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24 September 2014

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Moonraking: What does it all mean?
Edington Church

So what is a ley line? How does dowsing actually work? Why are earth energies so significant?

Summer Saint-John from Wiltshire-based Apogee helps define these oddities.

Why are our churches on ley lines?
Q: What is a ley line?

A: A: This is a much debated subject but the term 'ley line' was coined in the 1920s by a man called Alfred Watkins. Of course, our ancestors were working with ley lines long before the 1920s.

Alfred was a Hereford antiquarian and pioneer photographer. When he was out riding his horse one day, the surrounding landscape suddenly came 'alive' for him. He saw interconnecting lines joining churches, hill forts, wells and other ancient sites.

One of the best ways to discover where ley lines are is to pick out ancient landscape features on a map and join the dots! You can also dowse over a map using a pendulum (see dowsing) to find these lines. This is known as 'ley hunting'.

My feeling is that these ley lines are a mixture of natural earth currents and mans' intervention. Our ancestors (particularly in the Neolithic period) were very aware of the earth's energy and the power that it carries. Not only did they build their sacred structures on power spots (see earth energies), but they also pulled and 'pinned' these currents into straight lines to amplify them in some way.

In later times, churches were added to these lines and the freemasonic architects who built them were very aware of what they were doing. One of the most famous ley lines is the St Michael line that runs from St Michaels Mount in Cornwall up to Hopton in East Anglia. It passes through many sacred sites including Glastonbury and Avebury.

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Q: What are earth energies?

A: If you think that our planet is just a dead lump of rock - think again! The Earth is actually a living body and, like us, it has a natural life force that runs through it. This energy often runs in lines that were known and felt by our ancestors.

These lines are known by different names: power lines, earth currents, telluric lines, dragon lines (in China), songlines (in Australia) and are rivers of energy that flow around the globe in a network.

Some of these form straight lines (see ley lines) and some are curvier or form patterns. So what causes these energy lines?

People have been debating this for centuries but, I feel, that there are two main types: lines that are caused by physical features in the earth, and those that are part of a more subtle web.

Most people agree that magnetism and underground water play a large part in the 'physical' lines. The earth's magnetic field radiates out to the surface and both humans and animals are sensitive to this. On its way from the core, the magnetic field passes through features such as underground veins of water, minerals and fault lines. These will change it in a subtle ways.

If we stand in these distorted fields they will affect us both physically and psychically (and yes, we are all psychic to some degree!). Some of them can actually make us ill and this is called geopathic stress.

The subtle energy web is a harder one to explain but I think of these lines as being 'emotional' currents. I feel these are a product of the personality of a place and events that may have happened to it along the way.

Anyone who has ever stood on a battlefield and felt the emotional energy held there will know what I mean.

Of course, the physical and emotional networks are often inter-related and where two or more lines cross is a more powerful place.

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Q: What is geomancy?

A: A: The word geomancy comes from the Greek words geo- (relating to the earth) and mantikos (prophetic). It is sometimes known as earth divination.

The more modern understanding of it is the practice of identifying subtle energies in the landscape and how these are affecting us - both physically and emotionally.

The intention is to enable a more harmonious interaction between people and places.

A geomancer, is someone who can read these energies and rebalance them where necessary.

In China, a Feng Shui master would use geomancy skills to read the earth energies to find the best location for a house/ temple/grave to ensure health and prosperity.

One of the main ways of 'divining' earth energies is by dowsing (see dowsing).

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Q: How does dowsing work?

A: Dowsing is when we use an object to indicate unconscious information that we are picking up through our intuition or through our body.

Tools that are used for this include: L-rods (bent metal wires), small tree branches and pendulums. However, it is possible to use anything that swings/rotates and I sometimes use my car keys if I haven't got my pendulum with me!

One of the best-understood uses of dowsing is water divining. In this case the dowser will hold, usually, a Y-shaped branch in both hands and fix the intention of locating water in his/her mind. As the dowser moves over underground water, this will be registered in his/her body on a subtle level and tiny changes in the muscles will cause the branch to bend down or up depending on that particular dowser.

However, dowsing is more that just our body registering the environment. Intuition plays a large part, as it is possible to dowse for water/earth energies on a map so clearly the dowser is tapping into something higher.

A pendulum is generally used to give 'yes' and 'no' answers i.e. if it rotates to the right that can mean 'no' and to the left means 'yes'.

I know complementary therapists who will use this technique to help them select a remedy for a client but it can be used for virtually any situation where you want to ask a yes/no question.

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