|Quicksilver Messenger Online Archive
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|Cover Art (By Chris Ashton)
|Editorial (By Chris Ashton)
As far as the so called New Age movement is concerned earth mysteries is the odd man out free from dogma and free from ideology. If we are going to continue to build up a new authentic and genuine picture of reality have to stay free from dogmas and ideology. Nature is our Goddess: we want to talk to her and hear her talking back and that's not going to happen if we allow our minds to become contaminated with the new puritanism. The New Age puritanism is a stickler for rules and holds the individual in not such high esteem. The guru groups are particular culprits: I've actually seen a man physically ejected from a guru meeting for lighting a cigarette. He didn't know it was against the rules, he even put it out when the mahatma complained - but too late the mahatma was upset and evil-doer had to be thrown out. As soon as this little problem had been sorted out it was back to 'peace and love' and talk of how great it was going to be when the New Age finally came. The big danger from the kind of groups is that they discourage people from thinking for themselves and they encourage the following of group prejudice and mindless fashion in ideas.
It remains the policy of this journal to support and encourage a wide range of approaches to the subject.
This is the biggest issue ever of QsM an could be the most interesting. We included so much of the material that we thought important to get out that we've had to limit the exchange listings, apologies to edit -we'll get you all in next issue.
|The Fountain Project (By Colin Bloy)
Readers of QUICKSILVER MESSENGER will recall that our group of dowsers and E.M. researchers have put forward a version of the ley system, as perceived by the dowser and psychic, as an evolving and living energy system, in which number, in the quantity of parallels found in a given line, and geometrical form (the field effect produced by ley energy when it moves into function), are crucial to its appreciation.
Observations of the effect of "spiritual" activity on these energies, i.e. the result of deliberate acts of heightened consciousness, altered brain rhythm and visualisation, such as may occur during a "good" mass or blessing, an act of healing or metal bending, show substantial increases in the number of parallels within an existing line (or the temporary appearance of lines where none usually exist) and the establishment of particular geometrical fields at the point of the act, and also around the point where the intention is to produce an ambient effect, or healing at a distance.
THE FOUNTAIN GROUP was formed in the summer of 1981 in Brighton in an attempt to apply what had been learned by dowsing the act of healing an individual, which involves "ley" energies, to the act of healing the community - in this case the Brighton and Hove Conurbation. At the Service of Dedication (Sept. 29. 1981), some 100 people including M.P. Andrew Bowden, gathered at St. Bartholomew's church, Brighton, for a service of celebration of St. Michael's Day. Although that was the formal date, it was inevitable that as the idea of the operation became shared amongst a number of people, the very existence of the idea should have results even beforehand. The intention was to focus on a daily basis healing energies on the Fountain in Old Steine, Brighton, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Old Steine appears to be a memory of an ancient stone circle and what appear to be some of the original stones are at the base of the fountain today.
Secondly, the fountain is a natural "hara" - a well known and recognisable place in Brighton. Thirdly, a primary energy line coming from France goes through the fountain, through the war memorial, through two obelisks in the parks and gardens leading to St. Peters Church, a tree circle, an octagonal fountain. Then it moves NNE towards Lewes, passing through Hamsey church and onwards to High Rocks, Tunbridge Wells, where it joins a line Rosslyn - St. James, London - Chevening, Hever, Mount Zion and High Rocks, T.W., Herstmonceaux, Pevensey, Dieppe, Rouen, Gisors, Paris- Notre-Dame, then south to Roncesvaux and west to Santiago de Compostela, in apparent conformity to the old pilgrim route.
This energy line may be seen as the spinal column of Brighton, and thus central to the health of the community as a whole - exactly as in an individual. Whereas there groups all over the world who send healing energy to the world as a whole to our knowledge the specific and continual healing of a particular community through a supposed understanding of its "acupuncture" channels or ley lines has not been attempted.
From the moment of the conception of the idea, in May 1981, and its spreading to other individuals, the central line of Brighton started to grow. As the group coalesced, group energy projections were made, and by September, the triple 64 bar line through the fountain had grown to an extraordinary 6400 / 64 bar line. Beforehand, the most potent lines had been triple 64s.
Many healers are involved in the group and it is precisely the disciplines of the healer that are used. The objectives which are specifically used in the visualisations are :
Precisely identical phenomena have been observed in Paris and Madrid where Fountain Groups are also operating. In Paris, the Champs-Elysees and Arc de Triomphe is the focal point. In Madrid, the fountain of Cibeles in Calle de Serrano (the city's main drag) is the focal point.
What does it all mean? We wish we knew. What is clear is that the group's activity on the spiritual level seems to be a main cause of the change. Strictly unofficial sources say that crimes of violence are significantly down. Brighton Council has voted funds to clean up the town. Straws in the wind? Too early to say. Reliable statistics can only emerge many months after the first quarter's operations. But enough is happening to give grounds for optimism, and the groups are getting larger and maintaining their effort. An international coordinating office will shortly be set up.
Lest this sounds grandiose, may I say that membership of the Fountain Group is the most vestigial thing. All it involves is signing in a book so as to receive mailings. Subscriptions are voluntary, spontaneous and anonymous. Activities are unorganised - not disorganised. Those who feel they can contribute do so as it seems appropriate to each individual. There is a president and a secretary- and one international liaison officer, but they are administrative and not hierarchical. A sort of ad-hoc committee exists. The group feels strongly that it is the impulse and objective that counts and an attempt to structure it into anything approaching an institution would tend in the long run to sow the seeds of its own decay. Non-structured groups tend to remain stronger in their spiritual endeavours for only those who are genuinely interested, remain associated.
Each individual contributes his or her spiritual energy as and when they can, and whenever two or more members are gathered together in the name of the Holy Spirit or whatever else it may be called in other cultures. The group has no religious dogma, only a unity of awareness of what may be called spiritual realities. Thus, Theosophists, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Spiritualists, Protestants, Catholics, E.M. enthusiasts may unite together to attempt a work on the spiritual plane on which they can all agree as to the desirability.
One of the clear lessons of it all is that of the alchemists and initiates of centuries ago "Know thyself" and learn to set aside personal ego for the proper practice of the healing energies. In a sense, these are Templar mysteries and their motto is appropriate "Non noblis, domine, non noblis, sed in nomine tuae gloriae" - "Not for us, O Lord, not for us but in the name of Thy Glory".
The chequer-board is a symbol in initiatory knowledge of the millennia: the world grid pattern on which the drama of mankind in played out. Where it is brought into being, it is held by some eminent scientists (like Dr. Havelik of the U.S.A.) to be a manifestation of the sine wave form of the field of what is known as the Schumann resonance cavity - that space between the physical earth and the ionosphere. Schumann, a German scientist, determined in the 50's that its frequency was 8 Hz. Nicola Tesla determined the frequency of the terrestrial globe at 7.8 Hz., 8 Hz is the threshold of the Alpha brain rhythm - the rhythm associated with higher states of consciousness, the elevated spiritual state.
In dowsing the San Andreas fault line at Los Angeles, it was determined in November 1981, that the associated energies relate to ley energies. Is there a threshold within a community which if established across the world as a whole, might be capable in an act of total submission to the Divine nature of reality, to act as the channel whereby a new spiritual and physical equilibrium may be established, which will help reduce natural disasters and slow down man's collective rush to suicide?
So many groups around the world are trying. Perhaps little by little they can be linked together in a huge planetary endeavour. Other fountain groups are emerging in California, Switzerland, Oviedo, Valencia, Tenerife, Barcelona, the French Riveria, Burgundy etc. (only one as yet in Britain). Through a proper understanding of the ley system and its relationship to man and his environment perhaps the greatest earth mystery of them all can be played out to the greater glory of evolving consciousness on this planet.
If a "normal" main line is a triple 64 and 100 people in a community can multiply it some 2000 times and the system does reflect the state of health of the collective community, it may perhaps be that the ley system was on its last legs and not as vital as we might have once thought. Thus the need to act is the more urgent.
|John Foster Forbes: Eccentric Antiquarian (By Paul Screeton)
Vibrating old ladies finding spa towns conducive to messengers from the higher aethers, rival psychics mediating with cosmic commercial travellers offering new improved whiter than white wisdom, Ancient Ones loitering at every prehistoric site with intentions to be guides back to a romantic harmonious past, pendulum perambulators with prattling philosophers......are these just jellyfish visions?
Harsh, perhaps. I could argue a cogent case for charlatanism on commonsensical ground, which would fill our open prisons to bursting point or mix the greedy and the gullible in a sociological treatise pinpointing the salvationist message and reasons for supporting and seducing by this subtle mental blackmail. Cynicism aside, there are healthy reasons for separating the wheat from the chaff in this field of speculation. For reasons explained else here I feel there can be relevance to studying the past by paranormal means. (1)
No blanket endorsement of mediumistic practice is suggested, but at least I can say that it can on occasion provide practical results. Verification of such is an altogether more difficult matter -- but not always impossible.
Such an introduction I feel necessary to set the stage for a sensitive, Iris Campbell, a woman claiming literally to have facts of ancient peoples at her fingertips. Her "mental" readings and those of Miss Olive Pixley were amplified in the brief books of John Foster Forbes, who died in Brighton.
He utilised psychometrists seers who could tap "vibrations" at sites and "see" the past intuitively -- to garner material which he spun into the rich tapestry of his antediluvian reconstructions. A collected edition of their joint work was published in 1973, but for Sussex readers probably a particularly intriguing reference comes from an early issue of The Ley Hunter, published during my editorship.
The article began: "Once, many years ago, while sitting with a friend on the downs near Brighton, I had a vision of these lines spreading out before me. I felt then that I was seeing something which denoted great spiritual significance, but never pursued the matter further until I read of these leys in John Michell's book The View over Atlantis. This recalled to mind the vision of many years ago and after meditation on the matter I decided to write down what came to me as I so often do when a subject interests me. Incidentally the friend with me at the time was John Foster Forbes, with whom I have so often worked in connection with prehistoric sites". (2)
The vision parallels how Michell glorified Watkins' revelation in his work of quixotic genius and it is worth reminding readers again that the Merlin of hippiedom's embellishment is as far from reality as T H White's version of Camelot though as evocatively grand and mystical. No doubt that trickster allegorist Carlos Castenada did not have access in the UCLA Library to Watkins' Early British Trackways but made a study note there from The View Over Atlantis and worked it neatly into Journey to Ixtlan.
Miss Campbell's article continued in an occult form whose reprinting would be of little advantage. Well aware of its awkward woolliness, I sought an additional more comprehensible account and received: "After 20 years I can only say that they stretched out before me as rays of light from a central point. I felt that they were very holy. I also felt hat at the point there were officiating priests. I felt that the lines were not only on the earth's surface level interpenetrating it; also that they manifested above in the air, but that there was no division between these three planes if one can so describe them. All were one straight line each case."
