Sunday, November 20, 2011

That Old Blood Track: Centers of Power Part I

In prior posts I have tackled the concept of 'ley lines' or 'energy grids' before here and, with a special emphasis on Sirius here. Ley lines are one of those things that seem to have eminence occult significance, but are rarely addressed in much of the literature. When they are mentioned its often in a flakey New Age context, and possibly centering around theories of ancient power plants. At the other end of spectrum is the Downard/Hoffman/Grimstad school of thought that plays into the 'King Kill 33' theory. Needless to say, finding credible material on ley lines is always an adventure. Regardless of whether you associate with the 'left' or the 'right', several of the authors mentioned in this piece will probably draw a few cringes.

Ley lines themselves will be secondary to this piece. Rather, I would like to focus on the megaliths, temples, and other centers of power that have been built upon the leys. It is these structures, after all, that are chiefly responsible for the emergence of ley line theories as countless researchers over the years have become obsessed with the orientations of various holy sites and their relations to one and other.

First, though, let us briefly consider some of the various traditions of ley lines the world over. I shall turn to John Michell, one of those (semi) flakey New Age types, and the researcher chiefly responsible for spreading the concept of leys to the general public in the 1970s.
"The earliest memories of the Aboriginal race are expressed in terms of their native country. Its natural features, hills, streams and rocks, shaped by elemental beings of the Dream Time, an endless age which preceded our own... The creative gods once traversed the country along paths whose lines are still remembered; for at certain seasons of the year these become animated by a vital force which fertilizes the earth and gives new life to plants and animals...
"In several other parts of the world, lines linking holy centres are not only mythological paths down which the gods representing the various heavenly bodies pass at regular seasons, but have some further quality known only to native magicians. American Indians, particularly the Hopi of the Southwest, appear to use them as cables of mental communication. In China they are known as lung-mei, the paths of the dragon, and run between astronomical mounds and high mountains...
"...the fairy paths. These paths, sometimes visible as old roads, sometimes preserved only in local memory, were said to be the routes of seasonal processions. On a certain day the fairies passed through the land, and anyone who stood in their way might be struck dead or be taken off, never to return. A man whose house happened to be situated on a fairy path must on that day leave his front and back door open, for it was unwise to obstruct the fairy parade... an Irish seer for an explanation of the fairy paths, and was told that they were lines of some kind of magnetic current, whose exact nature had lately been forgotten.
"The Chinese believed that lung-mei extended all over the world, and this belief is everywhere supported by the evidence of local tradition. In Australia and North America the dragon lines are creation paths, haunted by the gods and the great primeval serpent, the ancestral guardian of all living things. In Ireland they are the roads of the fairies... Some years ago pilots flying above the Nazca plains of Peru noticed a remarkable geometrical pattern laid out on the country below. Long straight lines stood out against the desert landscape, and among them the airmen saw a number of giant figures representing men, animals and strange symbols... Some of the straight lines on the Nazca plains are of astrological significance: they are oriented so that a traveller walking down a certain line at the equinox or solstice would see the sun or a star rising or setting on the horizon straight ahead."
(The New View Over Atlantis, John Michell, pgs. 36-38)

