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March 15, 2017

The Spine of Albion Review. The Backbone of Britain.

The Spine of AlbionThe Spine of Albion is an intriguing book.  It falls neatly into place as the third of a trilogy of books about long and important ley lines in Europe.

The first was The Sun and the Serpent (1990) which charts the path of the St Michael Line from Land’s End to East Anglia.

The second was the The Dance of the Dragon: An Odyssey into Earth Energies and Ancient Religion (2000) which follows the path of the major ley from Ireland to Israel.  This crosses the St Michael Line at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall.

Now there is the Spine of Albion: An Exploration of Earth Energies and Landscape Mysteries which traces the Belinus Line from the Isle of Wight to Scotland.

All three lines probably extend far beyond the start and end points mentioned in the respective books.

The Spine of Albion Review

The Spine of Albion Review - NodesThe authors, Gary Biltcliffe and Caroline Hoare, dedicated fifteen years of hard work following the line and visiting all the significant sites along its route.

As they travelled from site to site they dowsed the path of the two complimentary male and female energy lines (or dragon paths), which they named Belinus and Elen.

Wherever the two complimentary currents cross the each other on the alignment there is a node point that is of particular importance and power.

The ley line alignment itself follows a rhumb line path and the two dragon lines weave around it.  The line tracks the length of Britain at 14.5 degrees west of True North.

At each location along the line we learn a lot about its history, symbolism, and heritage.  The authors investigated the legends and folklore, and the archaeology and historical records of each site.

The book is therefore not only the story of the journey along and around the line but it is also a detailed reference book.

It is a guidebook to one of Britain’s most important ley lines.

Anyone living close to a section of the alignment who wants to visit just a few of the sites can turn to that section and glean plenty of information about each location.

The print quality is excellent with plenty of colour photos of the many churches, abbeys, earthworks, sarsen stones, trees, wells, masonry, and countless other evidence.

Inspiration and Exploration

White Horse Uffington

Uffington White Horse, or is it a dragon?

Once you start reading this book your feet will start to itch.  It’s an inspiration to start exploring the section of the Belinus line that is closest to you.

There will be sites you will want to visit for the first time.   There may be sites that are familiar to you that you will return to with deeper knowledge and understanding.

It is a book that compliments the resurgence of walking, following footpaths, and rediscovering Britain’s largely forgotten routes of pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage in Britain is usually thought of a purely Christian activity but travel along sacred paths goes back a lot further.

It is known that the early Christian monks and missionaries built their wattle and daub churches on or near existing sacred sites. By doing so and by following the old paths that interconnected these ancient sites the paths of Elen between stone circles and holy hills became paths of pilgrimage between churches and cathedrals.

Dip into the Spine of Albion, find a path, follow it, and see where it leads you.  Use this book as your guide and you’ll know what to look out for at each location.

The Spine of Albion could easily be your guidebook for an exploration of the line that could take weeks to complete.

Albion’s Legacy

St Mary's Church Uffington

St Mary’s Church, Uffington, Berkshire

We are all familiar with the fact that our busy everyday lives tend to absorb so much activity and attention that we have little left after all the supposedly important tasks are done.

Just as light pollution prevents us from gazing in awe and wonder at the stars as our ancestors did, so our attention is drawn to the modern world and all its distractions.

It takes a conscious effort to devote some time and attention to books like this but it is vitally important that we do so.

For some it will be a pleasant enough read and an armchair journey to places that they may never visit in person.  Whether you do manage to visit is not as important as being reminded of the significance of these alignments and the sanctity of the node points.

Gary Biltcliffe and Caroline Hoare’s book delivers an important message for the 21st Century.  It reminds us of how long these sacred sites have hummed with power generating the fertile atmospheres for the benefit of all.

The Cloud, Cheshire

The Cloud, Cheshire

However, these power points in the earth’s energy grid need our attention and care.  They need to be visited and and the paths need to be used lest they grow over.