Yet it is John Foster Forbes, author of Ages Not So Dark, Giants of Britain, Britain the Land of Lost Magic, Living Stones of Britain and The Unchronicled Past, who deserves lengthy consideration. Much of the following is drawn freely from an earlier account I wrote. (3)
The man was a rather quirky writer; he was basically scorned in his time and has since been almost entirely neglected. His output is meagre and has remained obscure. Most of his notions appear crank fringe material and to enter his world is almost to imperil one's senses. Nevertheless, I feel that the quicksand speculation can be crossed by a series of imaginatively perceptive stepping stones largely supporting his strong views upon the character of sacred sites. Yet as with most unorthodox thinkers he is embarrassingly imprecise when it comes to creating any attempt at an even loosely scientific medium for attracting critical support. With a wealth of weird ideas in his work, unsubstantiated one way or another, it is hardly yet time to evaluate his contribution to speculative archaeology.
To some he was a religious fanatic as he was a devout supporter of the Rev. Todd Ferrier and his beliefs concerning the correct placing on the globe of the various races makes him sound fascist today. Archaeologists would have winced at his "cyclopean walls" imagined to have connected the Devonian tors and "water worn remains of shaped statues of prehistoric animals".
He was a poet and a preacher, a prehistorian and a painter, a schoolmaster and a broadcaster. Eccentrics often do attract a brand of admiration and he gives the impression of being an antiquarian screwball by all comparisons. Yet in the late 1930s, when his slender output found the light of day, he was a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
A great believer in a previous Golden Age and Fall of Man caused by abuse of knowledge, he not surprisingly believed in this context that a cataclysmic disaster overtook a one time vast continent of Atlantis. Later Atlanteans sought to abuse their powers contrary to the divine law of the universe and brought about destruction. The early Atlantean civilisation, he believed, was only a largely successful attempt to regain lost status of harmonious perfection in any event.
To him the Golden Age was a distinct reality. He added: "Atlantis in Britain was an amazing attempt at a resurgence of this age at a time when white men found themselves driven from a doomed land and took refuge on what was to them virgin soil and on which they superimposed and interfused such marvellous spiritual conditions as have in many places, persisted until these days".
How far we might agree with his statements is for personal predilection. An unnamed psychometrist led him to conclude a fluted pillar near Trebeurden, Brittany as all that remained of a gigantic bird temple whose enormous figure had six wings. Covering a vast expanse of ground, this eagle-like bird had its head orientated towards the north, "the seat of all power", with two groups of rocks forming the angles of the base of a triangle whose apex was its head, the fluting of the lone remaining pillar being part of the winged formation of plumage. The Devil's Arrows at Boroughbridge, Yorkshire, were accorded a similar explanation. Bird temples! Flights of fancy!
He was the youngest of the six children of Colonel Forbes whose family seat was the Castle of Rothiemay; in his book on his Aberdeenshire home and its surroundings he described various stone circles. In fact, the castle now demolished -- was built upon the site of a prehistoric earthwork. J.F. or Jock, as he was generally known, not only wrote about megaliths but everyone of his inspirational paintings had an ancient stone or more depicted.
At around 30 years of age he married a wealthy and considerably older woman, Caroline Gwynilda. The marriage, though reasonable happy at first, broke down and they went their separate ways. The breach was undoubtedly partially caused by his eccentricities. He outlived her and died in 1958. One evening that summer he gave a lecture entitled "The Spiritual nature of Sussex" to the Sussex vegetarian Society in Brighton.
Patrick Benham, a teacher and Glastonbury activist, knew him during his last couple of years and wrote about J.F. and the Sussex connection for The Ley Hunter. (4) This was followed up by the county's well-known writer and witch Doreen Valiente. (5) Copies of these articles are in the possession of the Quicksilver Messenger editor and may be republished here in the future.
The psychometric team of Campbell and Forbes were a liked feature of early editions of The Ley Hunter (reprints in issues 42 and 72) and Miss Campbell also wrote a short summary of their work. (6) Such writings -- typified perhaps by Mollie Carey, proved immensely popular -- now seem eclipsed in modern mysteries magazines.
Though much of Forbes' writings make today's 'speculative antiquaries' notions conservative by comparison, he must be applauded for both drawing attention to the mystical nature of prehistoric sites and encouraging through sixth-sense seer companions a new approach to the works of the megalith builders.
|Megalithic Holidays: Portugal (By Chris Ashton)
There is an idea which is slowly but surely gaining respectability and which stands in stark contrast to the main stream of conventional ideas. It's closely connected with E.M. Schumaker's contention that 'small is beautiful', and simply stated it says that the smallest European countries are the most civilized. Of course there exceptions to any general rule and the statement does surely not include the chocolate, cheese and money machine that is modern Switzerland (complete with its mutant gnomes and every house with a nuclear bomb shelter). However, coincidently or not, the smaller countries like Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Malta still have many of their traditional cultures intact and still have many of their ancient and sacred sites intact. It's this living link with tradition and the special places that cuts through the strata of time and connects a culture with the perennial. It keeps the population of the land alive to the essential rhythms of nature that take place in the landscape and reverberate in its people. It is this that is meant by civilized here: the people of the land are closer to the pulse of the eternal rather than the pulse of industry. They are closer to the things that really matter rather than being in a spiritual wasteland devoid of meaning which is the fate of all too many of the counterparts in consumer oriented societies.
Portugal is a place such as this and certainly a country where the enthusiast can get a bad case of the 'megalithomania'. One of the symptoms of this illness is a sudden rush of enthusiasm on first seeing a megalithic structure that you haven't visited before. Judging from the looks we had from one or two of our taxi drivers we were certainly susceptible to attacks.
One of the nice things about Portugal is that it's not in the Common Market. So, apples are round and the wine doesn't form lakes at the tax payers expense. In a word, it's cheap. In 1981 two people could eat dinner and drink wine for £2 a piece. A double room in a pension could be found for £5 a night with breakfast. Public transport is also cheap and that includes taxis. So what is expensive? Getting there and back is.
For the average megalithic tourist there are three ways to get to the sites: private car, rented car (not available everywhere- you might have' to get one in Lisbon or one of the bigger tourist places and drive to your selected location from there. We couldn't get one in Evora which is one of the most important megalithic centres in the Iberian Peninsula and not exactly a one horse town), or taxi. Before going, get hold of some of the apparently good quality topographical maps from INSTITUTO GEOGRAPHICO E CADASTRAL, LISBON. They are about half the price of O.S. maps but they don't always show the locations of the ancient sites. Never mind, once you get into your chosen location you can use them when asking the 'locals' where the menhirs, dolmens or antas are.
Which areas good to work through? Well, we spent a week in the area of EVORA travelling to the megalithic sites by bus and taxi. The city is about two hours from the Spanish border and due east of Lisbon. It's an old walled town built around a rocky hilltop with the ruins of a Roman temple standing at its summit. Just a few megalithic yards away there's the Christian cathedral, convent and municipal museum. Quicksilver pagans will enjoy seeing the sun set between the columns of the temple in the knowledge that that the site itself has never been Christianized. And Quicksilver Christians will get a kick from knowing that most of the surrounding land has been.
Title 'Cromlech at Xarez, Portugal'
Size: 17" x 27" (printed area) + border
Medium: Screenprint with etching
Edition of 20 copies
Price: £60 from the artist - Chris Castle
One of the first places to visit is the best example of a dolmen or 'chambered tomb' turned into a chapel. The distinctive shape of the great stones can be clearly seen under the white wash. A door has been set into the two uprights and an enclosing wall has been built at the back. The chapel is kept locked and though there is a small window, it's difficult to see anything inside on account of the poor light. The chapel is about 20 minutes from Evora by car on the road going east from the village of SAN BRISSOS. It's a great example of the Christianised pagan site. A living testimony to the fact that even though the revelation may change the special places retain their sanctity. Incidently, the church in the village of San Brissos is also worth a visit while you are in the locality. It's walls and ceiling are covered with rustic murals which celebrate an exuberance and joy in the natural world.
Not far away, about a mile north of the village of VALVERDE (still SSW of Evora), a tremendous passage and chambered tomb can be seen. The mound of earth which covered this must have been at least 20 to 30 feet high before the tomb was desecrated. The earth that once covered the stones has now been dug away to expose the stones and what's left of the earth mound still surrounds them. The passage way that leads into the main chamber is quite conventional but the chamber itself is made up of a group of stones, long and oval in shape, leaning together -in a way that I've not seen before- to form the roof of the chamber. They lean together in such a way as to leave a hole at the highest point of the chamber, which is open to the sky. This is not an easy site to find as it lies about a mile along dirt tracks off the closest proper road. Recommended means of transport: taxi, or friendly local guide.
You've all heard of old stone standing alone, in twos, in circles, in ovals, and even in lines. Now get ready for the stone rectangle! As far as I'm aware this is a unique structure and this is the first time it's been written about in a British publication. It can be found on the road from REGUENGOS DE MONSARAZ to MOURAO. Reguengos de Monsaraz is about 20 miles east from Evora. The site is about 200 yards of the main road up a dirt track just before the bridge over the River Guadiana. The structure has a large stone standing at its centre, about 12 feet tall, and each side is approximately 40 long, the tallest being about 5 feet high and most of the others 2 or 3 feet. Without wanting to sound cryptic it should be said that the features on the horizon look 'interesting' from the point of view of astronomical alignments. There are many rocky outcrops and nicks in the mountains and perhaps the most interesting feature is the fortified village of MONSARAZ just a few miles away. At the centre of this village and at its highest point there stands an imposing religious structure (a church, actually). This could well prove to be fertile ground for further research. Apparently the site was unknown even to Portuguese archaeologists until as late as 1967 (source: Chris Castle). For easy access to this site for those without their own transport a taxi is recommended from Regengos de Monsaraz.
A large standing stone with inscriptions upon can be found in the fields between Regengos de Monsaraz and Monsaraz just about a mile or two before the road starts to climb up the mountain upon which the latter town is situated. A taxi is recommended for this one too, as the stone can be easily missed from the bus and the bus can be easily missed from the stone. So there are four sites which can be seen in the area of EVORA (a further dolmen/chapel can also be seen in PAVIA about 20 miles north of Evora right in the centre of the village). There are plenty more sites in Portugal, but pinpointing them can be difficult. I asked in the museum in Evora if they had a map showing the location of megalithic sites throughout the country. I was shown a map of the country A4 size with big black marks to show where the menhirs are. On the ground these marks must have been about 10 miles wide, minimum. This could conceivably be useful if you're airbourne, but, for the humble hunter it does cause problems. With those words of caution and not forgetting that the average Portuguese are helpful and only too willing to show you where the 'menhirs' are, good luck.
|The Desacralised Cosmos Part 2 (By Nigel Pennick)
In antiquity, centralised geomantic surveys had a twofold purpose: they represented the cosmic image of the prevalent religion, and afforded access to the sacred places in the survey for the dominant creed. Thus in ancient China, Peru and many other countries the central temple was geometrically related to all other parts of the Empire. In the United States, too, this occurred. Whether Jefferson, as a Freemason, along with Washington and the Founding Fathers of American Republicism (and possibly Rosicrucians to boot - vide Anthony Roberts and Jeff Gilbertson's 'The Dark Gods' for further evidence), had any knowledge of this use of surveys, is anyone's guess: I would plump for the positive rather than the negative conclusion. Jefferson remains enigmatic, but the Mormons are better known for their geomancy. In 1855 the Salt Lake City Meridian was established, at a time when much of the land to the east had not yet been surveyed (i.e. not yet forcibly taken from the 'Red Indians'). The Mormons had arrived in 1847, and their leader, Brigham Young, had pointed his staff at a certain point designated the omphalos of their Temple. The ran true north-south and east-west lines and measured out a 'Forty' around the Temple (later reduced to 10 acres as well as blocks of 10 acres surrounding the square). A plaque in the Temple wall today announces that the initial point of the Mormons' Meridian is 11° 54' 00" W, 40° 35' 04" N. Eight years after the foundation of the omphalos, David H. Burr, Surveyor General of Utah, found that the Mormon geomants had made only a 50' error in determining the position of the meridian.
