The Michael Mary Line Part 4: White Horses and Dragons

A few years ago, we journeyed along the Michael/Mary line beginning in Ogbourne St George, Wiltshire, and headed west to Dartmoor. Sometime later, we returned to the Wessex Downs but this time coming in from the opposite direction (Caln, in the west). As soon as we entered the chalk scarp, we were struck by the huge telluric, geological currents surging through the porous rock, pushing up gentle hillocks and forming combes that looked like nodes in the land. Green fuzz now covers the chalk, which is therefore no longer visible – unless a white horse has been carved in it, that is.

Alton Barnes White Horse (credit Wikipedia)

White horses and hill forts abound in these vales demonstrating how important they once were to the people who loved and lived in them. The White Horse of Alton Barnes gracing the side of Milk Hill is visible from the A4, itself looking out towards the famous White Horse of Pewsey, where a new white horse replaces an older and now faded older version. A gentle walk along the top of the Wansdyke brings the relief of the land into clear focus, and places the white horses firmly in the context of the a broader landscape that undulates across to the Mendips and Cotswolds far into the distance. The Wansdyke itself is an intriguing feature and was probably built by the ancient Britons to keep the Saxon invaders out in a time of invasion and flux.

We continued north passed Windmill Hill and joined up with the Ridgeway. Part of a massive chalk escarpment some four hundred miles long and extending from Dorset to East Anglia, the section between the Sanctuary and the Ivinghoe Beacon in Berkshire is the most famous uninterrupted national walking trail in the country. It is along this pathway that the great dragon energies emerge from the chalk as telluric currents and intermingle with the more precise energies of the Michael/Mary line that we had been dowsing since Dartmoor. Iron Age hill forts, often built over more ancient Neolithic causewayed enclosures, become a stronger feature of the landscape, holding these powerful energies in a way that churches are unable to.

Barbary Castle (credit Wikipedia)

It was exciting and exhilarating to feel the energies swirling through Barbary castle with its three rings and ditch enclosures. Circling and dancing like a coiled snake, the earthworks contained and amplified the energies in an honouring and respectful way. This joyful dance continued along the Ridgeway to Liddington Camp, one of the earliest of the hill forts and dating back to the Late Bronze Age (around 700 BCE). These ‘forts’ were primarily used as places were clans met and feasted, traded goods and worshipped, though some defensive function is also not excluded. Therefore the term ‘fort’ does not do them justice, and neither does the medieval word ‘castle’ that implies a form of conquer and control that was not present in the minds of the people who created these structures.

In the centre of the Liddington earthworks, the energy was particularly intense and demanded some form of acknowledgement. Later, further research revealed the existence of a ritual shaft, used by the ancient Britons who occupied this site to ritually connect more deeply with the land, and harness the protective and abundant energies in a mutually honouring way.

Vale of the White Horse (credit author)

The Ridgeway continues northeast, and is cut across brutally by the M4 motorway, contrasting strongly with the respectful energies we had felt previously. Now we were in Oxfordshire but the underlying chalk knew no such boundaries and the great dragon currents surged towards the most famous vale of all – the Vale of the White Horse. According to Miller and Broadhurst, [1]the Mary current sweeps round the nexus point containing some of the most important sites in the country – The White Horse, Ufffington Castle, Dragon Hill and Wayland’s Smithy – and is anchored at the church of St Mary in Uffington. It is also just north of this area that the Belinus line crosses over the Michael/Mary line, forming a major omphalos (more on this to come). We went into this centre to explore the energies in more detail.

