Ley lines uk

Ley Lines UK – The Old Straight Track

About forty years ago I developed an interest in ley lines and sought to map ley lines in my corner of the UK.  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 Track by Alfred Watkins and other titles soon followed.

Alfred Watkins was riding his horse through Herefordshire countryside one day when he have a vision of what ley lines might be. The Old Straight Track was re-published in February 2021 with an introduction by Robert Macfarlane, author of The Old Ways, Underland, and other recent titles, thus confirming how this classic by Watkins is still in demand and how it is regarded by contemporary authors.

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, but finding alignments wasn’t easy.  This was a long time before the Web, Google Earth, and apps that make it easy to be an armchair explorer.

The only method at the time was to buy rolled (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.

Ley Lines UK – a video

In 2017 I made a video based on this post. The post has since been expanded but the video has not.

Do Ley Lines exist?

Stonehenge

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.

Glastonbury tor saint michael's tower

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. There are plenty of examples of this where you’ll see old churches with ancient megaliths embedded into their foundations.

Another reason that explains why alignments can be made up of sites of varying ages is the idea of a genius loci or the spirit of the place. It could be that a site of some significance has never been marked in any way or it has lost whatever structure or earthwork once marked it. If the genius loci is strong enough it might be able to inspire a person or community to mark, harness, and augment whatever energy springs forth at that particular point.

In this way, if a structure that marked a sacred site was destroyed and forgotten people in later generations might still be drawn to the location to build something else on the node point.

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 - thoth

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).

What are ley lines used for?

Leys and their accompanying energy lines probably occur all over the world and have been used by shamen, pagans, and others who are attuned to the network for millenia. Since my interest was sparked in the 1970s I’ve noticed how there’s not only a growing acceptance of them but also a widening belief that they form an energy grid that surrounds our planet.

Such a grid would have all kinds of purposes; an energy resource, (astral) travel, communication, portals to other dimensions. There’s so much folklore associated with the places that are on the alignments that it would take a lifetime to investigate all the stories and tales that suggest they are doorways to a dimension that interpenetrates our own world.

An interesting connection came to light recently while reading Exogenesis Hybrid Humans by Bruce and Daniella Fention in which the authors mention the idea that the Akashic Records are said to be stored in the Earth’s magnetic field. A sort of cloud computing storage for every thought, deed, and action that has ever occurred.

If that’s true then ley lines mark an energy grid on which the nodes are access points to not just The Otherworld (the Astral Plane i.e. another dimension) but also locations at which it’s possible to easily connect to and initiate downloads from the Akashic Records. It might still be possible to do so without physically being present at such locations. Think of it as the difference between being cabled and using WiFi.

Major Ley Lines of the UK

Extensive research has been done on some of the UK’s most important ley lines. Two that are worthy of close attention are The Spine of Albion by Gary Bilcliffe and Caroline Hoare, and The Axis of Heaven by Paul Broadhurst and Gabriele Trso.

I’ve reviewed the former in a separate post. As the line extends the length of Britain there’s a good chance that (if you’re in the UK) you’re not far some of the points on the line.

The latter is actually about the Greenwich Meridian but you’ll soon realise as you read the book that the author (someone who has been researching and writing since the 1970s) suggests the meridian is itself evidence of a major channel on the Earth’s energy grid.

The Wessex Triangle

This 2019 video touches upon some of the subjects mentioned in this post.

Stand Tall and Walk The Line

Walking ley lines

Interest 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.

Despite advances in technology and the seemingly endless forms of distraction with social media it seems the call of the wild places is still strong and people are answering it. While Facebook tries to ensnare young minds into a metaverse, Mother Earth is still able to call her children back to places where they can experience other dimensions.

Find out for yourself

Ley lines uk - following the old straight track
Plotting ley lines circa 1979. The Old Straight Track is on the table.

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.

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, terrestrial zodiacs, 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.

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.

Ley Lines Takeaway

Ley lines are mysterious alignments that criss-cross the landscape, connecting a variety of ancient sites. While their exact origin is unknown, many believe that ley lines were created by our ancestors as a way to mark significant locations. Today, ley lines can be found all over the world, and often coincide with ancient standing stones, stone circles, burial mounds, churches, and earthworks.

While some dismiss ley lines as nothing more than a quirk of geography, others believe that these alignments have a hidden meaning and purpose. Some even go so far as to say that ley lines have mystical powers, and can be used to harness the energy of the Earth. Whether or not you believe in their power, there’s no denying that ley lines are an intriguing part of our planet’s history.

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