The Rectangular Survey, Mormon geomants aside, gave rise to those aspects of Americana that have shaped the cosmologies of the West and, unfortunately, the world. When the musician and satirist Frank Zappa wanted to choose an image for all that was reactionary and stultifying in American life for his opera '201 Motels', he called it significantly, Centerville ("a real nice place to raise your kids up"). Centerville was more than a play on the concept of 'Middle America' the 'Great Midwestern hardware-store philosophy' of Norman Rockwell and his ilk - it represented a literal geomantic psychic omphalos which is the centre of spiritual and psychological attention. During the implementation of the Rectangular Survey, a central location, irrespective of terrain, as considered advantageous when selecting the site of a county town. For example, Ellsworth, the county seat of Pierce County, Wisconsin, was determined in 1861 by crossing diagonals to find the centre of the square survey: literal landscape geometry! Ellsworth is a literal Centerville.
Centerville paralleled another American nightmare, localised 'main street', the survey line turned road. During the latter part of the last century, many survey lines were paved to become roads after the pattern of the Roman centuriation limits, and in towns this led naturally to a rectilinear grid pattern, ideal for the car chases of Kojak. The tyranny of the rectilinear ruler approach to the land is most apparent in these towns, where everything is subordinated to the straight line. Many sensitive people have remarked upon the dire effects such a landscape must have upon its denizens. The Theosophical composer Igor Stravinsky remarked that the view from his last apartment in Manhattan consisted of 'filing cabinet architecture' The other side of this came from another Theosphist artist Piet Mondrain whose landscape of rectilinear grids perfectly echoed the rectilinear grid - but he was a fanatic who believed that the world of the future would be nothing but human artefacts, and plants would be banished - so much for Mondriaanic biology! Willard Dixon's painting 'Mondrain with Cows' admirably satirizes this approach to the world. It shows a pastoral landscape with Jersey and Frisian cows, and a Mondriaan rectilinear painting in the foreground, completely out of place amid the wooded hills. The rational oppression of 18th century European thought was forcibly laid upon a conquered landscape, transforming it forever. Centerville, Main Street and Babylon are here one. The image of Main Street in Sinclair Lewis's novel of the same title represents it as a microcosm, representative of all 'main streets': "Main Street is the continuation of Main Streets everywhere". And it is literally and figuratively, for it is linked by straight roads to the other similar layouts in other rectilinear towns.
Main Street was in a mythical town of Gipher Prairie, but as an archetype it encapsulated the tyranny of the government ordained landscape. In the eyes of the heroine Carol Kennicott, all values and life styles are conditioned by the rectilinear environment. She regrets "the excessive breadth and straightness of the gashed streets, so that there is no escape from the gales and from the site of the grim sweep of the land, nor any windings to coax the loiterer along, while the breadth would be majestic in an avenue of palaces make the low shabby shops creeping down the typical Main Street the more mean by comparison."
The effects of living in various landscapes are little studied, for in the desacralised cosmos of Babylon such things are deemed unimportant. The main virtues are hard work, keeping one's mouth shut and obedience to the authorities (otherwise known as 'law abiding'). And here we have a strange phenomenon, for it is precisely in the towns laid out by government order that the worst excesses of violence of person against person takes place. The United States founded in the destruction of the indigenous population, is perhaps the worst example of this violence, for in the last ten years over 1/3 of a million people have died in the course of crime - murder by fire arms in the main. Even Presidents were not immune from this. The effects of landscape upon human behaviour were studied long in the orient where geomants held a harmonious environment essential for a harmonious society. The desacralised cosmos of Manhattan or Miami certainly displays all the attributes of 'bad feng-shui' in the parlance of the Chinese practitioners of geomancy. In these towns, planned by officials on drawing board lines according to edicts from Washington, no regard whatsoever for the subtle balance of the earth and celestial energies has been paid in the planning of these hotbeds of violent disaffection. All the attributes of the Rastafarians' Babylon are there : alienation, dissolution, hopelessness. A whole promising life blighted by forces beyond the the control of the hapless inmates of such places. They are the unwilling and impotent pawns of blind forces controlled by who knows what, if by anything other than the appalling happenstance which seems to drive such terrible disasters forward to their inevitable nemesis.
European towns, once laid out geomantically, have now been razed by wars and redevelopment to the point where their filing cabinet architecture reflects their re-planned rectilinearity in the image of the United States. As colonies copy their master's mores and fashions, so Western Europe has copied its master across the Ocean. Babylon has come to town. The lands which spawned the conquerors of the tribes of the New World have themselves fallen prey to the same process that desacralised the conquered lands of the North American continent, the identical process that still marches across the jungles of Brazil and lays out Brasilia as a pseudo-geomantic car race track. European-cities are now built in the image of their spiritual mentor - the business community of the United States, as the countryside, laid out centuries ago with regard to the inherent subtle energies, is ravaged at the cost effective whims of agri-business, maximizing profits and to hell with the effects. Bad feng-shui is what we live with. We all suffer its affects to a greater or lessor extent, and our small attempts to minimize its effects may be set at naught when compared with the overwhelming triumph of Babylon. One appalling thought is that bad feng-shui or negative geomancy may be deliberate policy of certain adepts in high places who wish for us to suffer the dual ills of ahrimanic (manic) imbalance or luciferic (dissolute) interference, for balance - the aim of feng-shui - is the middle way, the centre point, not one side of a polarised duality, for balance can only be at the mid-point, and the mani attribute of Babylon is that it doesn't have a centre. It only has a series of illusory substitutes, illusions, spectacles masquerading as reality. The only wish of Babylon is to dominate and overwhelm : it has no ultimate goal other than its continued existence as it is now: it wishes no improvement, no moving towards perfection, for that would involve a change in the status quo. Like the rectilinear grid upon which it is based, Babylon is immobile, static. Diagonal, let alone curved motion, is prohibited. Not so much by statutory prohibition than by physical restraint of the framework set up in another era. Its symbolic rectilinear straight jacket prohibits certain physical motion as does its psychic and and psychological straight jacket which prevents certain thoughts from becoming widespread. They have great difficulty in becoming established for they ultimately threaten the very rectilinear fabric of the system.
Very few fragments of ancient systems still poke through. Like the river courses impossible to incorporate into the Rectilinear Survey they stick out like the proverbial sore thumb. The week is one of them. Formerly, each day of seven were sacred to one of the astrological planets. Thus Tuesday was Mars, Wednesday Mercury etc. Actions to be done on these days were done in accordance with the astrological attributes of the planet concerned. Thus it was that the Emperor Akbar of India had seven pavilions, one for each day of the week. He carried on the ancient tradition whereby the monarch would live strictly according to the correct astrological and geomantic principles, lest deviation from them should cause a calamity to overtake the nation. On Friday, for instance, he would be in Friday's pavilion, which was designed according to the colour system, numerology and sacred geometry of Venus. His clothes would be a suitable form and colour for the day, his musicians would play the appropriate music for the planetary hours of the day, and the correct food for Venus would be served at certain fixed times. Only appropriate activities concomitant with the planetary hours for a Friday could be performed. A similar life style was enjoyed by the pagan Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar, whose life was also ruled by the geomantic divination of Mpisikidy.
Today such ideas are derided, if known. Akbar and Ranavalona are dismissed as 'superstitious', and racist assumptions are often made. The same people, meanwhile, would defend Sunday Observance from either a Christian or Trade Union stance (sometimes both), with not an inkling that the 'raison d'etre' of Sunday Observance was astro-geomantic. Like the old measures, they survive in unrecognised form (the recent space shuttle used Nautical Miles as the unit of space navigation).
But, unfortunately, like the few religions still officially tolerated, they are fragments of a once universal system of harmony with the earth and its seasons. We are living in the ruins of this great system like the shepherds of Dark Ages Athens amid the unrecognised glories of the Acropolis. We go about our daily business oblivious that there is an Invisible Realm impinging, for better or worse, upon our health and spiritual well-being. Babylon is everywhere. We can but be aware of it, and try to cut across the diagonals now and again.
|Quicksilver Heroes: Paul Devereux (By Chris Ashton)
A week before the 1982 Ley Hunters Moot, Paul Devereux was interviewed by QuickSilver Messenger. After the interview he dashed off to an ASSAP meeting and then drove up to Cambridge for the opening night of the Ancient Landscapes touring exhibition. This is a fairly typical timetable for Mr. Devereux when he's in circulation. He teaches 3 days a week at one of London's comprehensives and then teaches evening classes in earth mysteries. He lives in North Wales. He's the editor of The Ley Hunter, the initiator of The Dragon Project (of which he wrote about in QsM 4), the author of The Ley Hunter's Companion (with Ian Thomson) and of a forthcoming book 'Earth Lights' together with Paul McCartney. He's also an artist of some repute. The interview covers a wide range of subjects as well as acting as a preview of 'Earth Lights'. Paul talks about_his strange experience that first brought him into the subject area, the difficulties that an editor has to face when trying to reconcile the scientific with the mystical, the dangers posed to the subject by extremist politics, the threat of the phallic bomb to the earth mother .....and much more!
QsM.: How did you first become interested in the UFO phenomenon and Earth Mysteries?
P.D.: Yes, well I got interested in E.M. before it existed as an entity of research. But it was my 1967 UFO sighting (I suppose you'd call it) in Bromley, Kent in May, when I was a last year student at Ravensbourne College of Art. I, along with about a dozen or so other people saw this rather curious arial phenomena. It was a rectangle of light that came from the north over Bromley and the college and stopped a few hundred feet in the air. It was a perfect rectangle like a door. It was glowing brilliant orange. People came out on to the carpark below us. We were on the top floor of the building. It was about p.m. The sun was still up in the sky and it was quite clear. We were looking at this thing that made everyone thunderstruck. Nobody could speak. Then this beautiful regular rectangle broke down. It started churning within itself, like a little cloud, but very active, glowing orange. Then it reconstructed itself again into another shape - the shape of a human figure with its arms outstretched but without any features.
I saw it as an angelic type of figure with hair and robes flowing and other people saw it as Leonado's Universal Man. It was a very similar image that everybody got.