Wayland’s Smithy (credit author)

Just beneath Fox Hill, the Ridgeway now passes through one of the earliest Neolithic long barrows in Britain – Wayland’s Smithy. Set in a secluded grove ringed by trees, a stone burial chambers covered by a huge earth mound are surrounded by an enclosure of sarsen stones. Built during the Neolithic by the mysterious early agriculturalists in two stages, an earlier timber barrow could date back as early as 3590 BC.[2]

 The Saxons were probably the first to link the Germanic smith-god Wayland with this site, a rather ambivalent mythological figure who emerges, often in an unfavourable light, in a range of contexts from the Icelandic Eddas to the exquisitely carved Frank’s Casket, where he is depicted holding a severed head with the aid of tongs in one hand and a goblet in the other. Though the myth has him slaying a king’s son and cutting off his head, plying the same king’s daughter with wine and raping her, he is also associated with making wings from birds feathers that enable him to fly. This could account for why he appears in a variety of places plying his trade of smith, possibly linking this site (mythically at the least) with an early phase of metallurgy in pre-history. In more favourable contexts, Wayland is associated with forging magical swords and also the mail shirt worn by Beowolf in the epic poem of the same name. [3]

White Horse of Uffington (credit Wikipedia)

The White Horse itself is situated on the upper slopes of White Horse Hill, a distinctive undulating steep-sided valley formed by the interplay of land with the repeated freeze-thaw cycles of the last Ice Age. It can only really be appreciated from above or at a distance to see its full extent, emphasising its role as a beacon or orientation point in a sacred landscape. The White Horse itself has been dated to the late Bronze Age (1380 – 550 BC)  as has the (once again misnamed) Uffington castle on top of the hill, a huge square structure surrounded by earthworks. Not much of the original remains but to walk the parameters of the site gives some feel of its scope and scale. As the highest place for miles around, it would have had great ritual (and therefore economic) importance for the ancient Britons who inhabited the area.  

The energies are still palpable in the earthworks but do not have the joyful innocent quality that we had felt previously. These ancient walkways were fed by pilgrims and travellers that kept the energy flowing between nodal points, often represented by barrows and mounds, through a mutual honouring between land and walker. When this is no present, the flow and therefore the energies recede into the background, or indeed stagnate, waiting patiently to be acknowledged and activated once again at some future time.

Dragon Hill (credit author)

The White Horse itself is no longer accessible and when standing in the physical landscape, it is hard to see the horse at all. Indeed, it is now Dragon Hill, a small chalk hill with artificially flattened top siting sitting just below the White Horse, that draws the visitor in both visually and energetically. A large chalk circle marks the eye, said to be the spot where St George killed the dragon, the blood preventing grass from growing on its summit. As ever the myth of dragon slaying going hand in hand with the presence of huge telluric landscape currents, which is one of the reasons that these energies are called dragon energies.

It is significant that both the dragon and horse are present in this landscape. There are many theories as to the meaning of the White Horse. Some see it as a solar horse, whose origins stretch back into the deep past of an Indo-European mythology that perceived the sun carried across the sky by a horse or chariot. [4] Archaeo-astronomical investigations have suggested a link between the horse and the midwinter sun, others discern a connection between the landscape and the constellation of Draco, all of which warrants further investigation.

‘Rhiannon’ by Alan Lee

There are other land based alternatives. To the Celtic and the ancient Britons,  the white horse was the ultimate symbol of Sovereignty, who was both the goddess of the land and the land itself. She bestowed kingship in exchange for protection and when this was honoured, the land was fertile and all life forms were happy. The Brythonic Sovereignty goddesses Rhiannon is closely associated with the white horse, as are the Celtic goddesses Aine and Maeve.

White Horse (credit author)

At this place of great power, we can stand and reconnect with this aspect of the land, take back our own Sovereignty and empowerment and come back into harmony with the energies of the Earth herself, and therefore with the energies of the wider cosmos. That the horse still holds energetic sway here is reflected by the land in the numerous horse racing stables that cluster at the foot of Lambourne Down, serving as training grounds for hundreds of race horses that still gallop through the Vale to this day.