Neglected networks tend to atrophy and fall into disrepair.  The result is a gradual depletion of vitality within the areas they designed to enliven.

Be part of the restoration. Buy this book and learn about the node points nearest to you.  Visit them and walk the paths that pass through them.

You will not only become fitter and happier but you will also contribute to the restoration of Albion’s network of winding paths through the hollow hills.

For more information visit the authors’ homepage: belinusline.com

Space Clearing – Clear The Cutter, Feel The Force

Space clearing, clear the clutterSpace clearing first became fashionable in the 1980s and has since become firmly embedded in our culture.  It’s not hard to see why when we know that architecture, interior design, lights, colours, and sounds have a measureable effect on moods and concentration.

There is both and art and a science to enhancing and optimising all these aspects of the spaces in which we live, work, play, and rest.

However, two things that make space clearing even more interesting and appealing is the fact that it goes beyond the physical, and that it can be practiced by anyone, even those with no talent in the more orthodox aspects of design.

Feng Shui, Bagua

The Bagua

Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, designed to harmonise rooms, buildings, and landscapes by controlling the flow of chi throughout, has spread to the West and is now widely practiced but it takes a certain amount of learning and diligence to apply it correctly.

What is the difference between Feng Shui and space clearing?
I like to think of it like this:

  • Feng Shui is all about making changes that will optimise the flow of chi in your local area earth energy network.  It’s about enhancing the Quality of Service in your network.
  • Space clearing is rebooting your network components and clearing the memory of bugs that might effect performance.

Not everyone has the time to study Feng Shui and perhaps they can’t afford to hire a consultant, so what can we do to optimise our spaces ourselves?

Happily, there is plenty we can do beyond just having a general tidy-up and doing some housework.  Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Clear The Clutter

Clear the clutterThis is the first and most obvious task.  During the course of our daily lives we accumulate so much stuff.  Our cupboards, wardrobes, and garages are full of it.  Most if it will never be used by us again but we hang on to it just in case.

Some people have so much stuff that they don’t have enough room in their houses, garages, or sheds and they end up paying monthly storage fees just to store this their stuff.  It might be out of sight but it is not out of mind as the awareness of it nags at us, even if it’s subconsciously.

We are bloated with possessions.  I suspect there are strong similarities between the obesity epidemic in Western culture and the excessive accumulation of possessions.  Some people hang on to stuff and excess body weight for similar reasons i.e. there’s an underlying emotional or mental cause.

So your first task to to clear the clutter.

You have these options but be ruthless.  Do this for every room in the house, the garage, and the garden shed.  Give thanks and let go of your unwanted stuff.

  1. Sell it. Ebay, Ziffit, or in your local paper.  Turning unwanted possessions into cash is very rewarding.
  2. Give it. Free-cycle it or give it to a charity shop.  Let someone else make use of it and enjoy the benefit of it.
  3. Dump it.  Take it to your nearest recycling centre.  Dispose of it thoughtfully.  Some recycling centres sell the best bit to raise money for charity.
  4. Store it. If it really is that important and you’ve used it within the last few months clean it and store it.

I love books and I enjoy browsing bookshops.  After I’ve read one I place it on one of my bookshelves and leave it there for a few months.  I soon run out of space for new books so every few months I give my bookshelves a thorough audit and sell or give away all those I’m highly unlikely to read or refer to again.

Some I keep because I dip into them or because they are rare but those I sell bring in a little cash and make way for new books.

Space Cleaning

There is little point in carrying out elaborate space clearing rituals and ceremonies in a dirty room with filthy windows.

You’re going to have to do some housework first.  I won’t insult your intelligence by explaining how but make sure you clean everywhere, including all corners and hard to reach areas that are above and below eye level.

Before we cleanse the more subtle atmospheres take care of the physical chores first. Pay particular attention to the windows, the eyes of the house.  Clean every nook and cranny.

