Tools for Exploring the Intangible Realms
Revised and updated fourth edition
Dowsing the Earth Energies
Dowsing is best known as a tool for locating underground veins of water, oil, lost objects, missing persons and buried treasure. Note – these are all tangible, or physical targets. This kind of dowsing yields itself easily to evaluation by the scientific method.When the forked stick goes down, the target is either there, or it isn't. Physical-target dowsers' work can be checked by observation, by digging or drilling.
On the other hand, when one is intent on using dowsing as a tool for spiritual growth, for intangible target dowsing, the process isn't quite so easy.How can one 'prove' that one has found an edge of the human aura (a field of energy found around all living things) when there are presently no scientifically acceptable tools to measure it? (Isn't it interesting that some have given machines the power to define reality?) True to his veneration of analytical, linear thinking, twentieth century Western Man has determined that something is real only if he can see, smell, hear, taste, feel it. Or if a needle moves on a machine. What a limiting and limited view of reality!
At sacred centers, a dowser finds all kinds of Earth Energies, s/he can feel them as well, but as yet, they certainly haven't been demonstrated empirically. How can someone scientifically demonstrate that they have grown spiritually? And yet most of you who are reading this know that in the last several years you have grown at least a bit closer to your Creator.This is an awareness that all on the path have. And yet, how can that be proven scientifically? It can't. While physical-target dowsing can be proved empirically, intangible-target dowsing, spiritual dowsing, isn't as easily verified by the scientific mind-set.
Western Man has based his primacy on logical thought and the five senses.Auras and Earth Energies – in fact all the intangible targets of the spiritual realms – don't yield themselves easily to this method of viewing reality. Dowsing can help us begin to look into those worlds beyond the five senses. It is a bridge that can help us touch the intangible.
Dowsing is a tool we can use to help us 'see' the Earth Energies at sacred sites. Every valid site that marks a ley, an alignment of sacred sites, has water under it. There are two kinds of underground water. There is the 'water table' water that most hydrologists are interested in.The other is 'primary water' (some call it 'juvenile water'). Primary water doesn't come from rain water, but rather is created in the bowels of the Earth as the by-product of various chemical reactions. This water is then forced under pressure towards the surface of the Earth in what dowsers in the United States call 'domes' (in Great Britain, they are called 'blind springs'). I picture domes to be like geysers that just don't reach the surface. The water continues its upward journey until it hits an impermeable layer of rock or clay. The pressure then forces the water out horizontally, in what dowsers call veins – cracks and fissures in the rock. As a spiritual dowser, one can find domes or at least crossing veins of primary water under any valid marker of a ley. When these veins of primary water reach the surface in many parts of the world, they are considered to be holy wells, places of healing and spiritual contemplation, places of the Earth Mother.
An Agreement on Primary Water
There is one aspect of the Earth Energies that as dowsers we should all be able to agree on. This has to do with the presence of primary water at these sites. It's always there. For this reason, if you want to become a good Earth Energy dowser, I urge you to work – at some time in your development – with a competent drinking- water dowser. Apprentice yourself to one long enough to be sure that where s/he finds water, you find water. This sure knowledge of the location of underground veins of water is critical in determining not only how the veins dance at power centers, but where there are zones in a home that are detrimental to a person's health. A spiritual dowser must also be a water-witch.
In the nineteen-thirties, Reginald Allender Smith was one of the first dowsers to write about finding water as a primary ingredient of any sacred space. This has been corroborated by many fine dowsers since his time. I have worked with Bill Lewis, one of the master dowsers of the British Isles; Tom Graves, author of several important books on dowsing and the Earth Mysteries; and Terry Ross, the person who brought the notion of dowseable leys to the United States. All of them find primary water under valid markers of the ley system. I believe it is time for all Earth Energy dowsers to agree on this. It is always there. Too many good dowsers have been finding it for too long now for it not to be there. If you are not finding primary water at sacred sites, once again, perhaps it is time for you to go spend time with a water-well dowser.
Leys and Energy Leys
Leys, these alignments of sacred sites, are the result of our ancestors locating their holy sites over primary water. I find that many, but by no means all, of these leys also have straight beams of male, or yang energy, flowing along them. These are called 'energy leys'.
