Amanda Kovattana

Middle-aged musings in interesting times

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

The Once And Future Ley Line

Part two of my report on the ancient sites tour of Southwest England with Freddy Silva and the Prophets Conference.

The Prophets

Our group traveled in not one, but two large coaches. The word Avalon was inscribed across the side in foot high letters announcing our mythical trek. But we were not on the trail of Arthurian legend, we were going further back in time to uncover the mysteries of ancient sites.

I sat in the back of the bus with an astrologer and a conspiracist, both English women. I met Stella the astrologist, walking from our B & B to the coach parking lot. She plied her profession in Australia and had her own magazine column and radio show. She looked athletic in her biking shorts and sports shoes, but complained that I walked too fast. Too much success had usurped her exercise time, she told me.

I met the conspiracist when we stopped at Silbury Hill, a man made mound. 

"Silbury Hill was built to monitor human progress", Freddy was saying, neglecting to mention who was doing the monitoring.

"It's like trying to talk to people about conspiracy theories," I said to the conspiracist, coincidentally picking up on her pet obsession. Giants, levitation, healing stones—it all came under the category of alternative realities not readily accepted by the mainstream. 

"I just don't say anything to people," said the conspiracist whose name was Elizabeth. I realized then, that she had probably indexed the whole kit and caboodle of conspiracy theories. 

"It's the Virgo in you that is so attracted to conspiracy theories," I heard Stella telling Elizabeth on the coach. "When I come across a conspiracy theory I just read it once then leave it, but you're obsessed with them," she explained. I was relieved to hear that there was a reason why the idea of conspiracy itself was so addictive. Rather than analyze the usefulness of the content, people gave in to the intrigue and paranoia of uncovering secret information. Fond as I was of certain conspiracy theories that had fundamentally changed my view of government, there were plenty of egregious things wrong with our exploitive capitalist system that was no secret at all. But I stayed out of it. I was absorbed by Freddy's book drawn by material I had never come across before. His information stimulated my mind, keeping it pliable and allowing new thoughts to arise. Serendipitously enough, just as we arrived at a new site I would be reading about it. 

We were at St Catherine's, a chapel high up on the top of a hill, sitting all by itself above the little village of Abbotsbury. Freddy called our attention to the placement of the chapel.

"If you want to encourage a congregation to come to church you would build it in a much more accessible place. So there must have been a different reason to put a chapel half a mile up a steep hill. There was; it was to take advantage of the telluric energies." I had to look this word up when I read it in his book. Telluric energies referred to earth energies. They could be currents traversing the landscape or ley lines as they were named by Alan Watkins, a Welshman who discovered the phenomena in 1921.

The chapel of St. Catherine's, a building of light colored stones and a lovely peaked doorway was situated on the Mary ley line, the feminine current. Once inside the heavy wooden door we found an empty room, no pews or an altar; nothing at all inside just light from the clear glass window. Freddy asked Peachie, a woman on staff with the tour planners, to lead us in ceremony. We did the same toning exercise as we had done in Stonehenge and found the note to be much higher. It was indeed a feminine energy.

Outside a stiff wind blew which Freddy attributed to the masculine energy of St. Michael. While we were inside, a rainstorm came upon us. It lessened when we departed from the little chapel. This was no accident Freddy commented; with this many people we were a force interacting with the land, thus rainstorms would wait until we were sheltered.

I was glad to have on my heavy waxed cotton raincoat, anyway, along with my water shedding leather hat. I had decided to bring the coat, instead of just a windbreaker, because of a shamanic journey in which a cockatoo showed me what the weather would be like for our trip. When my friend Gail in Henley read about my journey with the white bird, she said it must have been their cockatoo Tallulah who had guided me. I'm sure it was I replied, excited at having seen something with an actual connection to my trip. I had been wondering, since cockatoos were not native to England. When I met Tallulah she was indeed white with a yellow crest, but much smaller in person. Or perhaps it was I who was bigger. At any rate, in shamanic tradition, I had scoped out my trip beforehand and was thus prepared. None of the Europeans had brought rain jackets.

Having explored the divine feminine, the following day was devoted to becoming acquainted with the masculine energies. We began the day with another chapel on a hill, St. Michael's of Brentor near Dartmoor, built in the 12th century on a volcanic plug. With its dark stone and squared off tower, it looked aggressively masculine. The hill itself was ragged and spiky with weeds. Four thousand years ago, a mound had stood on the site. We dutifully climbed up to the chapel.

"All of you taking the steeper path must have Capricorn in your chart," Freddy joked watching the handful who were on a goat track straight up the rock face.