I don't know how long it was there - perhaps a minute or two, it seemed like forever. At this point I got really quite concerned. It was so outside everyday experience. To be seeing it in ordinary waking consciousness with other people seeing it : it really made you wonder about the nature of Reality. You started questioning it. And I thought, "Am I having some incredible complex hallucination?". The hallucination including the college and everyone around me .. All sorts of fundamental philosophical doubts swept in. I backed away from the window and this thing collapsed again. This time it didn't continue churning, it just faded away. 15 minutes later you could see a rosy smudge in the sky where it had been. The fact that people half way up the building and we, on the top floor, had seen it, and that it was still partly visible 15 minutes later, left me in no doubt that it was an objective phenomenon. There's no question about it.
However, 5 or 6 years later I went to a seminar run by Keith Critchlow where he was talking about geometry around us in everyday life. He happened to mention that a door was basically a root 5 rectangle. He said that the reason that it is that form is because the human form is primarily a root 5 system, and the door is made to admit that form. I suddenly realised that this door shaped rectangle which turned into a universal man type figure was an objective phenomena in the sky and yet, at the same time, it was expressing an archetype. And that's what made me dissatisfied with every theory on UFO's that came up.
Anyway, after that experience I started reading up on UFO's: because somebody the next day said,"Hey! you saw a UFO, Oh why didn't I see it?- I hadn't thought of it being a UFO, to me it was a sort of Biblical thing, you know. So, I started going up to Watkin's Bookshop and hanging around in Portobello Road - the usual scene in those days.
QsM.: And you hadn't been into that before?
P.D.: I mean I'd vaguely been interested in UFO's but I'd never done anything constructive about it. I certainly was prepared to believe in them before but I didn't think too much about it, to tell you the truth. After this I was left with 2 options: either I forgot all about it, completely repressed it, or I had to do something about it. You can't just live with the thing, you know. I wanted to find out how that could have happened, that thing. So we were hanging around the bookshops All you could get at that time was American material on UFO's, Major Keyhoe and that sort of thing. I couldn't relate this machinery from outer space with the thing that we'd seen.
A few months later we were coming back from hanging an exhibition in Norwich. It was a lovely sunny afternoon and we were driving back to London. I was in the back seat of this VW and the passenger in front of me and myself suddenly saw this black round thing. I don't know if it was flat, round, a hole or what it was. It was pitch black and yet the sun was streaming everywhere. There was no reflection off it and it was pacing the car at field distance and tree hight. We were both looking at it and suddenly it disappeared. It appeared a second later about a half a mile away. Then it just zoomed off into the glare of the sun. At that moment we both yelled out "UFO". The guy who was driving, a Norwegian geezer, screamed to a halt and went sideways down the road. He was really angry we hadn't told him. We just couldn't speak. To see something disappear, man, you see it on the T.V. but when you .... And this is what on-witnesses don't understand: when you actually see a UFO you are not prepared for it. You cannot put it into a cosmology. It's not a film. It should be a film but it's not, and it leaves a trauma. It's conceptual rape: there's no doubt about that. It leaves a shock. When you see things disappear, man, you don't know what to do. You've seen it in the framework of mundane reality and it really does leave you some pretty horrific conceptual problems: how to cope with it? Anyway, this went on and I was constantly reading. About this time MICHELL's 'FLYING SAUCER VISION' came out and the title really grabbed me. He was the first UFO writer who began putting things into a broader context. It was in this book that I learned about ALFRED WATKINS and so on and the ley theory. It was such an important book. I don't think John thinks too much of that book now, and compared with the research and what is produced today it looks perhaps a little weak. But at its time it was a very important book. as was the subsequent 'VIEW OVER ATLANTIS' which was very important. Anyway, this began to get me into this curious area. I wanted to find out more about leys and things. I had an intuition that there was a connection between the earth and this sort of phenomena, and here it was being stated by someone else.
The ley theory, at the time, was one of orthotenies: the straight line of sightings that AIME MICHELL had come up with (UFO sightings) being the same as leys. The late TONY WEDD put that together. It was a simplistic idea of UFO's following leys on. the ground from one ley marker to another: which is daft really. I mean, it's an ex-R.A.F. pilot's wet dream, that's what it was. But the point was the connection had been made. That was what was important. I started taking 'FLYING SAUCER REVIEW', because I really wanted to get into this thing. And one day I saw in the classified ads "THE LEY HUNTER, write to PAUL SCREETON, 5, Egton blah, blah, blah, and so I subscribed. I think each issue was 1s.4d. in those days. This was in '69 and 'VIEW OVER ATLANTIS' had came out- an absolute stormer. I got it the day it appeared in Watkins Bookshop. I sat down and just read it. Two things struck me: I'd never seen such a well produced book, and I'd never seen one so cheap that was well produced. I'd never read anything like it. It was just stunning.
So I used to get SCREETON'S LEY HUNTER. I used to live for it. Amidst the drab daily rounds to get the old duplicated LEY HUNTER was something else, you know. That's how I got into it. Then in the mid 1970's I got into this research project in Leicestershire with ANDY YORK. I think it was the first time anybody had done this applying geology, folklore, ancients, anomolous phenomena and UFO'S and putting them all together to see if there were patterns. This took us on and off three years.
QsM.: Will this be coming out in your new book?
P.D.: In 'EARTH LIGHTS'? Well, er, yes. I could never get the Leicestershire material published, you know. The publishers said it was too local.
QsM.: Yes I know that one.
P.D.: But I put it to Thames and Hudson. There's an editor there called James Hughes. They took three months to decide not to publish the material. He wanted to see me so I went up and had a chat and had a meal. He said, "Let's do a book on leys pure and simple even though you can't use this Leicester material." So it led to us producing the 'COMPANION'. And in this book 'EARTH L1GHTS' I've got half a chapter of the Leicestershire material in it. Now its put in a larger context and so it means more. A lot of that stuff will never be published, I suppose.
Qsm.: 'THE LEY HUNTER'S COHPANION' brought out the precision element in 1ey hunting. How important do you think this is and how far do you think it went in making more popular the precision element in ley hunting and getting rid of the 2 point· alignments?
P.D.: (laughing) Yeah! I don't know. It would be presumptuous of me to judge. But what became c1ear to me shortly after I'd taken over from PAUL SCREETON on the magazine, was that there was a lot of woolliness about. This was leading to a complete schism between the sceptics and the enthusiasts. So it seemed to me that we really had to put some research together. What appalled me was that I had this vague notion that there were teams of people working on leys all over the country. What it really was, was Joe Bloggs up in wherever, plonking away with a big fat pencil 'till he got bored and then went off down the pub. This was the level it was at. Really the only work that had been done was Watkins and his co-researchers back in the '20's and early '30's, and Michell's important 'OLD STONES AT LANDS END' - that was the first serious alignment study. I just felt that there was this terrible gap. But the trouble with all of us is that we just don't have the resources of time or money or equipment to do the research required.
Getting to do a book is one way of getting these resources. So we used the advance Thames and Hudson gave us to spend on a lot of petrol to get around the country and hundreds of pounds worth of maps. So then we could do a real study. It became obvious that you couldn't do a proper study of England, Wales and Scotland in one book so. we stuck with England.
The first thing that sunk in with me and IAN THOMSON (who worked with me on the book) was that there weren't as many leys as people thought. People say, "It's dead easy to line up this, that and the other". But it isn't. That's just a pure, fat lie. It's difficult. to line things up. But we began to find certain parts of the country where we could do it quite easily. There were 3 or 4 serious alignments per map sheet, perhaps. on some, you couldn't find anything. You could make an alignment but it was 20 miles long and it was a couple of churches and a tumulus or something like this. It was not very satisfactory stretching across the map sheet. The first thing we realised was the old '60's idea of there being vast nationwide alignments wasn't on. The Great Isosceles Triangle over Britain with its apex at Arbour Low and great 200 mile leys stretching down to Othery St. Michael, or where ever it was... nobody had actually done that work. Nobody had plotted it or taken into account earth curvature or anything like that. They were ideas not lines on the ground. Even Miche11's Great St. Michael's Ley, which is probably the archetypal ley, is 300 miles long. It's a mile or two wide: if you plot the whole thing. But there are parts, through Glastonbury and round there, where you can get a tight alignment. You can't run it from Marazion to Lowestoft and keep it as a narrow line. Anything over 20 or 30 miles you begin to get earth curvature prob1ems and you've got to compute the thing after that. So it's no good just plotting on a small scale map. All this became apparent as we worked.
My feeling is that leys have their own distribution like chambered tombs or stone circles. It's a prehistoric remnant and occurs in some parts more than others. It's not just a lack of potential 1ey markers. There are certain places where you can't line the bloody things up. If I did the 'COMPANION' again it would be a different book. There are perhaps 20 of the 40 odd leys there that I'd take out - I'm not terribly happy with them. But we had a publisher to get a nice spread over the country and to include famous places. They had to think of selling the book. It's either that or nothing. It was the only way we were going to do the research so off we went.
In the middle of all this we came to the dreaded question of statistics and how statistical is a straight line. All the Furness Formulae had going on before that was saying' far beyond chance'. So basically we had two lots of statisticians: we had Chris Hutton-Squire and Pat Gadsby of UNDERCURRENTS MAGAZINE who started computer simulations of Lands End and comparing them with Michell's alignments there. There were also the map statisticians like Bob Forest and Michael Behrend. Eventually, they came up with Behrend's strip alignment formulae, which is apparently the best tool for analysing the statistical characteristics of a line on a map. Both these methods produced leys that were above chance. They also produced a lot of alignments that didn't break the chance barrier. And of course, in the Gadsby/Hutton Squire work there was a hint that there was some deliberate misalignment too; which was something that I'd rather suspected from the work we were doing. I'm still arguing the status of that with Bob Forest even now. They definitely have leys that are valid at the 1% level: good statistics. However, they then say, "But these good leys may only be chance effects dealing with all the thousands of leys that exist". Well, it's true that you can get thousands of alignments if you pump everything into a computor and it'll work out millions of three-point alignments. But if you really work out what constitutes a ley, as something that hangs together, and then you go out into the field - like we did the Coldrun Ley (?), by the time we'd done it we'd found tunnel legends linking places, where it crossed the River Medway there used to be an old paved ford- it used to be the Pilgrim's path : there was all this stuff we'd never known before. You know when you've got a ley. It's a remnant of the past. The statistics can't take that in. There are whole areas of things that people don't take into account. Keith Critchlow showed this in 'TIME STANDS STILL' that the Neolithic people could produce geometry.
QsM.: How important is it to get the statisticians 'seal of approval' on a ley line, then?
P.D. Well, now we come to all sorts of problems. In a way I don't think it's that important. In another way I think it is. I think that what the 'COMPANION' has done is that it's started a dialogue with archaeologists. We did start getting Atkinson in writing, I think that's proved important. Though nothing tangible has come from it yet. it has changed the mood.
Now we get people like Aubrey Burl in say the April edition of 'POPULAR ARCHEOLOGY', and in letters to Michell and myself, admitting that one of the alignments in the 'COMPANION' - The Devil's Arrows - (he went up there and checked it himself) is there. He said, "It's O.K. as long as we call them alignments : we must never call them leys". So you've got this incredible conceptual problem that we may never get over. I think we're very close now (probably in the next few years) to a limited acceptance of a limited alignment from prehistory.