[1] Broadhurst and Miller, (1998) ‘The Sun and the Serpent’

[2] ‘Wayland’s Smithy’ available at http://www.en.m.wikipedia.org

[3] As above

[4] Pollard, J. (2017). ‘The Uffington White Horse geoglyph as sun-horse.’ Antiquity. 91. (326): 406 – 420 (Accessed 10.4.21)

Dartmoor: Connecting the Mary Line (Part II)

Dartmoor Ponies (photo credit, Julie Yarrow)

Autumn was just beginning to draw its golden curtain across Dartmoor and a few trees had already begun to shed their leaves. We spent a wonderful morning exploring the tiny back lanes of the Moor, finding wells and stone circles, the places where great rivers rose and merged, and watching as ponies were rounded up for their yearly count. Then we brought out attention back to the Mary and Michael currents, which cross across the northern part of Dartmoor quite close to our accommodation at Shilstone Farm.

Nine Maidens Stone Circle, Dartmoor (author’s photo)

First stop was the evocatively named Belstone, resonating with the fire god Bel, also known as Baal in the Middle East. It was this enigmatic god, mentioned in the bible as the arch-enemy of Yahweh, who became intimately connected with the fire ceremony of Beltane throughout the ancient world. After a brisk walk across the Moor we ended up at the Nine Maidens stone circle just beneath the Belstone Tor, with beautiful vistas over the river Teyn. Behind us was a tall pole, and upon consulting the map, we noticed that we were on the edge of an army shooting range. A so-called danger zone, a black area. We could sense the Michael current coming through the stone circle, but it felt slightly out of balance. We consulted our ‘bible,’ The Sun and the Serpent,’ to find out what was going on.

According to Miller and Broadhurst,[1] the Michael current enters Dartmoor at Brentnor, crossing through Lydford and the Yes Tor, before sweeping through the Tor at Belstone and then Nine Maidens stone circle. This we could clearly discern, but it was the Mary current that was more mysterious, for there seemed to be a break in the line. Intriguingly, Miller and Broadhurst had dowsed the Mary current to Mary Tavy to the west of Dartmoor, but the part of the Moor where we now found ourselves was apparently un-chartered territory. Rising to the challenge we stepped into the centre of the Nine Maidens stone circle and tuned into the energies.

Ladywell at Sticklepath (author’s photo)

Intuitively we felt that the Mary current also crossed over the stone circle so we drew it up from Mary Tavy, across the Moor, and allowed it to dance with the Michael current that was pulsing, albeit it weakly, through this area. The energies started to merge and form a nodal point in the middle of the circle, and we could sense the imprint of an energetic connection that had almost become lost. Miller and Broadhurst had discerned a dark energy at Lydford castle, where the Michael line passes through before coming here, which they called ‘depressingly black.’[2] Could this be linked to the use of the land as a shooting zone, resulting in a distortion of the energies? To our sense it was; energy is neutral but when there is lack of flow, it can become stagnant and stagnant energy resonates as negative energy, attracting yet more negativity. In any case, we could clearly perceive the distortion between the original use of the sites as a Beltane beacon to celebrate and purify the Earth and the present use as an army shooting ground. As walked away, ‘We could sense the processions of torch bearers lighting the way of certain ceremonial days, fire being the dominant energy.  We also saw the female warrior, strong, protecting and wise.’[3]

St Mary’s, Sticklepath (author’s photo)

We followed the energies of the ‘newly flowing’ Mary current to the nearby village of Sticklepath, and blessed the energies as they pulsed through the lovely Ladywell at the entrance of the village. Walking along the road, we were delighted to find a church dedicated to Mary – and what a lovely jewel of a church it was! Beautiful stained-glass windows above the altar depicted Jesus and Mary the Mother with the quotes ‘behold thy mother’ and ‘behold they son.’ As it was my own son’s birthday that day, I found these words particularly moving. There was also a picture of the Magdalene at the foot of the cross, and our strong sense of this church resonating with the archetype of Mary the Mother and Mary the Lover (both being of course intimately linked) were confirmed on the back of the church sign, which clearly stated ‘Dedicated to my Mum!’

‘Dragon’ church, Throwleigh Church of the Virgin (author’s photo)

We continued to Throwleigh, the next village on the Mary current, and connected it in the Church of the Virgin, where Broadhurst and Miller had also sensed the flow of the Mary energy. This part of the Moor has a wild and isolated feeling, where the Earth energies feel untamed and free. In the church reached through an ancient stone porch, there was an ornately carved altar chair clearly depicting the tree of life and dragon energy. We drove on to Gidleigh where the remains of a church dedicated once again to the Virgin were said to be found but now the ruins have been incorporated into somebody’s house and are no longer accessible.