This house is like the Moon – it has no atmosphere

A difficult atmosphereSpeaking of atmospheres, what are we talking about here?  Many may scoff at the idea of meditation, visualisation, ritual, or ceremony having any real effect but there is widespread acceptance of the idea that atmospheres can be generated by the presence of people.

You could cut the atmosphere with a knife is an idiom that describes how most people can sense when there is tension in the air.  It could be due to an argument between two people, a tense meeting, or an angry audience.

The spaces we occupy and the buildings that form them soak up these tensions.  If left unresolved they may dissipate over time but then again they may not and they may pollute the atmosphere until they are neutralised and removed.

Sound in the form of clapping, laughter, and cheering can diffuse tension in an audience.  The ringing out of church bells in a parish can have a similar effect on the local neighbourhood.

Holy atmosphereClapping, bell ringing, and drumming are space clearing techniques used all over the world.

The same applies to beneficial and uplifting atmospheres.  Repeated religions ceremonies over time can create an atmosphere of sanctity and stillness.  Just pop into one of those old parish churches tucked away up a country lane, sit in a pew and sense it.  It’s unmistakable.

Chanting, meditation, and rituals can make a place holy in the sense that the atmosphere is calmed and transformed into an area of stillness in an otherwise tempestuous world.

Use the Force, Luke

Creative visualisationNow that you’ve cleared the clutter and cleaned the house it’s time to get down to business with the cleansing on the more subtle levels.

The tools you use and the steps you take are best left to you to choose.  It will depend on so many things; your upbringing, culture, interests, religion etc.

Perhaps you won’t use any physical tools at all.  Perhaps you’ll just sit and meditate for half an hour as you go around the house visualising every room being cleansed.

After all, it’s what’s going in your imagination while you ring the bells or wave the smudge sticks that really counts.

Here are some of the tools that can be used.  It’s not an exhaustive list and there are some books listed below that will provide more detail about these and other methods.

  • Hand clapping – simple but effective, and you carry the tools around with you.
  • Bell ringing – Balinese bells are favoured by some but you might use an old school hand bell bought at an antique shop.
  • Smudge sticks – waft it around and fan the smoke into corners using a feather.
  • Prayers and chanting – learn the lines and repeat as necessary.
  • Meditation – full on visualisation of purifying white healing light flowing through the house and removing every last bit of non-physical dirt and grime.

The important thing is to experiment and develop methods that suit you.  In the end, it’s not the paraphernalia you use, it’s the will and intent that counts.

Try to cultivate a quiet meditative state in which your ego and self-consciousness is temporarily set aside.  While in this frame of mind visualise a connection between the Divine, the Source, God, or whatever term you’re comfortable with and the space you’re in.

See this connection acting as a conduit, a channel through which you can download a powerful boost of pure energy that gently but firmly removes all vestiges of stuck and stagnant energy.

See it acting as both a purifying and a creative force that enables anyone passing through and occupying the space to use it for their health and well-being.

Hotels and Offices

Finally, remember you can use these meditative techniques in any space, particularly those in which you need to be discrete.  For example, when travelling you can use them in hotel rooms or at work you take a few minutes of ‘mindfulness’ in which to clear a meeting room or work area.

Hotel rooms may be cleaned physically but what actually takes place in them and what residual atmosphere is left is anybody’s guess.   It could be harmless but it could also be sinister and unhealthy.

Give the room a mental space clearing cleanse soon after you first arrive not only for your own peace of mind but as a gift for the next person who uses it too.

March 8, 2017

Earth Energy Healing – Repair, Replenish, Rejuvenate

Sacred Geometry, Earth Energy Network HealingLike all other networks the earth energy network requires monitoring, change, and maintenance.  It needs capacity planning, testing, and repairs to breakages caused by misuse through ignorance, accident, and even willful and malicious damage.

Networks have a tendency to grow, to expand, and they need to be updated to cope with expanding demand.  They need to be resilient in the face of temporary outages so that traffic is re-routed when required.

