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John Michell lecture
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Paldywan
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Re: John Michell lecture
May 05, 2016, 16:05
Well, in my judgement there have been not just a few high horses ridden in this discussion! One thing in particular that has not been mentioned, unless I missed something, is that pioneers such as John Michell never get everything right, and never will - that's for those who follow after them to sort out. Their purpose is to open seminal doorways and turn keys in locks. It is also rare that anyone does a comprehensive geomantic survey of any area, as John did - one of the weaknesses in most branches of geomancy is that research can be very bitty and incomprehensive. In this, John set a standard that few have repeated over the decades. More needs doing in this area.

John Michell did remarkable work on the ancient sites of Penwith. I have checked every single alignment he described and found only two out of seventyish that are inaccurate and incorrect - an admissible error. My own work has been double-checked by two other well-experienced people. On the whole his alignments are accurate and work well, including those where various contributors to this discussion find errors with map references. Really, he needed a collaborator with a slightly different brain than his, to sort out some of those details.

West Penwith lends itself well as a geomantic laboratory because it is a discreet area with defined edges, many sites, a good number of experts living locally and a certain magic. Standing on John's and others' shoulders, I've been working on the alignments in Penwith and, interestingly, have found an integrated system of alignments that John didn't find - mainly because he restricted himself to using menhirs and stone circles as the basis for his work, while I have included neolithic tor enclosures and 'cliff castles', which have revealed a complete alignment system in Penwith (I call them backbone alignments) dating from the mid-to-late neolithic, which itself determines the location of the major bronze age sites of Penwith, such as the stone circles. (An example: take a line from Carn Brea near Redruth to St Michael's Mount to Treryn Dinas - amazingly, three natural features that are themselves aligned - and you'll find that the Merry Maidens stone circle sits exactly on it.)

All alignments in the work I have done (see here for the full range of maps: www.ancientpenwith.org/maps.html ) are within 3 metres accuracy (sometimes 5 metres in certain carefully-judged cases). Clearly this will not please the high and mighty armchair sceptics who hover around in this field, but certain poorly thought through, reductionist views which have prevailed over recent decades certainly need now to square up with reality, especially as a result of objective fact-checking. I'm sure there are some, but not that many, errors in my own work, but using this 'facts' claim to reinforce an a priori prejudice that alignments cannot work, therefore they don't, is a late twentieth century meme that founders when real, detailed, comprehensive and proportioned fact-checking is actually carried out. Which isn't often done.

Anyway, I have gone into the details of the work I've been doing on the Ancient Penwith website at www.ancientpenwith.org and I have examined the alignments at some length on that site, and you're welcome to wade through it all, if so moved, and constructive peer review is very welcome. Negative critique will attract my sympathy though probably not my agreement - sorry, but I've actually done the work and stand by my findings! I live right at the centre of West Penwith, on a farm not far from St Just, by the way.

My aim has been to try to penetrate the minds of the neolithics and bronzies a little bit more than before because, as one who otherwise works in the humanitarian and peacebuilding arena in Palestine and Syria, I am well aware that we need to try to learn as much as we can about the knowledge the megalith builders had for the future. (And if you think Britain is rich in ancient sites, Palestine and Syria are much, much deeper geomantic waters to swim in - and herein lies part of the reason why conflicts happen there.) It concerns deep-level geo-engineering of a kind that I believe is necessary in the coming times - but an engineering that works *with* nature to enhance its own self-correcting and self-balancing processes. As in Tom Graves' 1970s concept of needles of stone.

And I think John Michell's contribution to this field deserves a much higher quality and more serious response than what I've seen in much of this discussion. Sorry if I sound critical, but he deserves far better than that.

Best wishes, Palden
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