Spinster Stone, Shilstone (author’s photo)

Our final stop was the Spinster Stone, where the Mary current loops down to Prestonbury Castle before leaving the Moor. This ancient dolmen standing in the middle of a field resonates strongly with the Mary energies for the three stones which held it up were said to symbolise the aspects of the triple goddess. It also happened to be right opposite our bed and breakfast at Shilstone Farm! Embodying the energy of the Mother, Maiden and Crone (though we weren’t entirely sure which was which), we celebrated the flow of feminine energy through the dolmen that we had physically brought down from the Nine Maidens circle, connected with the Mother energy at Sticklepath and then the Maiden energy at Throwleigh. Now standing in this burial place we fully resonated with the Crone aspect of the triple goddess, and the distortions associated with the name ‘spinster,’ the women who were originally the (childless?) spinners and weavers of destiny. As we watched streaks of purple and violet emerge across the sky and the moon rising behinds us, we felt a wonderful sense of embodiment of all of these energies, with the land beneath us, and with the heavens above.


[1] ‘The Sun and the Serpent’ by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst, Pendragon Press, 1989

[2] Ibid

[3] ‘Notes on the Michael/Mary Line’ by Julie Yarrow, October 2019

The Michael Mary Line: Part I

Stretching some 350 km from the far west of Cornwall to the east coast of Norfolk, the Michael Mary Line is probably the most famous ley line in the world. Also known as the St Michael Alignment, some of Britain’s most sacred sites are situated on it, as well as numerous megaliths and churches dedicated to either St Michael/St George (the dragon slayers) and St Mary (the christianised Earth goddess).  John Michell first brought the line into awareness when he noticed the landscape alignments between the Glastonbury Tor and Burrow Mump in Somerset, both of which have churches of St Michael on their summits, but it was Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst who made it famous with their fantastic book of 1989, ‘The Sun and the Serpent.’ During an epic adventure to dowse the St Michael Alignment, the authors found the more subtle presence of a meandering Mary line, and discerned the existence of a long lost science that harnessed the energies of the Earth and Sun at cross-quarter days to fertilise, nurture and purify the Earth. One October weekend we set off to experience the energy of this special line for ourselves.

St George’s Church, Ogbourne St George (author’s photo)

The nodes, or points where the Michael and Mary currents cross, were of particular interest to us so we decided to start our trip at the village of Ogbourne St George near Marlborough. We stayed at the Inn with the Well and after a hearty breakfast and close-up encounter with the energies of the well, we went to the church of St George to track the Michael line. A team of local ladies were busily decorating with flowers in preparation for the forthcoming harvest festival and the energies in the church were peaceful and nurturing. Outside, the presence of a sheela-na-gig style gargoyle hinted at a more pagan origin to the site.

sheela-na-gig at St George’s Church (author’s photo)

The church itself is near the Ridgeway, an ancient track that has been walked for millenia by pilgrims and travellers alike, and often intimately linked with the Michael Mary line as it was here. The Ridgeway runs along an ancient chalk ridge, and it is this chalk bedrock that gives the landscape its particular energies. Chalk is soft and would crack along the many ancient fault lines that lie hidden beneath the surface of the rolling hills, and it is also porous, allowing water to flow along these cracks. Where there is water, electromagnetic energy can flow, and this could affect the conductivity of piezo-electric rocks like quartz at the surface, or else attract a particular energy field to the area which can then be felt by animals and those sensitive to Earth energies.

Snail on blue marker stone at the Sanctuary. The swirls on the shell were similar to the energy currents we felt there.

