The Spirit Paths of Wales (Cicerone Guide)

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9781852842895: The Spirit Paths of Wales (Cicerone Guide)

Laurence Main's knowledge of Welsh lore and legend is the basis for these 20 walks, following spirit paths (or ley lines). Standing stones and holy sites abound; Welsh literature and history spring from every page. Spirit paths, leys or ley lines are new concepts to many people who have come to enjoy walking in the countryside. They form part of the ancestral memory of being the children of Mother Earth which makes so many town-dwellers yearn for the simple freedom of rambling along ancient paths. This vital contact with the living landscape is a spiritual exercise. What is meant by a ley, or spirit path, is very much open to individual interpretation. Significantly, it is a straight path or track that is identified in one's subconscious and is consequently traced by a process of dowsing and connecting sight lines. The paths often synchronise with standing stones, holy wells and other sacred sites, suggesting a divine or mystical significance. "This book has a selection of spirit paths (by my reckoning) for you to sample. It is far from being comprehensive. I've just dipped into a vast ocean. I hope I haven't imposed my dowsed lines on the land. I have tried to listen to it. If I may venture a belief, it is that this is a living land and our acknowledgement of its spirit paths may lead us to love it." - Laurence Main.

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About the Author:

Laurence Main is both a walker and a druid. An Oxford University graduate and former teacher, he has been a freelance writer of walking guides since 1987 and has over 50 titles to his name, including The Spirit Paths of Wales (Cicerone, 2000). A regular contributor to Country Walking magazine, One Wales magazine, The Cambrian News and the Society of Ley Hunters' Newsletter, Laurence serves on the Council of British Druid Orders, the Committee of the Society of Ley Hunters (organising Moots and field trips), The Vegan Society Council and the Committee of the Meirionnydd Group of the Ramblers' Association. He leads people on Vision Quests, recording their dreams at sacred sites and has dreamt over 1000 nights on Carn Ingli, also on Cadair Idris. In 2004, he celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of the Vegan Society by walking 1404 miles in 95 days from Callanish stone Circle (Isle of Lewis) to London via Carn Ingli and St David's, backpacking and praying and dreaming on many holy hills (e.g Schiehallion) and at stone circles such as Long Meg and her Daughters. Laurence devotes his time to helping people experience the spirit of the living land and to listen to it. This is a vital exercise in these critical times. He undertakes long walks linked to leys, praying at the sacred sites aligned on them, as an increasingly necessary form of pilgrimage of mutual benefit to the Earth Goddess and the soul of the pilgrim. He intends to write more on these. His latest book (to be published by Meirion in 2006) is King Arthur's Camlan. As the reincarnation of Sir Derfel, he is a Quest Knight in the Loyal Arthurian Warband. If you are ready to proceed beyond merely walking in the countryside and are willing to open your soul to the spirit of the land, Laurence may be able to assist you. He often gives talks, so do invite him if you have an audience.

Review:

'Every active earth mysterian has had people contact them to ask if there's a map of ley lines for their area, and usually the best we can offer is to suggest they go off and make one themselves. Veteran linearist and walker Laurence Main has another suggestion however, buy this book and you not only get maps showing alignments, you also find details on how to go and follow them. Main's commitment to earth mysteries is long-standing and enthusiastic, sometimes frighteningly so - as people who disturb him while sleeping at sacred places have found to their cost - and this book broadly reflects current inclinations across the whole e.m spectrum, as the title suggests. Containing walks from as short as three miles to more ambitious thirteen-mile hikes, it offers a more direct experience of leys, corpse-ways and spirit paths than any textbook can. The twenty walks are spread throughout Wales, so if you are anywhere near that country, there will be one relatively near you. Entertaining as well as informative, this is one of the best guides available for the antiquarian rambler.' (John Billingsley, Northern Earth 29 February 2002)

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Main, Laurence
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