Michell would go on to dub this 'magnetic energy' that flowed along ley lines the 'earth spirit' and would note that shrines and temples were often constructed along these paths.
"All these various traditions, which occur universally and evidently derive from some once unified system of knowledge about the ways the earth spirit, refer to, as it of spirit, that passes through the country on certain routes and on certain days, its seasons determined by the positions of the heavenly bodies. The shrines located on its path were restored to on occasions when the local god, representing a particular aspect of the earth spirit, was in temporary residence. The properties of springs, lakes and rivers, says Ovid in the Metamorphoses, vary with the seasons. In its early history the oracle of Delphi was active only once a year, so it is with all natural centres of the earth spirit. Each one has its peculiar season of efficacy, commemorated in the date of the annual fair, feast, market or assembly that has always been held there. By these events were regulated the stages of the agricultural years, and thus the lives of all people in traditional societies proceed according to a sacred calender, related to local topography, to local myth and custom, and deriving ultimately from people's actual experience of the earth spirit and their recognition pf its ways, seasons and centres of influence. Strangers may conquer the land, imposing their own gods and cults on the natives, but the sacred places and the dates of their festivals remain the same as before, the attributes of the new deities are accommodated to the old, and the invaders become in time subject to the traditions of the country. It was the policy of early Christians to follow antique precedent in this respect, with the result that almost every old church occupies a site with sacred associations far earlier than the present building, while the feast day of the saint to whom the church is dedicated has in many cases been inherited from the god of the previous religion. This continuity in the shrines and seasons of the earth spirit has an economic as well as mystical cause, for the life of the country is little affected by political or religious change; the seasons of the agricultural year proceed in the same way, and must still be marked by festivals at the regular dates and places, whatever the system of government may be."
(The Earth Spirit, John Michell, pg. 11)


Kenneth Grant, a follower of Aleister Crowley and noted occultist in his own right, claimed that the Crowleyian system had concepts similar to ley lines and sacred places.
"It is necessary, at this stage, to say something about the subtle or occult zones of consciousness in their microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects.
"There are numberless 'sacred' centres on the face of the earth, each one being the counterpart or reflection of a subtle nerve-complex in the physical organism. Seventy-two thousand nerve plexuses are referred to by the Hindus in their sacred writings.
"All ancient nations had their power-centres on earth, foci of transmundane and cosmic forces. The nomes of Egypt, for instance, were mapped out in accordance with the distribution of the various members of the Body of Osiris after it had been hacked to pieces by Typhon. To the cult centres corresponding to the various parts of the Body were allocated shrines containing beautifully wrought replicas of these organs, and sometimes the originals -or so it has been claimed. The Phallus of Osiris, at Het Bennu in the nome of mendes, is the most important shrine and focal point of the ancient worship. The adoration of the Baphometic or Mendesian Goat rehearsed the sun-god's resurrection in the House of the Goat -Het Baint -the Womb of Isis.
"Similarly, in India, when the goddess Sati was hacked into fifty-one pieces by the discus of Vishnu, the places at which the various members fell were sanctified by the erection of shrines, or sacred monoliths. Kamrup, in Assam, was particularly revered as being the repository of the Devi's yoni. Kamrup or Kama-rupa (literally, the image of desire) is to this day the supreme spiritual focus for those Tantrics who worship the goddess with the help of Her priestess, who possess naturally the characteristic talisman of the Goddess. Here at Kamrup the menstruation of the earth occurs, according to Hindu belief.
"The above examples of divine centres are peculiar to Egypt and India. There is, however, a world-wide complex of centres and they are reflected in miniature in the seven major chakras situated in the subtle counterpart of the human body. To be more precise, the chakras function through the endocine system and so affect humanity at psycho-physical levels."
(The Magical Revival, Kenneth Grant, pgs. 75-76)

