Lines Upon the Landscape: Spiritual and Energetic Ramifications of Oil Pipelines and Fracking

Sacred Circle in Michigan

I’ll never forget May 1st, 2014. I came down to the sacred circle at my homestead in Michigan and with the intention of performing a private Beltane celebration ritual I had prepared. As I began the ritual, something felt very, very wrong. Wrong in the deep, gut sense. Behind the circle was a ley line (in an energetic sense) held by a number of hawthorn trees in a growing in a straight line. I had built the circle before I had found this line, and was delighted when I found it years later. This pathway created an abundance of positive energy upon the land. This ley line ran a good ½ mile or more.   But on Beltane over a year ago, the energies of the line had substantially diminished from even the day before when I had visited the circle. On Beltane, line felt stifled or dampened, and was weakening by the minute. This change had been going on slowly for some time, but this new development was immediate and intense. I knew that a company called Enbridge was putting in an oil pipeline and a compressor station; the pipeline ran less than half a mile from my land and the compressor station was about 3 miles north of my home. I knew that this was the worst kind of oil with a horrific environmental toll—the tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada. But what I didn’t know was that that pipeline was turned on that exact day–Beltane of 2014. Instead of performing my planned ritual, I investigated the energetics further, and I found that where the now-active pipeline crossed the ley line, the line’s energy just stopped, cut off, and that the pipeline was corrupting and weakening the line tremendously. As I observed in the time since, the line literally became non-existent. This isn’t to say the magic of the land was gone, but the magic of that sacred place that I had created was different and altered. The line had shifted the energies, and they are still shifting in the time since. I think its significant that Enbridge (likely unknowingly) chose the day celebrated in my tradition, and in many others, as the day when blessings, abundance, and fertility were returned to the land.

Stone Circle in Michigan
Stone Circle in Michigan

In many places and across many time periods, ancient humans created a sacred network across the land*. Lines of stones, sacred roads, stone circles, wood circles, cursuses, ancient old straight paths provided networks are all examples of these lines. From the Incan lines radiating outward from their greatest city, to the spirit roads of the Chinese, to the henges, trilithons, hills and old straight tracks in Great Britain, humans developed physical energetic pathways for specific purposes along the landscape. Using mathematical principles from sacred geometry and the sweat equity of countless humans, some of the lines, curses, mounds, stone circles, and even groves of sacred trees were local occurrences, and yet others went for hundreds of miles and even today can still be viewed from space. Whole cities were built with their holy sites in alignment with the stars, the city and travel ways aligning to sacred wells, stones, and hills. This weaving and creating of a sacred landscape was a defining feature of so many ancient cultures—from South America to North, from the British Isles to China. Most theories suggest that these lines had numerous cultural functions, including emphasizing channeling down the sun into the land to bring abundance, communicating with spirits or ancestors, and in overall blessing the land. The lines upon the landscape, the old straight paths, were a consistent feature upon the landscape for well over a millennium or more. Humans lived, played, ate, loved, breathed, slept, and eventually died on landscapes where the sacredness was set into the very stones.

But over time and in many places, the old knowledge of sacred geometry and the power of the straight line, of setting of stones, were lost.  Eventually, the sacred worldview under which these lines were created and maintained was replaced**.

A very different pattern upon the landscape
A very different pattern upon the landscape

As time passed, and the world became disenchanted. With the industrialization, mechanized processes, and rationality, the lines that had held the enchantment of the world slowly began to be replaced with modern highways, rails, and subdivisions, who by their very nature are the antithesis of sacred geometry. The ancient henges were dug up in the name of science, the ancient curses and old straight roads were plowed over to make room for “development.” People like “Rock Breaker” farmer discussed in Alfred Watkins’ Old Straight Track purposefully destroyed the stones that had stood for thousands of years because they were inconvenient for his fields. The idea that the land could hold magic was abandoned; the land was physically, mentally, and spiritually disenchanted.   New energy lines, very different from the sacred ones of the distant past, are now a permanent part of our landscape.

Like the lines our ancestors once set, these profane oil and gas energy lines are the legacy we leave our ancestors. What energetic pattern do these lines create? What will this new energy line system to do our lands long-term? If our ancient ancestors spent generations upon generations building sacred lines to ensure the peace and prosperity of our lands, what legacy do these new lines leave behind. The disenchanted worldview doesn’t even acknowledge, much less understand, the ramifications of what I write. The photo below shows these new energy lines weaving across the landscape.  For anyone that doesn’t think this affects you or for anyone who thinks that if you just move, you can somehow avoid this….I think this map tells a different story.  When you combine this with mountain top removal, fracking wells, refineries, and more–its pretty much impossible to avoid.

Pipelines across the USA - 2.8 million miles of them (map from Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration)
Pipelines across the USA – 2.8 million miles of them (map from Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration)

As I read a story after story about people fighting to stop yet another pipeline through their backyards, I think about how these pipelines and wells are built manipulation and misinformation perpetuated in communities. I never even knew about that pipeline or new compressor station in Michigan until well after my township had already given them their rubber stamp of approval without any real public notice or opportunity for response. I think about what that pipeline in Michigan did to the landscape, I attempt to understand the deep ramifications of the loss.

