Leylines and EcologyThis is the full text of the booklet first published in 1985 by Gothic Image

Illustrated by Marko Pogacnik
  • Introduction
  • Earth Spirit
  • Ley Lines
  • Ley Centres
  • Tracks and Aquastats (water domes)
  • The Human Factor
  • Ecology and Artscape
  • Further Reading
for Austin Arnold
Loving thanks to the whole family of landscape angels for their joy and inspiration, particularly the Angels of Sempas, Novi Pazar, Venice, Glastonbury and London and their mother, Gaia.
Over the last few years interest has been growing in the idea that the surface of the Earth is covered with a network of energy lines known as leys or dragon lines.
There is uncertainty as to whether these lines are real or imagined, but the original basis for thinking that they exist is the positioning of ancient monuments, of sites of worship and of standing stones in straight lines sometimes over several hundreds of miles. There is disagreement over whether the ancients made up these alignments or whether they were following patterns already there in the landscape which they could ‘see’ through poetic imagination, clairvoyance, geomancy or dowsing.
In this short booklet we hope to provide a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of ley lines which we understand to be not only real but also a vital, dynamic and beautiful aspect of this planet’s life. The first few pages tend to be somewhat ‘scientific’, but we feel that this is necessary in order to draw a picture that satisfies twentieth century thinking as well as our intuitions.
To put into words, however, a reality that is made of dancing energy is a dangerous task, for there can be no guarantee that these static printed symbols on paper can properly tell the truth about a phenomenon that is multi-dimensional.
It is, of course, for each individual to find her or his own truth and perspective.
Earth Spirit
There are many mysteries concerning this planet which modern science has not yet deciphered. As yet, there is no satisfactory theory to explain gravity and the magnetosphere which surrounds Earth. If Earth has the properties of a giant magnet, then what is the source of this magnetism? Similarly, the constitution and temperature of Earth are unknown.
Living on her surface and in the turmoil of human life, we tend to forget the wonders of her greater nature. She is 7,900 miles in diameter and 24,800 miles in circumference. In perfect rhythm she spins on her axis every twenty-four hours at a speed judged at the equator of approximately 1000 miles per hour. She also dances around her older brother the Sun every 365 (and a quarter) days making a voyage of around 760 million miles every year at a speed of 66,000 miles per hour. And the Solar System itself, as part of a far greater galaxy, the Milky Way, is making its own great spiralling voyage through space.
These celestial mechanics are wonderful enough. but there are other phenomena linking the Sun, the Planets and the Galaxies in a web of electromagnetic and higher frequency energy waves. The closest and most well-known is the rhythmic magnetic pull of the moon on the Earth’s oceans. Less known but in every children’s encyclopaedia is the solar wind of ionised gas that flows outward from the Sun at speeds of 180-310 miles per second. Then again there are cosmic rays, highly energetic fast moving particles, whose source also is still unknown.
Modern astronomy, astrophysics and sub-atomic high energy physics are investigating areas of knowledge which stretch the human imagination and consciousness. The more that science unveils, the more fantastic and exquisite the mysteries of life become. The perfect harmonics of Newtonian physics, the mystical qualities of sub-atomic particles and the galactic stretches of the imagination required to grasp modern astronomy: all these demonstrate that the discoveries of contemporary science can also be understood and perhaps best be understood as an unfolding revelation of Spirit.
It is for every reader to hold her or his own philosophical and religious beliefs, but by Spirit we mean the following: that everything which we know tangibly and physically to be in existence is, in fact, the manifestation of a more subtle and invisible energy existence. To put it another way: every thing which can he perceived by our usual five senses has an invisible hut a real and dynamic existence at a higher frequency energy level. Sometimes these higher frequency energy states can be registered by scientific instruments, eg: X-rays, gamma waves and cosmic rays.
Moreover, we suggest that this higher frequency energy existence is the essential life-giving principle of any form and that it is not simply a radiation effect. This is not a novel idea for it is. of course, a basic proposition of much philosophy: that Spirit (1) manifests as Life (2) through Form (3).
