Article first appeared in Prediction Magazine, October 05, page 24.
Britain is an ancient land; its early history is literally the stuff of legend, where Merlin, King Arthur and survivors from Atlantis walk in our imagination. Nowhere is the imagination more fired up than at ancient sites, the origins of which are often shrouded in mystery. More than nine hundred Megalithic rings exist in the British Isles, and scholars estimate that twice that number may originally have been built. Most were built in stone, but timber was also used. “Seahenge,” made from oak, was recently discovered on the coast at Holme, in Norfolk, and Woodhenge, about a mile to the east of Stonehenge, is the site of another famous timber circle. In addition, 40,000 other megalithic sites have survived in the British Isles – exceeding the number of modern towns and villages. But of all the vast number of ancient sites none is more famous, world-wide, than Stonehenge, that enigmatic construction in the empty spaces of Salisbury Plain.
Stonehenge on 21st. Decemeber 05, Winter SolisticeBuilt over four major phases between 3200 BC and 1600 BC, Stonehenge lies nine miles (14 km) north of Salisbury Hill in Wilshire. It is the world’s earliest earthwork to contain specific lunar and solar alignments, a triumph of prehistoric engineering, astronomy and symbolism; above all a tribute to the skills of the people of that time. Over a period of 5000 years, Stonehenge has been used as a temple, burial ground, a place of gathering, for magic, for ritual, as an observatory and much more to many different cultures and civilisations. This Megalithic structure continues to fascinate laymen and scientists alike as they attempt to unravel the how and why it was built. One thing remains certain; its mystery and charm will continue to lure many visitors and pilgrims from all corners of the world, not just ‘new age’ travellers. The site is literally buzzing with energy, both magical and historical; I went to find out why.
Jude Currivan Dowsing Michael & Mary ley linesJude Currivan runs sacred journeys to various worldwide sites and I went along with her on a tour to Stonehenge and surrounding sites. Currivan is a scientist and an archaeologist, as well as being a cosmic geomancer — an intuitive who attunes to Earth energies for divination and guidance. There were 40 of us on the trip, which was organised by The College of Psychic Studies in London; all seeking to understand the mystery and sanctity of the place, armed with crystals, pendulums and dowsing rods! We were interested in seeing what effect ley lines (energy lines that span the Earth) would have on our equipment.
Cross Roads of ‘Power’- Stonehenge
Stonehenge is positioned at the centre of a hub, or network, of alignment ley lines, making Stonehenge an energy portal, or a place of power. There are 14 major ley lines that converge at Stonehenge making a powerful vortex. One simple method of locating ley lines is by drawing a line connecting two old ancient sites, or churches. Churches were often built on ancient sites to acquire their energy, in some cases churches were built in the site of a henge, as was Winchester Cathedral, and at Avebury a whole village sits in the middle of a henge.
These ley lines interconnect all of Britain’s ancient sites. The term ‘ley lines’, was coined by Alfred Watkins in his acclaimed book The Old Straight Track, published in 1925. In it he introduced his rediscovery of this natural phenomenon known to the ancients. His theory was that ancient sites around Britain had actually been constructed, or formed, in a given alignment between, and across, the landscapes of Britain.
Touching the StonesThere is evidence that these straight tracks were used by the ancient peoples for spiritual purposes, and also for purposes such as trading and commerce. Stone circles, long barrows, tumuli and man-made hills were aligned along the ley-lines. These were used by the Neolithic people to define sacred spaces.
The oldest road in Britain, The Ridgeway, still links many ancient sites after 5,000 years, though it follows the hills and is not a straight track. The evidence of dowsers, including experts like Jude Currivan, is that ley lines align with ancient sites, and are often energy channels, rather than physical tracks, or roads, except where sacred ways, like those at Stonehenge and Avebury, follow the path of a ley line, for ceremonial or ritualistic purposes. The word ‘ley’ is Saxon in origin meaning ‘cleared glade’ which can be linked to ‘lea’ meaning a ‘tracked of open ground’- quoted from the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, Watkins saw the lines as connecting leys in the forests.
Michael & Mary Ley Lines
Preparing to visit sacred sites:
· Treat the site with respect.
· Halt at the entrance — the same courtesy you would if visiting someone’s house.
· Ask for the permission and blessing of the guardian to enter — you are much more likely then to enjoy a profound and learning experience.
