Leylines and Ecology

Book Cover Leylines by William Bloom
This 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.

Soulution: The Holistic Manifesto

Soulution: The Holistic Manifesto

Book Cover Soulution by William Bloom

How Today’s Spirituality Changes Everything

“At last – the book that puts it all together for us: spirituality, healthcare and practical living. Dr Bloom weaves the twenty-first century tapestry we need. This is a real step forward.” Prof David Peters, Chair of British Holistic Medical Association.

Soulution provides an inspiring and much-needed explanation of the new spirituality emerging all across the world. It is for everyone who has a spiritual instinct and it offers a dynamic antidote to fundamentalism.

In this vital and visionary book, William Bloom provides the first full description and explanation of this movement, forecasting that it is becoming the major spiritual approach on the planet.

Includes 365 suggestions for holistic living.

Be a positive influence for a better world.

“Absolutely brilliant.” Caroline Myss

“Thorough, thought-provoking and practical – a much needed dose of reality.” Prediction Magazine

“Refreshing and new … Readable, jargon free, coherent, thoughtful, and yet challenging and provoking … a flag for the new paradigm.” Light Magazine.

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Encyclopedia of Mind, Body and Spirit (eds)

Encyclopedia of Mind, Body and Spirit (eds)

Book Cover Encyclopedia of MBS by William Bloom
Co-edited with Professor David Peters and Judy Hall

Bringing together a range of expert authors from various fields of complementary health, personal development and esoteric wisdom, this comprehensive and authoritative reference provides the complete guide to healing therapies, exercise and diet regimes and spiritual traditions from around the world.

Clearly and logically organized into three main parts, Mind, Body and Spirit, the book then is divided into subsections including Divination and Prophecy, Energy Therapies and Earth Mysteries.

A comprehensive cross-referencing system allows you to find related subjects easily and take your understanding to a deeper level, while step-by-step photography and stunning illustrations provide further insights into therapies and spiritual approaches.

A prestige publication, The Encyclopedia of Mind, Body and Spirit is ideal for both beginners and more advanced readers. From mythology to psychic skills, and astrology to Wicca, this encyclopedia is the only resource you will ever need.

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Personal Identity, National Identity, International Relations

Personal Identity, National Identity, International Relations

Book Cover Personal Identity by William Bloom
Personal Identity, National Identity and International Relations is the first psychological study of nation-building, nationalism, mass mobilisation and foreign policy processes.

In a bold exposition of identification theory, William Bloom relates mass psychological processes to international relations.

He draws on Freud, Mead, Erikson, Parsons and Habermas to provide a rigorously argued answer to the longstanding theoretical problem of how to aggregate from individual attitudes to mass behaviour.

With a detailed analysis of the nation-building experience of preindustrial France and England, William Bloom applies the theory to international relations.

Cambridge University Press, 1993 Purchase here

The Penguin Book of New Age and Holistic Writing

Book cover for Penguin Book of New Age Writing
This is an anthology of holistic writings and gems.

first published in hardback by Penguin as ‘The Holistic Revolution’

As we enter the 21st century and millions of us turn to new and practical ways of coping with the modern world, the New Age and Holistic movements have become hugely popular and influential.

Now, in the information age, we have access to a wide range of alternative therapies, complementary medicine, new scientific perspectives, Eastern philosophies and distant cultures to help us achieve physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

But what are the ideas behind Holism?

This inspirational and authoritative guide introduces the major concepts and great thinkers of the New Age and Holistic movements, showing how they have influenced the way we now think of health, religion, philosophy, sexuality and feminism.

It offers wisdom and advice from some of the best-known and most respected writers of the New Age, including Louise Hay on emotional healing, Deepak Chopra on the prevention of aging, Ram Dass on psychedelia, M. Scott Peck on the nature of love, Jonathon Porritt on overcoming greed and self-interest, Carl Jung on dreams and Carlos Castaneda on shamanism.