the Great Beast

We shall return to the seven major earth chakras in the next installment, but for now will consider the reasoning behind building these shrines and such upon major centers of energy across the earth in the first places.
"At Delphi, where in archaic times oracles were given in the name of the goddess Earth, the sun god, Apollo, killed Python, the goddess's serpent, and usurped the shrine together with the oracular function. Zeus killed Typhon, the dragon offspring of Earth, and took over the oracle at Dodona, and St. Michael, as archangel, kept the hilltop shrines and the reputation as a dragon killer that he had previously enjoyed as a Celtic sun god.
"In the terminology of feng-shui the serpent represents the mercurial currents of the earth spirit gliding in serpentine channels through the earth's crust -the yin force in nature. It is to this force that Plutarch, who was a priest at Delphi in the first century AD, refers in The Decline of Oracles: 'Men are affected by streams of varying potency issuing from the earth. Some of these drive people crazy or cause disease or death; the effect of others is good, soothing and beneficial.' The factor that produces from the one source these various effects is the complementary yang force, the power of the sun. So Plutarch, in reference to the oracular power of the earth spirit, goes on to quote the old belief that 'the sun creates in the earth the right conditions and the right temperament for it to be able to produce the exhalations that inspire prophecy.' This understanding was the basis of the solar technology that has at different periods brought revolutionary changes into the lives and ideals of people throughout the world.
"When the serpent current of the earth spirit is transfixed by the lance of the dragon killer, it can no longer move freely about the earth, for its energies are now fixed and concentrated on one spot. When Apollo killed Python, he performed an act that is repeated in feng-shui ritual wherever the foundation stone of a house or temple is laid...
"St. Joseph of Arimathaea is said to have done much the same at the foundation of Christian Glastonbury by planting in the earth his staff which blossomed into the sacred thorn, and there are many similar foundation legends elsewhere. At Delphi, by spearing the serpent and so localizing its energies, Apollo raised the productivity of the oracle, which, having previously been visited by the animating spirit on only one occasion in the year, now became active the year through, except for three months when the god was absent and Dionysus, reigning in his place, temporarily restored the wilder, more elemental rites of the past.
"The same policy of artificially increasing the earth's fertility and multiplying the gifts of its spirit, instead of accepting what is given by nature, is evident wherever the solar gods take over the archaic shrines of the earth goddess. The appearance of the sun god signals the introduction of a technology that aims to alter the natural channels of the earth spirit and to simulate its energies for the benefit of an increasingly large settled population. This innovation is naturally opposed by traditionalists and religious people, and so in the Eumenides of Aeschylus the Furies, servants of the old Delphic goddess, cry against Apollo: 'He made man's ways cross the place of the ways of god and blighted age-old distributions of power.'"
(The Earth Spirit, John Michell, pgs. 18-19)

St. Michael killing a dragon

I've chronicled the origins of patriarchy and matriarchy before here, here and here, and came to much different conclusions as to the bringers of artificiality and 'civilization.' The highly controversial 'revisionist' historian (and Holocaust denier) Michael A. Hoffman came to a similar conclusion, largely attributing the various megalithic structures the world over to a Saturnian cult that predated the rise of the solar deities, which are commonly associated with patriarchy. Hoffman is thoroughly despised by many in the 'synchro-mystical' community in large part due to his recent writings on Judaism, but many of his theories on the occult are still compelling and have had an eminence influence on modern conspiracy culture -even shock rocker Marilyn Manson wrote a song based upon said theories.
"The sickle symbolizes Saturn, also known as Chronos-Saturn or as the Greeks called it, Demiurgos, the operating engineer of the universe as opposed to the Creator of that universe. In the reign of Saturn we see exorbitant building and modeling activities and this is reflected in the masonic reference to their god as the 'Big Builder' or 'Architect.' This sounds reasonably attractive, many of us can appreciate magnificent building and splendid projects along those lines but as usual there is more to it than this.
"This Saturnian-masonic 'edifice-complex' ultimately is building against the grain, against nature, though at the beginning, in the early eras, nature's forces are manipulated with a knowledge which requires the greatest intimacy with her ways, as reflected in the various megalithic structures in the British isles, Europe and ancient America. There is beauty, simplicity and power in this early technology and modern enthusiasts have mistaken the knowledge and sensitivity to natural forces intrinsic to this technology as indicative of a positive force at work.
"Actually, with some crucial exceptions, the rise of the megaliths marked the rise of the Hermetic Academy into its dominate physical phase. The theory is that the megaliths 'pin down' natural forces, helping to subdue nature's most savage furies. We marvel today at the Hoover Dam bu that symbol laden construction is but a crude parody of the technology of the megaliths which helped to 'dam' the wildest forces of nature.
"The construction of the megaliths, heralded by New Age types as marvels of ancient ingenuity and cooperation with nature are actually the first physical evidence of the end of Eden, of that period on earth when humanity lived as the servants and friends of God's natural creation, as nomads and hunter-gathers.
"The error of modern enthusiasts for what they regard as the magical, Merlinesque, harmonious time of the Druids and Stonehenge is ignorance of the fact that the historical period they idolize was itself immersed in a tampering technology and materialism which essentially marked a revolutionary break with the natural order."
(Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Michael A. Hoffman, pgs. 21-22)

