Earth mysteries and other alternative ideas
The history of the Rollright Stones - Spirals of Energy
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
There is no doubting that the Rollright Stone Circle, in common with many other ancient sites, is a place of mysterious beauty and subtle energies. It seems highly likely that Neolithic men and women “not only shared these experiences, but had an understanding of how to find such places; of the lie of the land associated perhaps with some special union of earth and sky. The more of their sites one visits, the stronger this impression grows.”(1)
Dowsing is a well-known method of seeking out earth energies with a rod or a pendulum. Many dowsers have recorded powerful reactions at the Rollrights, which have often been described as concentric rings of energy - one dowser has even reported his dowsing rods doing a very good imitation of helicopter rotors. It has been found that each stone is predominantly positive or negative and oppositely charged to its neighbour. There are polarity changes six days after the new moon.
In 1969 Guy Underwood noticed that these sites tend to be meeting places of invisible energy track-lines or “overgrounds.”(2) More recently some dowsers have pointed out that, while these lines are not constant, megalithic sites remain the hub of the radiating energy spokes, which could be partly electromagnetic radiation, but could also be something less tangible. (In some respects this theory could be seen as being similar to Chinese acupuncture, albeit on a national or global scale). Maybe Stone Circles are gathering and distribution points for Mother Earth’s wisdom and energy - generators for the spirit?
Tom Graves believed that “specific points or areas on sacred sites are polarised or charged: in some cases the polarities may change rapidly…Areas like the enclosures within Stone Circles tend to have regular and concentric alterations of polarity” which manifest themselves physically as magnetic field anomalies. Graves also noted that there are concentric dowsing-patterns above the ground, which have a normal “resting” state with occasional high-energy pulses strong enough to induce “temporary but severe migraine” in anyone who gets in their way.
These unexplained energies have led several researchers to suspect that they could be the non-physical reality behind the ley-system.
Mother Earth’s Energies
For a long time it has been assumed that unknown energies exist at ancient sites. Whether megaliths such as Stone Circles were built at certain places because those places had power, or megaliths have gained their power through centuries of use is a question that will probably never be answered. And maybe it never should be.
In 1975 Eduardo Balanovski, an Argentinian physicist, was invited by the dowser Bill Lewis and the writer Francis Hitching to investigate a large Standing Stone in Wales. Using a guassmeter (an instrument which measures static magnetic field strength), Balanovski was surprised to discover that significant magnetic anomalies existed around the Stone. He said that “the people who put it there knew about its power, even if they didn’t know about electromagnetism.”(3)
Since Balanovski published his findings, researchers, including the Dragon Project in the late 1970’s, have looked into the energies present at Stone Circles. However, most of the results have been disappointingly inconclusive. Ultrasonic pulsing has been detected at the King Stone at sunrise, although the levels varied with the seasons. During the Summer Solstice it was observed that there were no ultrasound readings within the Circle, almost as if the Stones were acting as a shield from the low background levels of ultrasound that are normally present in the landscape. (For further information about the anomalies found by the Dragon Project at the Rollrights see “Circles of Silence”; by Don Robins, Souvenir Press, London, 1985)
Radiation occurs naturally in both the rocks around and under us (especially granite) and also as cosmic rays from outer space. The Gaia Programme monitored radiation at 30 sites in 1983(4). Their results showed a far greater variation of readings at Stone Circles than at the control sites. Unfortunately, so far there does not appear to be any decipherable pattern of radiation activity at the Rollrights, although a steady hot spot of beta and gamma radiation has been recorded a few feet from the northern edge of the Circle, underneath the road. There has been a solitary, unexplained alpha radiation reading at the Whispering Knights.
Biologist Harry Oldfield used shrimps to examine magnetism at the Rollrights. The shrimps, which are particulary sensitive to magnetic fields, clustered towards the Stones when their blacked out jam-jar was placed near them, leaving little doubt that there are magnetic fields at work around the Stone Circle.(5)
Charles Brooker, a retired engineer, confirmed that there are fluctuating magnetic readings at the Circle - starting from the centre he realised that he had found a spiral of magnetic change similar to the concentric rings that dowsers have found at the Rollrights.(6)
Although it seems slightly ridiculous in the cold light of an English summer’s day, it has also been mooted that Stone Circles could have been beacons or landing sites for extra-terrestrial visitors who shared an esoteric knowledge with our ancestors which has now been almost completely forgotten in the 19th and 20th century’s headlong rush to replace our primal instincts with scientific logic.
