The Lines of Power: Part One

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not making an entry sooner. This week and last week have been exceptionally busy for me, in all ways! The lack of posts is definetly not due to lack of things to talk about.. just that my own practice coupled with keeping my own  written records up to date has took its toll.

With that said, I’d like to move swiftly on to the topic at hand that I have chosen for this post. The title, ‘Lines of Power’, refers to the different lines and fields of energy that run through and around the Earth.  This concept plays an important part within my own tradition in understanding certain phenomena and working with them, as its seen as the arteries of the planet, which to us is the physical body of one of our Gods.  Unfortunately, this is often seen as a predominantly New Age Idea with little merit to it, due to the sometimes outlandish claims made involving all sorts of nebulous and undefined terms.

To make this core belief seem more plausible and ground it in some sense of reality,  I am going to go over several concepts to hopefully  show that the actual lines are infact several systems existing parallel to each other of a different nature, which all combine to make up the whole. More importantly, I hope to show that these conclusions are in some manner grounded in much older beliefs.

Ley – Lines Origin and Development

The most obvious and exoteric theory when talking about ‘lines of power’ is found in the concept of Ley-Lines and associated beliefs.These are very well known within New Age groups and in Popular culture as being magical lines through which ‘Earth energy’ or other such things flow. In this section I wish to show that the original concept, and the actual natures within the  Ley Lines, has become confused with other ideas to be blended into a whole that does not work as an explanation and actually detracts from the original nature and understanding of the Leys. Hopefully this will demonstrate that its several existing systems that combine to make the whole picture rather than the Leys that encompass everything.

The Ley-Line theory was originally concieved by Alfred Watkins. Watkins, a self-taught amateur archaeologist and antiquarian, believed that in a flood of ancestral memory he had gained insight onto something whilst looking over a map of Herefordshire. He saw that various prehistoric sites, such as burial mounds and standing stones fell into straight lines for what appear to be miles in length across England. From this point on, Watkins spent many years studying such alignments in the field and on maps, taking photographs, and writing books and giving lectures on his theory.

For a few years in the 1920’s, Watkins referred to these alledged alignments as ‘leys’. This was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘meadows’ or ‘cleared ground’. Watkins explanation for the leys themselves were that they were old straight traders’ tracks laid down by surveyors in prehistory. He claimed that using surveying rods resulted in the roads being built in straight lines. His use of the term ‘ley’ was in regards to the clearings on either side of the road that he logically deduced would have had to be made, due to several of them cutting through dense forest or other problematic terrain. By 1929 however, he had discarded the term ‘ley’ and simply refered to them as ‘old straight tracks’

Additionally, Watkins believed that many of the key sighting points along these old tracks evolved into sacred sites of their own over time with use, resulting in standing stones and burial mounds. He also believed that in the historic, Christian era, some of the Pagan sites became Christianised, explaining why many ancient churchs appeared to stand along his alignments.

Watkins died in  in 1935. A year after his death, the renowned occultist Dion Fortune wrote a novel, called The Goat-Foot God, in which she put forward the notion of ‘lines of force’ connecting megalithic sites such as Avebury and Stonehenge in Southern Endgland. Two years later, Arthur Lawton, a member of Wakings Straight Track Club, published a paper claiming that leys wern’t just trading roads after all, but lines of cosmic force which could be dowsed. He himself was a dowser, and had been impressed by the work done on Dowsing in both France and Germany which claimed that there were lines of force beneath standing stones and at other neolithic sites. Putting these together in his own head, he came up with his own theories about leys.

Over the next few years, this more occult theory became the one that was predominantly spread. Some of the ideas developed from it were interesting, however it soon became interspersed with some very up the air New Age claims, even including gaining an association with UFOs and Alien Channelling. To save another three paragraphs, needless to say that Watkins original idea was buried beneath this more popular conception which caught on in wider culture.

Ley – Lines : Shamanic paths and Death Roads

It has not been to relevently recently that the original ‘Ley Line’ theory has been taken more seriously. This has been spurred by finds in other countries which not only shed some interesting light on the original theory, but tie the original to more believable, real lines of psychological and spiritual power.

This revival has been spurred by the discovery of similar constructs in other parts of the world, such as the Americas. Here, straight roads can be found in relative abundance across certain areas of the landscape. Some of these roads are easily seen to be engineered features, with primary ones being 30 feet across. Even when changing direction, these roads do not bend, instead prefering to angle sharply maintain the road as straight as possible.

