Alternatively… Vive La Difference: Ley, Dragon or Global Grid?

What’s the Difference Between a Ley, a Dragon/Serpent/Energy line & a Global Grid Line

Wight Weekend 
A couple of  recent incidents have prompted me to write a few blogs giving a  basic guide to the differences between the above, as I understand it.

Firstly I must reiterate that this is as I understand it, because there is always dispute in the dowsing community, especially over the definition of leys. I have tried to keep to the commonly agreed definitions. If you understand differently, or have something to add I would welcome your comments and discusssion.

Secondly in my effort to make this blog accessible to someone with just passing or beginning interest,  I may have oversimplifed, so if you wish to delve deeper or add  your knowledge I would love to discuss with you.


1:Leys & Ley Lines

 Dowsing isle of wight
Like that song  ” You say tomato, and I say tomato” (and this reference doesn’t work unless you’ve heard the song!) 
Some people call these features leys, and some Ley lines.
Technically since the term ley for dowsers indicates a straight line, to say “Ley line” is like saying “line, line”! In the dowsing community “Ley” is sufficient. Some dowsers get really heated about this, and for some reason use it as a measure of depth of knowledge or professionalism. My opinion is that this is a very snobby attitude, and it doesn’t bother me one bit if people say “Ley line” or “Ley”. What is more important to me is that people understand what is meant by the term. 

As a former English teacher I know that you would not turn to Shakespeare to teach grammar because his grammar is often incorrect, but that does not make him a terrible writer. Ley is the term commonly used in the dowsing community, but dismissing someone who calls it a “ley line” as ignorant, is foolish.

Ley was a term originally coined by famous dowser Alfred Watkins in the 1920’s. He noticed that there appeared to be straight lines connecting ancient features, and  he used the term “Ley” since they seemed to pass through places with the syllable ley/ly in the title.

Subsequent work has proven this is utterly and totally a far too simplistic explanation, even for those with just a casual interest! Nor does it mean that a place containing the syllable ley or ly in its name has a ley going through it, but on the other hand it might do, because a ley may not be what you think it is! 


Because not all leys connect ancient places, but many do! Confusing isn’t it?

Dictionary Definitions

Wight Weekend

A ley/lease/lea/ly in the title of a settlement often refers to a piece of land that is put to pasture temporarily for a season or a short period of time. Lea/lease/lay was the name often given to the rich summer pasture on the flood plains of a river. 

It’s origin is the Old English word  lǣge meaning fallow. (recorded in lǣghrycg ‘ridge left at the edge of a ploughed field’); related to lay and lie.

So seeing the syllable ley/ly in a place name does not guarantee finding a ley, but it is a good clue and starting place. There are many geographical features in dowsing that give clues, some of which may be red herrings sometimes but not at other times. Basically you have to go out and get a feel for the ‘lay’ of the land. Like Sherlock Holmes you have to get out there and

“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”

The term ley is the term most commonly known and recognised by the general non-dowsing public, and certainly very misunderstood. A ley is a subtle form of energy coming from the earth in a straight line, it is detectable by dowsing, but the word Ley  is not the umberella term dowsers use, because a ley is one of  quite a number of  subtle energies coming from the earth, not all in straight lines. Unsurprisingly the umberella term is “Earth Energies”. That’s the most common term, but telluric currents (very low voltage electro-magnetic currents, created by the earth herself) and earth mysteries are also both used and misused. 
Personally I would advise sticking to Earth Energies as a nice wide term, if you are a beginner, but keep working/reading and talking to other dowsers. You have to have a real passion for dowsing and be willing to read and learn a great deal.
It is very easy to learn how to dowse, but not so easy to know what to do with your ability to move the rods once you have learned , that requires practice and lots and lots of knowledge. You will need to learn to differentiate the ‘feel’ of one energy from another. It does become clear with time.  It is easy to begin dowsing for earth energies, practice, time and experience brings the rest.

So What is a ley?


