set out ellipses based on the Pythagorean triangles.”

(More about Geometric Alignments)

 

  • Other Traditions:

The Aborigines of Australia tell of a 'pastage', which they call the 'dream-time', when the 'creative gods' traversed the country and reshaped the land to conform with important paths called 'turingas'. They say that at certain times of the year these 'turingas' are revitalised by energies flowing through them fertilising the adjacent countryside. They also say that these lines can be used to receive messages over great distances.

The Incas used 'Spirit-lines' or 'ceques' with the Inca temple of the sun in Cuzco as their hub. (9) The Jesuit father Bernabe Cobo referred to these 'ceques' in his 'History of the new World'. 1653. These were lines on which 'wak'as' were placed and which were venerated by the local people. Ceques were described as sacred pathways. The old Indian word 'ceqque' or 'ceque' means boundary or line. Cobo describes how these lines are not the same as those at Nazca, being only apparent in the alignment of the wak'as.  These wak'as were most often in the form of stones, springs, and often terminating near the summits of holy mountains. Documentary records made by the Spanish record that 'qhapaq Hucha' ceremonies of human sacrifice (usually children), took place at wak'as as an annual event and also at times of disaster.  In the 17th century the Roman catholic church ordered that the holy shrines along the routes be destroyed. As in Europe, many ancient holy places were built over with churches.

Elsewhere in America, fragments of ancient tracks can still be found such as the Mayan  'Sache', of which 16 have so far been found originating in Coba, Mexico. The following is a description of one found in the Yucatan;

'...a great causeway, 32ft wide, elevated from 2-8 ft above the ground, constructed of blocks of stone. It ran as far as we could follow it straight as an arrow, and almost flat as a rule. The guide told us that it extended 50 miles direct to Chichen itza (it started from the other chief town of Coba) and that it ended at the great mound, 2km to the north of Nohku or the main temple in a great ruined building'. (3)

Other ancient tracks have been found in New Mexico. These roads are barely visible at ground level and radiate from Chaco Canyon. As in Bolivia, some of these paths run parallel and others lead to nowhere. One of the major sites connected by the 'Anasazi' roads is Pueblo Alto.

The German equivalent of ley lines is 'Heilige Linien', or 'holy lines'. The area of 'Teutberger Wald', also known as the 'German heartland' has a significant network of these lines which include the Externsteine and the megalithic stone circle at Bad Meinberg.

 

  • Random Chance:

It has been suggested that there are enough prehistoric sites to play statistical 'dot to dot' with, and that a survey of English pubs and telephone boxes will yield the same level of statistical probability as determined by ley-hunters. This is a reasonable point and therefore needs to be remembered at all times. The argument of random chance is countered by the addition of folk-lore and tradition associated to ley-markers and through exhaustive research that has enabled predictions of locations of ancient tracks and ley-markers to have been later substantiated through archaeology. (4)

(Return to the top)

 

 

 

   When were Ley-lines First Made.

Exactly how old the original straight paths were is a matter of debate. We can read of ley-lines connecting offshore beneath the English channel (1), upon which basis, Behrand concluded that these particular leys must have been marked out between 7,000 BC and 6,000 BC.

We know that the European landscape was significantly redesigned using geometric principles in the middle ages by the Cathars, Knights Templar and the Holy church of Rome. We also know that a large number of the great Cathedrals Churches and Holy sites were built over earlier pre-existing pagan sites and constructions (Xewkija, Knowlton, Rudstone etc) The re-use of ancient sites can even be seen to extend back to pre-historic times such as the re-use of several large menhirs as capstones for passage-mounds in the Carnac region. It is this simple fact, combined with the observation that these same megalithic structures are invariably found to be the ley-points along which such lines are determined, that places the origin of ley-lines into the prehistoric past. (It by no means follows that all megalithic sites were placed on ley-lines).

