Ley Lines: The Mysterious Ancient Ways of the UK


And yet, the ley lines continue to weave their allure. This is perhaps not surprising. “Humans have always sought out inner and outer maps or frameworks to help them navigate the world,” says Jake Farr, a coaching psychologist, psychotherapist and co-founder of Leading Through Storms, a community-interest enterprise supporting adaptation. significant in the future. “The need to belong is also a primary human driver,” she told BBC Culture. “Where do we belong, who do we belong to, where do we belong? Contrary to this, the modern Western world is pivoting towards individualism, the bedfellow of capitalism, leaving many feeling alone and unconnected to place. and community. Ley lines can provide people with a way to map the connections felt to place and, on a deeper level, can speak to the interconnectedness of all life; achieving harmony and balance that, of course , the purchase of the latest product simply can not touch.”

So the Irish have their fairy paths, now mostly tourist attractions dotted with picnic areas, and fake caves, but many Chinese still believe in “dragon lines” and feng shui. The Incas used “spirit-lines” or what with the Inca Temple of the Sun in Cuzco as the hub, marking the roads with wak’as, stone monuments that represent something revered. For Aboriginal Australians, song lines, also known as “dream tracks”, are paths through earth and sky, which mark the routes followed by localized “creative beings”. The paths are recorded in traditional songs, tales, dances and paintings; by singing these songs in sequence, indigenous people can navigate the deserts of Australia’s interior.

Even the most diehard skeptics may be surprised by the layout of the UK’s most famous ley line, St Michael’s. First discussed by Michell in A View over Atlantis, the ley line stretches 350 miles through numerous sites dedicated to the archangel, from St Michael’s Mount to the Norfolk coast, while oriented towards sunrise. sun on May 8, when the Latin liturgy celebrates the Apparition of Saint Michael. Or, as Michell wrote: “The St Michael’s line of traditional dragon sites in the South West of England…seems to lie between two prominent hills in Somerset, both dedicated to St Michael with ruined churches at their summit. These two hills are Glastonbury Tor and ‘The Mump’ at Burrowbridge about 10 miles to the south-west. These two hills appear to have been artificially shaped so that their axes line up with each other, and their orientation, 27 degrees northeast can be read on a large Ordnance Survey sheet.”

Today, a new generation, including Bones Tan Jones, is returning to myth to explain the world around it. this time, against the backdrop of a planet on the brink of collapse and a natural world, mourned as it disappears. And they create their own myths in return. Tan Jones eschewed the laboriously complex mappings of ancient leyline hunters and instead followed their instincts. “All I knew was that I had a start and finish, and maybe a few stops,” they say. “I took it by chance and found my next location by talking to people.” They visited the site of Heathrow’s now abandoned action camp, Grow Heathrow, a former hub for activists, creatives and local residents; encountered the 2,500-year-old Anckerwyke Yew and the land opposite, where the Magna Carta is said to have been signed in 1215; explored Chobham Common Nature Reserve, originally created by prehistoric farmers, in Surrey. However, the Harrow Way, which crosses the south of England from east to west, remains a highlight.


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