Machinery preparing for pipeline in Michigan
Machinery cutting down trees and preparing for pipeline in South-East Michigan

If nothing is sacred, then nothing is sacred. Profit becomes the driving motivator of all change, to the short-term profit of few and to the long-term detriment of all. While the world has been largely disenchanted for well over a century or more in most industrialized areas, at least, we are now in a time period where the toll of the profane actions upon landscape is coming due. Among the many other challenges, the drive to put in more and more pipelines, frack anywhere that holds a bit of gas or oil, and continue to consume fossil fuels has led us down such a dark path. I read a few days ago how fracking companies have been spreading their toxic wastewater upon almond and pistachio fields in California, and I think about the long-term ramifications of the disenchantment of the world. Even the way the article reporting on the new practice for fracking wastewater and farmer’s fields is written is disturbing and disenchanted. It speaks of “conservation” and “recycling” in an industry that is literally poisoning our lands and water on a massive scale, and now, apparently, dumping even more poison (likely radioactive and certainly carcinogenic) on our food system. Of course, an 8 million dollar pipeline for the fracking wastewater was just approved to ensure the quick passage of their toxic slurry to your dinner table.

In the last week, I helped a friend who is fighting a natural gas compressor station and gas pipeline revise a survey and flyer that will help alert people locally to what is happening. I read stories from all over the country about other groups doing the same—and I pray for their success (I may blog about this group soon–they are using impressive resistance tactics!)  I think about my own experiences in Michigan. I think about my experiences in going hiking after returning to my beloved mountains in Western Pennsylvania, now deep in the heart of fracking country. Fracking didn’t exist when I moved away in my early 20’s after graduating with my BA, but now, it is a permanent feature upon the land, a feature I’m still trying to grasp, understand, and personally respond to.

When we hear the news of yet another species extinction, or the poisoning of yet another waterway, or the spill of yet more oil in another ocean, or the release of yet another set of toxins, culturally there is no real response on a widescale level. The industrial machine plows forward with reckless abandon. There seems to be no limit—or care—about how things like fracking, oil pipelines, chemicals, and toxins are changing our landscape. This is because, culturally, we would need radical shifts towards more sustainable living and with a lot less stuff or fossil fuel to make a real difference, and that is something that many modern disenchanted minds cannot currently conceive.

Even given this, I believe there is hope. The gas lines and oil pipelines and fracking wells exist upon our landscape now because there was demand and need for them.  By transitioning our own daily living, the demand for such things diminishes. As much as seeing the alternations upon my homelands have saddened me, I know there is hope, both for our physical lands and for the re-enchantment of those lands. We have tools, already in existence, that can help us transition to lower or no fossil fuel living and ways of regenerating our landscapes and lives.  There is also spiritual work we can do to help, at least energetically, engage in the start of healing.  Given these possible tools of response,  I’ll be posting regularly on both the physical and the energetic responses that we can have.  The important thing, I think, it to feel empowered and to do something.  We never truly know how far we can go, and what we can achieve, until we try.


*For readers wanting to learn more about this topic, I highly recommend Lines Upon the Landscape by Paul Devereux and Nigel Pennick.

**For readers wanting to understand the shifts in worldview, the first chapter of The Druid Magic Handbook by John Michael Greer serves as an excellent introduction.

Dana O'Driscoll

Dana O’Driscoll has been an animist druid for almost 20 years, and currently serves as Grand Archdruid in the Ancient Order of Druids in America. She is a druid-grade member of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids and is the OBOD’s 2018 Mount Haemus Scholar. She is the author of Sacred Actions: Living the Wheel of the Year through Earth-Centered Spiritual Practice (REDFeather, 2021), the Sacred Actions Journal (REDFeather, 2022), and Land Healing: Physical, Metaphysical, and Ritual Approaches for Healing the Earth (REDFeather, 2024). She is also the author/illustrator of the Tarot of Trees, Plant Spirit Oracle, and Treelore Oracle. Dana is an herbalist, certified permaculture designer, and permaculture teacher who teaches about reconnection, regeneration, and land healing through herbalism, wild food foraging, and sustainable living. Dana lives at a 5-acre homestead in rural western Pennsylvania with her partner and a host of feathered and furred friends. She writes at the Druids Garden blog and is on Instagram as @druidsgardenart. She also regularly writes for Plant Healer Quarterly and Spirituality and Health magazine.

Recommended Articles


  1. Hope! I wonder if there is a way to energetically support the land, perhaps by releasing some of the “toxic energy” and reconnecting it to our energy grid, or at least doing some kind of spiritual “balancing.” This can only be done with your property, of course, but there is a lot of support from various ethereal beings/elementals/forces. Please continue to share about the most effective tools that are available for this kind of healing work, including geomancy and other energy processes. This is not child’s play, and given what is at stake, it should not be. Thank you.

