Paul Deveraux. Secrets of Ancient and Sacred Places. Blandford, 1995.
The sites described in this book are taken from the UNESCO World Heritage list of sites chosen for their cultural interest, their natural features, or both. For each of the sites we are given summaries of the facts discoverd by archaologists, together with discussions on aspects of interest to students of Earth Mysteries.
Much attention is given to the alignments which have been discovered at many of the sites. Although a few of these may be accidental, most are obviously not. Such lines often converge on a site of ritual significance known as an omphalos (from the Greek word for navel). Some of these lines are roads, while others are markings on the ground, or alignments of buildings, stone circles, or other structures. Devereux shows how such alignments have dictated the street layouts of some towns including Speyer and Karlsruhe in Germany.
As we would expect from this author there are stories of mysterious lights seen at some of these places, including Hessdalen in Norway, which was the subject of much discussion in UFO circles in the 19805.
One of the most interesting accounts of mysterious lights comes from Mount Taishan, China, where there are about 300 temples, mostly Buddhist. According to the English Buddhist John Blofeld, who visited the mountain in the late 1930's, there is a temple assiciated with a nearby tower on a high peak, from which he and others witnessed mysterious floating orange spheres of light. These lights appear between midnight and two in the morning and the tower is said to have been specifically built to observe them. However, before making any comments it would be nice to have some independent confirmation of this intriguing story.
The book is profusely illustrated and attractively presented. It has been artfully written to have a wide appeal. references are given for readers who wish to obtain further information on the topics raised. -- John Harney, from Magonia 55, March 1996.
Philip Heselton. Earth Mysteries. Element, 1995.
Philip Heselton is one of the doyens of EM research in Britain and co-founder of Ley Hunter magazine in the 1960's. In this volume he presents an overview of the range of earth mysteries, starting with a history of the development of the idea of leys, and moving on to topics such as terrestrial zodiacs, mazes and feng-shui. He is particularly concerned with folklore connections to EM sites.]
Much of the thesis of the book is dependent on the presumed reality of earth energies, subtle and rather ill-defined forces which suffuse the planet and are tracked by man-made markings and contructions, or naturally occuring features; or are tapped by performing rituals at auspicious places and times. One may doubt the existence of a single 'world wide web' of energies, while recognising that more established energies such as piezo-electricity and the energies associated with seismic activity may have many, little understood, effects.
The book emphasises the supposed spiritual manifestations of earth mysteries, and this puts it rather out of phase with some recent developments in the field. Researchers in the group around today's Ley Hunter for instance are looking at the topic in a more scientifically oriented manner, placing emphasis on instrumented readings and recordings; a development which has been met with dismay by some EM researchers. In this book Heselton is anxious to express this side of the topic whilst not, I suspect, fully favouring it.
In all an excellently presented and beautifully illustrated introduction to a fascinating if contentious subject, and gets a resounding cheer from this reviewer for not once mentioning crop circles! -- John Rimmer, from Magonia 55, March 1996.