Our twentieth century understanding of electro-magnetic and wave phenomena has given us new terminology and insights for such a philosophical proposition. eg: high frequency and low frequency states of energy. Thus we might say that all Life (2) is the manifestation of a higher frequency energy state (1) expressing itself through a lower frequency energy state (3). A crude example of this might be the emergence of organic life in what is called the cosmic slime as a result of the action upon it of the Sun’s rays.
These three factors the higher manifesting as life through the lower form a triangular relationship for understanding life and creation that has been symbolically expressed in many religions and philosophies as a Trinity of goddesses, gods and divine principles.
A major point which we wish to make in this short essay is that the energy network which covers the surface of Earth cannot he understood unless it is realised that the geological solid Earth is only the form (lower frequency energy state) of a more electric and subtle electro-magnetic essence (higher frequency energy state). Just as human bodies are the vehicles of manifestation for an inner, dynamic and multi-dimensional self, so the geological Earth is also but the vehicle of manifestation of a far more subtle, more dynamic and more electric inner Spirit.
Ley Lines
Ley lines, then, form the matrix of energy which is the dynamic physical principle of the geological body of Earth. Ley lines are the essential structure of the etheric body of the Earth Spirit. To appreciate this, it can be helpful to imagine Earth as having no dense physical existence, but being only a globe of interconnected lines of electric energy, a sphere made up of webs of energy.
 These lines vary in length from five miles to approximately two thousand miles; they are straight, but not dead straight and may over distance undulate gently. They also vary in width and in intensity of energy. If one looks through one, as if a cross-section had been cut, a ley is hourglass shaped, its narrowest section occurring at the point of intersection with the Earth’s surface. The ley exists below the Earth as much as above it.
It has the internal formation of a double vortex. This double vortex brings energy down into the geological Earth; at the same time a particular quality of energy is also radiated out from the ley line into the atmosphere.
The energy that is brought down in the double vortex is of various densities; some of these correspond to the human experiences of feeling, of emotion, of mentality, of spirit and so on. In a very real sense this vortex phenomenon is the manifestation of the will of the Earth Spirit to be in incarnation. The essence or the consciousness of the Earth Spirit exists at a very high frequency energy state which if experienced directly by a human being induces a state which is often called bliss. The dynamism of the vortex structure of leys is the result of the force or purpose or will used by the Earth Spirit to manifest in form.
We also mentioned that the double vortex of a ley radiates a particular quality of energy. Why is this so and what is this particular quality? To answer these two questions requires an understanding of the purpose of the Earth Spirit in taking on dense physical form life at all. It parallels, of course, the purpose of human incarnation. The Earth Spirit’s purpose is, through the process of time and vibratory experience, to distribute a new quality of energy to the fields of energy that make up her body. Human beings experience this new quality of energy in a manner that may be summed up in the two words unconditional love.
In a very real sense what we interpret in human experience as unconditional love is that cosmic principle which actually brings about what we recognise as life and the life force, whether in the case of an incarnating planetary spirit or a human multidimensional self soul. The force of unconditional love as it incarnates in form is the indwelling cosmic fire without which there is no life no life of growth. change, rhythm and movement.
The life force of the Earth Spirit radiates from the leys and ley centres. Without this life force radiating from the ley network, there would be no growth in any of the different natural realms mineral, vegetable, animal or human. In some Eastern teachings this force is called fohat or prana. The life force of Earth which radiates from her ley network is intimately bound tip with the life force of the Sun, being as they are part of the same pranic field. There is thus an exceptionally close interconnection between the Sun, the ley network of Earth and the health or life force of all the natural realms that inhabit Earth. This is why it is that throughout history people instinctively, intuitively or self-consciously have paid great attention to Earth’s ley network. By doing so, people have been able to enhance and enrich the growth of their natural surroundings, for example their crops, as well as enhancing their own health physical and spiritual. They have also, of course, been acknowledging their relationship with Earth.