It is not uncommon to find the terms 'ley-lines' and 'roman roads' in the same context, but it is important to draw a distinction between the two, as there is absolutely no pre-requisite for a ley-line to include roads, pathways, or any visible connection between ley-points of any kind whatsoever. It is the case however, that some ley-lines have been identified along which ancient paths or roads follow (or run alongside), and it is perhaps worth first considering the origin of these ancient tracks, and their connection with ley-lines.

In the first place, many of the long straight roads of Britain have been classified incorrectly as 'Roman Roads'. A fact that can be proven through their existence in Ireland, as noted by J. Michell, who pointed out that '...these same roads exist in Ireland, a country which never suffered Roman occupation..', then also noted the fact that '...beneath the Roman surfaces of the Fosse Way, Ermine Street and Watling Street excavators have uncovered the paving stones of earlier roads, at least as well drained and levelled as those which succeeded them'.

The same observation was made in other parts of Europe by the Romans themselves, who in their conquest of the Etruscans, noted standing stones set in linear patterns over the entire countryside of Tuscany. Romans also record discovering these 'straight tracks' in almost every country they subjugated: across Europe, North Africa, Crete, and the regions of ancient Babylon and Nineveh. Fairly conclusive then - the roads existed before the Romans. In fact, considering the scale of development in the Neolithic period approx 5,000 - 3,000 B.C. it is quite likely that they (or the first, or some at least), existed at that time too, if only to connect sites. 

 

 

   A Chronology of European Geomancers.

 
In 1740, Dr. William Stuckley, first noted that the axis of Stonehenge and the Avenue leading from it point to the north-east, 'whereabouts the sun rises when the days are longest'. He perceived the whole British landscape as laid out according to a sacred 'druidic' pattern, and etched with symbols of serpents and winged discs. At Barrow near Hull he found a great earthwork representing a winged circle, its trenches arranged so as to measure the seasonal tides of the Humber Estuary. He disclosed another near Navestock Common in Essex which now lies forgotten in a small wood, near the northern most Central-Line terminal. In his book on Avebury, Stuckley wrote:

 '...They have made plains and hills, valleys, springs and rivers contribute to form a temple three miles in length...They have stamped a whole country with the impress of this sacred character'.

 

William Black - In the 1800's, an expert on roman roads announced his theory that he had uncovered a whole system of 'grand geometric lines', radial and polygonal, which ran across Britain and beyond. He pursued his studies for fifty years before releasing the theory. They linked major landmarks in a precise manner, even defining the boundary markers of counties. Black died in 1872. (4)

Sir Montague Sharp - Working in the early years of the 20th century, he discovered a network of rectangles in Middlesex and became aware that ancient churches, which he recognised as marking pagan sites, fell on alignments. (2)

In 1904, F. J. Bennet - Published the findings on what he called the 'Meridianal lines' in Wiltshire and Kent, which apparently linked prehistoric sites and ancient churches in generally N-S alignments, often with regular divisions, based on the mile, between sites. (2)

In 1911, Xavier Guichard - The French philologist started researching the origins of ancient European place-names. He came to the conclusion that there were three basic root names: Burgus, Antium and Alesia, of which the last was unique as never having been given to a town or village founded in historic times. In its Greek form of Eleusis, the word dated from the legendary pre-Homeric times; in its Indo-European roots, Ales, Alis or Alles meant a meeting point to which people travelled. His research explored derivatives of the word 'Alesia' as far afield as Egypt (Eleusis on the Nile Delta) and Poland (Kalisz), with the highest concentration in France. Guichards' research into the people who first used the word and its true origin and meaning consumed the next 25 years of his life. He identified two invariably identifying features in connection with associated sites: 'landscaped hills overlooking rivers, and man-made wells of salt or mineral water' . He deduced that the name was associated with 'travel stops' where one could be sure of receiving these life-giving properties. His final results revealed over 400 sites in France alone, which appear to have been placed in a geodetic system extending across Europe, and centred on a remote ancient site called Alaise, near Besancon in southern France. He suggested that Europe had been divided into two 'roses-des-vents' (compass cards such as those used by Greek geographers): one of 24 lines that divided the horizon into equal segments; and one of four lines that marked the meridian and the equinox, and the solstices. This implied, he said, a knowledge of latitude and longitude, and the position of the North Pole and the Equator. Moreover he was able to trace a common distance between sites that suggested a common unit of measurement. Referring to several old cities in his native France says, “These cities were established in very ancient times according to their immutable astronomical lines, determined first in the sky, then transferred to the Earth at regular intervals, each equal to a 360th part of the globe". In 1936, and without any apparent knowledge of Alfred Watkins work on 'ley-lines', or his similar conclusions over associations with water and salt, Xavier Guichard had a book printed at his own expense called Eleusis Alesia (complete with 555 maps). Unfortunately, his home at Abbeville was bombed during the second world war, killing him and destroying almost all copies of his book. 

