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The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Like 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
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.
Walking 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 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.
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.
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.
If 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.
For 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.
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.
The 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.
Interest in Britain’s holy places has never really waned all that much and now it’s going through a resurgence once again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Empire’s should be measured by their legacy, not their longevity. Quality, in terms of what influences endure, is how to judge an empire’s contribution to the world. The British Empire’s legacy is one that has had a positive effect on the lives of billions.
It’s ironic to watch people complain and condemn, in English, the British Empire and its colonies in a medium invented by an Englishman (the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee).
It’s reminiscent of that sketch in Monty Python’s Life of Brian in which the rebel leader asks the question, “What have the Romans ever done for us?!”
One by one the answers come: the aqueduct, sanitation and public health, the roads, irrigation, medicine, education, the wine (very popular), public baths, public safety, and peace.
Of course it’s true that there were terrible events, cruel people, catastrophic errors of judgement and other examples of the corruption of the human soul but then there were all these things in every empire before or since.
If the British Empire is to be judged only on these aspects then so must every other one and it’s surprising just how many there have been.
The capacity for cruelty and barbarism at one end of the spectrum, and spiritual, artistic, and scientific achievement at the other end is something that all humans possess.
The net result is that the British Empire may not have lasted the longest but it was the biggest (23.8% of the world’s land area) and its influence is being felt all over the world today, and that’s likely to continue for many years ahead.
The list of British inventions is long and comprehensive. It covers just about every aspect of human life. If you want a more detailed list you can divide this down into lists of English, Scottish, and Welsh inventions.
All the above are practical things. They are inventions that have contributed to the worlds of engineering, medicine, agriculture, science, technology etc.
They have enhanced people’s lives making them better and more productive. They have enriched and improved the lives of billions.
The list of inventions don’t take into account Britain’s contribution to the world in terms of everything from art, culture, music, government, architecture, and language, to sports, the postal service, and sense of humour.
The English parliamentary and judicial systems were adopted and absorbed by many former colonies. English is the first language of over 400 million people. It’s also spoken and understood by about 1.5 billion people around the world.
Oh, and let’s not forget what we won the Battle of Britain and held out against the Nazis when the rest of Europe was under the jackboot.
Despite all this, mention the British Empire anywhere and you’re likely to provoke some vitriol from those obsessed by the Slave Trade. Briton’s make an easy target for these arguments because we are, generally speaking, open and honest about our country’s past.
However, the people who cannot see anything else but this part of our history are often the same ones who seem unable to confront the Arab nations about their participation in the northern and eastern African slave trades.
Nor can they admit to the uncomfortable truth that many Africans become wealthy by participating in the slave trades with both the Europeans and the Arabs.
It should be apparent, even if it is only grudgingly admitted by some, that the net result is of British Empire’s legacy is one of enormous good to the world.
It is recognition of this combined with the long and fascinating history of Britain from the Stone Age to the present that makes me proud to be British.
It is also what draws millions of tourists to visit Britain each year to marvel at our landmarks, whether they were built 500 or 5,000 years ago.
In the years to come that influence will continue to reverberate around the world but it’s not a series of waning ripples from a past event. It is a strong pulse emanating from the beating heart of Albion as it continues to grow and develop as a nation.
Sometimes when I can’t get to sleep I don’t count sheep but instead I go through an alphabetical list of Native American tribes. It usually starts well; Apache, Arapaho, Apsaroke, Assininboine…I falter on the B’s; Brulé Sioux…but the C’s are quite easy; Creek, Cree, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cheyenne, Cherokee, Comanche, and Crow (though that’s cheating a bit because the Crow are the Apsaroke).
I’m usually asleep long before I get to zzzzzz…Zuni
Several decades ago I read a couple of dozen books about Native Americans:
A small charity based in Leeds called The Onaway Trust acted as a focal point for those of us concerned with the plight of modern day Native Americans and when the pay packet allowed I would send off a small cheque.