Wight Weekend

At the most basic level, it is a straight line going through 5 or more of the following places: 

Mounds, Long-barrows, Cairns, Cursus, Dolmens, Standing stones, mark-stones, Stone circles, Henges, Water-markers (moats, ponds, springs, fords, wells), Castles, Beacon-hills, Churches, Cross-roads, Notches in hills, Camps (Hill-forts)

Whilst it is generally agreed that churches must be pre – medieval  to count, this too can be a red herring. Many later churches have leys running through them because the church has been re-built and many churches were given a Victorian ‘makeover’ but are at heart much older.  Know your church history is the answer. If you were considering checking a ley in your locality, don’t discount a church just because it appears modern, dig deeper!

Furthermore, some, but not all dowsers require a ley to have a start (or finish) point of a hill. 

 All Henges are likely to indicate the presence of a Ley. 

5 Places?…Not What I’ve Read!

You may read that just 3 places on a straight line are enough, they are not! You’d be surprised how many modern constructions have 3 in a row. Try local convenience stores or pubs for example. I know you may feel some strange energy is drawing you into your local, but it is unlikely to be a ley!  When you try to plot 5 pubs/convenience stores in a straight line, that will be rare! 

I would recommend beginning with an established ley. Go there and get a ‘feel’ for the energy.  To discover a new ley you will need an Ordinance Survey Explorer map (1:25,000 ~  landranger maps at 1:50,00 have much smaller details, use Google earth for long distances), a ruler and a sharp pencil. Can you find 5 points in a straight line going through the above places?

But that’s not all! I frequently meet people, especially those who house dowse for geopathic stress, who tell you that they don’t need to visit a site. You do! A pencil line, can be quite a few metres out, think of the scale of your map, 1:50,000! Finding a ley on a map is a good start, especially in the winter sitting by the fireside when the wind is blowing a hooley. You can plot your ley, dream of summer and plan your expedition. It saves a lot of time and futile effort if you have some idea which 5 sites might be in a line. Notches on hills and other features may not be on your map, stones can have been laid horizontal in the past and overlooked, I have a way marking stone near me that has been converted into a step on a style, not marked on the OS map! Your 5 points may be over a greater distance than your local map covers, hence Google Earth. Always visit, no armchair dowsers please! Minor leys can be as small as 5cm/2″ wide, imagine trying to plot something that small on a 1:50,000 map!

What causes leys?

Now that is a little more sophisicated! Some ley hunters insist a ley is only a ley if it is on ancient sites as above, but other dowsers have proven the existence of more modern and ‘new’ leys.
For example a long length of metal fencing going across country may create a ley. This is because the metal fencing interacts with those natural telleric currents of the Earth.  Of course not every long length of metal fence will do this, it depends on the geology underneath. More research and testing I’m afraid! 

Chicken & Egg

Wight Weekend

So in attempting to explain what causes a ley there are two theories. 

a) the ley was already there so they built the monument to mark it.
b) The monument was there so they 1) built a ley or 2) people’s energy created a ley over time.

To explain, the ancient sites listed above all have other significant earth energies happening in the ground below, not just leys. Energies, that it is argued, affect humanity, possibly healing energies, and in a few places the ancient structures were constructed to contain harmful negative energies for the benefit of the surrounding land and people. In fact in dowsing leys are not the most significant energy you can find on an ancient site, and then there is sacred geometry. Now we are bordering on other forms of Earth energies, more of them later, lets stick to leys!

In theory a) the sites were built first, and the leys were created as trackways to and from these sites by human use, the human being having an electromagnetic current of her own, the brain. In theory A, human interaction over hundreds of years with the energies produced by the Earth created the ley.
Some very old leys leading to ancient sites certainly do coincide with old droving paths and ancient roads. 
 A well worn pathway would be safer and better constructed than striking out across country, so this could be co-incidence. We use our motorways to go on holidays (holy -days) as well as to transport goods. Many ancient leys have ‘way marking’ stones and ‘sight lines’ on ancient hills.  Archeology has proven that neolithic mankind were building perfectly good roadways before the Romans ever came. Parts of the A1 were ancient trackway, then a Roman road and is still in use, no surprise to find a ley on it then! Did ancient priests construct pathways to sacred sites, well how else could a large number of people use them without good access? Certainly excavations around the Amesbury/Stonehenge area prove that large numbers of people did attend periodically. Or was it human use that created them? What we know for certain is: A ley is a straight line between 5 points!