In 1962 a young lad was helping out a local farmer, driving a tractor on a hill above Long Compton. It was about 10 o’clock on a summer’s evening and still fairly light. Suddenly a “white pillar” of hazy light appeared about 15 feet in front of the tractor. It hovered in the air for a few seconds before gradually disappearing. The boy was so frightened that he sped back to the farm through 3 or 4 gates without bothering to open them. Even now the man, who has seen nothing of the kind since, and who is sceptical about the possibility of ghosts and apparitions, cannot explain what happened.(7)
Leys (or alignments) are straight lines running between landmarks such as standing stones and other megaliths, earthworks, tumuli, ponds, churches (which were often built on pagan sites) and natural features. They can stretch for just a few miles, or for many hundreds. A German clergyman by the name of Wilhelm Teudt noted what he believed to be an ancient system of straight lines in 1929. Independently of him Alfred Watkins of Herefordshire had come to a similar conclusion, and in 1925 he published the seminal work on the subject of good leys, “The Old Straight Track”. Watkins named these lines leys and he believed that they were a network of tracks for prehistoric travellers, marked out by the surveyor or dodman with his two sighting staves, which linked ancient sacred sites.
Three leys have been associated with the Rollrights:
1. The first was discovered by Alfred Watkins and runs through Long Compton church, the Rollright Stones, Chipping Norton church and a tumulus near Charlbury before ending at another (un-named) church.
2. The second was suggested by Devereux and Thomson in 1979(8) and follows a route from Arbury Banks in Northamptonshire, across Cropredy Bridge to All Saints church, Wroxton. To the south-west of the church the ley crosses Castle Bank camp and Madmarston Hill camp before reaching the Rollrights.
3. The third runs from the Rollright Stone Circle on the Cotswold ridgeway to the Uffington White Horse in a perfect north - south orientation.
Starting at Uffington the alignment goes - Faringdon Folly Summit - Burroway encampment on the banks of the upper Thames - Brize Norton church - across two tumuli on the West Oxfordshire lowlands - Ascott long barrow - Lyneham long barrow with its single standing stone - Squires Clump round barrow at Sarsden - narrowly avoids the barrow at Churchill - Rollright Stone Circle - Stourton church - and finally, the summit of Brailes Hill, which has been associated with an ancient legend of a straight path linking hills. (9)
A fresh analysis of leys has started to emerge over the last few years. These views see leys not so much as prehistoric trackways but as spirit paths, corpse or death roads, dream tracks or flight paths for the faerie folk, which can be found in ceremonial landscapes all over the world.
Circular ley patterns were first noted 20 years ago. In his book “The Keys to the Temple” David Furlong expands on the idea that, as well as being the old straight track, leys can also be circular. The North Cotswolds circular ley has a radius of just under 6 miles or 1/666th of the Earth’s equatorial radius. The Rollright Stone Circle lies at the most easterly point of this ley-circle which has its centre just south of Moreton-in-Marsh.
So, there you are, a quick but most definitely not exhaustive and probably not even accurate, run-down of some of the research into unknown earth energies that has been motivated by the Rollright Stones which, are now being recognised as “more valuable than ever before, as both an educational and a spiritual resource.”(10)
Whether you are coming from a scientific or a spiritual/intuitive point of view there is a whole World out there waiting to be (re)discovered. However, as Tom Graves the dowser said - “If we continue to ravage the Earth at the present rate, we will not survive much longer; if instead we recognise that the Earth is alive, and learn to co-operate with it, the repercussions would be felt on every level of experience.”
Or, to put it another way - “the ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”(11)
*Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet” 1. Alastair Service and Jean Bradberry “A Guide to the Megaliths of Europe” 2. Guy Underwood “Pattern of the Past” 1969 3. The Ley Hunter #98 1985 4. Philip Heselton “The Elements of Earth Mysteries” 1991 5. ed. Chris Morgan “Strange Oxford” 1987 6. The Ley Hunter #98 1985 7. Mark Turner “Folklore & Mysteries of the Cotswolds” 1993 8. Paul Devereux and Ian Thomson “The Ley Hunters Companion” 1979 9. ed. Chris Morgan “Strange Oxford” 1987 10. Ronald Hutton “An Educational and Spiritual Resource” 1997 11. Darth Vader