If you are interested in participating in the repair and replenishment of the Earth’s Energy Network then here are a few methods.  There is a process to suit just about all character types.

Armed with this knowledge you too can be one of the Earth Energy Network Engineers, , or perhaps that should be GNE – Gaia Network Engineers

Visualisation

This is something anyone can do at any time.  It’s a method that has been used for millennia and gained a resurgence in recent decades thanks to groups like Fountain International.

Visit fountaininternationalmagazine.com for more information and to download copies of their free e-magazine.

The process is simple but effective.  Get into a meditative state and visualize a powerful channel of pure divine energy descending in column into a focal point your local community or into a node point in the planetary network.

Imagine that same light spreading through the various channels and connections within the network.  As it spread wider further afield its positive and beneficial effects are transferred into the surrounding areas.

Think of blood spreading through capillaries bringing life and energy, or pure cool water flowing into dried out and dusty pipes.

Imagine broken connections repaired in the network and light travelling through forgotten channels once again.

Best suited for: Introverts who like to meditate alone or anyone who likes to socialise and meditate with groups.

Pilgrimage

British PilgrimageWalking Britain’s old straight tracks and winding pathways is another way of bringing them back to life.

Seek out the many footpaths and make use of them.  Go on longer walks along routes that have been used for thousands of years.

As you visit any ancient site or node in the network; henges and holy wells, churches and hillforts, standing stones and tumuli etc, approach with reverence and say a silent greeting the the spirit of the place.

Give thanks as you leave.  Pay your respects just as you would behave with appropriate decorum in a mighty cathedral or quiet small church.

The British Pilgrimage Trust has more information.

We aim to revive the British pilgrimage tradition of making journeys on foot to holy places.

The Gatekeeper Trust is another organisation that does very similar and complimentary work.

The Gatekeeper Trust is a Registered Educational Charity…founded in 1980 devoted to personal and planetary healing through pilgrimage.

Best suited for: Anyone.  Also, introverts who like to walk alone or in small groups.

Fairs and Festivals

Morris Dancer, British FolkloreFairs and festivals held on or near node points on the network are another way of renewing and replenishing the energy.  Many of them begin with or involve processions along a section of the network.

These often culminate in the main fair being held on or near a holy place in the landscape.

Many of these traditions have survived into the 21st Century so if one takes place near you then be sure to go along and participate (rather than merely spectating with phone in hand).

For example, here’s a list of folklore events in May.  The same site has a list for all the months of the year.

Warning:  You may be drawn into dancing and singing.  Your antics may be filmed and end up on YouTube.  You may experience fits of uncontrollable laughter.

Best suited for:  Extroverts.  Outgoing types who always dance as if no one is watching.

Other Methods

The Gaia Method

The Gaia Method is a method of healing the Feminine aspect of the Earth’s consciousness. It is primarily a way for humanity to reconnect with the consciousness which was once known and understood as the Great Mother.

Recommended Reading

March 8, 2017

Ley Lines UK – The Old Straight Track

About forty years ago I developed in interest in ley lines.  The interest was sparked by reading about them in various books on related subjects.  It wasn’t long before I had ordered a copy of The Old Straight Trackby Alfred Watkins and other titles soon followed.

Living on the outskirts of Winchester, the ancient capital of Wessex and England, I was well placed for this new hobby.  There were ample tumuli, old churches, and earthworks to explore.

Finding alignments wasn’t easy.  This was a long time before the Web, Google Earth, and apps. The only method at the time was to buy rolled i.e. unfolded Ordnance Survey maps from the Hampshire Chronicle office and try to spot possible alignments of three or more sites of a similar age using a ruler and a variable protractor.

Do Ley Lines exist?

StonehengeIf you want an argument that debunks them then there are plenty of websites that do just that.  If you want to read of how and why they might be real then there are books and websites that do that too.

I’l not really interested in persuading you of their existence or proselytizing about a New Age fad.  If the subject interests you then you’ll probably approach it with an open mind.