But then you get the book that'a just come out by Barnatt 'PREHISTORIC CONWALL'. In it he says it makes you wonder what all the fuss was about. Quite. Precisely. But it's OK saying that now. There has been the fuss. The fact that people laid out straight lines in the past is a mystery that we just don't understand and that's why it's important. We know that they did it in Peru and Bolivia. We know that Feng Shui was a system that avoided straight lines. In all these cultures the story is that spirits pass along the lines. I think they are spirit lines, what we need to know is what the spirit is.
At one level we don't need statisticians, and at another we do. It's just an ongoing dialogue. What annoys me is the inherent subjectivity of the people who say that they themselves are objective. Bob Forrest is a very honest man. First of all he was challenging me to produce leys that pass statistical tests. We did. (we didn't produce hundreds because I haven't got the resources to spend my life doing research. There's no doubt that if I had we could produce a steady stream. We did just that while we were producing the 'COMPANION'.). Then when they get the leys that pass the statistical tests they acquiesce for a year or two and then the old scepticism comes back. They say maybe the good leys we've got are just chance phenomena. You cannot win. There are two camps: there's the gullible who'll believe anything, fairies floating in UFO's down two point leys on the one hand. On the other hand, you've got sceptics who wont really believe anything even when you present them with the evidence they require. They circumvent the evidence in their own minds and return to their scepticism. They have a need for scepticism like some people have a need to believe. It's the same phenomenon. It's the other side of the same coin. I think the objective ley hunting has to steer a bruising course between the two extremes.
QsM.: I think one of the greatest trends of the Earth Mysteries movement and one of the most important things to me is it's being free of dogma and ideology. Do you think that there is a danger that the research that's been done in the last years and is continuing could be used to further certain ideological and dogmatic stances as was be case in Nazi Germany?
P.D.: Yes, well, this is a very interesting question. You could see all this at the Leyhunter's Moot- the one thing is- and I became aware of it from the masses of correspondence that the magazine somehow manages to generate every week- that Leyhunters cover all social groups and all age groups and all political views. It's a place where people don't bring politics in- we don't do this sort of thing. At least that's the way it was and I think it's what was an appeal to lot of people. You could talk with some old Major about it and so on and it was all fine. The hippie, the scientist, the dowser and the physicist would be cheek by jowl and it was good news. But there's no doubt- I mean Nigel Pennick's recent book; "Hitler's Secret Sciences" clearly underlines the fact that in Nazi Germany pre-Nazi Germany- what went into that curious amalgam that produced the second World War was this interest in just what we call Earth Mysteries. It was dowsing the search for an earth force, alignments, heilige linien, it was holy Hinterland : it was all the very stuff we're into now. And somehow that got worked into this curious Nazi cosmology. And we're in the most disastrous phase in Britain at the moment because we're turning extremely right wing. The people aren't. the people are absolutely placid, but their manipulators are pulling the rug out from underneath everybody's feet. Britain now is not the country you and I knew in our teens when we were younger, but it's something else. It's not really been subtle but it seems to have happened slowly over a period of time. But the last few years have seen a change in the whole nation. And I'm getting exchange magazines now produced by Nazis-Fascists I should say. They're offering 10% reduction to the Police and Armed Forces- saying Auschwitz never really happened. They're producing articles showing that Arian blood is superior to Jewish blood. They're talking about leylines- it's all deeply in it. People like Tony Roberts have been approached by the National Front- he was one of their heroes- Tony Roberts was on the street as a long-haired leftie- fighting in the streets back in the 60s. We're in a very curious phase- and there's no doubt that this material- this Earth Mysteries stuff- can- would fuel a new sort of Fascism. I mean I'm not a Fascist-I'm anything but- I'm the other end of the political spectrum if anything. But I'm aware of this danger and I'm just afraid it could be used in a dogmatic way, as a result of which it'll be repressed for another generation, ultimately.
At the moment we are living in an extreme right wing society. We are turning Britain into a Third World Country where there's going to be 80% peasants and 20% technocratic elite. They're trying to stop communication. Can you afford to use your telephone? Who can afford petrol? Even though we produce it ourselves. The attack on the British people to turn them into a certain type of unit that certain types of political minds can use is overt. But we're held in a strangle grip by the press particularly. People think T.V. is the danger, it's not. It's the daily press that keeps millions of minds fed with certain ideals. We've seen it over the Falklands. (never mind the rights or the wrongs of the Falklands) it's the mood that could be generated so quickly that's dangerous. People that before you could have a drink with and never thought they had a nationalistic thought in their heads became very nationalistic overnight. The potential for something like Nazi Germany (perhaps at not such an extreme level) is here now in this country and I've never seen it in my life before. So yes, the answer is yes.
QsM.: The Dragon Project - why is it important to have this synthesis of approach from scientists and mystics?
P.D: I think this is important. First of all I should say about the DRAGON PROJECT. We got it together as a concept in late 1978, practical work went ahead about a year after that. It was important first of all because of all this rumour and counter rumour about earth energies. So we had folklore, we had the dowsers, the mystics, and odd bits of scientific stuff coming through saying that there were curious forces at ancient sites. So this needed sorting out. At the same time the value of earth mysteries, and that's what I prefer to talk about, E.M., rather than ley hunting because ley hunting is one component in a broad spectrum of new thought. E.H. is a cauldron of thinking. It's the Cauldron of Ceridwen. I'm sure that It's the old cauldron of inspiration. The value of the project is that we are using both functions of the mind : both the analytical and the intuitive. The problem is that you can't win, whenever you happen to be concentrating on the analytical side the intuitive types attack, and vice versa. I sometimes get poison pen letters.
QsM.: Do you?
P.D.: I do yeah. Even from people who should know me a lot better. They saY, "You're getting all scientific" and all the rest of it. And then sometimes I go a bit intuitive. In TLH I sometimes try to play one thing off against the other. Sometimes it's perhaps a fairly technical issue and fairly analytical. Then sometimes, like the next issue we're doing, it's all Morris Dancing and more the folky aspect. You've got to play these two aspects off because these two aspects exist in the human being, and in human society. Our overall society is analytical and so you can understand why a lot of people react against science and react against analysis. They come to E.M. as a sort of refuge from that. Then they get very uptight when they find there's people talking mathematics and science there as well as the other, the folklore, the intuitive, dowsing and getting the vibes. The trick is, (it's a juggling act), the trick is to keep the balance between the two aspects of the mind. The DRAGON PROJECT, whatever its successes and failures turn out in any tangible form, it's one success is that I've seen over 30 people at a stone circle and you've got your vibing hippy types at one end wandering around at one end with their twigs dowsing and you've got your scientists with their headphones on and little bleeping lights measuring stuff and people putting probes in the ground. Sometimes we'll have a massive breakfast, if the wonderful Anne and Roy Cooper (the local anchor persons at Roll Right) take us all back for breakfast. Once it was the most exciting breakfast I've ever had in my life. We'd all been their since the early hours of the morning and it was now 9 in the morning. We'd done a days work. We were all cold and a bit tired. And the babble of cross fertilization: everybody was getting along with everybody else. Just to see that: I mean I sat back and observed it for a while and it was a wonderful sight. You can't get a scientist and some hippy type dowser or what ever together like that. It just worked and the thing is they are all bringing out a new view of the earth, and that's what's important.
One of the things I'm going to be pushing at this years MOOT is that it's time we had a WHOLE EARTH CONFERENCE where we get the Green Peace, the CND, the Earth Mysteries. We want to get everybody together because the earth is becoming conscious of itself. It's GAIA. I'm telling you it's now a close run thing whether those left brain elements (NOT left wing but left brain) in human society... if they have their way we'll be constantly at war. We'll have constant economic problems, and eventually, and not SO eventually, we're going to have a nuclear fucking mess on our hands. And the world is going to die.
I reckon the planet is almost like a great whale: that's what I feel about it. And it's becoming conscious of these things. It's got to fight for it's survival. 50 nature doesn't only work through the skin of lizards and the leaves of trees, it also works through the human mind. That's nature as much as a cloud in the sky. So nature is working through the human mind too. The message that's coming through from E.M. is that there's a secret of the earth that we've got to recover. Way back, and I don't mean in the Iron Age and not too much in the Bronze Age - it was disappearing then but perhaps in the Neolithic Age, there was an understanding about the earth. It's the Grail! It's the secret of the earth and that's what's got to be rediscovered now. That's what E.M. is about and that's what the DRAGON PROJECT is specifically about. You've got to be humble. We're attacked. If you take a machine into a site there's a whole group of researchers who are going to complain. IE you just use dowsers then the scientists say, "Well, you're not doing anything scientific". Again in this sphere, as in the ley hunting, you're doing this weird balancing act : running the gauntlet between left brain and right brain and that's what's happening.
The DRAGON PROJECT and E.M. are creating this middle ground of thought because too much science and too much intuition both lead into error. What you've got to do is keep these two horses in harness, it's the only way you'll pull a chariot along. The moment you lose control you'll get one horse pulling one way and one horse pulling the other. It'll end up in a crash. So the DRAGON PROJECT is a practical application of both the intuitive and analytical functions of the mind working together. It's hard going. We don't have enough resources. The 'THRESHOLD FOUNDATION' have helped enormously, they've kept us going. That money is now drying up. We're thrashing about for a bit more money. We don't need much but even to put someone at a stone circle for a week and pay their petrol and perhaps a bit of subsistence costs a lot of money. We're now in a position where we can't do that any more. So we rely on total volunteers. Equipment like er... one piece of equipment.. one we've had to have designed and built for us : even with volunteer help and people cutting prices and so on it still cost a few hundred pounds, you know. With 2 or 3 pieces of equipment it's all gone.
It is important. We've got to find out if there is an unusual energy in the earth, and if there is did the Ancients know about it? and, if they did how did they use it? How did they relate to it? My feelings at the moment, from what we're doing on the DRAGON PROJECT is that there is no unknown energy as such but that there are unknown arrangements of known energies. They are occurring in unusual circumstances and it could be that we may have... I mean, Colin Bloy has talked about the unified field and I wonder if what we're seeing is some curious concatenation of energies, known natural forces that create very unusual spots on the earth's surface. They would have been recognized by the Ancients and in some way enhanced. We don't know but we are finding out certain things.
The geology. The curious arrangements of megaliths with certain geological backgrounds. The association of them with unusual phenomena. This is another thing I should mention. There is no evidence that leys, as actual alignments, are associated with UFO's. People like the idea. It's a nice idea but nobody can actually produce any actual evidence on that. But from the work we're doing on 'EARTH LIGHTS' it does begin to look that at least stone circles and perhaps other kinds of megaliths are maybe associated with parts of the earth's surface where anomalous lights, UFO's are produced more frequently than others. We do think there is some sort o£ connection there. This is one spin off from the DRAGON PROJECT. We're looking at curious Geiger anomalies that we're getting. We've got lots and lots of dowsing data.