TheoryB: Connected Sites

Theory B is based around the fact that stone circles etc, do ‘communicate’ with each other. There are subtle energy lines flowing between sites. Sort of like (but equally not like) our modern tele-communications, but beneficially, not detrimentally! 
Did the ancients therefore create the monuments only where this energy flows? 
When speaking of major energetic and astronomical leys it would appear so. Modern technology has proven that major (worldwide or very long distance) leys take into account the curvature of the earth and still remain straight. 
We know neolithic man, and/or the Druids were master astronomers, as their stone circles prove! 
In that case theory B. would apply.
If you subscribe to the view that we had alien help, that a cataclysmic disaster tipped the poles/ precessed the equinoxes/ meteorite strike/super volcano caused Atlantis or similar ancient knowledge to be lost but wisemen/ascended masters/priests survived and built these things then theory B would be for you. That is Leys were purposely constructed along existing lines of energy. The one fact to support this is: Leys are straight lines connecting 5 or more sites!

Major & Minor

Wight weekend Stonehenge Wight Weekend Ularu

You will note in the last paragraph I talked of ‘major, energetic, astronomical leys’. Not all leys are of this type. In my opinion perhaps two different types of things are happening when there is talk of leys, and perhaps we need to clarify which is a ley, and which is something else, like a ley but not the same.

I’m going to confuse this explanation of leys even further by saying that I believe both definitions are partially correct for different reasons.

The majority of leys are minor leys, they run short distances and are about 5cm/2″ wide. They are still detectable by dowsing, and they are straight over the short distance that they cover, but they are NOT carrying dragon/serpent/ yin/yang energy, (This energy is another type of Earth Energy and I will return to it in another blog), nor do they have an astrological alignment, those, and travel a long distance, these are features of a major ley.
Minor leys appear to have been created by repeated human use over some time, but something else, let’s call it the X ingredient is needed too. 
What is this ingredient? 
Speculatively, the correct geology underneath our feet/cars, which like those ancient sites creates a positive/ negative feeling and interaction with the earth.
I don’t know but you can certainly dowse this sort of  ley.
Have they always been there, and humanity unconsciously interacting with these energies puts pathways and roads there, or is it our interaction with the Earth, the Earth’s interaction with the cosmos, changes happening over time? I don’t know, but I think that we unconsciously interact with these electromagnetic energies, not realising that we have this pre-historic skill that we no longer use. The very best dowsers don’t need a rod to amplify the signal like a T.V. ariel, it is an inbuilt natural ability that we share with migrating birds and animals.

I think the earth has major and minor arteries and meridians just like the human body, so we are just discovering new fine veins and arteries every day.

Major Leys are well documented, that brings us into ‘The Global Grids’ which are sort of leys and also into other types of earth energy. Next blogs to explain these.

To Summarise

Leys are always straight. If it isn’t straight with 5 points then it isn’t a ley but could be some other form of earth energy!
Major leys have 5 or more ancient sites in a straight line, and also carry energy and have astrological alignments. Some really major leys are global.
There appears to be 2 types of ley: majorly significant leys, and smaller shorter apparently less significant leys.
It is debatable how leys are created and whether humanity’s interaction with the earth and her currents can create new leys, if those leys have always been there, or whether the earth herself is creating new leys.
It would seem that at the very least there are considerably more leys of varying sizes and lengths than first noticed by Watkins, I believe that either they have something to do with the eco-system of the planet, or perhaps new ones are being created. One wonders if minor leys are leys, or some other form of Earth Energy?  Similar but not the same and perhaps the two need to be differentiated, but to do that their purpose would have to be confirmed and differentiated. The jury’s out!