Many of these sacred centers (and presumably the leys they are supposedly built upon) are also positioned to chronicle various stars and constellations. Sirius, the Dog-Star (which is closely linked with Saturn in occult lore), appears time again and again in relation to various temples and shrines built upon leys the world over. Sirius is of course highly significant in occult traditions, as I've noted before here and here. Robert Temple, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, speculated that various oracle centers in the ancient world were laid out according to the position of the constellation Argo, which he associates with Sirius.
"The other Arabian star named 'Weight' was in the constellation Argo. But we see the Argo was associated with Sirius, as was the first star named 'Weight' which was in the Great Dog constellation and a visible companion of Sirius.
"If an Argo is projected on the globe with its helm near the ancient Egyptian city Canopus on the coast of the Mediterranean (the star Canopus forms the helm of the Argo in the sky) and with its prow at Dodona (from where the oak came which was placed in the Argo's prow), if we hold the stern firmly on Canopus but swing the ship eastwards at the top, so that the prow points towards Mount Ararat, where Noah's ark was supposed to have landed, we find that the arc thus described is a right-angle of 90º.
"Instead of Canopus we must really use the neighbouring site of the now entirely vanished city of Behdet, which was the capital of pre-dynastic Egypt prior to the foundation of Memphis.
"Dodona is exactly 8º of latitude north of Behdet. Delphi is exactly 7º north of Behdet. Delos (another important early oracle centre, vanished by classical Greek times) is exactly 6º north of Behdet. Behdet was the Greenwich of the ancient world prior to 3200 BC and was used as a geodetic headquarters.
"Associated with near-by Mount Ararat as a mystery-centre was the now little-known site of Metsamor. Mt Ararat is 8º north of Behdet and on the same parallel as Dodona.
"A site on Kythera is known to have connections with early dynastic Egypt as a religious centre and is about 5º north of Behdet. The island of Thera may, however, have been an oracle centre. It was destroyed by a famous volcanic eruption in Minoan times.
"All these sites were revealed as a pattern now termed a 'geodetic octave' by the projection on the globe of the Argo, which is connected with Sirius. Sirius was not only the element of the most sacred traditions of the Dogon and the ancient Egyptians, but apparently of the entire civilized and cosmopolitan Mediterranean world prior at least to 3000 BC and probably well before 3200 BC."
(The Sirius Mystery, Robert Temple, pg. 201)

Some of Temple's 'oracle octaves'

For more information on the links between Sirius and the Argo constellation, check here. It is possible these bands of latitude Temple places his 'oracle octaves' tradition upon was also practiced in ancient America. The controversial Fortean researcher William Grimstad connections bizarre stone structures in Colorado to several oracle centers in the Old World.
"There is a wide network of totally enigmatic stone structures scattered around southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. No one seems to know who built them or why. This immediate area, at the border of Las Animas and Pueblo counties, contains several of the remains, perched high atop certain cliffs and promontories. Six of the sites have been explored, although others are known to exist. The structures are in pairs, with the more complex or elaborate one always on the southeast or east side of the Apishapa River...
"The Sirius Mystery, an important new book by Robert K.G. Temple, explores the role of the star Sirius in the mystical and religious affairs of the earliest civilizations of the Mideast and Mediterranean. In his fifth chapter, on the geodetic locations of the various oracle shrines of the ancient world, Temple points out that these places were arranged along nine bands of latitude, from 31º30' N through 39º30' N. These Apishapa sites lie at about the 37º30', and hence would be in a line with the Greek cult sites of Delos and Miletus, which were sacred to the moon and the goddess Artemis, according to Temple. It would be fascinating to see what similar significance, if any, could be worked out for these anonymous and probably far more ancient American sites."
(Weird America,William Grimstad, pgs. 47-48) 
Grimstad goes on to suggest that a site of massive ruins around Mt. Carbon (of which I've written much more on here), located in West Virgina, may have followed the path of Temple's oracle octaves as well.
"Most local experts who have studied the site admit the possibility of ritualistic or ceremonial significance to the builders. Since this area is located at about 38 degrees, 10 minutes north latitude, I have wondered about the possible links to Old World cult centers on the same parallels."
(ibid, pg. 240)