Energy leys are normally six to eight feet wide, and have a direction of flow, like a river. In England, most leys (but again, not all) have these energy leys flowing concurrently with them. In New England where I did my Masters research, I know of four or five leys, but I have dowsed well over four hundred energy leys.
(Please remember my comment in the Preface about "Sig's Hypothesis Number One": Even if they were trained by the same teacher,when dowsing for intangible targets in sacred space, it is quite probable that no two dowsers will ever find exactly the same things. In this book I am reporting to you the intangible Earth Energies as I "see " them. Please dowse for what I am suggesting, but, just as the founders of the great religions "saw" the One differently, each of us perceives the spiritual realms differently depending on what we were taught to see, our present level of consciousness, and what we are therefore ready to see. It could be that you might find completely different energies from what I find.And that's not only ok, but that's how it is.)
This Earth of ours (the Greeks called her Gaia) has always had a series of places all over her surface where the yin and the yang, the female and male, the domes and veins of primary water and the straight energy leys have come together forming what is called a 'power center'.The energies at any given power centre (defined as a minimum of one vein of primary water crossed by one energy ley) are not always the same throughout the year. Each one reaches its peak of power at one or more times during the year based on various factors including what the Sun, Moon, and to a lesser extent, other planets and stars are doing.When an energy ley aligns with the rising or setting of the Sun, for example, the energy becomes much more potent.
Many temples and other sacred spaces are associated with specific times of the year – Stonehenge with the Summer Solstice Sunrise, Newgrange with the Winter Solstice Sunrise, Solomon's Temple with the Equinox Sunrise. At these times, the energy ley that runs along the site's major axis joins the power center there with the point on the horizon where Sun rises or sets on that Solstice, Equinox, or Cross Quarter day. (If you think of the Solstices and Equinoxes as dividing the year up into quarters, the Cross Quarter days divide the year up into eighths, and occur at the beginnings of November, February, May and August.) Other sites are oriented towards the rising points of the Moon,Venus, or certain stars. In these cases, the point on the horizon marks a significant place in the cycle of that particular heavenly body. Whatever the alignment, it creates a massive increase in the energy available at that particular power center at that particular time.Different sites were set up to utilize this energy in different ways. So different sites used their major axis astronomical alignment to enhance the intent of the builders to use these energies for healing, for foretelling the future (the veil to the other side being thinner at that point), for fertility (the priests of the Nile were responsible for the fertility of that ancient valley), and, perhaps most importantly, for general growth in spiritual consciousness.
His Story and Her Story of Alignments
Until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi documents just after World War II, the only thing we knew about Gnostics, an early Christian sect who were judged to be heretics,was what was written about them by the early Church Fathers who didn't like them. Most of what we initially knew about feng shui, Chinese geomancy, came from Ernest J Eitel, a Christian missionary to China who, once again, didn't like this heathen practice. History (his story) is written by the victors. The patriarchs.
But what about her story? One of the things that I remember from somewhere in my training to become a Western Man was the notion that there is no such thing as a straight line in nature, and yet, since before the beginning of recorded time, we humans have known and utilized the power of alignment. From the alignment of passage graves and standing stones constructed in the middle of the fourth millennium Before the Common Era (BCE) to the present day intentional alignment in Washington DC of the Lincoln Memorial, the Tidal Basin Pool, and the dome of the rotunda over the Capitol of the United States, we humans have been using alignments. Prior to the dawning of Western Man consciousness, these alignments were used for spiritual purposes, to mark centers of, among other things, healing, fertility, and prophesy. This kind of alignment, a ley, might consist of holy sites from many different periods throughout history.
Until roughly the time of the Protestant Reformation, the people of Europe built their sacred sites in straight lines, leys, that ran across the countryside in harmony with the Earth Energies. Since that time, Western Man has continued to use the power inherent in alignments, but for different purposes. Let us look then at our use of alignments throughout herstory and history to see how we might use dowsing as a spiritual tool. Until the beginning of the Neolithic (New Stone Age) period, roughly 6000 BCE, Europeans were hunter-gatherers.