There are two other major factors that have to be taken into account for a full understanding of the ley network.
First, Earth is not a uniformly smooth energy sphere with the same amount of energy and activity evenly spread across her. She has differentiated levels of activity and distinct centres of energy sensitivity and radiance.
Second, Earth and the Solar System are part of a far greater Galactic and Cosmic system in which there are many very intimate and sensitive energy relationships that are crucial to the existence and growth pattern of Earth.
Thus the ley network does not only carry the energy of the incarnating Earth Spirit, but the ley network is also a receiver and distributor of those other galactic energies which are relevant to the growth of Earth and her inhabitants. The most well-known of these other energies are those associated with the constellations of the Zodiac and with the other planets of the Solar System; less known, but equally vital for example. are the relationships with the stars of the Pleiades, the Great Bear and Sirius. It should, however, be noted that it is not only the ley network which is sensitive and reactive to these incoming energies; all life, both individually and in groups, and particularly human life, is also sensitive and reactive to these incoming energies.
The ley networks therefore, works in conjunction with the energy bodies of the mineral, plant, animal and human realms. The energy body of each plant or of each human, for example, is therefore involved in both the general energy system of the whole of the plant or human realm on Earth and also in the general energy system of Earth as a whole. There is thus a vital and dynamic interdependence between the parts and the whole, as the Earth Spirit carrying that new quality of energy which we call unconditional love incarnates through the total system. This interdependence also incorporates our Galaxy and Cosmos.
Ley Centres
Just as the whole of the plant realm or mineral realm or human realm can each be understood as just one centre one great energy centre in the body of the Earth Spirit, so the geological Earth and the ley network also have their own specific geographically located centres. These specific centres act as earthing physical points of focus for the Earth Spirit and the other incoming energies. These points of focus are similar to the nadirs of the human body which are known in acupuncture; much can be learned about the principles of the human body by studying Earth, just as much can be learned about her by studying a human. These ‘power’ or ‘magnetic’ centres vary in size and in quality, but they are always the focus where several leys intersect and fan out. Like the leys themselves, ley centres are great vortices accepting incoming energy and are also powerfully radiant. They vary greatly in terms of size and vitality. The core vortex of etheric energy at Glastonbury is one of the largest we have observed and is over half a mile in diameter. The more general radiatory vortex at Glastonbury, which is receptive to very high frequency and high quality energies, is over a dozen miles in diameter.
At some ley centres a primary function of the centre is to funnel the incoming energy deep into the body of the geological Earth so as purposefully to anchor and radiate the new qualities from the very energy base of the physical planet. This, so to speak, requires a more forceful and wilful entry into the Earth’s physical body; the ley vortex is therefore more vital and more ‘sharp’. We can call these types of centre power centres.
At other centres this wilful descent into Earth’s body does not occur and the effect is gentler and purely radiatory. These we can call magnetic centres. In London, for example, Primrose Hill is a power centre and Ludgate Hill is a magnetic centre.
Some centres are significant for the globe as a whole. Others are significant only locally.
Tracks and Aquastats
Leys are not, however, the only lines of energy upon Earth’s surface. There are other types of line that humans often sense or dowse. As Guy Underwood correctly noted, one is to do with the repeated movement of creatures over the same stretch of land and the other is to do with the flows of ‘electric’ water, beneath the surface of Earth, in the atmosphere or under the surface of the sea or a lake.
As all creatures animal and human are magnetic energy beings, an energy trail is left behind them wherever they go, like the wake created by a boat passing through water. If a particular path or track is taken time and time again, so the repeated wake effect creates a permanent energy imprint of the movement. These tracks can be very long and wide, such as the old drove roads down which flocks and herds were driven sometimes over many hundreds of miles, from pasture to pasture and to market. A similar effect, of course, is created by the migration routes of animals; the tracks of migratory birds are in the air high above the ground. Often these tracks or droves coincide with leys. Migrating animals instinctively follow these tracks and ley patterns; flocks of birds can frequently be seen circling at ley centres and energy junctions as they reorient themselves.