(More about Xavier Guichard)

 

In 1911, W.Y.Evans-Wentz, mentions the 'Fairy paths', along which invisible elemental spirits are believed to travel across Ireland. In his book 'The fairy faith in Celtic countries', he referred to them as the 'arteries' through which the Earth's magnetism circulates.

 

After the 1914-18 world war, Major F.A. Menzies, M.C., a distinguished British army engineer and surveyor, decided to live in France where he chose to investigate the energies of the earth. Major Menzies was very interested in the study of radiesthesia and while in France he was tutored by M. Bovis and other leading French exponents of radiesthesia. During this time Major Menzies became aware of the importance of the Feng Shui system of geomancy which had been developed by the ancient Chinese geomancers. He was able to see examples of the Chinese geomancers compass in certain museums in Paris, which had been brought from China by Jesuit missionaries. Major Menzies made drawings of one of these amazing compasses and eventually constructed a modified version for his own use. By learning how to use the Chinese geomancers compass in conjunction with his British army compass, Major Menzies became very proficient in locating earth energy alignments (ley-lines), and also sources of noxious energy which were creating areas of geopathic stress and ill health. Eventually, Major Menzies returned to England where, during the 1940's, he carried out research work, using both his compasses, at the ancient megalithic site of Stanton Drew, six miles south of Bristol in the south west of England. Stanton Drew is comprised of several megalithic stone circles which are said to possibly date back to 3,000 B.C. They show several astronomical alignments and are believed to have been associated with solar (fire) worship in Pagan times. While investigating these stone circles, Major Menzies had an extraordinary experience which he subsequently related to a friend and fellow surveyor, George Sandwith. Major Menzies said:

“Although the weather was dull there was no sign of a storm. Just at a moment when I was re-checking a bearing on one of the stones in that group, it was as if a powerful flash of lightning hit the stone, so the whole group was flood-lit, making them glow like molten gold in a furnace. Rooted to the spot - unable to move - I became profoundly awestruck, as dazzling radiations from above, caused the whole group of stones to pulsate with energy in a way that was terrifying. Before my eyes, it seemed the stones were enveloped in a moving pillar of fire - radiating light without heat - writhing upwards towards the heavens: on the other hand it was descending in a vivid spiral effect of various shades of colour - earthward. In fact the moving, flaring lights gyrating around the stones had joined the heavens with the earth"

Major Menzies' experience at Stanton Drew may have a direct bearing on the “fire-pillars” of ancient Phoenician tradition and elsewhere. To re-quote Rev. J.A. Wylie: “Altein is a name given to certain stones or rocks found in many districts of Scotland, and which are remarkable for their great size, and the reverence in which they are held by the populace, from the tradition that they played an important part in the mysteries transacted in former days. Altein is a compound word - al, a stone, and teine, fire, and so it signifies 'the stone of fire'….These 'stones of fire' form a connecting link between the early Caledonia and the ancient Phoenicia….The fire-pillars that blazed at the foot of Lebanon burned in honour of the same gods as those that lighted up the straths of Caledonia. Ezekiel speaks of the 'stones of fire' of Tyre, and his description enables us to trace the same ceremonies at the Phoenician alteins as we find enacted at the Scottish ones.” (History of the Scottish Nation, 1886, vol. I).

