Saturday, 17 January 2009

Ley Lines and London Walking

I do love tales of occult London and I came across a wonderful conspiracy theory while reading London Walking: A Handbook for Survival by Simon Pope.

Simon writes about a warped ley line of malignant energy crossing through the pyramid structure on top of Canada Tower, the huge office block in Canary Wharf. This path of power runs through Hawksmoor's church St Anne Limehouse, which is the site of another pyramid, and The Greenwich Observatory. It was fed by a nuclear reactor once housed at the Greenwich Naval College.

The book describes this ley line or lung-mei as a "black current" that can contribute to physical or psychic disturbances. It causes unrest in graveyards and even disrupts power and transport networks. The London Underground system is apparently particularly prone to its effects.

This is a wonderful story, though one I feel Simon Pope, like myself, relishes telling without entirely believing.

I can believe cities have an energy that is affected by large landmarks and the activities of man, but I doubt there is any diabolic architect or evil town planner deliberately cultivating malignant dragon currents for some nefarious scheme. Great idea for fiction - wasn't that the plot of the movie Ghostbusters [1984]?- but probably not likely in real life. London's woes are probably more due to the eccentricities of this ancient city and the fallibility of those making changes.

London Walking, although a fascinating little book, isn't primarily about London's mysteries. It is a collection of facts, trivia and observations about being a pedestrian in England's capital, whether you are wandering around the shops, commuting to work or attempting to hike on foot from one side of the city to the other.

Nevertheless, Simon Pope offers a practical and simple way of divining London's paths of energy so you can go with the flow. He suggests buying a packet of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. Open the packet and let all the sticks fall to the ground. Note the arrows on the wrappers and walk in the direction most of them are pointing.

I'd add to that, make sure you do it out of sight of policemen or security cameras or you could be fined for littering. That would definitely increase any bad energy around.

London Walking: A Handbook for Survival (Batsford Architecture), by Simon Pope, costs £10 in the UK.


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