Several archaeological sites in Mexico contain very old straight road systems. Sometimes, altars exist on these causeways or they seem to lead to other sites of natural significance. Further south, the Maya built long straight roads, called sacbeob or ‘white ways’. These paths interconnect temples, plazaz, and Mayan cities. Now only existing in fragmentary sections. arches, ramps and other curious structures are related to the Sacbeob and according to local Mayan tradition, the physical network of the roads themselves are joined to non material, spiritual routes. Several of these are said to run underground or into the air itself.

When we examine the prevalence of these roads and neolithic artwork  influenced by straight lines across many cultures, it doesn’t take a very large leap of faith to show something is occuring on mental and spiritual level across the human spectrum.  Anthropologist Dobkin de Rios explained that she believed that they derived from entoptic patterning that occurs in the human cortex early in trance states. She explains that she believes these ‘within vision’ images are universal to every human, and adhere to a basic, specific range of constant geometrically shapes – grids, dots, spirals, lines and so on. These basic elements she explains makes up the basis of the vivid geometric patterns associated with psychoactive substances, and heightened trance states and therefore shamanic practice. As the trance gets deeper and intensifies, she explains how they can take on full fledged imagery.

This would result in straight lines, a common entropic pattern in the form of a tunnel constant, becoming associated with spirit flight and ‘crossing the hedge’ to the spirit world. It is unsurprising then that archaelogists have discovered alot of these paths are used as ‘death roads’, which some still today being used for carrying corpses to burial and material used in the construction of tombs and cemetery walls. While the evidence for such practice is more prevalent in new world locations such as Costa Rica, it’s not a large leap of faith to imagine that they were used in this capacity elsewhere. Infact, evidence continues to exist in folklore and spiritual belief for the connection between people and these death roads and other important landmarks.

It is common in areas of Oceanic and Southeast asia for houses to not be built directly infront or behind another house. This is said to be because spirits travel in straight lines, and when corpses are moved from the house for burial they must go straight out of the house.

The native americans have several interesting beliefs on this as well. Buryat tribes people bury their deceased shames in special places in the landscape, so that their spirits can act as a guardian in the afterlife over the location. In this way, they could be said to augmenting the Genius Loci of a place. These shamanic spirits are thought to travel along specified routes, called goidel. They envisage their territory being criss crossed with these invisible tracks along which the spirits of the dead shamans.

In europe, similar invisible spirit lines are thought to occur, with features like fairy passes in Ireland. These link prehistoric earthworks, upon which it was not permitted to build upon. Archaeologically, there are many strange physical linear features. These include the bronze age standing stones in Europe which pass through burial cairns, and have “blockings tones” at their ends. Even older then these are the avenue lines called “cursuses” in Britain which can be seen connecting neolithic burial mounds. In addition, in Britain ancient bog causeways exist constructed from timber – some of these straight tracks have been excavated, showing that at least one of the uses of these tracks was transporting the dead.

The folk beliefs surrounding straight versus crooked is highly interesting, especially when we consider Old Europe. Often spirit traps consisting of webs or nets of material woven over a frame or tangle threads residing in bottles were placed on paths leading to and from cemeteries, houses and at crossroads. These can still be found in use in parts of Europe today, in places such as Bavaria. The logic behind this idead was that since straight lines facilitate the travel of spirits, winding lines or other forms could confuse or perhaps ensnare them, keeping them at bay or confined. There are also some pieces of evidence that suggest that labyrinths of some kind, whether stone or hedge, were employed to similarly confuse, confine, or cause to get lost spirits that inadvertly travelled into them.  The fact that similar elements appear in Feng-shui is highly interesting, showing that this belief was across cultures, bringing us back to our earlier findings.

In such a manner, I believe that some Ley-Lines do indeed serve a function for Spirits and their travelling. In this manner, the Ley-Lines are indeed lines of ‘spiritual energy’, but relate to the spirits and not some nebulous undefined earth energy. I think that ascribing such a blanket description to the Leys does nothing useful, and only serves to take away from their potential use as a spirit road and fails to account for the human element.

In part two, I hope to cover other fields, most importantly earths magnetic field, showing that it is infact several systems that make up the actual matrix of the different types of energy that are part of the body of our planet. I hope to finish by explaining how my own tradition sees it alongside analogues – hopefully this part will less dense and long!

Thank you for reading as always.

Feel free to leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: