Glastonbury Tor from Maesbury Castle
This matter concerns the hidden resonant energy of the Earth and Cosmos, with humanity and the ecosphere sandwiched between. It concerns subtle, pulsing morphic fields which interpenetrate the Earth and organise themselves into flows, circuitry and patterns. Through the spiralling or interweaving of energies, they are 'stepped down' into denser reality, and by this means reality takes shape.
These circuits are concentrated at ancient sacred sites worldwide. Each site has qualitative characteristics or a beingness unique to it. When we enter a 'buddha-field' or 'temenos' such as this, our subtle body-electricity and our psyches resonate with the energy-field, offering new challenges and opportunities unavailable at other locations. Auras grow. Consciousness deepens. Happiness, relief, awe, clarity or wonder can arise. Reality can twist and throw a few tantalisers.
Earth energies have pattern and flow, organising themselves into a network of lines both straight and curvy – lines which meet, end or begin at distinguishable points. These points tend to be ancient sites, hilltops and springs, churches, the locations of anomalous phenomena, of reported UFO-sightings, the sitings of unusual traditions and even, bless us, of modern communications towers. No one knows how these energy-systems really work. Ancient peoples perceived secrets we cannot see. Yet a distant memory of this resides within us now, twanging occasionally at our unconscious, especially when we visit ancient sacred places. It's all to do with the resonance-frequencies and levels of experience and reality by which all life develops.
These landscape-lines have picked up the name 'leys'. Two notable personages brought them to the public's attention: Alfred Watkins [The Old Straight Track, Alfred Watkins, 1925, republished by Abacus, 1977] in the 1920s-30s and John Michell [View over Atlantis, John Michell, Garnstone Press, 1969, and The New View over Atlantis, Thames & Hudson, 1983] in the 1960s.
However, 'ley' is a term which unsatisfactorily covers various things:
global great-circle lines [Global Sacred Alignments by Terry Walsh, privately published];
dowsable energy-lines (or energy-leys) of a regional and local kind [See Spiritual Dowsing by Sig Lonegren, Gothic Image, 1986/1996/2005, available online here, and Needles of Stone Revisited by Tom Graves, Gothic Image, 1978/1986, available online here];
alignments of (at least four) ancient sites, churches and landscape features [See The Ley-Hunter's Companion, Paul Devereux and Ian Thompson, Thames & Hudson, 1979, or Ley Lines, Danny Sullivan, Green Magic Books, 2004].
These different kinds of lines are distinct, yet they have a connection, especially when they intersect at important nodes such as Glastonbury Tor. Some alignments of ancient sites and churches might represent dead or dormant energy-lines, just to confuse things, and dowsers report considerable fluctuations in energy-line strength, character and location too. So the 'science' of this has by no means yet been worked out.
There are also curvaceous lines such as the Mary line which interweaves the straight Michael line passing through Glastonbury from Cornwall to Norfolk [See The Serpent and the Stone by Hamish Miller & Paul Broadhurst, Penwith Press]. There are global gridlines [Anti-Gravity and the World Grid, ed D H Childress, Adventures Unlimited] (different from great-circle lines), landscape zodiacs [The Glastonbury Zodiac by Mary Caine, Grael Press, 1978, A Glastonbury Reader by John Matthews, Aquarian Press, 1991, or see The Glastonbury Zodiac] and visible landscape-corridors (such as the sequence of hills from Cadbury Castle to the Tor, to Brent Knoll, Steep Holm and Dinas Powys in Wales) and yet other features of landscape geometry.
In other words, the answers aren't simple or by any means fully researched! Ancient sites do not conform to our modern expectations of system and regularity – they have a coherence which is difficult and dodgy to systematise, while all being wonderfully unique and conforming to a 'crazy logic' one can glimpse but not fully see.
Healing the Earth of its wounds and restoring its energy-fields to balance requires the cleansing and reactivation of the subtle energy-fields of the land. According to basic earth-healing theory, the meridians of the Earth's energy-body can be opened up by carrying out intentional energy-work at well-chosen power-points. Hence small hordes of well-meaning volunteers have hared around the world's ancient sites, meditating, planting crystals and invoking gods and energies during the last few decades! On a more localised scale meridians can be improved by dowsing-related techniques too – they can be enhanced, re-routed, cleansed or unblocked. (For a starting place on this subject, try www.geomancy.org).
You can do your bit by saying a prayer, or singing a song to the wind or by circumambulating a holy spot. The effects of such actions are amplified at energy-centres. These places respond well even to a happy family picnic. You can touch a truer part of yourself here. Do remember, when sallying forth across the landscape, to respect nature, countryside standards and local people – no matter how cosmic is your mission!
Layers upon layers
Ley alignments often connect sites of very different ages. Glastonbury Abbey is aligned on Stonehenge – yet over 3,000 years separate their building. On the map, Brent Knoll, a prehistoric temple and hilltop settlement, aligns with churches built in the 1100s. There are three likely reasons for this:
later churches, crosses, crossroads and other features were built on top of earlier sites;
later Christian builders imitated earlier patterns to suggest continuity with the old faiths – this was a religious grafting technique employed by the Roman church as it extended into northern Europe;
church-builders – the master masons – possessed knowledge handed down from ancient times, which they continued to use in locating and building churches. Recent research has exposed a thread of knowledge-transmission passing from ancient Egypt to the Essenes and Jesus, to the Crusading Knights Templars and then to the Freemasons, suggesting a continuous tradition spanning millennia [The Hiram Key, Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, Century, 1996].