As we followed the herds and the various crops that ripened in their time, we were in tune with Nature, and were naturally at the appropriate power centers at the specific time of the year we needed to be there to perform our various ceremonies and rituals. Gaia led us to the right place at the right time, and our spiritual lives prospered accordingly. John Michell has a good discussion of this concept in his book, Earth Spirit.
The First Farmers
When we settled down and became farmers, however, we had a problem – we had to make do year 'round with the power centers that were in our local area.We then had to find ways to enhance the Earth Energies at times when they were not at their peak. The archaeological evidence indicates that by the middle of the Neolithic period (4000 BCE ±) we were building incredibly sophisticated sacred enclosures that, among other things, demonstrate a thorough knowledge of geometry thousands of years before the Greeks supposedly invented it! These sacred sites were built on previously existing Earth Energy power centers, utilized sacred geometrical ratios in their construction to enhance the energy, and were oriented towards specific significant horizonal astronomical events. All of this was done apparently with an incredible amount of human labor, to know better when the energies would reach their zenith and, at other times of the year when they were at lower levels of intensity, to concentrate them for use in spiritual activities. There seems to be a solid connection between the introduction of farming and our first permanent temples built on sacred space.
The Earliest Alignments
The earliest use of alignments that I know of is found in Ireland. In the lush green valley of the Boyne River north of Dublin, Neolithic people of about 3200 BCE created a spectacular array of massive circular mounds of earth with cruciform stone-lined tunnels called passage graves. Some align with the Sun as it rises and sets at significant points of the year Solstices, Equinoxes and Cross Quarter days. Others line-up with similar structures, standing stones and smaller burial mounds that resemble round barrows.
Martin Brennan has done some magnificent work with these Irish passage graves and has identified the oldest leys that I know of in the world. A good example would be the alignment that starts at Knowth, a passage grave with two stone-lined tunnels, one oriented to the Equinox Sunrise, and the other to the Equinox Sunset. About three quarters of a mile to the southeast, the line runs through a standing stone, one of a dozen that surround the best known passage grave of all, Newgrange. The cruciform chamber of Newgrange is oriented towards the Winter Solstice Sunrise. The line from Knowth goes through that chamber where the main tunnel and side chambers converge. (Many other alignments with other sites and/or astronomical events also cross at this point as well.) The alignment then exits the passage grave and goes through another of those twelve stones that surround the site. The alignment ends about a half a mile further to the southeast where it hits Mound 6, one of the round barrow-shaped mounds that are also found in the valley of the Boyne River. Five points within two miles, all are related to ritual, and they're in a straight line. Several hundred years after the construction of the Boyne Valley complex, the Neolithic people of south-central England began to construct an enormous sacred megalithic complex, a landscape temple that truly staggers the mind. She is called Avebury.
Ah, Avebury! One's being is confounded and delighted by the impressive West Kennet long barrow, a magnificent burial chamber oriented towards the Equinox Sunrise, and Silbury Hill, the largest wo/man made prehistoric mound in Great Britain (in all of Europe, for that matter). And then there is the magnificent henge monument itself, the Avebury stone circles. There are three of them, two small (or should I say normal-sized circles) inside the truly enormous ring of huge sarsen stones. These megaliths delineate and dominate the inner bank of the deep ditch and towering outer bank that create the henge. All of this was accomplished around the beginning of the third millennium before the Christian era by Stone Age farmers using antlers for picks and oxen hip-bones for shovels.
But let's turn our attention to that apparently serpentine West Kennet Avenue. It consists of two rows of large,mostly either diamond- or phallic-shaped stones that run parallel to each other for over a mile and a half from the circles at Avebury to a smaller circle of stone and wood posts called The Sanctuary, located above the hamlet of East Kennet. In the eighteenth century drawings of Avebury by William Stukeley, the West Kennet Avenue is one of two that run from outlying sites to the main circle, much like the fallopian tubes go to the uterus in the human female reproductive system. Following this logic, The Sanctuary would be analogous to one of the ovaries.Perhaps this image stretches things a bit, but make no mistake;we are in the territory of the Earth Mother.