 

In 1919, Bishop Brown, studied the cup and ring markings of the 'recumbent' stones of Scotland. He found that many of them were accurately arranged to form patterns of various constellations, but in each case the image was reversed. Watkins believed that the markings indicated the paths of leys. Perhaps the two are compatible.  

 

Alfred Watkins.Alfred Watkins first became aware of the alignment of ancient British sites in the early 1920's, in what he described as:- '...a flood of ancestral memory...'.

He concluded that a feature of the old alignments was that certain names appeared with a high frequency along their routes. Names with Red, White and Black are common; so are Cold or Cole, Dod, Merry and Ley. (The last as we know,  he used to name the lines, although it has been noted that 'ley' is Saxony for 'fire'). He suggested that ancient travellers navigated using a combination of natural and man-made markers. Certain lines were known by those that most frequented them so that 'White' names were used by the salt traders; 'Red' lines were used by potters, 'Black' was linked to Iron, 'Knap' with flint chippings, and 'Tin' with flint flakes.  He also suggested that place names including the word 'Tot', 'Dod" or 'Toot' would have been acceptable sighting points so that the 'Dodman', a country name for the snail, was a surveyor, the man who 'planned' the leys with two measuring sticks similar to a snail's horns (or the 'Longman of Willington') (It is noted that the Germans have similar names such as 'Dood' or "Dud', which mean 'Dead')

Watkins maintained that leys ran between initial 'sighting posts'. Many of the 'mark stones', and 'ancient tracks' he refers to have since disappeared, a situation which is considerably unhelpful to serious research. Similarly to Guichard (above), Watkins believed that the lines were associated with former 'Trade routes' for important commodities such as water and salt. He found confirmation in this through 'name-associated' leys. Even today the Bedouins of North Africa use the line system marked out by standing stones and cairns to help them traverse the deserts. A letter to the Observer (5 Jan 1930), notes similarities with Watkins theories and the local natives of Ceylon, who had to travel long distances to the salt pans. The tracks were always straight through the forest, were sighted on some distant hill, (called 'salt-hill'), and that the way was marked at intervals by large stones (called 'salt-stones'), similar to those in Britain.

It is argued that if these leys were remnants of ancient tracks then it should have once been possible to see one point from another. Also it is noted that there are many ancient 'tracks' across Britain, such as the Ridgeway, and none of them are dead straight.

(Lecture by Watkins entitled: 'Early British Trackways'. 1921)

 

Alexander Thom showed through vigorous research that the length of 2.72 ft was a common unit of measurement (The megalithic yard), in the geometry of many megalithic monuments across Europe. He also found a smaller common unit of measurement in the spiral carvings on certain megaliths. He concluded that the megalithic builders were sophisticated astronomers engaged in a detailed study of  the movements of the heavenly bodies, incorporated into their structures over a long period of observation.

(More about the 'Megalithic Yard')

 

In 1929, Joseph Heinsch, a German Geographer, discovered geometric alignments across Germany. (i.e. Xanten cathedral), Heinsch found that the mosaic discovered in the floor was orientated towards and contained the pattern of the layout of churches in the district. Available in English translation. (5). In 1939. Dr. Heinsch,  read a paper to the international Congress at Amsterdam entitled 'Principles of Prehistoric Cult-Geography'. He concluded in his paper that the sites of the ancient 'holy centres' had been located on lines of great geometrical figures which were themselves constructed in relation to the positions of the heavenly bodies. Lines set at an angle of 6° north of due East joined centres dedicated to the moon cult of the West with those of the Sun  in the East. The regular units of measurement used in this terrestrial geometry were based on simple fractions of the Earth's proportions.