· Come with an open heart, open mind and open hands — the last reflects your peaceful intention.
· Don’t change the site, let the site change you — preferably don’t leave anything but essentially nothing that is not biodegradable. Your offering can be a blessing.
Some of the most important recent research on ley lines was undertaken by dowser Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst who revealed the enigmatic alignments of the St. Michael and St. Mary ley lines (M&M lines) in their book The Sun and the Serpent, (Pendragon Press, 1998). They followed the energies of these ley lines for three hundred miles across southern England, linking hundreds of Neolithic, Celtic and early Christian sacred places, and the alignments cross a large number of churches which are called St. Michael, or St. Mary.
In fact they showed that rather than a single ley line, there are two distinct lines that interweave with each other (think of Celtic art), and at certain places, like Glastonbury Tor, they interpenetrate. According to the Book of Revelation, Saint Michael slew the dragon in the Great War of Heaven, but the reality is much older, and reaches back to antediluvian myths. All over England there are hills and spots remembered locally where the dragon was killed, such as Dragon Hill, near Uffington, these are ancient sacred sites which have been “Christianized,” by reference to St. Michael, St. George, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret.
Jude Currivan explaining interplay of M &M energiesThe image of the killing of the dragon is part of a cycle of birth and death, and the seasonal revitalization of the earth. Feng Shui masters, consider the crossing point of two ‘dragon lines’ as highly auspicious, depicting sacred space. It is worth mentioning here that the only places where the M&M lines do not travel in a straight line, is in Glastonbury, at the Abbey, where they separate then converge, in few places such as around the tomb of Arthur, the altar of the old Church; and at Chalice Well where they interweave. The rolling landscape of southern England is literally magical, the ancient energies still link the old sites, and the hidden networks of the past are still alive with earth energy.
Gaia- Mother Earth Inside Glastonbury AbbeyVortices are thought of as ‘neural nodes’ of the Earth’s energy grid, connected by straight ley lines. If you like, Earth’s acupuncture points are the vortices and the ley lines between them are meridians on the surface of Mother Earth, or Gaia – a Greek word for Earth Mother Goddess. In 1970’s a British biologist, James E. Lovelock, presented the Gaia theory that planet earth is actually a self-regulating organism.
Lovelock’s ideas were anticipated by Alfred Redfield, who, in 1958, suggested that all living things on the planet contribute and are affected by all other life forms, thus creating a homeostasis. Many people regard the Earth as a conscious entity, having its own life energy, and having identification with the maternal force, and I believe that this is how she was celebrated by the henge builders. So in spirit we travelled along the ley lines from Stonehenge to Glastonbury, while in reality a bus load of psychic travellers speeded westwards.
Portal Place, Glastonbury
On one level Glastonbury is a small town in a rather flat part of Somerset, notable for its distinctive pointed hill, the Tor, and for the number of new age bookshops and its attraction for people with strange hairdos, but on another level it is the centre of mystic Britain, the mysterious Isle of Avalon, the place where Christ’s uncle, Joseph of Arimathea, planted a thorn tree which was rooted from Christ’s Crown of Thorns. It is also a place where it claimed that King Arthur lies, and it is the centre where Joseph of Arimathea also brought the chalice, used at the last supper, the holy grail of legend.
In Glastonbury we can also sense the mystic power of William Blake’s words:
“And did those feet in ancient timeWalk upon England’s mountains green?And was the holy Lamb of GodOn England’s pleasant pastures seen?”
The Altar at the Abbey(Blake was referring to an ancient legend that Christ came to England as a boy, accompanying his uncle Joseph of Arimathea on one of his expeditions to buy tin. Cressy, the Benedictine Monk and historian, wrote that Joseph of Arimathea died at Glastonbury on July 27th, A.D. 82, and on his tombstone was written, in Latin, “After I had buried the Christ, I came to the Isles of the West; I taught; I entered into my rest.” Eusebius (A.D. 260-340), said: “The Apostles passed beyond the Ocean to, the Isles called the Britannic Isles.” The early Church accepted that the British Church was the oldest in Christendom, being founded by Joseph.)
Glastonbury is also an ancient sacred site, a central node of the ley line system. Like Stonehenge it also appears to a portal from one sense of reality to another. So keeping this wealth of myth in mind we visited the Chalice well, that has been revered from antediluvian times, its water wells up from mother earth, the source of life. From here we started to understand the sacred geometry of Glastonbury. From the layout of the main Vesica Piscis pool, to the cover of the spring itself you can see the sacred geometrical symbols everywhere.