Mt. Carbon ruins

There are, however, sites associated with Sirius that fall outside of Temple's 31º30' N through 39º30' N range. One of the most notable is the Bighorn Medicine Wheel. Concerning the medicine wheel, Grimstad notes:
"'Archaeoastronomy' is a trendy new subject these days. Astronomer John A. Eddy for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, has theorized that the Medicine Wheel could have been used as an observatory to pinpoint the summer solstice. Eddy has found that the center cairn and one of those on the outer rim line up perfectly with the rising sun, while another rim cairn aligns with the setting sun on Midsummer day. Other cairns on the rim, he finds, line up with the stars Aldebaran, Sirius, and Rigel around solstice...
"There is a more egg-shaped medicine wheel on Moose Mountain near Kisbey, Saskatchewan, Canada. It too is laid out so that sight lines over cairns mark sunrise and sunset at summer solstice, as well as the rising points of Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius."
(ibid, pg. 247)

Of course the rising of Sirius was a major holiday in ancient civilizations such as Egypt and Rome, as I noted here. Numerous other 'New World' sites have connections to Sirius, even if not directly. One of the most notable ones is the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio, which is located near one of Temple's oracle octaves. This monument, however, is seemingly oriented towards different stars.
"... Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio, which has been analyzed by professionals and shown to be more than art: an artistic astronomical computer, oriented towards the solstices, the moon, the sun, and the constellations of Draco and Ursa Major, consistent with a theology we can only imagine, and like those intricately engraved Persian astrolabes one sometimes finds in an antique store or a souk."
(Sinister Forces: Book One, Peter Levenda, pg. 51)

In the Crowleyian school both the constellations Draco and Ursa Major are closely associated with Sirius.
"Similarly, the Scarlet Woman, Babalon -the home of the Phallus -represented astronomically by Nuit (Draco) and Her 'stars', is, upon earth, the Vesica or Kteis, and her number is 7, which is the number of Venus, her planetary representative. Originally, however, the number 7 derived from her identity with the seven stars of the Great Bear, or Dragon of Space, whose name was Sephek or Sevekh (Seven). To be at sixes and sevens is an expression based on this vastly ancient occult lore deriving from a time when confusion reigned at the period of change-over from the Stellar (7) to the Solar (6) mode of reckoning... The earliest calculations of time centred in the revolution of the Serpent (Draco) or (Nuit) round the Dog-Star (Hadit). Sept or Set, the Star of Sothis, is in actual fact the name of the Number Seven, the number of Sevekh or Venus, who, at a later epoch of time was the planetary representative of the original stellar concepts. Therefore, the seven-rayed Star of Babalon is a glyph of the Spirit of Sothis; it is the Star of Isis-Sothis -the Mother and 'Child'. The Beast or Dragon of Revelation was seven-headed (the seven principal stars of Ursa Major), and the manifestor of these Lights or Spirits was neither the sun nor the moon, but 'the Light that illumines the City.'"
(The Magical Revival, Kenneth Grant, pg. 44)

Draco (top) and Ursa Major

It seems possible, then, that Serpent Mound was a kind of elaborate time-keeping device, among other things. And with that, I shall wrap things up. In the next installment we shall examine the mysterious Rose Line and further connections between Sirius and leys.

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