If not then you’ll find plenty of reasons to scoff and will find better things to do with your time.

Glastonbury Tor Saint Michael's TowerFor example, one of the points made by those debunking them is the fact that alignments are often made up of sites that are from vastly different eras in history – a medieval church and a Bronze Age tumulus for example.

The Ley Hunter’s answer to this is that the church was built on an existing holy site.  So while the church itself may be medieval the site dates back much further.

What is a Ley Line?

At face value ley lines are (or appear to be) alignments of sites that have been or continue to be sacred and holy.

They can be made up of round barrows (tumuli), long barrows, single standing stones, stone circles, holy wells, ancient churches (built on older sacred sites), man-made notches in the landscape, ancient earthworks, and many more besides.

Ley lines may follow the routes of ancient track ways but they are not just pre-historic paths.

They may follow the length of a Roman road which in turn was built on an older road.  The older road may have been a path created by migrating deer or other animals.

However, the alignments themselves are only half the story.

cauduceus - ley lines - Hermes - ThothThe other half of the equation are the two lines of energy* that weave around the alignment.  These two meandering lines are opposites that form a balance; male and female, Sun and Moon, yin and yang if you like.

*Yes, I know, it’s that vague New Age term energy but ask an experienced dowser to show you how it’s detected in the field and you’ll at least see a demonstration of something there.

An experienced dowser might be sort that the geology, oil, water, and gas companies employ for locating fresh resources (but don’t like to admit that they do).

Think of the cauduceus.  If ever there was an apt symbol for a ley line then that is it.  Two serpents coiled around a winged straight rod and the symbol of  Hermes Trismegistus (Greco-Egyptian), Hermes (Greek), and Mercury (Roman).

There are plenty of lengthy descriptions that go into more detail.  See below for some recommended titles.

Stand Tall and Walk The Line

Walking ley linesInterest in Britain’s holy places has never really waned all that much and now it’s going through a resurgence once again.

Organisations like the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Gatekeeper Trust are encouraging people to get off the sofa and go offline.

By walking the ancient pathways you can expect to be both renewed yourself as well as participating the the process of renewal and regeneration of this timeless network.

Find out for yourself

Ley Lines UK - Following The Old Straight Track

Plotting ley lines. A copy of The Old Straight Track is on the table. Circa 1979.

Whatever your views on the reality of ley lines the process of exploring the sites expands the mind and lifts the spirit.  You will be visiting lonely and near forgotten barrows, old churches (and country pubs), and hills, trees, and earthworks.

It was to be several years later that I learned to drive and had a car of my own so at first I would cycle everywhere.   My bicycle was a heavy relic from the early days of cycling.  With a camera tripod strapped to it and a small pack on my back it was heavy and slow going going down narrow Hampshire lanes.

Later in the 1970s and early 80s I ventured further into Wessex, and to Cornwall and Wales in search of forgotten megaliths and lonely circles of stone.

Forty years later I have re-visited some of those sites and intend to visit many more.  A few years ago I took a drone out on several occasions and made a few short films of some well known sites.

Suggested Reading

There are plenty of books to pique your interest.  The research since the 1960s has been extensive and is ongoing.  Here are nine of my recommendations.  Think of these as a starter pack.  You’ll probably end up with a small library once you get bitten by the bug.

Like so many things, it is far better to read a book on the subject that to rely on dubious information gleaned through web browsing.

Where doe the path lead?

Once you put a foot on the path you are likely to be lead into all kinds of new avenues of exploration, research, and adventure.

Any study of ley lines and the earth’s energy network will inevitably include touching upon the history of Britain and elsewhere, astroarchaeology, sacred geometry, dowsing, myth & legend, folklore & local customs, the Occult, the Western Mystery Tradition, the world of Faery, Paganism & Christianity, Shamanism, and more besides.

Be prepare for raised eyebrows and the rolling of eyes.