With eight sections covering all aspects of Holism, each with an enlightening introduction by William Bloom, this is the essential New Age handbook.

>> There are a few copies available on Amazon

from the Introduction


The intellect says: “The six directions are limits: there is no way out.”
Love says: “There is a way: I have travelled it thousands of times.”
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle:
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.
Lovers who drink the dregs of the wine reel from bliss to bliss:
The dark-hearted men of reason burn inwardly with denial.
The intellect says: “Do not go forward, annihilation contains only thorns.”
Love laughs back: “The thorns are in you.”
Enough words! Silence!
Pull the thorn of existence out of the heart! Fast!
For when you do you will see thousands of rose gardens in yourself.
– Rumi

In a shrinking planet of free-flowing information, the whole nature of what we call religion is bound to change. The monolithic certainty which has defined most faiths has no choice today but to encounter all the other competing spiritual certainties. For some people this encounter stimulates defensiveness and fundamentalism. But for many others, in the spirit of open-mindedness, rigid boundaries melt or are overthrown.

Today, if people want to investigate the meaning and the wonder of life, if people want to understand who they are and how best to live their lives enquiries that were once the strict preserve of the few established religions there are now a thousand paths to pursue.

The change over the last hundred years has been dramatic. At any point in history up until this century, people were genuinely restricted in seeking answers to their significant enquiries about meaning, wonder and identity. There were severely limited sources of information. Where could they go for discussion, insight and wise choices? There were no local bookshops, no newspapers, no specialist journals, no mass media, no local libraries. For immediate attention there was little choice but the local priest or wise woman. And what could be expected from these two? Anything, depending on their education and attitude.

The seeker could perhaps travel, either to some library or centre of learning, or wander as a pilgrim from teacher to teacher. But that kind of searching path required a determined motivation. It also required literacy, not a common currency.

Access to information was geographically and culturally restricted. Actually seeking the information could also be dangerous. Heresy might lead to death.

In the past, therefore, because of these general conditions it was easy for organised religious institutions to dominate access to information and the actual content of this information.

Today, on the other hand, someone who inquires into the purpose of life and the nature of identity, can simply wander down to the local bookshop. In a sense, of course, ever since there were bookshops and public libraries, people have been able to pursue their investigations independently. But since the 1960s there has been a huge expansion in the number of books which accessibly explore these issues. The enquiry is no longer restricted to academics and intellectuals, but has become truly public. Bookshop managers vary as to what to call this section of their shelves, but the most frequent labellings are Holistic or New Age or Mind-Body-Spirit, and they may cover for example popular philosophy, religion, new science, feminism, self-help, psychology, ecology and healing. In this section there may be between two hundred and several thousand books. In some of the specialist stories, there may be up to 20,000 titles covering the field and in the paperback non-fiction bestseller lists there are usually one or two New Age titles.

Alongside these books there is available a whole new industry of lectures, courses, trainings, retreats, holidays, workshops, treatments and consultations, all of which give people first-hand experience of the new ideas and approaches. Mainstream universities and colleges are also beginning to present these courses. And many people in the established religions, including priests, are exploring the holistic approach in a way that they find complementary to and supportive of their faith.

In this anthology, for ease of approach, I have divided the whole field into eight sections, starting with what we might be called the most physical and then travelling across a spectrum to the most metaphysical. These sections are New Science, Psychology, Ecology & Right Livelihood, Health & Healing, Feminism & the Goddess, Tribal & Shamanic Traditions, Mystic & Esoteric Religion, ending with Prophecy & Channelling. In each section I present extracts which give a taste of its most influential ideas. Each section and contribution is separately introduced.

And in this introduction and throughout the book, I use the two terms Holistic and New Age interchangeably, as referring to the same general phenomenon. I imagine in the long-term, however, that the phrase New Age will pass out of common usage as the culture inevitable becomes less new and as the significance of the term holistic becomes better appreciated….