Dowsing, I must mention dowsing. We have now dealt with lots of dowsers. John Michell was telling me a couple of weeks ago that he finds it very difficult to get on with dowsers because they're a funny breed of human being. I'm talking about the really dedicated serious dowser. They're all cocksure of themselves. And in the earth mysteries field they contradict themselves like mad. I have now managed to fallout with certain important elements in the BRITISH SOCIETY OF DOWSERS because I've been a bit scathing about some of the people coming along. They are all top people: top dowsers. They are dead good at, finding water or metal or something, they're red hot, or at finding a sunken ship. But they're all coming up with different information on earth energies at sites. John Steel is collecting this stuff and we've got some fabulously detailed dowsing surveys at Rollright. We're not only studying Rollright, we're studying other circles too, but particularly Rollright. They're all different. Some of them are diametrically different one to the other. There are odd places where they agree. They are the things we're looking for, the points of agreement, to see if there is something bubbling through : a common denominator. But dowsers are a nightmare to work with, and they're all dead sure. Every other dowser's wrong, but they all say that, so who do you believe? There is a bloke called Dr. Fiddler is Scotland, who's going to have a book published by Turnstone. I've seen the manuscript and he's the first dowser to say "Right, what is it that we're dowsing?" He's the first guy to have the idea of dowsing what the wavelengths of the energy are. He's dowsed them in the radio wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, which intrigues us because we've been picking up anomalous radio signals at the various stone circle sites.
The Geiger work is interesting. The ultra- sonic work was very interesting to begin with. But there was some talk about some spurious effect in the equipment we'd been using. So it's taken 2 years to redesign so that it'll answer any problems. At this moment that I'm talking it's being field tested. I've heard a word that they've picked up a signal with this equipment. It'll probably be until the end of the year until we know just exactly what we're getting with it... The Geiger stuff is already remarkable. The Kirlean stuff we've been getting at stone circles is breaking new ground, but we don't really have the time or the resources to concentrate on it. So, it's like we've got rows and rows of cans of worms and we've taken the lids off a few and it's taken us all our time to do that. We've recently been criticised, through very unfortunate circumstances, by scientists in America, "Why haven't you tried this ionizer and that low frequency machinery?"; as though we have access to some university's resources, which we don't. All we can do is go along as best as we can. The thing is, we are using dowsing, we're using psychics, and we're using physical monitoring methods. We're coming up with new data and nobody has ever done this before. The DRAGON PROJECT is covering new ground. It's getting closer to the secret of the earth, the grail, and I see the grail as the symbol here. It's also an acting, working prototype of left brain and right brain working together. When we get this mechanism perfect we'll have revelation after revelation.
QsM.: Do you think that the ideas in the E.M. movement have now become so developed that the average man in the street, without being familiar with a basic text like 'VIEW OVER ATLANTIS', really doesn't have an idea of what people like yourself are talking about?
P.D.: Yes, this is a problem. We get new readers to TLH magazine for example who really have only the most basic idea of what it's all about. What we really should be doing is publishing a few primers. I mean real primers. It's a great publishing venture and either we have to convince a publisher to do it (and in the present economic climate that's unlikely) or, between ourselves, those of us who are doing serious work, we have to try to get it together. I just don't see the time resources or the money resources to do it. We're having enough trouble just getting our magazines out aren't we, Chris?
QsM.: Yes, true. Quite so.
P.D.: Yes, so I don't see that happening in the near future. But, yeah, there is a problem, but it's just a problem we're going to have to live with. On the one hand we mustn't let our standards drop because of this problem and on the other hand we've got to try to bring new people in, just to try to keep the information circulating. I suppose there is enough stuff around as long as we can keep directing. You see, and this is a plug but I know it'll be too late by the time this comes out, if people would go to something like TLH MOOT, they would get access to all the publications on the subject. They can talk to people and they can bone up in that way. Yes. There is a bit of a gap developing between the vanguard of the research and the general area.
QsM.: Finally, Paul, the new book 'EARTH LIGHTS' which is going to be published by Turnstone in October, isn't it?
P.D.: That's correct, yes.
QsM.: Er, can you briefly go into what the basic thesis of that book is?
P.D.: Yeah, OK. Well, it's both the very very earliest part of my experiences in the subject that I've already talked about, and really some of the latest research. As I mentioned, when I saw this thing in 1967 the impression that I got was that there were two elements at work : there was an objective geophysical event, but it did turn into a shape and that shape could have only come from the human mind. There's no way that that was produced externally. So quite early on and after doing the work in Leicestershire we began to see connections between fault areas and anomalous meteorological phenomena. The curious events, the curious ice-falls, the fire balls, the huge ball lightnings and so on. They seem to hang around fault areas of the county of Leicestershire. But where the cycle of the atmosphere carried on as normal there were no faults. Where the faults were the process seemed to get bottled up then curious meteorological aberrations were produced from time to time. Brooding on that and brooding on the 1967 Ravensbourne experience, I began to feel that UFO's did not come from outer space. I became increasingly convinced that they were produced by the earth. Now of course, there are earth theories like the 'holes at the poles' and this sort of stuff, which I just can't go along with.
A couple of gears went along after I did the Leicestershire research then I started the DRAGON PROJECT. Then Paul McCartney here came in doing geology on that for us. He then collaborated on the book 'EARTH LIGHTS', because I'm not a geologist. This is what I think is terribly important : to know your limitations as an author. It's no good just boning up on geology or whatever it happens to be. It's much better bringing someone in who already knows everything about it. We've constructed what I think is the best case ever produced to show that UFO's are produced in the earth and that they are discharged by the planet. I've explained this theory to Tony Roberts and he came up with an interesting word or phrase for it. He said, "Planetary ectoplasm" - a typical Robertsian concept. Nevertheless, it's one way of explaining it and we've gone into the geology in great depth. We've sifted masses and masses of eye witness evidence. The thing is you know, and let's forget about about Alpha Centuri and holes in the poles, there are people who have seen UFO's being born. The formation of UFO's are on record. Nobody, as far as I know, in UFOlogy has picked up on this body of data. So we've suggested that UFO's come from the earth and we suggest the mechanism whereby they do. In the course of researching this we found out that Persinger and Lfrenier in Canada had come up with similar theories, very good theories and very little known. But they hadn't quite got the full rigour of the thing. They hadn't quite got it all worked out. Their data base is much weaker than the one we produce (isn't that so Paul?) [to Paul McCartney who has just entered the room] much, much weaker.
QsM.: Would you agree with that, Paul?
PAUL McCARTNEY : Yes, absolutely (clears throat). I think what we have in the British Isles is a laboratory surrounded by the sea. There are more megaliths here than in the whole of western America, we believe, and their data base is based on just several hundred UFO sightings over 3 million square miles. Whereas in England and Wales...
P.D ...same as just Michigan say...
P.Mc.: ...same as just one state. Whereas there are ten times as many megaliths and it er...
P.D.: ...we've got 800 UFO sightings...
P.Mc..: .we have 800 UFO sightings, 500 stone circles and this is the basis of...
P.D.: ...the geology of the country's interesting, isn't it?
P.Mc.: Yes, this is the basis, I feel, of presenting a tight case which will stand up to statistical investigation. Because I don't think any mechanism derived from Persinger and Lefrenier will stand up to any such evidence.
P.D. The beautiful thing about Britain is that its geology is so remarkable. In a very small area we've got just about everything.
P.Mc.: Yeah. The British Isles is a unique geological experience where nearly all the rocks. throughout time are found in various parts of our islands. It is the only unique laboratory in the world for this study. Whereas in North America, it is far more homogeneous. Therefore, it is almost impossible for them to put up what we've put together here. They may make tentative suggestions, but unless they come to the British Isles they can go no further.
P.D.: We have a very good population land surface ratio, don't we? One of the things we do in 'EARTH LIGHTS' is not just to cover the sightings but we've corrected the population distortion factor that you always get. Or, at least we've gone a long way to correcting it. It's not perfect, but it's better than anybody else, I'm sure of that.
QsM.: What is the population distortion factor?
P.D.: Well, if you've got 5000 people per square km. in London and you've got 2 people and a sheep per square km. in Wales; a UFO sighting in Wales is far more valuable than one seen in London. Because simply there are less eyes to see it. So when you want to get an idea of what the UFO incidence over England and and Wales is, you've got to take into account the population. You see, the phenomenon exists only in so far as it's reported. It takes people to report it and therefore the population factor has to be taken into account. So what we've done is we've taken the 1 sq. km. map based on the 1971 census information and we've plotted these 800 UFO sightings in England and Wales that we've selected, and weighted the value of the sightings. So we've ended up with a map that gives a closer idea of where more UFO activity occurs in real terms. In a way, we've produced a symbolical map but it's more accurate than simply putting down the dots. We've put down the dots as well. So, as Paul says, we've this unique geological experience here. We've got very good UFO recording material, we've got the best population to surface to work to. It's just the best lab to work in and we've used that laboratory. We've also got recorded some remarkable UFO zones like in Barmouth in 1904 and 1905 and we've taken this stuff apart as well as analysing all the major theories that anyone has ever put forward. I think that the one type of UFO experience that we do not explain - and we say we don't - are the abduction type. If abductions are real, if people are taken away in real spaceships, then our theories are probably wrong. But they are certainly right as far as some UFO sightings are concerned, anyway. I don't think there has ever been an abduction. As long ago as 1959 C.G.Jung was saying the type of people who say they go up in spaceships are actually giving perfectly historical religious experience accounts. There are crystal cups, there are blond women - virgin types - they're archetypal experiences and one wonders if there are any real spaceships involved in this. I think that's where I go along with the new wave of UFO researchers who really show there is a psychological connection with these experiences. As Jenny Randles says, people who have close encounters experiences, the abductees and so on, are a different type of witness to the others who experience lights and so on.
P.Mc.: I ought to say, if I can come in here, that I don't fully agree with Paul's statement that if abduction cases are real then our case is necessarily wrong. Because we're obviously looking at a different phenomenon, both of which are coined under the term UFO. How do we define a UFO? I think we are looking at a real phenomenon, a phenomenon which comes from the earth which is so rare that nobody before has appreciated that it is an earth light. Whether abduction cases are real or not I don't think we should...
P.D.: ...No, well O.K. I did say in any case we would be explaining some UFO. cases...
P.Mc.: ...a high proportion...
P.D. : ...yeah, most of them. I just feel that. the 'EARTH LIGHTS' case is irrefutable. I think we can definitely show where UFO'S come from. I can't believe that there are also spaceships coming down that also happen to look like earth lights and people getting taken away in them. Basically, what I'm saying is I don't think abductions are what they appear to be. I think they are a religious phenomenon. Sometimes they are just plain lies: we've got to be clear about this. What we also do in the book is that we associate the UFO incidence and the type of geology on which it primarily occurs and it is the same type of geology in which stone circles occur. Statistically it's against chance the way in which megaliths are distributed in this type of geology. We've brought in some new material from France where people have been working at Carnac and getting exactly the same findings. I'm hoping the 'EARTH LIGHTS' book will put the UFOlogical study and the study of megaliths together. The gut feeling has been there for 20 years now and if 'EARTH LIGHTS' can put these two aspects together in a more meaningful and objective way, then it will have achieved a lot.
Finally in the book we do put forward a theory, and this'll be the really controversial bit I think, where we suggest an interaction between the type of energy packet that earth lights is and the human mind. We suggest that the human mind can actually affect this energy packet in certain circumstances. That's the completely new concept in the book. It's for people to make their own mind up. But that's the kind of area that 'EARTH LIGHTS' is covering.
