Energy Leys and Circular Burial Grounds in Perthshire

by David Cowan

An Unusual Holed Stone, an Ancient Warrior Revives, and the Serpent’s Secret
Map of energy lines around Loch Tay

Map showing the energy lines walked by David Cowan during his research for this article.

The energy lines around Lough Tay and Loch Rannoch have been walked to verify them. They are roughly cir­cular, from a powerful cup-marked standing stone.

The other normal straight energy leys from 4-stone circles (four posters) to circular burial-grounds are carefully vectored to avoid these cup-mark lines. If they have to pass across a cup-mark line, a standing stone or some other crossing point is used.

Cam Bad an Fraoich cairn (centre) is the focus of energy leys from four-stone circles which transmit streams through it and on to circular burial-grounds. Note how the standing stone at Stonefield and the Druids Cave act as crossover points on the cup-mark system.

Cille-ma-Charmaig and Dundurn burial grounds are positioned on cup-mark lines as well as the energy leys from four-stone circles. Strowan and Dornoch Mill are, in all probability, also on cup-mark lines, which have not yet been mapped.


Dundurn church and burial ground at St Fillans. The stone in the foreground warps telluric energy around and into the church

It had taken me about five years walking the energy lines from a powerful cup-marked stone to discover how it worked. This stone initiated a highly sophisti­cated series of circuits of telluric energy which run around Lochs Tay, Rannoch and Earn. Some 22ft. wavelength, they have a periodicity of 1 minute 55 seconds – that is a wave which gradually weaves back and forth across the ground, taking this time to go out and come back into phase. They are easily followed using angle rods, since they extend vertically for an unknown height.

Cup-marks carved into rocks, sometimes called petroglyphs or rock art, have puzzled scientist and layman alike for over a century. Since there is very little datable evidence associated with them, experts can only guess their age. In 1979, one eminent archaeolo­gist, Ronald W. B. Morris, who spent the major part of his working life investigating them, suggested a date of approximately 3,200 BC to 100 AD, a vague dating which has not been improved upon by other researchers.

Cup-marks range from simple hollows about .5in. (12mm) across, carved on rock, to large basins, 6in. (15 cm) wide. Some are surrounded by a ring or rings which may be gapped or have a groove running through them. Others are joined together by a groove usually running from the cup, suggesting to some people that the stones have been used for sacrificial purposes, to let the blood run down, although there is no archaeological evidence for this.

They can be found world wide, usually in clusters. In Britain there are few north of Perthshire or south of Yorkshire, although some can be found in Der­byshire. They may be discovered above or below ground on standing stones, earth-fast boulders in fields, small movable boulders, horizontal rock faces or hidden in caves, like Wemyss Cave, Fife, in souterrains (sometimes called weems, fogous, or earth houses), in cists, stone-age coffins, and chambered mounds.

After a quarter of a century of research, and several thousand miles following the cup-mark lines on foot, I am convinced that understanding these petroglyphs or cup-marks will lead to the rediscovery of the ancient and powerful knowledge of standing stones and circles, the entire energy ley system in fact.

A Four-Stone Circle

Having plotted the roughly circular lines around these three lochs, I turned to the traditional “straight” en­ergy leys, choosing one from a four-poster stone circle at Lundin Farm near Aberfeldy.

Lundin Farm four-poster

The four-poster at Lundin Farm, near Aberfeldy. This is the beginning of the energy ley to St. Fillans.

I was quickly becoming a little disillusioned with this type of energy ley, having encountered nothing in the way of sacred sites in a days walking. However, I walked obstinately on. Now, after 12 kilometres plodding through deep snow in a blizzard, something appeared briefly in the distance. This was a group of three cairns at the head of Glen Sharvie. I took my map out in the screaming wind and found that it was marked, Cam Bad an Fraoich. The Cairn of the Clusters of Heather. On closer inspection I found a pile of stones in a heap below the cairns, possibly the remains of an earlier and larger structure.

cairns at Glen Sharvie

As I followed the energy ley through the cairns and, fourteen kilometres further on, approached the east end of Loch Earn, I discovered that it was behaving in an unusual manner. There was no indication of it attempting to tune into this loch as the other cup-mark lines had done. Nevertheless, I again plodded doggedly along, down to the village of St. Fillans, until I came to a well-known landmark, the Serpent or Crocodile. This is a huge rock, shaped like a snake, and obviously carved by man, reflecting the serpen­tine motion of earth energies. Thousands of years after its construction, it is still being painted by a local person, instinctively aware, perhaps, of its telluric importance. It’s a pity that he is painting it in the likeness of a crocodile. Snakes, serpents and the mythical dragon are common in the ancient folk-tales, crocodiles are certainly not part of our culture!. On I walked, splashing waist deep through the nearby river and across the gauntlet of the golf course, trying not to irritate the players. I walked until the energy ley which was perfectly straight until then began to turn towards the burial-ground of St. Fillan.

St Fillan the Leper

ST Fillan’s churchyard

This is the last resting place of St. Fillan the leper, and the enclosing wall is circular, not rectangular like most of the others in the area. Here, the outer wave of the energy ley (it is comprised of a number of waves running side by side, the outer wave being the most important, as it has certain very unusual and quite fascinating qualities) curves around the burial-ground. It then runs back parallel to the incoming energy line, presumably returning to the four-poster from which it came.