It turns out that rather than being serpentine, seemingly constructed in a series of arcs, the West Kennet Avenue is actually made up of a series of straight lines. Paul Devereux, Director of the Dragon Project, and I, have been interested in the alignment potential there for some time.At the top of the first gradual rise leading away from the henge itself is one particular segment of that series. It includes two of the larger stones that are left in the entire Avenue. Their major axes align along one of the best leys I have ever seen. These two stones are aligned in such a way that one can just see between them. In one direction – to the southeast – one sees the tip of another standing stone in that row and above it, a Bronze Age round barrow in the distance can be seen through the slit between the two stones.
To the northwest, in the opposite direction, the steeple of the village church in Avebury can be seen through the vesica pisces frame of the stones in the Avenue. In the mid-ground between the church and the sighting sarsen stones, the ley runs along a perfectly straight section of the massive ditch of the Avebury henge itself. This occurrence of a ley tangentially striking circular prehistoric features is quite common in Britain.
So here we have an alignment that has six valid points on a dead straight line in less than a mile and a half! On top of that, the two stones in the middle of the ley focus one's vision to an incredibly narrow visual alignment in both directions. The points all have primary water under them. It's the tightest ley I've ever seen. It's about four inches (10cm) wide! While there is primary water under each of the points, there is no dowseable energy ley running concurrently with that ley.
This seems to be a second phase in our ancestors' use of alignments. The first leys developed naturally as a result of building on power centers. There was no intent to put the sites in a line; it just happened because some of the sites were on the same energy ley. But by the time of the construction of the West Kennet Avenue, we had learned how to make intentional alignments that didn't necessarily have energy leys flowing along them. Still, the specific points were chosen because they had primary water under them.
Stone rings like Avebury have been found to mark the crossings of two or more leys. Dowsers find that they also mark the crossing of energy leys over primary water. One of the ongoing spiritual aspects associated with ancient sacred sites is fertility. Perhaps those who worked with the Earth Energies might have wanted to spread their fertilizing aspects over more of the countryside. (Being a country boy, a vision of a spiritual manure spreader comes to mind here.) Having realized that the holy places were naturally aligning themselves, perhaps these non-energy leys might have served as channels for energies of fertility that were reflected down them from power centers like Avebury.
A cyclotron is used by physicists to speed up atomic and sub-atomic particles in a circular accelerator by spinning them round and round until they reach the appropriate velocity. The particles are then shunted off on to the target. Dowser Tom Graves has suggested a cyclotron effect at Rollright stone circle. Graves found energy being spun around the circle, and then released outwards at various points along the circumference.This cyclotron effect is especially interesting when we consider our Avebury non-energy ley is tangent to the circle.
The only non-Neolithic point on that ley is the Christian church, and, as one of the points, it stands alone to the northwest of the circle, on the wrong side of the flow. All the other points are to the southeast. If the energy at the Avebury circle were swirling in a widdershins or counterclockwise direction, and released at the point where our non-energy ley is tangent to that circle, it would flow down that ley, along the Avenue towards the round barrow on the horizon, thus spreading the fertilizing potential of these power centers out into the land.
All of the ley markers discussed at Newgrange and at Avebury (standing stones, passage graves, round barrows, the henge monument and the church) have primary water under them. All except for one – the church at Avebury – were built or constructed over a thousand years before Christ. All of them have clear unambiguous connections with ritual, ceremony and sacred space. I believe that the first leys were the unintentional result of early farmers working with their local power centers to access the source of spiritual power on a year 'round basis. The alignments just happened. They were the result of putting ceremonial sites on places where the yin comes together with the yang, where Earth Mother comes together with the Solar Father. Within five hundred years of the earliest leys, by the first part of the third millennium BCE, wo/man had learned to construct intentional alignments that connected sacred sites, but did not necessarily run concurrently with energy leys.
It is difficult to find strictly Neolithic leys. There are some good examples in Cornwall, and at the Devil's Arrows up in Yorkshire, but people all around the world have been intentionally building their sacred sites on power centers until comparatively recent times. Europeans did so until around the end of the time of the great Gothic Cathedrals. Some people, the Aborigines of Australia, geomancers in Hong Kong, and some Native Americans, just to mention a few, are still doing it today.As a result of this multiple cultural use of the same Earth Energy system, leys tend to be somewhat mixed in the sense that there are sacred sites of quite different time periods on the same alignment.