QsM.: So it looks like you started with an archetypal vision in the sky, a UFO we could say. From that experience you got into earth mysteries. From earth mysteries you are working back into the sky and making a synthesis of the two areas.
P.D.: Yes, in fact the last part of the book is called 'Towards a Synthesis' and that's just what it is.
QsM: Thank you both very much.
P.D. and P.Mc.: Thank you.
HITLER'S SECRET SCIENCES by Nigel Pennick
Neville Spearman. 1981, 181 pages. hardback. (illust.)
The Nazis were up to something quite unwholesome. Several writers have already written about the Nazi leadership's involvement in the occult like Ravenscroft, and Pauwels and Bergier. What Mr. Pennick adds to the subject is A) his refreshing and unorthodox view of unorthodox subjects, B) a depth of scholarship that is admirable to the point of being formidable (the bibliography in this volume runs into five pages alone), C) a considerable knowledge of geomancy, magic and paganism. So with these skills at his fingertips Mr P. enters the labyrinth of 'what they were really up to' and returns with valuable insights into the pattern of history that led to the nightmares that were uncovered by the advancing Allied armies, preserved in celluloid and which appear as images of our own time on our TV screens from time to time, namely the concentration camps.
The author shows that certain well established forms of occult belief fit the patterns of Nazi practice and that the Nazi cosmology was drawn from ideas which were bubbling under and mixing with mainstream European and German thought in the decades before they became established under the Nazis. We are taken through a brief history of secret occult and political societies who operated as groups of hit men throughout German history. Leading Nazis were members of the Thule society who mixed Theosophy with rabid racialism. They and other groups were searching for the key to an all pervading energy which they believed would enable them to rule the world.
During the 1930's the kind of research that modern E.M. groups are involved in today were popular in Germany. Dowsing, folklore studies and research into ancient German history were given active official support. The political motive was to demonstrate that Germany was the source of all world civilization. One conclusion that was reached was that the ancient Germans were not the savages pf the legacy of Roman imperialist scholarship, making a clear parallel with our own researchers conclusions about ancient Britons.
The author outlines the rediscovery of geomancy in modern times to the point where Himmler and the SS were using this knowledge to establish a psychic conquest of nations so as to supplement their military endeavours. After the defeat of the Nazis these areas of knowledge became discredited in Germany and continue to be so today. The vast majority of people interested in E.M. ideas today in Germany are those who were there in the '30's and as a result the nationalistic super fantasies linger on. In the introduction it says,"Let us learn from the Nazi misuse of these powers and not dismiss the good with the evil." Anybody seriously interested in E.M. would be well advised to read this book.
On the negative side the lack of an index was noticeable and I would have liked to know here exactly some of the quotations in the text were coming from. At a time when mad dog nationalism has recently been barking loud enough to disturb the neighbours, this book serves as an excellent reminder about the dangers of a perverted sense of nationalism 'a la' the gutter press and certain crack pot back-benchers.
(Reviewed by Chris Ashton)
THE CEREMONIAL MONUMENTS by John Barnatt
Turnstone Press 1982, Paper. ISBN 0-85500-129-1 288 pages (illust.)
This worthless and ignorant book purports to be a field guide and "explanation" of the sacred sites of Cornwall. But it is really something much more sinister. In fact it is a deliberately engineered propaganda propagating the worst (and most inaccurate) excesses of contemporary archaeological orthodoxy. It's an attempt to desperately prop up the decaying edifice that festers evilly at the "fascist core" of academe. That it should be written by John Barnatt, that pathetic earth mysteries "groupie" and recent minion of Sheffield University makes it doubly disgusting. Barnatt has been hanging around the fringes of the earth mysteries scene since he first joined some of us serious geomantic researchers on the mystic "DOME OF BRITISH MYSTERIES" at the 1978 "FESTIVAL FOR MIND AND BODY". He was then promoting his first book "Stone Circles of the Peak", endorsed all the "new archaeology" he now vilifies in his second contradictory mish-mash.
"Prehistoric Cornwall" states categorically that nearly all Prof. Thom's findings are wrong! In fact Barnatt impudently implies that Thom (and Michell) cannot tell genuine megaliths from random boulders! He offers no evidence for these conclusions other than his own arrogant subjectivity. He also states that all stone rings were meant (by their ignorant and savage builders) to be true circles and any deviation from the circular was simply architectural and engineering incompetence! So much for Sacred Geometry. The staggering ignorance of these observations (not to say their naivete) flies in the face of all the new research (and evidence) produced over the last ten years by orthodox as well as "fringe" workers. Wielding his bluntly intellectual meat-axe like a blood crazed butcher, Barnatt then goes on to say that there is very little evidence for any astro-archaeology (star alignments, etc.). He condemns the megalithic yard (he endorsed it in his earlier book). New excesses of dishonesty are reached when he remarks that leys probably do not exist, but if the "few" statistically viable alignments can be proven (doubtful) then it's no big deal as they are merely rather unimportant "short ritual pathways". Barnatt like one of his mentors, the odious Burl, is very fond of empty ritual as an explanation for non-vision. They should study their Blake and see that "everything possible to be believed is an image of Truth!"
Barnatt may well have trekked to almost all the Cornish sites in his boring inventory but he qualifies here as the man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Knowledge is not wisdom. He asses all the ceremonial centres in terms of Darwinian/Marxist reductionism and throughout uses the detestable metre in his emptily turgid measurings. A guide such as this is useless to mystic or archaeologist alike because it just states the blatantly obvious about the sites, "they are there". Defoe said this earlier and with considerably more literary panache; there is no style or even writing in this book. Barnatt's "findings" make ancient Cornwall a terrible wet and windy place, with its savage; terrified, superstitious inhabitants (average life-span 35) grovelling in the mud around a few random stones. Even O.G.S. Crawford and Gordon Childe were never this bad... as for Glyn, Jaquetta, Stuart, etc., Barnatt makes them seem like mystic Golden Agers!
Prehistoric Cornwall's methodology is specious, being based purely upon Barnatt's subjective misinterpretation of his lecturer's morphological obtuseness to historic patterns of existence. In other words the book is merely it's author's attempt to ingratiate himself with his masters at the expense of the subject, I suspect that the main royalties (if any) will consist of 30 pieces of silver, thrown down in front of Barnatt by Sanhedrim of Turncoat Press! It is interesting indeed that Turncoat, sorry Turnstone Press should have recently rejected three important manuscripts by one our most leading geomantic researchers Nigel Pennick, while at the same time lavishing a great deal of care and attention on Barnatt's trash. Who knows, perhaps the academic establishment is applying some of its infamously conspiratorial "invisible pressures" of censorship? Keeping all this in mind this thoroughly distasteful book should be cursorily dismissed by any decent geomant. Anyone wanting a good guide to megaliths etc. should spend £2.50 on Service and Bradbery's excellent "Guide to the Megaliths of Europe" and save £2.
Barnatt must now be seriously warned. By so slavishly Joining the incompetent crew of a rapidly sinking ship he will undoubtedly drown with them. As far as this reviewer is concerned this will be no loss. Perhaps when these already "dead" men are finally buried real Truth can begin to break through again, and the wonderfully magical human experience of holistic reality can shine once more over the transcendent geomantic landscape.
(Reviewed by Anthony Roberts)
MASKS OF THE ILLUMINATI by Robert Anton Wilson
There are very few authors who can hold the readers level of enthusiasm from title to title continuously. Even Shakespeare wrote some dud plays and he was at least honest enough to call one of them "Much Ado About Nothing". For this reviewer there is no author either living or dead who has been so able to do this as Mr. Wilson. Not much critical objectivity there you may think. But I can top it : he deserves the Nobel Prize for his work in the field of creative intelligence! So what are his books about? Within the context of conspiracy theory, and in the style of gothic horror and science fiction he writes books about self knowledge.
This particular novel deals with the experiences of a young English aristocrat in the early days of the 20th century who has embarked upon a path of cabbalistic knowledge. He becomes embroiled in malevolent magical attacks and, fleeing the country in a state of panic he briefly meets Dr. C.G. Jung on a train in Switzerland. Arriving in Zurich late at night and now being chased by demons he rushes into a bar for refuge where he finds Albert Einstein and James Joyce coming to the end of a drinking bout. They befriend him and he tells them his story of astral travel, rosey crosses, Cabbalistic lore and Alistair Crowley.
The story is told and the three men discuss its bizarre and irrational contents from their own perspectives. In this way the book works as a sort of detective story of reality, consciousness and perception. The mixture of fact and fantasy is stimulating, thought provoking and entertaining to book. If the author continues to write books as good as this, this reviewer will continue to give them reviews of unbridled enthusiasm.
(Reviewed by Chris Ashton)
THE LIFE OF NIKOLA TESLA by John J. O'Niel
Tesla emerges from the pages of this book as the unsung hero of the technological revolution. It was he who made the alternating current a practical reality. He saw people honoured for inventions that he'd made years before (e.g. Marconi). He was a man so involved in the development of his ideas that he was too busy to sue the patent pirates who were making fortunes out of his inventions.
He had a very unusual mind capable of memorising complete texts : he carried around a set of logarithms in his head. He also had the ability to visualise objects to the extent that they appeared so real before his eyes that he sometimes had to pass his hand through them before he could tell the difference between his thought forms and solid objects. These two qualities enabled him to develop a machine in his head and check all the parts working in his head and all the sizes without ever committing it to paper. Finally, when he was satisfied that he'd developed it enough to have a working model made up, he'd call out the measurements to his model makers from memory. The possession of such remarkable mental gifts meant that when he died, many of his inventions were lost. He didn't need to make plan drawings so many inventions died with him locked in his mental filing cabinet.
Tesla decided at a fairly early age that his life would be a single minded commitment to the development of technology for man's benefit. He wanted to lift mankind from the slavery and drudgery of constant manual labour. (He grew up the latter part of the last century). So as to allow himself the freedom to achieve this task he discounted entirely romantic involvement with women. The consequent vacuum left within him was filled by an involvement with pigeons.
With one bird in particular this had a sort of spiritual dimension. When the bird died a beam of light came out of its eyes - Tesla was holding the bird in is hands at the time. This quality of perception has its parallel in his vision of the whole solar system operating on the principles of the alternating current. He was looking at a beautiful sunset when the secret of the alternating current was revealed to him. At that moment he saw the alternating current as fundamental law governing the workings of the cosmos. Set out in the sky it appeared so real to him that he called out to a friend, "There, isn't it beautiful?". Many of his later inventions were based on what he'd intuitively seen at that moment.
The author knew Tesla for over a period of several years and in this volume attempts to put the record straight concerning the genius of the man and his contribution to world civilization. Tesla walks out of the pages of this book as a lonely genius misunderstood and misrepresented. Slightly weird and with strong streak of the showman in him he can easily be seen as the original 'nutty professor'. For anyone interested in the variety and potential of human consciousness, the practical application of intuitive vision and the consequences of independent thinking this book is recommended.
(Reviewed by Chris Ashton)
THE ORIGINS OF BRITAIN [Britain Before the Conquest Series] by Lloyd and Fnnifer Laing
Granada 1982. paper. 256 pgs. 107 photos.