Originally perceived by many people as a passing fashion, the holistic and New Age movement can no longer be ignored by anyone….

What was marginal two decades ago is now increasingly mainstream.

There has been a huge change, and commentators are only just beginning to grasp how deep and significant it is. Still thinking that it might be ephemeral, they are missing the wider context. The cultural environment has genuinely changed and, with it, the form and culture of religion are also transforming.

The very nature of the post-modern global village the contemporary way of researching, perceiving and interpreting is that people do and will seek information as widely as possible. It is absolutely logical, then, that religion and religious enquiry will also begin to reflect these new circumstances. It will tend to be international, universalist, process-oriented, pluralistic, diverse, democratic, networked and decentralised. Reflecting the free-flowing accessibility of information, the new religious approach will also tend be an open information system and not one of closed beliefs. All of this is exactly the nature of the holistic approach.

But this openness to diversity has also led to hostility and criticism. Many commentators have condemned the holistic movement as being a commercialisation of spirituality, a supermarket approach to the meaning of life, a buffet of shallow choices. But this criticism wrongly assumes that the multifaceted approach is, by its very nature, an avoidance of serious enquiry. It also presupposes that serious investigation should always be within one tradition and school. It is easy to imagine one of those sardonic strip cartoons where, at the end of a haircut, a hairdresser might enquire, “Anything for the weekend? Zen therapy, madam? Some quantum physics, sir? Tantric dancing?”

The holistic approach, however, celebrates the liberation from narrow paths that have too often been over-controlling if not completely corrupt. It sees no problem in people exploring and tasting many different approaches. In fact, the holistic approach encourages the widest possible enquiry precisely to avoid the pitfalls of cults and fundamentalism. The criticism that a widespread enquiry is in some way shallow misses the point that people need to start from a point of informed choice and then make their own decisions. Just because in the past people have been constrained to single religious paths is no sign that it was either good or useful. People should be free to explore meaning and reality in as many ways as are available.

I call the holistic movement religious because it explores the major metaphysical questions of wonder, meaning and identity. But many people within the holistic movement are actively hostile to or suspicious of the word religion precisely because of its association with hierarchical organisations seeking to impose uniformity of thought in the name of divine inspiration. One dictionary for example defines religion as belief in, worship of, obedience to a supernatural power considered to have control over human destiny … Any formal or institutionalised expression of such belief. (Collins Concise Dictionary 1996) Most holists are profoundly antagonistic to such a definition. The very nature of the holistic approach is to be aware of as many levels of analysis and avenues of insight that are relevant.

Fundamentalists from the different faiths are therefore hostile to the holistic approach. This is not surprising. The holistic approach openly challenges any belief system which claims exclusivity or monopoly of truth….

It is not only religious fundamentalists who dislike the New Age approach. Cynics, atheists and fundamentalist materialists are also antagonistic towards it. And this is understandable. Historically religion has been tinged with oppression, superstition, manipulation and over-simplification. The victory in the last centuries of a scientific, democratic and humanistic approach over monarchy and religion is to be cherished and upheld. The holistic movement can look just like another spiritual confidence trick, especially at its more illogical, superstitious and self-obsessed edges.

When, however, sceptical commentators actually engage with holistic ideas rather than just snipe from an attitudinal distance they are frequently disarmed. The only fundamentalist notion of holism is that the universe and consciousness are diverse but intimately interconnected and that it is healthy and meaningful to explore it all. Four centuries ago Francis Bacon recognised this danger of a closed mind among scientists and philosophers when he asserted to them: There is a superstition in avoiding superstition.

The accusation that the movement is shallow is also often accompanied by the assertion that, because of its diverse base, it has no clear morality. Where is its code of ethics? Post-modern relativism is all very well in art and fashion, but it cannot be applied to personal, social and spiritual behaviour. Relativism is too dangerous a morality. Holism provides no guidelines. This criticism also derives from the self-help aspect of the New Age movement which is well-publicised, commercially successful, often narcissistic and usually lacks social awareness.