This is a particularly hard one for archaeologists and anthropologists to understand because they just can't imagine that something that we don't know about today was recognized by those primitive savages, utilized by various succeeding pagan cultures, and also known by those men of God who built the Gothic Cathedrals.We forgot because the witch trials and other heresy persecutions of Western Man made us forget. But more of that later.
The First Signs of Western Man
At about 1000 BCE one finds a new feature intruding into the confines of what initially had been sacred alignments. Bit by bit, the secular begins to intrude. John Barnatt, an archaeologist who has done a lot of work on Dartmoor and up in the Arbor Low area in Derbyshire, has postulated that the archaeological evidence seems to suggest that prior to around the second millennium before Christ, the people were held together (perhaps controlled?) by spiritual power – healing, fertility, oracular, and heightened awareness. Everyone experienced this power. The ceremonial centers started with a big blast at Avebury in the fourth millennium, with its breath-taking long barrows (actually, they are breath-giving) and were followed by the builders of the magnificent stone rings. These became more and more complicated until they culminated with the tremendous sarsen trilithons of what is called Stonehenge III in about 1500 BCE. It was as if we were building more and more elaborate structures to hold down that elusive quicksilver energy. And we were forgetting how to do it.
At Stonehenge we can see this shift in a different way. Stonehenge was constructed in three different chunks. Stonehenge I was the earliest, 3100 BCE ± and consists of the henge (the ditch and bank), the four small Station Stones that dot the Aubrey Holes (52 circular chalk-filled pits just inside the ditch), and the Heel Stone(s). Everyone could clearly see what was going on at the center. Everyone could be involved.
Stonehenge II added the human-sized Prescelly Blue Stones around 2150 BCE. When the builders of Stonehenge III, at just the beginning of the second millennium BCE, added the tall trilithons in the center, the lay people around the periphery could no longer see what was going on in the center. In a final blooming from around 2000 to 1500 BCE, approximately 60 of the bluestones were reset in a circle immediately inside the sarsen circle, and another 19 were set inside the great horseshoe of sarsen trilithons. A similar development took place in the development of rood screens in the Gothic Cathedrals 3000 years later. Perhaps this represents a move on the part of the priesthood to consolidate their power. In any event, the end result of the trilithons and rood screens was that less and less people really knew what was going on. This concentration of spiritual power into the hands of a few led next to the desire to have power down on the physical level as well. And there's good evidence for this in the Iron Age that arose soon after Stonehenge III, around 1000 BCE.
There's a famous ley that Sir Norman Lockyer, an early astro-archaeologist / archaeo-astronomer (interested in astronomy and how it relates to ancient sites), found at the turn of the last century. It begins at a tumulus (2000 BCE ±) just north of Stonehenge where it runs tangentially to the circular ditch (3100 BCE ±) and then on to an Iron Age hill fort called Old Sarum.
Hillforts were an introduction of the Iron Age which began in southern Britain at around 1000 BCE. They were defensive military positions, the first points on leys that were clearly not ritualistic in nature. Two millennia later, the Normans put a military camp in the center of this hill fort. Shortly thereafter, an impressive church was also built at Old Sarum; however, the soldiers and the priests didn't get along, so someone fired an arrow into the air, and the present Salisbury Cathedral was constructed where it landed. The ley does not go through the spire of that building which towers over the crossing of the nave and transept, but rather, it goes through the high altar, to the east of the spire.The ley then continues through two further Iron Age hill forts, Clearbury Ring and Frankenbury Camp.
It is with the inclusion of hill forts in the Iron Age, all of which still have primary water under them where the ley strikes them (often only a glancing blow), that the use and function of leys in Britain begin to change. As Barnatt points out, the people weren't being controlled and ruled by the spirit anymore, but by force. Hill forts were not sacred places; they were one man's, a family's, or clan's statement to the world about their physical power.
The Romans carried on this use of leys for physical purposes when they built their famous roads on the more ancient leys. The Romans have always been praised for their roads.The reality is that they built only the surface of them.These straight tracks had been used for millennia as sacred ways, but the Romans debased them by using them as ways of quickly getting their armies around Europe. They used spiritual paths for military purposes. Actually, except for the many examples of Roman roads on leys, there are very few other Roman structures in England that are on these alignments. With a few exceptions, like the foundations of Wells Cathedral, the Romans just didn't seem to build many other structures on leys here in Britain. The Romans were the first people to use these sacred ways for secular purposes as a matter of national policy. But they weren't the last. Throughout the rest of history there is more and more evidence for secular use of alignments.