Sherlock Holmes could just as easily have been an archaeologist as a copper, the amount of investigative and detective work in both jobs must be about equal. But the difference between Sherlock and an archaeologist is that whereas the former would freely and openly use speculation and intuition to build up a theory, the latter use it secretly and without admitting it. The modern archaeologist pretends to be a scientist. What they do is this: they dig up a few bits and pieces of bone and pottery then speculate as to their origins. Now how on earth you can call that scientific fails to penetrate my skull. However, the way I see it is like this: the straight archaeologists and the radical archaeologists have a lot to learn from each other. The only way we are going to build up a more complete picture of the past is by taking into consideration the different accounts of it.
This volume consists of an account by two establishment archaeologists of man's occupation of Britain from the Palaeolithic period to the late Bronze Age. There's a chapter on the development of thinking on prehistory containing some colourful anecdotes about the antiquarians. This book contains a lot of useful information but there are certain misrepresentations which are quite unacceptable from those who set themselves up as the guardians of authenticity and reason and who use the ploy of mocking the radical archaeologists in the process. For example, we are told that Alfred Watkins set out the idea that standing stones contain energy in 'The Old Straight Track'. Well, that's a new one on me! I was always under the impression that Watkins went out of his way to present his thesis of aligned prehistoric sites purely on the basis of establishment archaeological field work. There are also some wild inaccuracies e.g. we are told that most of the ideas in the earth mysteries books "have been disproved by more scientific research"(p.51). I thought it was the 'lunatic fringe' who were supposed to be given to wild unsubstantiated statements like this. I can't imagine what the authors are referring to here. As far 8S I'm aware, the only scientific research that's been done on the ideas in the E.M. books have been done by the E.M. people themselves e.g. The Dragon Project and all those meticulous alignment studies. No, this is not a fair statement at all. It looks very much like prejudiced ridicule based on ignorance mascarading as an informed opinion using the well tried and tested academic ploy of inserting a couple of significant names and titles to give the impression that the author is well informed. It seems quite clear that the authors know no more about Alfred Watkins than the fact that he was the ley line man.
But, let's not chuck the baby out with the bath water - it's still a useful book. It's a well written book. The authors are able to convey their obvious enthusiasm for their subject. But it's possible to detect a certain intellectual arrogance here and there. Take for example the caption for the photo of Maes Howe, Orkney. We are told that Norse invaders broke into the tomb and carved runic inscriptions on the walls. "They recorded carrying off treasure from the howe(mound) but this is unlikely". I fail to see why this would be unlikely and the statement is not explained. The authors make an enigma of something that is obviously quite straightforward. Prehistoric research abounds with mysteries without adding to the list from what appears to be nothing more than a sense of whimsy. Again, I thought it was the 'lunatic fringe' who were supposed to do this sort of thing. As to the solution to this little mystery it's quite easy to speculate upon two 'Norse Crusaders' (p.171 funny use of the word 'Crusader', isn't it?) standing in Maes Howe on a rainy day and the one says to the other, "Hey Siegfried! There's no treasure in this one, but remember that tomb we done over in Ireland? Well, why don't we draw that one on the wall? We got lots of treasure from it, and, after all it is raining."
On the whole the authors give the impression of trying to be fair in their survey of the development of ideas on prehistory. Though it is possible that they are paying lip service to ideas that they think might become fashionable mainstream within the next few years. Professor Alexander Thom is mentioned a couple of times without being ridiculed (though his name doesn't make the index) and the astronomical significance of certain stone circles is briefly mentioned. There's an interesting appendix on dating in which it is made clear that nothing is clear when it comes to dating in prehistory. What with two radio carbon revolutions both of which give different figures, then a variety of 'calibration tables' to give calendrical dates it all gets a bit confusing.
The last line in the book expresses a sentiment with which most will agree, "The old gods of Britain still lurk in the shadows cast by the products of 20th century technology." Though the reasons they find for this - that Britain has always been a cultural backwater where traditions die hard - will fuel another debate.
(Reviewed by Chris Ashton)
Dear Mr. Ashton,
I feel I do have to object to your interpositional remark in the article on Malta (QsM 7) by Chris Castle- where he writes about the statues and statuettes, and, being an artist, he knows what he's talking about when discussing sculpture which you ought to have realised, instead of adding the remark (which I object to) : that the heads of the statues were deliberately knocked off, "perhaps".
Well, not so. The artist/author is quite correct: some of the Maltese statues had, indeed heads that could move in some manner. Naturally, not all statues show this remarkable feature. But if you are ever in Malta, it might be enlightening to pay a visit to the National Museum in Valetta. There is to be found a large collection of diverse statues and sculptures, including some very fine heads, some of these are only one inch in height. It would be well to remember that the ancient artists who made these (beauties) did so without the use of metal Yet these sculptures could vie with most modern sculpture produced today, if not exceeding these in quality and meaning.
Wishing you much success with QsM.
P.S. Do come and see our exhibition "ANCIENT LANDSCAPES" in Brighton.
John Palmer - Holland
...regarding my interpositional remark in Chris Castle's Malta article in QsM 6. I fail to see what you're objecting about. Firstly, I do realise that he knows what he's talking about - if I thought he didn't I wouldn't have asked him to write the article in the first place!
Secondly, if you think that the remark was included to detract from the sense of the sentence (as you apparently do) then you completely misunderstand it. My remark was included in a speculative sentence with the purpose of adding to it. Mr Castle wrote: "heads have often been found that indicate that they may have been articulated onto the goddesses shoulders in some way - like some sort of puppet maybe". My remark was: " or deliberately smashed off perhaps?". Notice the question mark, you seem to have missed that.
Of course, as an artist working with megalithic subject matter I shouldn't have to remind you that megalithic structures have been smashed about and vandalised e.g. Stone-Killer Robinson's destruction of standing stones at Avebury. My interjection was a reference to this kind of activity. Furthermore, the cover illustration of QsM 6 was by Mr Castle and makes visual reference to the deliberate destruction of megaliths. I'm surprised that you, as an artist, missed the obvious connection. Moreover, the destruction of the sacred site and the subsequent creation of the waste land was a theme that linked a couple of articles in that issue: Nigel Pennick's 'DESACRALISED COSMOS' and my own 'HOVE GRAIL'.
No, it's not in the spirit of QsM to call into question the authority of its contributors and I must object to you for making that assumption. Finally, thanks for the invitation to the "ANCIENT MYSTERIES' exhibition. I've already been and delivered a lecture in a series planned to coincide with its opening, at Mr castle's invitation.
A friend and I are researching a book on UK mystery cats. A possible line of research is to check for a correlation with leys. The greatest concentration of sightings anywhere is West Surrey/NE Hampshire region, which is the area we'd like to check for any correlation. Do you know of any fully researched leys to the standard of THE LEY HUNTER'S COMPANION in that area? Or anyone researching to that standard? I don't have the time or the equipment for this sort of research on our deadline. Obviously we'd credit anyone's work we used. I feel any such check needs to be with 'no quibble' leys if it is to be worth doing.
Could you put an appeal in QsM please for any info on mystery cat sightings - don't assume we already know of it; I'm still amazed at how often new ones turn up from years back we didn't have on our list.
I think that your association of spring restivals in general with the Grail/Wasteland symbolic narrative is absolutely right, and it will be interesting to see how often such rites crop up at ley points. There is some helpful material in the Bords' new work, EARTH RIGHTS, which suggests that the Hove mound and ley may represent quite a numerous class of Spring rite alignments. Is the Hove line exactly oriented at 90 Deg E, by the way - that is, how closely pinpointed is the equinoctial date?
I've read your two articles on the 'Hove Grail' with great interest. What really strikes me is the apparent evidence for a Bronze Age date for the 'Grail hallows', the four Celtic symbols of sovereignty. If the Hove artefacts were not a chance association, (and they were surely chosen and placed with some care), then the buried person must have been some sort of 'sacred king', however that title is to be interpreted. In a Celtic context, the names of Bran and Arthur would be quite appropriate - and the burial site near the coast certainly suggests the guardian function exercised by both those figures. All in all, the Hove mound was a remarkable object, which makes it all the worse that it should have been so thoroughly destroyed. Did you succeed in arranging spring dancing at the site this year, as planned?
In the context of Anglo-Saxon Sussex (pagan and early Christian periods), I assume that a mound-and-church ley aimed eastward would be dedicated to Eostre (Ostara). Is there any local place name evidence that might support such a guess?
Congratulations on getting the John Michell interview which you've run in the last 2 issues. I was particularly cheered to read his insistence on human nature as a fundamental constant, a point which seems obvious to me but is so blatantly ignored by those now responsible ror landscape planning, social welfare and the 'cultural ecology'. I hope you'll keep QsM geared towards the philosophical aspects of earth mysteries, and that other voices will join in the discussion - perhaps you could persuade Paul Devereux to expand on his recent comments on the revolutionary world view implied in current EM research?
Jim Kimmis, Halstead, Essex.
From BOB RICKARD of 'FORTEAN TIMES'
Congratulations on the Michell interview. My attention was sparked by reading Alan Gardiner's letter, and of his and Mike Collier's puzzlement over the 'quarries' near Lewes. While I can't offer any solution I can offer a choice item of useless information as a spin off for some research into the subject of toads imprisoned in stones for 'LIVING WONDERS', the sequel to 'PHENOMENA' by John Michell and myself (to be published in October by Thames and Hudson).
Just such an unfortunate toad was released from its flint nodule prison by two workmen in or about 1898 on a road near Lewes. They were breaking flint to use as 'road metal' - and the raw material was said to come from "a neighbouring quarry at the base of the Downs, to the NE of Lewes", which puts it in the area in question.
A paper was written on the incident by Charles Dawson - later to be hoodwinked by the Piltdown Man hoax - and the toad and its stone can be seen to this day in the museum at Brighton (in their 'Cabinet of Curiosities'). A photo of it will appear in our book.
Re. poor spelling. Don't take it to heart too much. Back when FT was entirely written by me it was full of typos and spelling errors, and some readers have said this added to its eccentricity and charm. Personally I was not too worried. Having immersed myself for years in the literature of earlier centuries, in the course of checking out the data of Fort and others, I was used to, if not inspired by, those wonderful early printed documents in which the same word was rarely spelt twice the same way. In my own work I was always up against tiredness and deadlines, so that the typing came straight off my typer to be pasted down on the layout. No time for proof reading. Consequently the very mental quirk which erred in spelling or twitch my arm muscles in a different order to that which I commanded them in typing a word, prevented me in turn from detecting the errors and typos. So it goes. I even Lettrasetted a spelling error once, writ large on the front cover (I wont say which issue). I make no apologies to anyone for these. They are part of me, and a part I hold in lesser importance than a great many other matters. There is a dictum, which was popular in small mags of the previous decades, which runs, 'If you find any mistakes in this publication, remember they are there for a purpose. We publish something for everyone, and some people are always looking for mistakes." Today because we use typesetting, the material can be proof read both before and after setting, and my esteemed colleague Paul Sieveking is a stickler in those areas in which I'm lax, bless his beady eyes.
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