From Ogbourne St George it is a short drive to the next major nodal point of the line, the Sanctuary near Malborough. This ancient circular sanctuary is situated on top of Overton Hill, and dates back to around 3000 B.C.E. We could pick out the West Kennett long barrow and Silbury Hill in the surrounding landscape, and realised that the Sanctuary is unique as not only the Ridgeway but both the Michael and Mary currents cut across it. Later the stones of West Kennett Avenue were constructed to link this site to Avebury henge itself, reinforcing its use as a major ceremonial site. We could clearly feel the energies swirling in from the Avenue and the long barrow, and crossing over in the middle of the circle to form the head of the serpent before spiraling out back to Ogbourne St George from where we had just come.

West Kennett long barrow, author’s photo

The nearby Swallowhead spring was dry and the Winterbourne stream that rises here and flows into the River Kennett was choked with weeds. This seemed to have an impact on the energy of Silbury Hill, the energetic battery of the landscape, which is driven in part by the flow of water from the underground streams. It is interesting to note that the name ‘swallow’ is a common term for rivers found in areas of intermittent streams, often in chalk, to explain how a stream disappears into the ground and erupts elsewhere [1] Thankfully the energy of the long barrow at West Kennett did not seem affected by this stagnation and the ancestral and dragon energies were clearly discernible in this ancient birth/death canal.

Cross over point of Michael and Mary currents at Avebury

We followed the path of the line up to Avebury and were amazed when our newly purchased dowsing rods showed us the exact spot where the Michael and Mary currents crossed and left the henge. It was such a pleasure and a privilege to walk freely round these stones dating back to nearly 3000 B.C.E and experience this serpent temple of great antiquity at close quarters, which is no longer the case at near-by Stonehenge. We could feel where the currents joined at the end of the avenue as they entered the enclosure, but they felt rather sluggish. Whether this was due to the lack of water in the Swallowhead springs area, or the fact that this serpent temple was no longer being used for its original purpose, we could not tell.

St Michael and the Dragon, Cadbury (author’s photo)

The Tor at Glastonbury has a similar exhausted feel, walked by many people but honored by few. The tower of the ancient church of St Michael still stands but feels haunted by the events of the Reformation when the last abbot of Glastonbury was hung, draw and quartered here by Henry VIIIs men. A reminder of the distorting energies of the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, mirrored by the image of Michael as the dragon slayer, depicted stamping on or killing the very energy of the line itself. The Michael Mary churches may have preserved the knowledge of the line, but the main intent of those who built them was to control and dominate.

According to Broadhurst and Miller,[2] the line with its azimuth of around 242 degrees is aligned to the rising Sun at Beltane, the ancient fire festival celebrated around the 8th May, and we were starting to realise just how powerful this insight was. All over the ancient world, bonfires would be lit to celebrate the power of the returning Sun as it fertilises and fructifies the Earth bringing forth a profusion of abundance and beauty. Furthermore, the fires were lit on top of the hills and mounds along the line, visible like beacons across the landscape, each one signalling the lighting of the next. In this way the power of the Sun (at the Beltane cross quarter point) would have been drawn down by the fires, then driven by the flow of water along the line, purifying and cleansing the Earth energies as it went. The people gathered in ceremony at the nodes along the line would themselves have been nurtured and nourished by the energies in a two-way flow that manifested in the bounty of nature around them. All would have been well in Heaven and Earth, bringing a sense of harmony and well-being that we no longer have in our disconnected modern world.

Michael Church, Burrow Bridge Mump

Away from Glastonbury we climbed the mump at Barrow Bridge and found our next nodal point. The church of St Michael on top is now partially ruined, but we could sense the Michael and Mary currents as they crossed over where the altar once stood. The energy was here clearer, less distorted, but still weak from lack of use. Gazing across the Somerset levels, we could see the Tor looming in the distance and visualised the energy flowing strong across the landscape towards it, so that the energy could flow back from Glastonbury like an alternating current generator. We had connected up the line from Ogbourne St George in Wiltshire right across Somerset and it was feeling good. As the day drew to a close, we headed off west in the direction of the setting Sun towards Dartmoor for the next part of our journey.


[1] Insearchof holywellsand healingsprings.com

[2] ‘The Sun and the Serpent’ by Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst, 1989, Pendragon Press