Initially I thought that the energy ley collapsed naturally at the burial-ground, or possibly the burial-ground itself turned the energy ley on its reciprocal course, but many years later, more in touch with earth energies, I realised that the mechanism for this unique feature may be another energy ley, this time from a pair of standing stones just a few kilometres away from the burial-ground. These stones are nicely lined up with the burial-ground, and the straight energy ley which they produce may act as a stop for the four-poster energy ley, turning it completely around,back to the Lundin Farm stone circle. I have yet to walk this ley to confirm it.

Circular graveyards are of considerable antiquity, and in the grounds of this ancient cemetery is a peculiar gnarled stone, set upright among the gravestones. Many years ago a friend and I had noticed this stone, which had two holes pierced deep into its side. In­evitably, we tried to see if there was anything of interest in the cavities. Some old tarnished sixpenny and threepenny pieces came to light, which we re­placed carefully, adding some more of our own coins to the collection. I had never heard or read anything about this stone or the votive collection of offerings inside it, and even to this day, it seems to have been ignored by local historians.

“Surely”, I now thought after years of research, “this old stone must be part of the earth energy network”. Carefully, I followed one of the curving waves from the outer edge of the energy line into this stone, through it and out the opposite side. A more careful examination revealed that the side facing the church had been flattened, rather like some standing stones which emit waves from their flat faces. Intuitively, I tried to find similar waves from its flat face.

One wave went towards the nearby church, passed round it neatly and back. Another wave, a much thinner loop, travelled towards the centre of the church and into the corner, over and through St. Fillans grave, and back through a little window. The two holes were of different shape and size. One was wide, which amplified the incoming telluric wave around the church, and the other was deep and narrow which projected the second narrow wave into St. Fillans grave. In effect, the two circuits from that stone tuned the church and the remains of the saint into the telluric system.

Curiously, according to Dr. G. Schneck of Bideford, Devon, there is a remarkably similar stone outside Leech church, in Graz, Austria. This, according to a plaque, was placed (or relocated) there in 1621. Nearby is the Herz Jesu Church, which has a chapel used by The Knights of the Holy Grave. This has three freshly made cup-marked stones outside it, affording protection. Someone in Austria either has access to the ancient knowledge, has re-discovered it for himself, or read my first book “Safe As Houses?”!

Now it was simply a matter of following other energy leys from four-posters through Cam Bad an Fraoich to other burial-grounds to complete the picture.

There is one anomaly: these energy leys are not straight, they have been warped by the Cairn at the centre, although there is one which should satisfy the purist: from Fortingall to Cam Bad an Fraoich, Druids Cave (a huge, man-made cave), a standing stone at Stonefield and Dornoch burial-ground. The standing stone at Stonefield may have been used as a crossover point on this particular circuit, as most of these energy leys have been intentionally vectored away from the other circuits, and it may be that these energy leys interfere with each other, necessitating crossing points like standing stones and other features. (See Map).

The Energy Dies

When following this particular straight energy ley, I had noticed a different ‘feel’ after it had crossed a reservoir (to the south of the Druid’s Cave), whose raised waters now crossed its path. After many years practice, I felt there was a barely discernible change in its character after it had crossed the water. It had been snowing, and the only thing I could think of was to turn and follow the wave back the way I had come. On the other circuits I had been following up until then, includ­ing this one, the sinuous waves of energy would move gently out of phase until it was at full scale deflection, then back into phase again.

What was new and unexpected was that this wave was now static. In other words it was a standing wave like some of the straight energy leys, which resemble the caduceus, the emblem of the medical profession.

Folk-lore can give many insights into the operation of telluric energies, and one book The Celtic Dragon Myth, gave me some knowledge of the ancient story behind this particular circuit:

“There was a warrior contemporary with Fingal. His name was Fraoch”.

Could the hero’s name have been replaced with the word fraoich (heather) as the ancient knowledge died, I wondered?

“There is a loch called Freuchie, originally Fraochs Loc”. This loch is a few kilometres east of the Cairns, also connected with these circuits.

“Fraoch was healed at the hands of the Sidh, (the faery people) “. The energy ley from Cam Bad an Fraoich to Cille-ma-Charmaig burial-ground crosses the Sidh or Faery Hill of Ardtalnaig.

“Fraoch was killed by a serpent”. The Serpent or Crocodile at St. Fillans is where the Lundin Farm – Dundurn burial-ground ley ends, or “dies”

“Fraoch must not go near water, otherwise there will be a conflict which will issue with his death”  This explains the sinuous wave changing to a static wave after passing through Loch Turret.

“Fraoch is associated with energy”.

Telluric energy, surely?

There are many tales of the ancient warriors: Fingal, Ossian, and the giants of old. Now, it seems, the tales are likely to be allegorical tales of the ancient and mysterious energy lines, put into story format, so that even with the passage of thousands of years, the knowledge can still be retrieved.

Finally, consider the energy ley which runs from the four-poster at Lundin Farm, near Loch Tay, across the hills to the Serpent of St. Fillans. In local folk-lore there is a story that only the Serpent’s head can be seen, its body lies buried under the hills, with the tail sticking out in Loch Tayside!

© 1998  D R Cowan & BSD EEG