There is a false supposition here that the holistic movement has, for some reason or another, ditched all the ethical guidelines which humanity has thus far found good and useful.

Whilst the holistic movement has not generally articulated its moral guidelines, they are implicit in and fundamental to the holistic way of thinking. They derive from various sources and, certainly, the movement needs to articulate them more clearly.

One source is the insights of contemporary science and ecology, which demonstrate the delicate and absolute interdependence of our lives on this planet and thus our inescapable need to take full responsibility for our attitudes and actions.

Another source is the clear moral codes of the worlds religions. The holistic movement is actively and warmly interested in all spiritual traditions and their ethical suggestions. It embraces them and is interested in how similar they are and how they complement each other. Here, in fact, is a clear example of how the holistic supermarket and post-modern relativism can work to everyones benefit. The Ten Commandments are not in competition with the Sermon on the Mount or the Buddhas Eightfold Path or any of the injunctions from other faiths. They are all respected and drawn upon. They reinforce each other.

A third source for the holistic moral code is in its healing and therapeutic background. From within the movement it seems only too obvious how vulnerable we and other life forms are. There is a clear recognition that human beings need safety, support and encouragement to fulfil themselves and their communities. There is also a clear sense that every human individual, like every tree or mountain or animal, is sacred and that, simply because we are alive, we deserve the space to grow and develop into our full potential.

In fact, Abram Maslows hierarchy of human needs has almost become a moral document for holists: Unless you are fed, clothed and housed, unless you are psychologically and physically safe, you cannot get on with the real business of fulfilling and actualising your life. We are all called therefore to behave in a manner that supports and encourages each other and the whole community of life. Holistic morality is not simply matter of avoiding bad behaviour. It is a clear call to a positive and proactive morality that has a distinct sense of psychological, ecological and social realities.

There are however crass and dangerous aspects of the movement. The accusations of commercialism and psychologically damaging quick-fixes are sometimes true. I am also concerned about those thoughtless new age ideas which suggest that every individual creates their own reality, with no understanding of historical reality and with no compassion for people caught up in overwhelming circumstances.

My most severe doubts of the holistic movement, however, are put in perspective when I focus on its fundamentally redemptive and benevolent dynamic. This dynamic can be seen clearly in a historical and mythic context.

Anthropological studies show that tribal peoples have an instinctive awareness of their environment and its sacred dimensions. They have a direct and unselfconscious personal experience of the beauty and spirit of nature and the universe. It is reasonable to imagine a time when all hunter-gathering and early pastoral peoples had this natural religious experience.

But the rise of civilisation, small cities and institutional religion, has had a profound impact upon this natural communion with nature and universe. Towns and cities, capitalism and technology, by their very nature the noise, the busyness, the buildings, the pollution, the drives tend to sabotage and obstruct the natural experience. This alienation from the natural and cosmic environment has been deepened by the great institutionalised religions which have tended actively to distrust any natural celebration of the environment. Many people have been tortured and burnt for their love of nature. To be a pagan is still dangerous in some places.

Marx protested about peoples alienation from their own labour. Freud challenged us with ideas about our sexual repression and alienation. But perhaps the most serious alienation of the last millennium has been our lack of connection with the wonder of life. We are creatures of a beautiful nature and universe yet we hardly feel it. We are of it, yet separate from it. This is a profound, unhealthy and dangerous division. Its separates us from our true relationship with our true environment. It leaves us frigid and anxious for short-term gratification, individually and as a global community.

The holistic approach presents a creative and deeply hopeful answer. Without returning to or creating religious dogma or superstition, it affirms that the natural experience of life is to connect with its wonder and pursue our inquiry into identity and meaning. It affirms that there is an inner spirit to everything, including ourselves.