Inside the chapel were pews facing a stained glass window depicting the Archangel Michael, sword in hand held vertically. Behind us a workman was fixing something behind a metal grate. We did not attempt a ceremony, but listened to Freddy tell us how the sword of St. Michael pierced the telluric forces represented by a serpent or dragon. This piercing was done to prevent the geomagnetic force from moving away. The telluric energy was then captured inside the church where it was enhanced by the design of the building.

Once Upon A Ley Line

For the ancients, the land was all about power spots, places where the veil between the worlds was thin allowing a connection to the divine and guidance to what future lay ahead. Currents of geomagnetic forces connected these power spots along straight lines aka ley lines. Freddy explained that temple builders aimed to tame the currents of earth energies and keep it from moving. The cornerstone of the building pierced the current just as an acupuncturist pierced a meridian with a needle. The altar was then placed directly over the current. The altar was the spot where initiates experienced enhanced shamanic journeys. Or as Freddy put it, you went to the altar to be altered. 

I already knew from my year studying the earth based feminine tradition, that the snake was a symbol of the goddess and the story of St. Patrick driving the snakes from Ireland represented the Catholic church taking dominion over the earlier pagan religion. So I was a little alarmed that, in Freddy's version, the snake was being pierced, but he was telling us that this was necessary to insure that humans could access its powers within a temple designed for the purpose. Then the Catholic priesthood took control by positioning themselves at the altar as the middle man. They kept the people from this direct access, denounced the symbol of the snake as evil, claimed the divine knowledge (direct access) was forbidden to man and made St. George a hero for slaying the dragon. It all amounted to the same thing. The control and dumbing down of the populace.

In the foyer of the little chapel of St. Michael, I was surprised that I felt a definite physical sensation. Long upright rods of pressure were stabbing through me into the ground almost pinning me in place much as the sword might pierce the dragon. I sat down next to one of my tour mates and told her how "stabby" the energy felt. She agreed. 

While we were in the chapel it again began to rain. It lessened a bit as we climbed down the hill to board our coaches. Freddy knew of a good pub in a nearby village, but when we got there the cook said he couldn't accommodate so many people so our coach drivers took us to the nearest big town where we stopped at a market square and fanned out to all the local eateries. I joined one of the prophet conference speakers, invited by his girlfriend who had shared with me the stabbiness of the energy at St. Michaels. Geoff Stray, a Brit whose day job was driving a bus, had written a half dozen books on the Mayan prophecy. He and his girlfriend were more interested in my work as an organizer than prophecy, but at the end of our lunch I couldn't resist asking how they were preparing for 2012. They weren't. It was a non-starter of a question. What exactly did one prepare for? Nor did they seem worried. (Like Freddy they would probably advise putting a case of champagne aside and inviting some friends.)

By afternoon our luck was running out. As we headed up the narrow little country lane to St. Clether's Well, we were thwarted by a bridge that was out of commission. Then when we decided to head for our third destination we were faced with a road that was closed. This meant turning the bus around; a seemingly impossible task. The driver, an older man experienced with country roads found a "T" intersection where he hoped to make the turn, but the back wheels started to dig into the soft shoulder and we appeared to be stuck. We asked him to let us out so the bus would be lighter. The drama of the stuck bus continued on for some time as everyone tried to help. Finally with enough traction from rocks borrowed from a neighbor's landscaping and handfuls of gravel several of the prophets threw under the wheel, half a dozen men in the group managed to push the coach to solid ground.

Freddy commented on how troublesome the male energy had become, referencing the state of the world, unbalanced as it was by female energy, but how we had managed with some grace to avert disaster. We were too late to make it to our third destination, but Freddy found another St. Michael's chapel on the Michael line. This was a ruin at Barrow Mump just off the motorway with easy access for a coach. A perfect save. On the hill the wind whipped around us as Freddy bid us all imagine archangel Michael delivering into our hands a sword of light. Afterwards, I realized the wind had taken my prized turkey feather right off my hat. It was nowhere to be found. I was upset that this insatiable masculine energy had run off with it, but all things considered it was a fair price for so many days of awesomeness. (There would be other more modest English feathers to adorn my hat.)

So it was with eagerness that we looked forward to our final day when the masculine and feminine energies would be expressed in perfect balance. For this experience we headed to nearby Wells Cathedral. This medieval example of architectural perfection stood in the middle of the town surrounded by green lawns. Stepping into a medieval church felt downright modern after all the ancient stone circles and neglected chapels. The Cathedral was teaming with life. A youth orchestra occupied the main hall rehearsing for a concert. Men and women in clergy robes strode purposely about.