These tracks can also be tiny, like the path that mice might regularly take in a hedgerow or the path that some characterful bugs might repeatedly take in a kitchen towards the magnetic centre of an open jam jar. Woods and forests are beautifully patterned with these paths. One can lie in a meadow and peer at ground level through the long grass following these little tracks.
By the deliberate use of the principle energy follows thought an individual or group can ‘magically’ create, effect or rework these paths in order to guide the movement of people and animals. The great sweep in London from St. Paul’s Cathedral on Ludgate Hill down to Westminster is just such a great path.
The other type of line is that associated with ‘water’ and Guy Underwood called these aquastats. The reason, however, that we write the word water in quotation marks is that by ‘water’ we do not simply mean the liquid, but we are referring to more subtle magnetic currents which pattern Earth. We wish to be very careful in explaining these currents for in them is held the key to the perfect ecological relationship between humankind and Earth, a relationship which can be expressed life as art.
The first point to understand is the nature of the dynamics of energy at all levels of analysis. It has three major features which occur simultaneously. It revolves on its own axis, spinning. It moves in a circle, orbiting. it moves forward while spinning and orbiting, spiralling. This three-fold nature affects the form and shape of all manifest life and can be seen, for example, in the spiral of the Milky Way or the double helix of the DNA molecule.
In the geological Earth or the physical body of a human being. this spinning, orbiting and spiralling nature tines not define shapes in an obvious manner. in a subtle way, however, this three-fold nature of nature does actually define quality and features. Using the eye of poetic imagination one can perceive that there is always a quality of perfection and symmetry in landscape. One never senses that a stream, a hill, a mountain or a vale are out of place. This is due to the fact that the landscape is the result of the historical interaction of natural flows of energy spinning, orbiting, spiralling. It has the essential quality of a natural dance. Landscape is apparently frozen but is, in fact, still part of immensely long-term changes. This is to say that all natural shapes are the result of this immense fluid dance.
On a shorter time scale than the formation of geographical features, this phenomenon is easily observable in the growth of plants. It can also be seen in the texture and curvature of the human body. it is copied in dance and in the rhythms and descants of poetry and music.
All landscape then demonstrates this natural art and water, still moving, demonstrates it par excellence. The magnetic fluids or aquastats have the same quality as water but being even more fluid possess even greater natural playfulness. When one is near a spring or running water, one feels a sense of beauty, of well-being and of playfulness. The aquastats being invisible to ordinary sight, one notices them and their atmosphere only if one is more sensitively instinctive. Where aquastats burst forth vertically through the surface, like springs of real water, one finds areas in the landscape that have fairy-like atmospheres, that are magic rings. Pine trees frequently mark their position. These nature and beauty spots vary in size from a few feet across to, in a few very rare cases, some tens of miles in diameter, as for example in the Lake District in north west England or the Novi Pazar region of central Yugoslavia. The fluid movement of aquastats frequently inspires human design, for example in mosaic patterning or playful landscaping. in cities. where aquastats burst forth to create this magical atmosphere, one often finds the location of craft shops, street markets, art galleries, boutiques and other places where people like to gather to play or be creative.
Whereas leys are straight, purposefully radiatory and ‘masculine’, aquastats being a result of the interplay of leys with form are curving, spiralling, spinning, playful and ‘feminine’. Aquastats dance between leys, sometimes linking them over several miles; aquastats dance and spin where leys end, where leys intersect, or where leys interact with natural or human-made monuments and centres. This dance between leys and aquastats occurs not only horizontally upon the immediate surface of Earth, but also vertically beneath the surface, both in earth and in water, and above the surface in air. All this is happening not only at a neo-physical or etheric level – which, for example, can be seen by many people in the electric shimmer around a tree but also at higher frequency energy levels of existence up to and including what we call spirit.
