Kristy McCaffrey writes contemporary and award-winning historical western romances. She likes the peculiar, the fascinating, and the scientific; animals and the outdoors; her husband and children; history, symbols, and mythology. Grab a cup of tea and hang out by the fireside. Let's travel together.
Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Mankind has long been drawn to specific places around the earth, from the mountains of the Himalaya to the Grand Canyon, and to sites such as the pyramids of Giza and Stonehenge. These locations have one thing in common—a preternatural propensity to convey strong electromagnetic earth energy.
Stonehenge ~ England
Power points—the Hopi Indians of the American Southwest call them “spots of the fawn”—are concentrated areas where such energy comes to the surface. Connecting them are ley lines, or energetic pathways, that have magnetic qualities believed to help birds, mammals, and even bacteria to migrate across long distances. Confirmation by modern measurement has shown these lines to flow in gentle curves along the lay of the land. However, some ley lines, notably in England and South America, are arrow-straight, leading some researchers to speculate that prehistoric engineers who built monuments that fall along these straight paths had a working knowledge of how to harness this energy. They used monoliths and stone circles to naturally align this invisible thread of energy, often depicted as a serpent etched on rocks at these locations.
One such ley line begins at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland, a 900-year-old dwelling that became the seat of power of Kings, Queens and the Scottish Parliament. It proceeds to Rosslyn Chapel, site of the Rose Well and a symbol of the bloodline of Mary Magdalene. The line then passes through eight churches, the Cirencester Abbey (built on the oldest-known Saxon church in England, which itself had been built on a Roman sanctuary), into Avebury (a Neolithic henge monument containing the largest stone circle in Europe), then eventually passing through the heart of Stonehenge. It continues through France, finally coming to rest at Lourdes, a natural grotto famous for its healing waters. The total length of this ley line is 900 miles.
Mont. St. Michel ~ France
Why were these locations chosen as points of worship and congregation? Ancient craftsmen knew the mysterious art of manipulation of natural laws, creating dwellings that aided in changes of consciousness, places where the veil separating worlds is barely perceptible. Most humans can sense a difference in a local magnetic field of only a few gammas; sacred sites create anomalies that are far stronger. And these sites have been used for generations. Mont St. Michel in France, sitting atop a small rocky island, encompasses a much older Knights Templar abbey that includes an earlier Benedictine church, all of which sit over a Neolithic chamber containing a prehistoric rock altar.
To the east sits Chartres Cathedral, arguably one of the most important examples of Gothic architecture, constructed under the guidance of the Knights Templar to precise mathematical proportions also found in ancient pyramids and temples. This adherence to sacred geometry is thought to enhance the energy-amplifying qualities of the dwelling. Beneath the structure lies a Neolithic foundation which rests on a prehistoric mound. At one time it was a Druid academy and then a Roman temple. The longevity of this site is likely due to its location above the intersection of two strong subterranean energy streams, giving those in attendance inspiration and spiritual connection.
Chartres Cathedral ~ France
Like Chartres, power places of great importance such as the Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt), the Oracle of Delphi (Greece), and Temple Mount (Jerusalem) were, according to legends, chosen above underground fissures and streams that led to all parts of the surrounding landscape. In this way vital spirit was terrestrially dispersed to the people who lived in close proximity.
The human body encompasses, and is a part of, an energy field that is interconnected to everything that exists. Our consciousness can influence, and be influenced, by this energy. From Easter Island to Angkor Wat (in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world) to Tiwanaku (a pre-Columbian archaeological site in Bolivia that could possibly date back as far as 15,000 BC), humans have sought to venerate the heavens from key positions on the earth, seeking the profound transformations these sites offer. Temples that direct the inherent geomagnetic properties at these locations were designed for the purpose of mirroring images of the essence of a creator god and, by implication, the order of the universe.
Holmes, Ann Marie. Earth Spirit Living: Bringing Heaven and Nature Into Your Home. Atria Books, 2006.
Silva, Freddy. Legacy of the Gods: The Origin of Sacred Sites and the Rebirth of Ancient Wisdom. Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc., 2011.
Filmmakers in Hollywood have been producing movies lately using tried-and-true stories: the Fairy Tale. Two films about Snow White (Snow White and the Huntsman and Mirror, Mirror), Red Riding Hood, the recent showcase of Hansel and Gretel as adults, and the upcoming Jack and the Beanstalk retelling (Jack the Giant Slayer).
Why present these tales again and again? First, because they’re darn good stories. And second, like all great narratives, they convey more than mere entertainment. They contain, at their center, psychological and spiritual fundamental truths.
No one presents this idea better than Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés in her seminal book Women Who Run With the Wolves. Let’s take, for example, the story The Ugly Duckling, presented in numerous animated films. This fable features the orphan archetype, the lost and/or neglected child, the search for one’s own kind especially when the family unit has failed to care for the creature in ways that are nurturing, nourishing, life-giving.
The basic story goes like this: a mother duck proudly watches as her clutch of eggs produces one fine-looking duck after another until the last egg hatches; this creature, unfortunately, is bigger, more ungainly than the others, he is different; the mother tries to love him, to accept him, but he’s so unlike her that she finally gives up; the ugly duckling wanders around trying to fit in, constantly ridiculed by hens, by cats, by other ducks and faces death time and again; at long last spring arrives and with it a strength to his body he’s not had before—his wings are bigger and carry him high above the ground; drawn to a group of swans he fears rejection but to his surprise they accept him and that’s when he sees his reflection in the water and the truth is revealed—he’s a swan.
This story centers around the theme of the outcast. And when taken to a psychological point-of-view, the outcast is the wild nature within all of us. This wild part has an innate capacity to hang on, to survive no matter what the situation. And when an individual finds his tribe—his psychic family, the place where a sense of belonging buoys the life-force rather than draining it—then he thrives, mentally, physically, spiritually. His soul is recognized and the result is vitality.
Snow White demonstrates that a young girl begins naïve but ultimately faces her shadow (in the form of the Evil Witch) and must also deal with the burgeoning male aspects in her personality—the seven dwarves; Little Red Riding Hood learns there’s safety in the village but danger in the forest (her wild nature as symbolized by the wolf—forcing her to become self-aware of predators, both within and without); Hansel and Gretel demonstrate how to outwit dark forces (parents that abandon them, witches that want to eat them); Jack and the Beanstalk presents a morally questionable tale in which Jack doesn’t follow his mother’s directions (trading the family cow for magic beans instead of bringing the money home), trespasses into an ogre’s home, steals items from the ogre, and then murders him—a story meant to make one think of actions and consequences, both physical and against the psyche.
Fairy tales have been passed down for centuries, teaching important truths to young and old alike, and they continue to resonate today in books and the big screen.
Flynn, Stephen. “Analysis of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” The Jung Page. May 2005.
Estés, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola. Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype. Ballantine Books, 1992.