Historically the worlds great faiths and their organisations have tended not to support such a democratic approach to spiritual experience. Their organisational structures reflect this with their hierarchical nature. At the top of the pyramid is some kind of divine revelation. At the bottom of the pyramid are the general recipients of the wisdom. In between is a curious layer of clerics and bureaucrats, patriarchs who usually distrust and repress those who do not respect their authority and status.

The holistic movement on the other hand has been created by people throughout the pyramid. This has not necessarily been a conscious ideological act. It emerges from the nature of contemporary information. The hierarchical model of religious revelation and organisation no longer has any relevance, because information flows in all directions and can emerge from anywhere within the system.

Holism also addresses and explains traditions that are foreign to each other. It is continually interested in new information and understandings. It has no desire to be centralised or organised. This is the very essence of the holistic revolution. From a religious standpoint, it marks the complete overthrow of the established style and structure.

If the religious impulse emerges from the basic and natural human need to explore identity, meaning and the wonder of the universe, then it is obvious that the information age provides an extraordinary array of choices. It accepts the realities of contemporary life, but it also attempts to see through and beyond them. It rejects any path that claims to be the only way. In opposition to both a reductionist scientific worldview and a monopolising imperialist religion, the holistic approach affirms that life does indeed have a wonder and inner dimension worthy of exploration. And beyond that it only says, Look, here are a thousand different ways of exploring it.

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Money Heart and Mind

‘A book which stabs the reader with moments of near-surgical insight . . . . written in lucid, entertaining prose.’ – New Internationalist

‘Money Heart and Mind is extraordinary. It is like poetry – when insights are gleaned and you mentally shout “Yes, that’s it!” It has given my own heady paradoxes about money a new and exciting viewpoint.’ – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

‘This wonderful book brings it all back to culture, common sense and the human heart: why we spend so much of our priceless time obsessing about money while other forms of wealth elude our grasp’ – Hazel Henderson, author of Paradigms in Progress and Building a Win-Win World

From the Introduction

Money, Heart and Mind is for anyone who needs a better under¬standing of money.

The problem is not money itself, though it may seem that way. The problem is the limited way that we think and feel about it. There are no clear new strategies or alternatives because we are all caught in the same framework of ideas. Full-time parent or entrepreneur; capitalist, socialist or ecologist, dictator or democrat; rich or poor: we are all using the same set of ideas, the same theories, the same myths and assumptions. Whatever our politics, our background or our role, how can we consider creative alternatives if we are all trapped in the same way of thinking – a way of thinking which has not and is not delivering real solutions?

The whole purpose of this book is to stimulate a new framework for thinking and feeling about money. This framework is not limited to one particular approach. It contains different levels of analysis and is open-structured. It is a transparent scaffolding constructed of the major elements that make up our money world: the anthropology, the psychology, the history, the politics and the metaphysics. In one jargon of our times, this is a post-modern approach. In another jargon, it is a holistic approach. In yet another jargon, it is to do with emergence and complexity.

This approach understands that money is not simply the creature of economic and commercial ideas and interests, but is also a creature of individual and mass human emotions, thoughts and actions. Money is intertwined with our material environment, but it is also far more dynamic as an organic actor in our psyches and cultures. The ecology of money is multidimensional. The environment that money influences is obviously physical, but more crucially it is the environment of our psychologies and cultures.

Because money is so much a psychological thing, we cannot avoid looking at our feelings, our emotional financial lives. We need insights into the primal and subtle emotions that hook into, manipulate and manifest through our behaviour with money. This is relevant to us, individually and collectively.

This book, then, has to give attention equally to the different dimensions of money. Excluding one dimension will remove a crucial piece of the overall jigsaw. A limited understanding cannot provide a secure basis for problem-solving. The flow of Money, Heart and Mind, therefore, is first to describe and penetrate the various dynamics which create our money world. Then it moves into the realm of possible solutions.

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