Water Works Visica Piscis on well cover at Chalice Well GardensChalice well garden was designed about 50 years ago; but the spring is thought to have existed for about 10,000 years. The flow from the spring is continuous, in spite of drought and varying weather conditions, and it became to be revered as a symbol of “unbounded nature of the life force”.
Jude Currivan said that, “The people of old believed that wells are gateways to the spirit world, where the veils between human existence and the greater spirit become thinner, and communication can take place with the gods and goddesses of the nature religions.” The daily flow from the spring at Chalice Well is about 25,000 gallons (112,000 litres), and its temperature is a constant 11o C (52o F). In ancient times, the flow at one of the pools was deeper so people were able to be completely submerged.
Vesica Piscis pool, specially desinged to enhance the energies through waterThe words Well comes from Anglo Saxon word wella meaning spring. Chalice Well is also a place where the St. Michael and St. Mary lines interweave. (Chalice Well Gardens, it is said, is where John Lennon sat and was inspired to write his song Imagine. The gardens have such a majical feel, make sure you give yourself time to enjoy it).
The Well is also important because of the energy in its water; it is “holy water.” Jude explained, “Water is a gift on many levels, it holds memory; it carries the energy of our thought and feelings, when we are stressed, our body shows it.” You may have seen the film, “What the Bleep!,” which referred to the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto (The Hidden Messages in Water) who says that the structure of water is affected by thoughts and external events, rather like a data card carries digital photos.
Chalice Well Gardens
Perhaps we should say, you are what you drink, especially as our bodies consist mainly of water (70% of our solid tissue is water and about 85% of our brain). If water is also an encoding media, taking the imprint of information, we absorb more than nutrition when we drink, we are literally a part of the Earth in more ways than we yet understand. Our group asked for blessing here, and drank from the water.
Under Jude’s guidance we ask for the blessing of St. Michael and St. Mary and for the wisdom of the place, to open to their wisdom so we can remember the connection. I filled a bottle with this sacred water, and still use a drop in each bottle of spring water until now.
Within The Circle
Back on the bus, we finally arrived at Stonehenge. I asked Jude why Stonehenge was regarded as a sacred site, she said that, “All we know of its form, structure and alignment, speaks to us that it was intended to connect Heaven and Earth as an enduring monument to the continuity of the communities who built and used it and the ancestors who guided and guarded its precincts.”
Filling up Sacred Water at Chalice WellStonehenge was built in three stages; archaeologists now date as far back as 8,000 years ago. It is believed that it was originally set as map to mirror constellation movements marking important stellar activities like moon eclipses, meteoroid and seasons according to the sun’s movement. I personally believe that the inhabitants of the area, in fact of the planet, had no such knowledge, and that this was an organic project to start them off on the track of astrology, and astronomical movements, so that they could raise their sights to heavens and have a way of planning their plantings and harvesting, essential for any farming community. (Stonehenge also sits within an important landscape, within a few miles are located Woodhenge, Robin Hood’s Ball, Lidbury Camp, Yarnbury Castel, Durrington Walls, Old Sarum, and Bilbury Rings, to name only some of the ancient sites in the area. Like Avebury, Stonehenge sits in a landscape dense with meaning and connections).
Quick guide to Sacred Sites over the Internet
www.glastonbury.co.ukOnline Guide to Glastonbury. This site contains information for both residents & visitors and we try to keep it as up to date as possible.
www.chalicewell.org.ukThe Chalice Well is one of the oldest continuously used holy wells in Britain.
www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk a guide to mysterious places, legends and folklore within the British Isles.
An amazing web site with wealth of information on sacred sites worldwide. Anthropologist Martin Grey Anthropologist Martin Gray spent 20 years as a wandering pilgrim to study and artistically photograph 1000 sacred sites in 80 countries. This web site features Martin’s sacred art photographs and shows the location of sacred places and pilgrimage shrines around the world.
www.megalithic.co.uk/mapserv The world’s first multi-country map of megalithic and other prehistoric sites
www.warminster.co.ukOf one of Britain’s “best kept secrets” -an almost unrivalled proximity to a wealth of interesting and beautiful places to see in Wiltshire – all within a 30 mile radius.
www.wisdomoftheancients.comAn exciting new visitor attraction currently under development. The first of its kind anywhere, offers insight into just how much our ancient ancestors knew about the world they inhabited. Discovery and heritage adventure that will entertain and fascinate adults and children alike.