Aquastats also always play with and follow the course of natural running water, and form definite intersecting vortices over and around springs and wells. Aquastats also tend to play around the tracks and paths made by humans and animals, but this depends on the inherent power and playfulness of the track.
We have, therefore, three types of line leys, tracks and aquastats. lays are the major lines of force that are a direct electric result of the Earth Spirit wilfully manifesting as physical form. Tracks are lines created by the repeated movement of living beings over the same path. And aquastats are the patterns of dancing energy that emerge as a result of the interaction between ley energy and the intrinsic energy of form or matter. In terms of frequency, there are more aquastats and tracks than leys. By and large, however, walking for a mile in one direction should bring one across a ley. The frequency of aquastats and tracks depends upon the particular history of the region and the living interactions that have taken place there.
The Human Factor
Humans are very dynamic energy beings. Our movements, feelings, sentiments and our thoughts are powerful transmissions. As a species we are the bull in the planetary china shop. Our stupidity, ambition, fear, clumsiness, pride, greed, self-satisfaction and limited vision lead us to creating fantastic messes. But the most crucial part of our inner essence leads us to great sensitivity, to a sense of the exquisite in nature and to a powerful aspiration to cooperate. We are capable, consciously or unconsciously, of working with the great energy network that permeates Earth. We are able to cooperate instinctively or self-consciously by directly affecting the ley network and landscape of Earth.
The ley network can be used and affected in the following ways:
(1) Fertility
In the description of the vortical nature of leys and ley centres, we explained how leys were the source of the life force that radiated from them this being the result of the incarnation of the Earth Spirit with her dynamic new quality of life. The functioning of leys and ley centres has a direct effect on the surrounding plant and animal life (and more slowly on mineral life). An enhancement of the radiation of a ley centre or a ley will itself enhance the fertility of crops and livestock.
People can themselves increase the quantity and quality of this life-enhancing radiation. This can be done in two ways: by using the human body itself as a boosting transmitter or by using other forms. such as standing stones, as boosters.
There are several ways in which people can use their own bodies, and, by body we, of course, mean the whole electric human being functioning with energies of feeling, sentiment, thought, intuition and spirit. These different methods include: meditation, contemplation, prayer, worship, ritual, ceremony and folk dance. Each of these methods involves raising and peaking human awareness so as to reach and draw in new energy fields; here the human is her/himself a vortex. The degree to which these methods will be successful in enhancing the ley radiation will depend on how well attuned the person is to two factors: first, to the vibration of nature in Mother Earth and, second, to the cosmic principle of unconditional love. Perhaps a helpful phrase for attuning to these elements is: the loving playfulness of human creaturehood. it involves a careful mixture of innocence, high attunement and anchored radiation.
The major use of other forms as boosters is found in standing stones and in structures of worship such as temples and churches. Tom Graves compares the use of standing stones to the use of needles in acupuncture. This is right. As the stone or rock is cut, prepared, moved and ceremonially positioned, so the intention of the architect transmits itself into the stone. The energy structure of the stone absorbs the idea of the architect. This intention may, of course, be intensified by the use of further ritual and blessing. When the stone is in position it therefore carries its own electromagnetic dynamism as well as the dynamism imparted to it by its architects this is then anchored, increased and enhanced by being in the dancing energy of a ley vortex. Thus a beneficent circle of radiation is set up between the stone and the ley.
When stones are set up in patterns that are symbolic of cosmological principles of evolution and cosmic sources of energy, then the radiance effect is greatly increased. This comes about because the cosmic energies represented symbolically in the pattern are actually magnetically attracted into the structure by the function of the two principles ‘like attracts like’ and ‘as above so below’. This is the essential purpose in an architect’s use of sacred geometry.
Church and temple buildings can also be energetically radiant but only if the structure is also based upon principles of sacred architecture in which form is resonant with the harmonics of the energy structure of our cosmos. Examples of this kind of architecture can be seen in pyramids, palladian forms, resonant gothic arches and radiant domes.