Freddy pointed out the structure built to support the walls in the transept. After it was found that the walls were bowing outward from the weight, a builder had been called in to fix the problem. He neatly designed a double arch shape that happened to incorporate the shape of the vesica piscis, a symbol of sacred geometry discovered by the ancients and first recorded by Pythagoras. Freddy felt that this was on purpose claiming that builders were a subversive lot and were still faithful to the old pagan ways. The word pagan, he noted, is French for someone who lives in the country. Here a division of city and country culture was implied. The city culture being about centralized control and thus more authoritarian while the pagan culture followed the old ways of individualized access to the divine. (This rather reminded me of the city states of Asia aggressively courting the globalized market and sucking up all the resources of the nation while the peasant cultures in the country continued with the remnants of a localized sustainable economy while they still had access to the land.)

In the chapter house stairwell of Wells Cathedral, Freddy pointed out more subversive activity in a small decorative statue of a monk piercing the dragon. (Actually the monk has a stick in the dragon's mouth and is smiling so no struggle seems to have ensued.) This, he explained, indicated the builders understanding that there were telluric energies present. There were other dragon motifs at Wells showing dragon heads with beams coming out of their mouths very similar to the Chinese way of depicting dragons. The Chinese were aware of earth energies too, and put them to use in their study of Feng Shui.

Pilgrims Purpose

Skeptics, Freddy told us, would not be able to experience a site as designed for they are pre-programmed not to feel anything, defiantly waiting for proof, for the some feat of magic to be performed. Yes, skeptics, are by definition non-participants. And human participation was the final element needed to bring alive the power of a site. We were entering these sites as pilgrims, Freddy told us, not as tourists and that made all the difference. The quality of our attention and awareness are expressed as electromagnetic impulses and such impulses react with the forces held within the temple, fusing into a sympathetic resonance that then allowed for an interactive experience. 

The stairwell where the dragon was pierced led to the chapter house, a large round room with an arched ceiling. The large space easily accommodated all 50 plus of us and we spread around the perimeter sitting on the bench. Here again we toned the room with sound and were rewarded with the heavenly acoustics characteristic of cathedral space. The proportions of the room were so pleasing that we perceived it to be in perfect balance by whatever criteria, whether masculine with feminine, yin with yang or architectural ratio. None of us wanted to leave. The place opened us to reflection and memories, filling me with a sense of connection to the distant past that commanded my undying loyalty more appropriate to an age of faith than of doubt and bringing tears to my eyes. In real time, the room made me feel in balance, finely tuned, strong and agile. I wanted to dance the space despite the hard stone floor. I waited for everyone to leave, before leaping across the floor and turning a few cartwheels.

Wells was built over an ancient site as most medieval cathedrals were, whether to convert the local pagans to the new religion or to continue to capitalize on the earth energies is open to interpretation.  We visited the garden courtyard where the foundation of the original chapel can still be seen. Across the lawn was a small window in the wall looking into the garden where the original well head emerged as a lovely pond. 

Water in the form of underground streams, as well as electromagnetic energies were the first two elements required for placing sacred sites. Next came sacred measure and geometry. The entire cosmos of the planets studied and taken down in numeric form, then embodied into the measurements and architecture of the temple building, recorded there for posterity. Thus when we visited Glastonbury, that afternoon, we heard the story of how King Henry the VIII came to Glastonbury to demand the treasure (taxes collected) and not being given any blew up the cathedral, not realizing that the cathedral itself was known as The Treasure, a farmer's almanac of information about the movement of the planets, eclipses, seasonal events. All that was left was a few buttresses and a piece of the chapel ceiling.

For our final event together we climbed up the side of the hill just beneath the Tor. The Tor was the iconic symbol of Glastonbury. It was the tower on top of a hill; said hill was once surrounded by water and was the island known as Avalon. Freddy got out his dowsers and found an energy vortex in the ground, counting out nine spirals. He then directed us to form two intersecting lines like a celtic cross. Thus joined we ran together in a counter clockwise direction to insert our energy into the vortex. After three or four turns we ran the other direction to release the energy. Freddy counted the spirals again and there were 23. This was to show us that in interacting with the land we were able to increase the energies and keep them potent. 

Thus the purpose of the pilgrim was revealed. To bring to the earth our energy, keep alive the fecundity of the land and keep the planet happy so both would thrive for another year. Not a bad practice considering our current relationship to the planet.

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