Stonehenge has attracted a number of academic researchers, including Professor Alexander Thom and the astronomer Gerald Hawkins, who have conducted work in the field of archaeoastronomy, the study of the astronomical knowledge of ancient civilizations. Their work has revealed many significant astronomical alignments among the stones of Stonehenge.
Thom discovered what he called the megalithic yard (2.72 feet, or 0.83 metres), a unit of measurement he found employed at many megalithic sites, his findings were set out in Megalithic Sites in Britain (1967). He also published Megalithic Lunar Observatories in 1971, in which he showed there were six types of stone circles; true circles, ellipses, two sorts of egg-shaped circles, and two sorts of flattened circles.
Gerald Hawkins used a computer to determine the alignments at Stonehenge for twelve major lunar and solar events. His findings appeared in Nature in 1963, and then a book, Stonehenge Decoded, in 1965. Hawkins even showed that Stonehenge could be used to predict eclipses of the moon.
Stonehenge revealed the extraordinary mathematical sophistication and engineering abilities that the native British developed before either the Egyptian or Mesopotamian cultures. Two thousand years before Pythagorean triangle theorems and at least 3,000 years before the sixth century AD sage Arya Bhata “discovered” the concept and value of Pi; the British megalithic builders were incorporating these mathematical concepts into their stone rings.
More over, in his book, A Guide to Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Britain, Aubrey Burl states when describing the four distinct stages over which Stonehenge was built that “each phase was a modified imitation of its predecessor.”
Altar at centre of StonehengeOur group had been permitted access to the circle but before we approached the site, we were asked to ensure we observed the sacred sites code (see inset). The climax of the trip was this; standing together in a circle- sending out our thanks and gratitude in a moment of ‘prayer’ at sunset. Jude Currivan said “Everyone’s experience is unique to them, but for all of us, a site which has intentionally been sanctified offers a portal to the divine in all of us and an opportunity to recognise the divine pervading the entire Cosmos.” Her concluding words were ones that stayed with all of us, “take the stones with you in your heart”. Our visit now seems like a mystical journey that started after some ado and uncertainty, but exceeded everybody’s expectation.
Stonehenge: the first Stargate?
Having explained how Stonehenge is seen by others, and how it is connected to other sites, I would like to now give you my own impressions, including information that has come to me directly (no academic references here, there are none).
Jude & Sahar commune with the stonesI feel that Stonehenge is actually far more than a marvellous astrological device, or a place for religious celebration, including sacrifice (but a sacrifice of old ideas), that it was actually a trans-dimensional portal, a place where incarnate humans could communicate with spirit, where energies (or information) are ‘communicated’ from one dimension to another. The astrological calculations were actually necessary, not so much to calculate the calendar, but to know the precise times when the gateways of these energies were aligned. Wisdom flowed from higher dimensions to the ‘priesthood’, to help the growth of humanity.
Stonehenge was a communication hub, like a great radio telescope, linking lower energies (or humanity) and higher wisdom. It is not a coincidence that Stonehenge was located in Britain, as Britain lies on an important planetary ley line configuration, which has long acted as a portal to bring changes to humanity, and that is why Britain has produced so many pioneers in many fields, and still today encourages transformation. Stonehenge was designed as a device to help this planet evolve, it is a Stargate!
Stonehenge at sunset, Dec 21, 04; the Winter SolisticeIn hindsight, it is as though the process of transformation started with the beginning of the journey in London, akin to the initiation stage of a spiritual pilgrimage; then sharing a drink of water from the ancient Chalice Wells spring seemed to have bonded the intention of the group as we stood holding hands at each sacred site.
We left the stone circle unchanged as requested; although most of us felt transformed by it. Since our visit to Stonehenge last September, I now find it is much easier to connect with the spirit and wisdom of the place; at any time (a picture of Stonehenge is now my PC screen saver as reminder of our trip).
The destination was certainly worth the pilgrimage, and the journey was worthy of the destination. The image of the Stone circle has found its way to my heart, like a post card, I ‘carry’ it with me wherever I travel.’
This particular trip was organised by the College of Psychic Studies in London.