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Part of the Re-enchantment of England
on 17 January 2015
Alfred Watkins is generally credited with the discovery, or invention, of Ley Lines. But whilst it's true that his 1921 book, The Old Straight Track, was a minor sensation and had people striding out across the countryside in search of ancient monuments, but there was never anything mystic about Watkins's idea of how ancient Brits got about and it was pretty soon forgotten.
The View Over Atlantis is The Old Straight Track on acid. No longer are Ley Lines there simply to get Bronze Age man home for tea, now they are channels of energy that thread their way around the planet. And at the hub of the radiating orgone energy was Glastonbury.
Visiting Glastonbury last year I struggled to find a second hand copy in the local bookshops, but about half of what they did sell has its origins in this book and Michell can probably claim to rate up there with John Lennon and Jefferson Airplane as someone who helped define what it meant to be a hippy.
That what he actually put in the book is pretty much wrong is really neither here nor there. Michell himself said "like all discoveries at Glastonbury, it came through revelation, which is not a popular medium among the professors" - which may be understating it a little.
The result is "a poetic rather than a scientific truth", but it has been enough to touch off a mystical quest that opened the doors of perception for a lot of people.