By the use of the human body, of standing stones and of sacred buildings, humans can create new magnetic centres though not power centres. If the magnetism of this new centre is sufficiently powerful it will draw unto itself energy from other leys and ley centres, thus creating aquastats and in certain cases even creating new leys.
(2) Personal Growth
People can make use of the vortical quality of leys and ley centres to aid their own spiritual growth and expansion of consciousness. There are two major ways in which ley vortices can be used to aid human beings:
First, at a ley or a ley centre, etheric matter and dense matter are vibrating at a rate and with a quality of energy that is generally higher than elsewhere on the planet’s surface. When people are in a ley or a ley centre this higher vibratory field directly increases the rate of vibration of the etheric and dense matter making up the human brain. The result of a higher vibration of the matter that makes up the brain is that the brain is then more sensitive to and more able to anchor in full consciousness new awarenesses and information that were previously too subtle to register. Ley and ley centres may, therefore, help to bring about what we call revelation. This can also work in apparently negative ways, for this increased vibratory activity of the brain may also allow the individual to register new energy information whose source is actually within her/his own psyche but which has previously been repressed.
Second, the nature of the ley vortex is such that there is, so to speak, a warp between the planes. To put it another way, there is a more dynamic interflow between the different frequency electromagnetic fields which fields we might call from the point of view of human experience: feeling, sentiment, thought, intuition, spirit, cosmic and so on. Thus someone who meditates or prays at a ley centre is facilitated in consciousness expansion by the fact that there is less environmental resistance to the individual pushing her or his consciousness beyond previously held fields of awareness. The new awarenesses are then also easier to register in full consciousness because of the heightened vibration of the brain and the fact that the brain can now register subtle information more easily.
If one lives permanently in such a place, this does not by any means mean that one is naturally more spiritual in terms of attunement to unconditional love. It does mean, however, that one is more active as a psychic being for better or for worse.
(3) Radiation Service
We have already discussed how people can affect the radiation of leys and ley centres in order to enhance the life force and increase fertility. In doing this people need only work at a vibrational level that is attuned to Mother Nature and to unconditional love. It is possible, however, for people to work with this radiation effect in order to beam out waves of nurture and spiritual aid at levels other than those specifically to do with Mother Nature. These other waves of nurture and aid can be radiated out at any vibrational level within the human spiritual spectrum to help any living being or situation.
The sentiment or thought that is transmitted may be a diffuse one such as ‘love’ or ‘peace’. or it may be more specific and aimed at a particular problem that requires healing. Again, how efficiently this works will depend, not simply upon concentration and willpower, but upon the degree to which one is surrendered to unconditional love. This is to say that careful attunement to a high quality of energy and awareness is required before any effective radiation work can be done.
These three human ways of working with leys indicate that the perfect temple situated on a ley would involve the following: 1) radiant service to the fertility of the natural surroundings, 2) private meditation and contemplation, and 3) the radiation of unconditional love in diffuse and specific ways across the globe generally.
Apart from the creation of the perfect temple, what is also indicated is that to place an ashram, church, temple, spiritual or community centre anywhere except on a ley is to ignore the great help that Earth herself offers us.
Ecology and Artscape
In a perfect world human beings would live and behave in a manner that was instinctively in tune with the energy and features of the natural landscape. This would mean not simply that people would act in an attuned way because they were being ‘spiritual’, but that all human activity would naturally be in concord with its natural environment. This would be a perfect ecology. Is it possible?
Many thinkers might object that it is impossible for humanity to regress, to turn back history and to return to what they might call a ‘primitive’ state. This, we believe, is to miss the point that human beings are not only dynamic psychic beings who have created this wondrous twentieth century technology and industrial/commercial mess but are also simultaneously creatures of Earth.
We share, as a species. the attributes of spirituality and creaturehood. We may be enthralled and hypnotised by the complex social superstructures of modern life, but we still dance, make love, need nurture, dream, play and surrender to beauty and to nature.