Pope Gregory and the Benedictines
In the sixth century CE Pope Gregory, in a letter to St Augustine of Canterbury who was to carry Catholicism to Britain, cautioned him not to destroy the ancient sites. Gregory wanted missionaries to destroy the idols, for sure, but he urged them to build churches on the older holy places. Even if these missionaries did not know of these Earth Energies (some clearly did as evidenced by some beautiful Medieval leys), their churches would therefore have been automatically linked to the alignment of earlier holy sites. Again, just by choosing to place his churches on the previous culture's sacred spaces, Gregory assured that they fell into straight lines as they dotted the countryside of Dark Age Britain.
At least part of the Church at that time, the Benedictines,were well aware of these Energies. In fact, Gregory was a Benedictine himself! The Order was founded by St Benedict in the first half of the sixth century CE. Unlike earlier orders of the Church, the Benedictines stressed communal living, and their abbeys were like homes of Christian families with abbots as fathers. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect about them is that throughout Europe, these Benedictine abbeys and monasteries were built on major power centers – sites with much earlier spiritual connections as well. Monte Cassino in Italy is one. And so is Monserrat, a major pilgrimage site on the side of a mountain of the same name, northwest of Barcelona in Spain where there is also a black wooden image of the Virgin supposedly carved by St Luke. Monserrat was thought to have been the castle of the Holy Grail. At Fulda, in Germany, St Boniface founded a Benedictine abbey. It was from Fulda that Christianity spread throughout central Germany.
The St Michael's Geomantic Corridor
In the English Channel there are two well-known island power centers that utilized the ley system for sacred purposes. Both are islands at high tide only; at low tide they both connect with the mainland. Both Mont St Michel off the coast of France and St Michael's Mount off the coast of Cornwall in southwestern England,were Benedictine abbeys. St Michael's Mount is at one end of a famous geomantic corridor or dragon path, first identified by John Michell. He called it the Michael Line, and it runs in a northeasterly direction to the Beltane (May Day) Sunrise. It runs through a series of important English power centers including many that are dedicated to St Michael or to other dragon-killing saints like St George and St Margaret. It traverses England from St Michael's Mount to at least as far as the St Michael's church in Clifton Hampden, almost two hundred miles to the northeast in Wiltshire. Because of its length, there is a great deal of controversy as to the relative straightness of the entire line.Part of the problem is that due to the curvature of the earth, one should be employing spherical geometry rather than plane geometry to calculate its straightness. Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst dowsed their Michael and Mary lines running up this same alignment like the Ida and Pingala, the twin serpents of the kundalini.
Three of the points in the middle of this geomantic corridor are of particular interest. The southern entrance of Avebury is at one end, and Burrowbridge Mump in Somerset is at the other.The major axis of the Mump (mound) aligns with this corridor. In between them is perhaps the most famous of the St Michael points on this dragon path – the Glastonbury Tor, whose major axis also runs along this May Day (Beltane) alignment. Glastonbury was an island at the time when Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus, came and built the first above ground Christian church shortly after the crucifixion. The Celtic Christianity that was formed was a beautiful blend of Christianity and Druidism; the Christ energy was an important source when working in the spiritual realms, but Nature was also held in reverence. Glastonbury remained an important Celtic Christian shrine until it was taken over in the 10th century by guess who? – the Benedictines. It then became one of the most powerful religious centers in England until Henry VIII broke it up in 1539.
By holding the important mountains and other geomantically strategic sites, the Benedictines attempted to control Europe for the Church.As they built on power centers, their monasteries and abbeys were automatically plugged-in to the ley system.These energies were tapped to ensure the primacy of the Church of Rome and its growing political control as well.
