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Sacred geography – Picts – Sacred trees and sacred groves 02



Type of Spiritual Experience


Stand of Trees by scottish artist Sandy Murphy


A description of the experience

Paul Screeton – Quicksilver heritage

Trees form key ley points.  Despite the fact that any tree planted in Neolithic times would have died and disappeared long ago, generations of trees would grow at the same point.  Hawthorn planted to encircle a single tree or clump could act as a barrier to keep within the circle seeds from the tree or trees and thus perpetuate the mark point.

Alfred Watkins noted that trees were often to be found at points where leys cross, and that where a ley came upon a natural hill, a single tree at the summit marked the point.  He believed a pole was sometimes used in the same way as a tree ……

As for avenues of trees, all the ones Alfred Watkins tested had leys down their centres. He also found long, straight strips of wood-land, sure signs of a ley, and discovered that the word 'park' probably formerly indicated woodland connected with leys………………

The Scots pine is the tree most characteristic of leys, with its height making it particularly noticeable. All single trees of seeming significance should be checked as ley points, and also named historic trees, especially gospel oaks.




The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Activities and commonsteps