It is, it seems, as people seek power that they lose a true perception of their environment, Earth. In seeking power, people either move too fast or are too egocentric to perceive their natural surroundings. The seeking of power can be for various reasons to satisfy ambition, to cradle insecurity or simply to satisfy hunger in conditions of hunger. In the case of fear of hunger we can only be sympathetic; we should remember that mass starvation is not only a horrendous contemporary reality for many millions, but is also an archetypal folk memory for the whole human race.
Our major concern in this final section, then, is to attempt to provide some helpful insight into the way that people can live, work and create in the natural environment. Idealistically, we are suggesting that no intervention take place in the landscape and that no new structures or forms be created except in attunement with the natural dancing energy environment.
The first major problem is the very practical one of how we can get in touch with and ‘sense’ the flow of lines and landscape. It seems to the authors, however, that it is an inherent part of human nature to be able to attune to environment and landscape. Everyone is sensitive to and moved by the beauty of dawn and sunset, by the playfulness of running water, by the moods of forests, mountains and deserts. The trick is to transfer this sense of awe and this awareness of natural beauty to wherever we happen to be. This is possible no matter what the surroundings are. It can be achieved by a private act of will-to-good by a purposeful act of joyful surrender.
Another method of achieving this awareness is gently to relax one’s body, one’s feelings, emotions and thoughts, and then to study carefully and in detail one small object such as a tuft of grass or a rock or a paving stone or a chair leg. Study and be aware of it for a length of time; follow its shape and texture: touch it and be loving towards to it. Then slowly transfer attention to the environment of which it is a part, yet still retaining one’s attitude of awareness and care. Slowly and innocently be aware of all paths. shapes. textures and curves. Surrender to beauty, which is not in the eye of the beholder but which is always there. One’s imagination must be playful and everything that one notices is meaningful.
If an exercise of this kind is frequently repeated, it can bring great clarity of perception and discrimination. This form of attunement can then be complemented by dowsing techniques, but we feel that dowsing without a general awareness of natural beauty is a scientific dead-end.
In the East, a highly sophisticated and intricate science of studying the environment in order to landscape and to position objects was developed known as feng shui. This careful approach to landscape and balancing the elements was, we feel. appropriate to the far eastern cultures of the last two thousand years, but is not necessarily relevant to our own times. We propose as perhaps more relevant to our modern times an approach that is essentially intuitive and one of inspiration and art. A modern approach includes not only the principles involved in the perfect symmetry of a Japanese water garden. but also the humour and cultural insights contained, for example, in surreal art and dada. There are many helpful books on landscaping and feng shui, a few of which we list in the bibliography.
The positioning of buildings, structures and plants, then, takes place with a thorough instinctive, mental and intuitive awareness of the place in which we are artscaping. The actual proportions and shapes of the new structures also follow the environmental flow, and in designing them one can make use of either the proportions of sacred geometry or else the inspiration of art; using either of these procedures, but preferably both, new structures are sculptures of the landscape and are never simply functional objects. This is clear, for example, in the planning of classical Athens, of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Wren churches that were built in London after the Great Fire, and much of Venice. There are examples, of course, all over the world.
In terms of dwelling places for humans, animals and plants, a total approach must also include an acute awareness of the needs of the potential inhabitants, with a profound focus on the kind of space that is required for free and unhindered growth. High rise flats, most city planning and factory farming are monuments to thoughtlessness and disharmony. Before intervening in any landscape, therefore, it is crucial that one is intimate not only with the landscape but also with the beings who use it. Awareness and a sense of art must be complemented by respect.
Most of us, of course, are not in the professional business of creating structures; but we can affect those who are. This issue of how we affect professional builders, architects and landscapers, leads directly to the far greater issue of how we personally situate ourselves in the environment and how we relate and act towards it. Particularly living in the middle of a large city, it may seem impossible to achieve a satisfactory attunement. But we do have to achieve this attunement and act on it; surely we have little choice if we are to return our planet to a semblance of harmony and order.
