Supposed Ancient Ways of “Earth Energy”
The British countryside has inspired many artists and authors, with its rolling green hills, valleys and rivers, all surrounded by picturesque towns. One area in particular inspired both CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. The county of Herefordshire and the surrounding Malvern Hills provided the resemblance of both Narnia and the White Mountains in The Lord of the Rings.
This area inspired another writer, Alfred Watkins, who went on to write many books about a controversial energy line system in the area. These so-called ley lines are straight lines that connect a variety of different structures and landmarks, but have different meanings for different people.
The Father of Ley Lines
Watkins, an amateur archaeologist, created the first popular theory of ley lines. The revelation came to him while he was in the hills surrounding Herefordshire in 1921. He noticed that many of the old buildings he could see from the top of the hills were arranged along different straight lines.
Watkin’s ley line theory was published in his first two books, First British Tracks in 1922, and The old straight way in 1925. The second of the two elaborated on the topics first proposed in the previous book and is considered the first publication to write, document and map ley lines in Britain. Despite the considerable work he put into his theory, both publications have been largely ignored by professional archaeologists.
Elaboration on the theory
It wasn’t until the 1960s that Watkin’s work really took off after his theories were elaborated by John Michell in his books. The vision of the flying saucer and The view of Atlantis. His latest book claimed that the knowledge needed to understand ancient ley lines and standing stones was lost. Tony Wedd, another author, has advanced the idea that ley lines were created by prehistoric communities to guide extraterrestrial craft.
Along with the resurgence of Watkin’s ideas, even though they had evolved into something different, came the creation of a community of ‘ley hunters’ who sought to find all the different ley lines across Britain. These ufologists even had their own magazine, Ley Hunter. The whole movement wanted to welcome those who had “a strong interest in the past but felt excluded from the narrow confines of orthodox academia”.
Although this group of ley hunters all agreed that the lines existed, they often disagreed about the specifics of these alleged ancient phenomena. Some thought the ley lines simply acted as markers for energy currents on the earth, while others thought they directed and controlled energy. There is also disagreement within the wider community about what otherworldly phenomena might be related to ley lines.
Although Watkin’s initial theory did not include any element of spirituality or other intangible powers, in recent years some have associated the idea of ley lines with a number of mystical qualities. Some people claim that ley lines have magnetic fields, psychic powers, can heal, or are linked to UFOs, aliens, and crop circles all over the world. Works like Michell’s contributed to these ideas.
Stonehenge and other ancient sites
These theories have also spread to other historical sites around the world. Watkins mentioned the giant standing stones of Stonehenge and its surrounding structure, calling them “a very striking and compelling example of the connection between sun alignment, long-distance tracks and the use of beacons”.
Many believe that ley lines connect important sites such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China and Stonehenge. For some, the connection between these locations makes sense, as they believe that ley lines can transfer energy and information from one point and distribute it along the line.
Many ancient and sacred sites of knowledge and religion lie in this direction. These adherents also cite references to the lines dating back centuries, although they are often referred to as something other than ley lines, which is the modern term.
A scientific approach to ley lines
Although many people talk about ley lines and what they can do, one group is noticeably absent from the discussion. Ley lines are not discussed by scientists or written about in textbooks, mainly because they cannot be measured. Scientists literally have no way of detecting them and consider ley line theory to be pseudoscience.
Scientists also believe that any connection between ancient structures can be explained either by practical reasons or by coincidence. For example, smaller structures appearing in a line could be explained by access to building materials or roads. Larger-scale connections, as with the many wonders of the world, are probably mere coincidences.
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These scientists believe that the location of the sites is a coincidence. It would be impossible for the builders of each large structure to know of the existence of the others, making any intersection unintentional. Modern scholars attribute the alignment of these structures to the practicality of building roads in a straight line, so important sites were more likely to appear in line.