In return they supplied journals containing articles about the continuing struggles most notably the (at the time) recent armed siege at Wounded Knee in 1973. From these we learned about the American Indian Movement (AIM) and of people like Dennis Banks and Russell Means.
In about 1980 Russell Means came over to the UK to give a few talks to small audiences at universities and colleges and I jumped at the chance to attend. He was accompanied by Floyd Red Crow Westerman who opened the proceedings by singing some songs. After the interval we listened in respectful silence while Means gave his talk on the ongoing struggles of Native Americans in a world of injustice and hostility.
We have reservations about our reservations
Recently the world has witnessed how the many Native American tribes and others have gathered together on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in a way not see for generations to protest the threat to clean water and the encroachment on ancient tribal lands of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
With a hugely impressive display of dignity, forbearance, and non-violent protest in the face of extreme provocation (tear gas, dogs, rubber bullets, water canon, tasers) they appear to have been successful in halting the progress of the black snake.
The pride felt by these people for their cultural identity is self evident. At the same time Europeans think less of tribalism and more about a homogeneous whole: a multicultural, border-less utopia in which diversity is celebrated and everyone is equal (but not the same).
Come with me to the winged isle
Northern father’s western child
Where the dance of ages is playing still
Through far marches of acres wild
European tribes have been confined to the controlled spaces of folklore and historical study lest they stir up feelings of patriotism and (horror of horrors) national pride. Reveal your interest in Norse gods outside academia and sport a tribal tattoo and you’re likely to be viewed with some suspicion as some kind of racial supremacist.
We’ve learned to mock or even fear our own heritage. King Arthur didn’t exist! St.George was Turk! Faery Lore is dangerous! How sophisticated we have become in our modern multicultural mish-mash.
We love to learn about other tribes and agree to respect their culture and traditions, but we’re less celebratory and even a bit embarrassed about our own ancestry and tribal heritage.
According to many the Europeans screwed up the world and created all the problems inherited by the current generations. When it’s pointed out that our ancestors behaved arguably much better and certainly no worse than many other civilizations past and present these simple facts falls on deaf ears. One should never let the facts of history interfere with the current trend for hand-wringing apologies.
If you’re a white Briton the likelihood is that your DNA contains a combination of Western European, Scandinavian, Ancient Briton, and Mediterranean, with traces from further like the Near East or North Africa. We know this because DNA testing proves what the history books have taught us about successive invasions and migrations.
The blood of the British contains elements inherited from over twenty different tribes, Celts, Romans, Vikings, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, and Normans etc as well as any slaves and camp followers that came with them.
It’s all there in your DNA, like a dormant software program ready to be brought to life with the right combination of circumstances, or perhaps it will remain asleep and you’ll simply pass on the heritage to your children.
How did it get there?
Whether it was military invasion or waves of migration the melting pot of DNA was created through procreation.
Integration came about through intermingling and intermarriage.
Our ancestors got along (eventually) because they got it on with each other.
So when we consider that in 2005 Trevor Phillips warned that the UK was sleepwalking into segregation and that the recently published Casey Review confirms that segregation is now at ‘worrying levels’ it raises all kinds of questions that as yet have no answers.
For integration to occur people have to relax, keep and open mind, and respect differences but if your culture suggests that you are superior to others then that will never happen.
You will continue to see yourself as better than them. You are highly unlikely to celebrate your son’s betrothal to an outsider or to marry off your daughters to someone of a difference culture and religion. Your cultural beliefs may prohibit same sex relationships and condemn all kinds of lifestyles that are accepted within other tribes.
For some generations to come Europe will continue to be divided along cultural and tribal lines. We are long way off from being fully integrated. The only way to make any progress towards integration (assuming that is the goal and not everyone agrees that it is the desirable outcome) is to drop the orthodoxy and conservatism that isolates one tribe from all others.
Tribes and cultures that have a live and let live attitude with a little intermingling and marriage at the edges are the best hope for Europe.
Can we talk of integration until there is integration of hearts and minds? Unless you have this, you only have a physical presence, and the walls between us are as high as the mountain range.