One of the authors of this booklet currently resides in the centre of London having previously lived in the country. Before returning to the city, for three months he daily sat in silence for a few minutes and anchored into his consciousness the following facts: that wherever he is, the major portion of Earth’s surface is covered with the wilderness of oceans, that the major part of Earth’s land surface is still green, that soil and earth is always beneath him despite the intervening concrete and that the sky is always above him. Regardless of where he is, he is always a creature of the living Earth. This is to say that regardless of where we live, we can always be aware that we are part of a total living environment. Daily focus upon this is profoundly nurturing and helpful. This can also be enhanced by becoming aware of the local landscape that exists beneath the immediate appearance of the city or town: the underlying soil and rock type, the lie of the land and hills, the situation of underground streams and springs, areas of particular atmosphere, the situation of churches and places of gathering, and so on.
We also believe that it is of fundamental importance that our awareness of the environment should not be passive, but should be positive and active. This requires effort, not only in terms of holding on to a clear perception of the totality of life on Earth, but also in terms of how we behave and create our lives. We may not be the builders of great monuments and structures, we may not be landscapers, but we each of us create and act in our own private environments, in our own personal ecological systems.
Our personal ecological systems include our bodies, our clothes, the general attitude of our personalities. our homes, our workplaces and so on through to the general region in which we live. Care has to be taken with each one of these personal environments and each one of these environments can be individually artscaped to be in attunement with ourselves and our environments. This is a process of art, of discipline and of expansive love. It is also a recognition of our intimate involvement with and dependence upon the ley and energy system of our beloved Earth. It is for each one us to work in our own way, yet all sharing the same understanding of our common reality.
In this short booklet we have only skimmed across the surface of profoundly important issues. We hope that we have shared, and made more clear, information and insights that all of us already instinctively know.
And, in the unconditional love which is the Spirit of Earth, we feel embraced by that great contemporary movement which is working to restore sanity, balance and beauty to all Earth’s life.
Further Reading
Jose Arguelles, Earth Ascending, Shambhala Publications, 1984.
Jose & Miriam Arguelles, Mandala, Shambhala Publications, 1972.
Alice A. Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, Lucis Press, 1970.
Louis Charpentier, The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral, RILKO, 1972.
Paul Devereux & Ian Thomson, The Ley Hunter’s Companion, Thames & Hudson, 1979.
Michael Disney, The Hidden Universe, J.M. Dent, 1984.
Nan Fairbrother, New Lives, New Landscapes, Alfred A. Knopf, 1970.
Nan Fairbrother, The Nature of Landscape Design, The Architectural Press. 1974.
Findhorn Community, The Findhorn Garden, Turnstone/Wildwood House, 1976.
Dion Fortune, The Cosmic Doctrine, several editions.
Tom Graves, Needles of Stone, Turnstone Press, 1978.
Tom Graves, Dowsing Techniques and Applications, Turnstone, 1976.
Geoffrey & Susan Jellicoe, The Landscape of Man, Thames & Hudson, 1975.
J.E. Lovelock, GAlA A New Look at Life on Earth, OUP, 1979.
K.E. Maltwood, A Guide to Glastonbury’s Temple of the Stars, James Clarke, 1982.
John Michell, The New View Over Atlantis, Thames & Hudson, 1983.
John Michell, The Earth Spirit, Thames & Hudson, 1975.
Marko Pogacnik, The Art Around Novi Pazar, Zajednica za Kultura, Novi Pazar, Yugoslavia, 1983.
Marko Pogacnik, The Hidden Pathway Through Venice, Carucci Editore, Rome, 1985.
Stephen Skinner, The Living Earth Manual of Feng-Shui, Routledge Kegan Paul, 1982.
Shirley Toulson, The Drovers, Shire Publications, 1980.
Shirley Toulson, Lost Trade Routes, Shire Publications, 1983.
Yi-Fu Fuan, Topophilia, Prentice Hall, 1971.
Guy Underwood, The Pattern of the Past, Museum Press, 1969.
Alfred Watkins, The Old Straight Track, Garnstone Press, 1970.