David Icke walks the atmospheric, megalithic stone circle site at Avebury, Wiltshire, UK giving his views on Ley Lines, Energy Vortices and Advanced Ancient Knowledge.
Ley lines are alleged alignments of a number of places of geographical and historical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths, natural ridge-tops and water-fords. The phrase was coined in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, in his books Early British Trackways and The Old Straight Track. He sought to identify ancient trackways in the British landscape. Watkins later developed theories that these alignments were created for ease of overland trekking by line-of-sight navigation during Neolithic times, and had persisted in the landscape over millennia.
In 1969 the writer John Michell revived the term “ley lines”, associating it with spiritual and mystical theories about alignments of land forms, drawing on the Chinese concept of feng shui. He believed that a mystical network of ley lines existed across Britain.
Since the publication of Michell’s book, the spiritualized version of the concept has been adopted by other authors and applied to landscapes in many places around the world. Both versions of the theory have been criticized on the grounds that random distributions of points will inevitably create apparent “alignments”.
The Malvern Hills, Alfred Watkins believed a ley line passes along their ridge
The concept of “ley lines” originates with Alfred Watkins, though Watkins also drew on earlier ideas about alignments, in particular the work of the English astronomer Norman Lockyer, who argued that ancient alignments might be oriented to sunrise and sunset at solstices.
On 30 June 1921, Alfred Watkins visited Blackwardine in Herefordshire, and had been driving along a road near the village (which has now virtually disappeared). Attracted by the nearby archaeological investigation of a Roman camp, he stopped his car to compare the landscape on either side of the road with the marked features on his much used map. While gazing at the scene around him and consulting the map, he saw, in the words of his son, “like a chain of fairy lights” a series of straight alignments of various ancient features, such as standing stones, wayside crosses, causeways, hill forts, and ancient churches on mounds. He realized immediately that the potential discovery had to be checked from higher ground when during a revelation he noticed that many of the footpaths there seemed to connect one hilltop to another in a straight line.
He subsequently coined the term “ley” at least partly because the lines passed through places whose names contained the syllable ley, stating that philologists defined the word (spelled also as lay, lea, lee, or leigh) differently, but had misinterpreted it. He believed this was the ancient name for the trackways, preserved in the modern names. The ancient surveyors who supposedly made the lines were given the name “dodmen”. Watkins believed that, in ancient times, when Britain was far more densely forested, the country was criss-crossed by a network of straight-line travel routes, with prominent features of the landscape being used as navigation points. This observation was made public at a meeting of the Woolhope Naturalists’ Field Club of Hereford in September 1921.
His work referred to G. H. Piper’s paper presented to the Woolhope Club in 1882, which noted that: “A line drawn from the Skirrid-fawr mountain northwards to Arthur’s Stone would pass over the camp and southern most point of Hatterall Hill, Oldcastle, Longtown Castle, and Urishay and Snodhill castles.” It has also been suggested that Watkins’ speculation (he called it ‘surmise’)stemmed from reading an account in September 1870 by William Henry Black given to the British Archaeological Association in Hereford titled Boundaries and Landmarks, in which he speculated that “Monuments exist marking grand geometrical lines which cover the whole of Western Europe”. He published his book Early British Trackways the following year, commenting “I knew nothing on June 30th last of what I now communicate, and had no theories”.
Examples of ley lines in Britain
Alfred Watkins theorised St. Ann’s Well in Worcestershire as the start of an alleged ley line that passes along the ridge of the Malvern Hills through several springs including the Holy Well, Walms Well and St. Pewtress Well.
In The Ley Hunter’s Companion (1979) Paul Devereux theorised that a 10 mile alignment he called the “Malvern Ley” passed through St Ann’s Well, the Wyche Cutting, a section of the Shire Ditch, Midsummer Hill, Whiteleaved Oak, Redmarley D’Abitot and Pauntley.
In City of Revelation (1973) British author John Michell theorised that Whiteleaved Oak is the centre of a circular alignment he called the “Circle of Perpetual Choirs” and is equidistant from Glastonbury, Stonehenge, Goring-on-Thames and Llantwit Major. The theory was investigated by the British Society of Dowsers and used as background material by Phil Rickman in his novel The Remains of an Altar (2006).
Perhaps relevant to the ley line argument is the existence of cursus, massive parallel imprints in the ground made by ancient man between 3400 and 3000 BCE. Ranging in length from several hundred meters to well over a kilometer, their exact function remains unknown though they are commonly believed to have been used for ceremonial processions. Many of them do encompass Neolithic graves and monuments. However, while some cursus are relatively straight, others have curves and sharp turns. This could argue that ancient Britains had little interest in moving in straight lines over a landscape.
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