 

In 1929, Wilhelm Teudt, a German evangelical parson and contemporary of Alfred Watkins, published a book called 'Germanische Heiligtumer', which gave details of ancient site connections called 'Helige Linien'  (Holy-Lines), that were similar to the 'leys' of Britain. His work led to the discovery that vast areas of central Germany appear to have been laid out so that the ancient sites are on straight lines hundreds of kilometres long and these lines in turn form geometrical shapes. He also made a number of associated archaeo-astronomical findings.

 

In 1939, Major H. Tyler published a small volume titled 'The Geometric arrangement of Ancient Sites' (As the British museum copy was lost during the 'war' the book is virtually unobtainable). J. Michell describes in 'The View over Atlantis' how Tyler re-examined Watkins theory with the assistance of a professional surveyor. His findings confirmed and supported Watkins original hypothesis. He also realized that as more leys were plotted, it became evident that many of them shared a common intersection. In some cases, concentric circles drawn from these sites revealed other, equidistant sites. Elsewhere he found leys running parallel for several miles (putting into question their origin as pathways).  Tyler also confirmed Watkins observation that a number of 'leys' were set to mark the extreme positions of the Sun or Moon (referring to Dr. Heinsch paper of 1938). An important  conclusion from Tyler's research was that was that..

'...the ancient tracks did conform to the alignments, but that they were there before the pathways were established. The alignments were 'the remaining index of some great geometrical arrangement of these sacred sites'.

Deveraux said of him:

....'It seems to be getting clearer that all alignments are not connected with roads or tracks. He felt that the only explanation of so many alignments was that they were to do with a system of rectangular land division'. (2)

 

John Michell.

Single-handedly re-awaked  the spirit of investigation in the 1970's. He brought to the public attention the existence on the famous English 'St Michael's ley', and also revealed in 'City of revelation', the existence of a large scale geometric decagon across southern Britain, associating ley-lines with both geometry and astronomy. He claimed that the ancient Celtic 'perpetual choirs' at Llantwit manor (This location is not accurate), Glastonbury Abbey and Stonehenge were vertices of a regular decagon of majestic proportions. A fourth vertex exists at Goring-on Thames where a major pagan temple once stood at the junction of several important track ways.....The centre of the decagon is at the apparently insignificant hamlet of Whiteleaved Oak where the former counties of Hereford, Gloucester and Worcester came together. This decagon is apparently related by angle and distance to the other geomantic centres of Britain. Michael Behrend supported the concept but made two small changes to the original scheme. Sadly, Michael left us on the 24th April, 2009.

(More about the 'Decagon')

 

 

Livvio Stechinni - Stecchini believed that certain ancient oracle centres had been intentionally separated by units of 1° of latitude which he said was designed to create what he called an 'oracle octave', along which the seven major centres were placed, each devoted to one of the seven known planets, and symbolised by different sacred trees (for more on this subject refer to the 'Tree alphabet' in R. Grave's books, 'The White Goddess'), and it was this geometry, he believed, that formed the basis of the 'Eleusian Mysteries'.

Note: 'Eleusis' - 'Alaise' - 'ley' - (aisle, alley, valley)

Stecchini's theory was later included as a part of R. Temples book 'The Sirius mystery', in which he also suggested that the distribution of oracle centres embodied an ancient knowledge which had been stored in myth and tradition. Significantly, he states that the pre-dynastic capital of Egypt, Behdet 'existed before 3,200 BC', and was replaced by the city Canopus, (the same name as the star that represents the 'rudder' of the constellation Argo). He suggested that this was a connection between the two mythological narratives of the ‘Ark’ and the ‘Argo’ of the Argonauts, which he said, revealed evidence of a prehistoric system which included an understanding of astronomy mathematics and geo-metry (as in the sense of measuring the earth).

(More about the Eleusian Mysteries)

(More about the World-Grid)

 

Paul Devereux and Nigel Pennick -  Found in their book entitled 'Lines on the Landscape', that wherever the straight landscape line occurred, and where it did not have any obvious function such as a boundary or road, it appeared to have a religious significance. Their research into ceremonies and traditions and pilgrimages associated with straight tracks disclosed  a key theme connecting them which was a belief in the dead travelling along 'spirit/funerary paths', to the 'Otherworld'. Paul Devereux headed the 'Dragon Project', which tried for 10 years to record and recognize the energy that was claimed to exist at different ancient sites (specifically the Rollright stones), with results that showed anomalous 'pulsing' of the outlying King Stone with ultrasonic equipment,  higher than normal Geiger readings within the circle than outside, and that the magnetic field was significantly lower inside the circle that outside. The Dragon project also discovered that certain stones at other circles were highly magnetic (such as Easter Aquorthies which has a magnetic patch at head height). This led to research being directed to the effect of magnetic and radioactive fields on the human brain. ('The results of the 'Dreamwork' program were not available in 1999. (3) It is recognised in respect of this finding that other animal species are able to detect magnetism (pigeon migration). It is also recognised that the la-Venta 'Fat boy' (amongst others), has a naturally magnetized navel and temple.   

 

Michael Behrend - Determined that the Stonehenge, Glastonbury Tor and Midsummer Hill alignments form a 5:5:3 Isosceles triangle correct to 1 in 1000. (2)

(More about Geometric Alignments)

D. Chaundy - Found that the White-Horse hill figures of Wessex fall into what appeared to be ordered alignments and triangular configurations. (2)

 

John Barnatt  - Undertook a survey of ancient sites of Derbyshire with a computer, and found 'Challenging geomantic relationships' between them. (2)

(Return to the top)

 

 

   Examples of European Ley-lines:

 
Please Contact-Us if you know of any interesting leylines that you think should be on this page.
Belgian Ley-Lines:
The Weris Alignment - Stretches over 5km across the Belgian landscape. It includes at least 6 megaliths along its route, and as yet no astronomical orientation has been determined.           (Quick-link)
 
 
French Ley-lines:

Mont St. Michel Ley - The main church at Mont St. Michel is orientated at 26° north of true east (The same as at Notre Dame). This orientation can be extended in both directions to form an alignment with Mont Dol to the south-west, and d'Avranches to the north-east. Mont Dol is the place where St. Michel is said to have fought Lucifer.

Mont St. Michel alignment.

On the 8th of May (the spring festival of St. Michael), the sun rises over d'Avranches towards Mont St. Michel, then over Mont Dol and the huge Dol-de-Breton.

Mont St. Michel is also associated with a larger St. Michael's line, proposed to run from Ireland to Jerusalem as the following map demonstrates.

The alignment is said to extend (on a Mercatorial map), from Mount Carmel in Israel through Delos (dedicated to Apollo), Delphi, Corfu (Island of Artemis, sister of Apollo), Le Monte Gargano in Italy (primary European sanctuary of the Archangel, and place of several apparitions), La Sacra di San Michele in Piemont (Benedictine monastery at 1000m), Le Mont St. Michel of Normandie, Saint Mickael's mount, (a peaked island surmounted by a church off the coast of Cornwall), and Skellig Michael, an island to the south-east of Ireland. The angle of axis is orientated SE-NW corresponding to the zodiacal axis of virgo-pisces (7).

(More about St. Michael)

 

Portuguese Ley-lines:

Almendres, Xarez alignment, Portugal

Three of the most significant sites in Portugal are aligned in the direction of the spring full-moon, along an azimuth of 110°. The alignment starts near Evora, at the Cromeleque dos Almendres, one of Europe's oldest stone circles, which was constructed directly under the moons maximum southerly latitude (Stonehenge was built under the maximum northerly setting). Approximately 3 miles further along is the Anta Grande do Zambujeiro passage mound, the largest of its kind in all Iberia, and orientated along the same azimuth of 110°. This beautiful example of an astronomical (lunar) alignment terminates significantly at the original location of the Cromeleque da Xarez, a stone quadrangle.

(More about the Evora alignment)

 

Maltese Ley-lines:

The Island of Gozo is home to the third-largest dome in the Christian world. (Which was built over a huge dolmen) Also on Gozo, and apparently the only large megalithic construction on the island, is the Ggantija temple complex, from which it is just possible to see Malta through a notch in the hills. The sanctity of this particular location is further emphasised by the presence of the Xagra stone circle which was constructed over a 'Hypogeum' containing the remains of several hundred bodies.

The 'Ta Cenc' Dolmen, the Xewxra cathedral and the Ggantija/Xagra complex were all built in alignment across the island. The Island has an interesting geomorphic quality about it.

(More about the Gozo alignment)

 

 

English Ley-lines:   (Map Ref: No's) below, refer to lines on the: English Ley-line Map.

There are too many proposed ley-lines in Britain to show them all. The following few are some of the better known.

St. Michael's Ley (Map Ref: 1) - (Astronomical). Runs across southern England from 'Land's End' to at least Bury St. Edmonds'. Includes Glastonbury, Avebury, Walaud's Bank and The Hurlers.

(More about St. Michael)

Stonehenge Ley (Map Ref: 2) - (Astronomical). A 22 mile ley running from 'Castle Ditches' to a series of tumuli on 'Cow Down'. (Bearing 49° 15') (2)

(More about Stonehenge)

Old Sarum Ley (Map Ref: 3) -  18½ mile alignment from just north of Stonehenge to the 'Frankenbury Camp'. (Bearing 170° 45' - the same azimuth as the Glastonbury leyline. (2)

(More about Old Sarum)

Glastonbury Ley (Map Ref: 4) - 21 mile alignment running from Brockley to Butleigh. (Bearing 170° 40') (2)

(More about Glastonbury)

Rudstone Ley (Map Ref: 5) - 10 mile alignment from Willerby to 'South side mount'. (Bearing 142°) (2)

(More about Rudstone)

Uffington Ley (Map Ref: 6) - 9¾ mile alignment running from Uffington past Dragon Hill to a round-barrow south of the M4. Crosses the Ridgeway and the St. Michael's ley. (Bearing 4° 20') (2)

(More about Dragon Hill)

Devil's Arrows - Thornborough Leys (Map Ref: 7, 8) - Two alignments with a 'knee-bend' at the Devil's arrows in Yorkshire.

The first ley (Map Ref: 7), starts North at the Thornborough henges and ends at the Devil's arrows. The three Thornborough henges are believed to have been erected around 1700-1400 BC (2), over the pre-existing Thornborough Cursus. While the cursus (NE-SW), indicates a Neolithic 'linear mentality', the ley alignment follows a different azimuth, heading approximately NW-SE past the Nunwick henge towards the Devil's arrows 11 miles away.

The second ley (Map Ref: 8) can be said  to start with two of the Devil's arrows, and continues another 5 miles SSE (150° 35'), past the Cana henge, on towards the Hutton moor henge. The Devil's arrows (with at least one missing today) are known to have been transported around 7 miles to their present location (2).

(More about the Devil's Arrows)

(Map of English Ley-lines)

(Please Contact-Us if you know of any important leylines that should be on this page)

 

(Geometric Alignments)     (British Geodesy)     (Geodesy Homepage)     (Egyptian Geodesy)    

(The Nazca Lines, Peru)

(The World Grid)

 

References:

1). S. Toulson. East Anglia: Walking the ley-lines and ancient tracks. 1979. Wildwood House.
2). P. Deveraux and I. Thomson. The Ley Hunters Companion. 1979. Thames and Hudson.
3). D. Sullivan. Ley Lines: A Comprehensive Guide to Alignments. 1999. Piatkus press.
4). A. Watkins. The Ley Hunters Manual. 1989. Aquarian Press.
5). N. Pennick. Sacred Geometry. 1994. Capall Bann Publ.
6). R. Noobergen. Secrets of the lost races. 1977. Teach Services.
7). Lucien Bely. Mont St. Michel. 1999. Editions Ouest-France.

 

 
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