This control by the Church culminated in the person of St Bernard of Clairvaux. While not a Benedictine, he was an abbot of a Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux. He refused higher Church offices, but his obvious spirituality, his immense capacity of mind, will-power, and eloquence made him the most powerful man in Europe in the first half of the twelfth century. He was a maker and confidante of Popes, started the Second Crusade, and was a peacemaker among the rulers of western Europe.He consummated the art of combining the use of spiritual power with political/physical power. This was a totally different use of spiritual energies than the builders of Newgrange I had in mind.
My argument so far is that at least initially, leys were the result of building on power centers as a means of enhancing spiritual growth. At first there was no intent to build in straight lines; it just happened as a result of building on the underlying energy system. By 3000 BCE the awareness grew that we had been building sacred sites naturally in straight lines.Then came the first intentional alignments that did not coincide with energy leys. Initially, these too were made solely for spiritual purposes.The four-inch wide ley at Avebury is an example of this.But the introduction of Iron Age hill forts and, later, Roman roads and Medieval castles as points on older leys, indicates that Western Man was developing alternative uses for this phenomenon.
There isn't a specific date when the spiritual uses of the leys ceased and the political/secular ones commenced, as there was a long period of over a thousand years when both were going on at the same time.There are several examples of purely ecclesiastical leys in Medieval England. Brian Larkman, an Earth Mysteries researcher, has uncovered a ley in York that, in addition to several other features, includes three churches, the magnificent York Minster, and the Deanery Chapter House all on that same ley! Five Christian structures on an energy ley; all have related primary water under them.
But our days of conscious knowledge of the Earth Energies were numbered. Western Man ensured that his linear objective consciousness would predominate by waging a systematic war of elimination against the intuitives and the Goddess. One of the first things that Constantine did after he made the Christian Church the state religion of the Roman Empire was to genocidally root out the Gnostics, intuitives and followers of Christ who demanded the right to hear and interpret God's word for themselves. No one was to be allowed to think for themselves, to define their relationship with Christ for themselves.
Heresies and the Witch Trials
As the Dark Ages went on, the Church found more and more ways to deny the people access to spiritual realms. These attacks culminated in atrocities that are similar to America's genocidal war on the Native Americans, or Stalin's decimation of dissidents in Russia. If the treatment of those people the Church called heretics or witches had occurred anywhere else on Earth other than in supposedly civilized Europe, modern historians would have called the torture and burnings at the stake truly barbaric acts of primitive savages. (Actually the term "primitive savage"has come to mean, to me, a culture that is probably very much more spiritually advanced than we are.)
The last time that human sacrifice was practised in Europe was during the witchcraft persecutions.Witches were perceived as a threat by the Church for several reasons. They were the remnant of the Goddess-centered religion who used power centers and incantations to connect with the spiritual without going through the Church. Also, its Earth Mother-centered path was at variance with the Church's patriarchal mode of operation.
The Medical Profession Lends a Hand
In the villages of the Middle Ages, it was women who provided the medical care. These healers knew about things like herbs and spells. Many were also midwives. This became a threat to a new professional class of men that was arising – doctors. "I've just been through five years of intensive study at University to be a doctor.
How can this untrained peasant woman know anything about delivering babies?" The medical profession joined the Church in the persecution of witches (read: women, and mostly lower class). Western Man continued to burn witches/women at the stake up into the seventeenth century. In Salem,Massachusetts, they were killing women called witches in 1692. The last woman in Scotland to be killed for being a witch was put to death in 1722.
Eventually they had run out of lower class women, so they began to go for the upper class wives.But with the seventeenth century came the Age of Rationalism. An aristocratic husband could now argue, "What are you picking on my wife for? You know those realms don't rationally exist anyway!" So the persecutions ceased, and the knowledge of the Earth Energies faded away.
Dowsing as Heresy
It's easy to see how dowsing got into trouble. It is potentially a spiritual tool that doesn't have to go through the Church to get answers. As dowsing was thought to be a craft practised by witches, it fell into extreme disfavor. It had been practised through the ages by those who were in tune with the deeper harmonies of the Earth Energies, but dowsing was a direct challenge to the patriarchal linear thinking and rational methodology of Western Man and his Church – especially when it was used as a tool for direct personal perception of the spiritual (it's also called 'divining').
Dowsing had to be stamped out. Only its use as a tool to locate drinking water was deemed to be so essential that dowsing for it had to be tolerated as an acceptable channel to intuitive knowledge.