    1. There are definitely ways of energetically supporting the land and I think the first stage of physical healing of our lands is that energetic work. Since moving back to PA, I’ve been doing a lot of research and energetic work on this…and will continue to do so. I certainly think its not a small undertaking, but I do think positive change is possible :). Especially if many of us are doing the work, each in our own way, and each to our own ability :).

      1. There is a call for all light workers and energy workers to be on let lines and spiritual monuments on Dec 21, 21. I read the article but I want to go to this place on this day.
        Can you please tell me where it is so I can get close if not on that spot.
        Thank you, I’m trying to rise the vibration of this world into the light.

        1. Hi Jeannie,
          You could go anywhere along line 5:
          The line I was talking about is 5B; it isn’t displayed here but the land along line 5 can use any help it can get!

      2. Willowcrow or anyone else that can help me. I had a spiritual awakening a few years back. I have been divinely guided to help the energetic grid. I am a reiki master, biofield tuning student soon to be practitioner. New to ley lines, but drawn to help now. I need more info on how to find the ones in SE Pa where I currently live. Please help a newbie out.

  2. Thank you for this! We have been trying to keep another Enbridge pipeline out of our beautiful lake area in North central Minnesota. They plan to cross the headwaters of the Mississippi twice! Not to mention all of the wetlands and wild rice lakes. It’s so sad to see such indifference for the environment and its inhabitants. I eagerly await your next posts on this subject!

    1. Hi Becksteinhoff,

      I’m sorry to hear you are fighting another pipeline. Its a tough fight, and sometimes we can win, and sometimes we can’t. One of the posts I’m preparing soon is a story of a group in New Hampshire fighting a compressor station and gas pipeline–they have some wonderful strategies and I think they are going to win :). The wetlands and rice lakes…sigh….its so tragic to think about. Keep up the good fight!

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    There is so much happening right now that seems impossible to bear. The EPA being gutting – clean air act, clean water act, selling off of public lands to highest bidder – big companies who want to pump the water dry for fracking, and making water inaccessible so we have to buy it in plastic bottles. Big machines digging up energy lines….It is always such a dilemma when to take actiion. I can easily get discouraged and fall into a hopeless, helpless depression. What I am finding is, to really discern where I can make a difference – write letters, protest when necessary, act locally, recycle, grow food, etc. Then concentrate on gratitude and happiness in the moment and try to raise my vibration and visualize peace, harmony, happiness and grace. It is hard not to give up hope, but I do believe in the miracle of a mass change in conscious. I also tried to stop being deeply angry about it all because I only perpetuate what I don’t want. I don’t know. It is such a difficult time for those of us who love Mother Earth. Our sensitivities are challenged and wounded on a daily basis. Loving her, Loving our own hearts, act when we can, keep our energy in gratitude for Her, educate people….it’s all I know to do.



    1. Hi Mary,
      I think you are absolutely right–it DOES seem impossible to bear. The question of where we can make the most difference also is a critical one.

      Right now, I’m sitting at Sirius Eco-village near Amherst, Massachusetts, three days in to my permaculture design certificate course. I’m in a building that was sourced and built almost entirely from this land; eating food grown almost entirely in the garden; and using power from the solar panels, and so on. This is a model for me of one response to what we hear. Not a model everyone can enact, but a model here, none-the-less. There are many people here doing the PDC with me, all feeling the same–and looking for positive responses and solutions. The thing that is striking me here is that we can intentionally design differently, and we can do this using ethical principles and tools–this community is living . I’m inspired by this approach because it gives a real response to these problems, and it makes me feel like I have real tools to make a difference.

      You speak of gratitude–just this morning, we were led through a “thanks giving” where we gave thanks for the many things–from mother earth to the moon and stars, all the plants and animals, everything. The teaching that accompanied this thanks giving was the idea that without gratitude, we become disconnected, and make a lot of the kinds of decisions that cause destruction. So this teaching suggested that the source of much of our current poor decision making was from a lack of gratitude….I think there is real wisdom in this.

      1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

        Wow, that sounds absolutely GREAT!! What a wonderful place to be – to be around so many like minded people all focused on solutions, and learning how to change things. I get really hopeful when I hear of things like that. I hope you enjoy the rest of it, and that you will have lots to share with us. There are so many things I want to learn to be less impactful and leave less of a footprint. I try, but I just don’t know how to do a lot of stuff. Worst of all, I drive a gasoline car.
        Thank you for your response. It is exciting to me.

        1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

          PS. Every time I hear or read the words key line…though I know what they are, the image that always comes into my head is key lime pie. Lol.

  4. Reblogged this on Laura Bruno's Blog and commented:
    This is a very important post, and I appreciate the juxtaposition of the sacred ritual and the greed and destruction. So many things seem like Avatar these days! In addition to Willowcrow’s comments about spiritual intercession for the land, I would also add that I’ve had powerful results doing Reiki Healing Attunements upon the land and specific properties in Goshen. I’ve done hundreds (possibly thousands) of Reiki Healing Attunements on people and situations in the past 13 years, and I have never felt such a powerful pull of Reiki as from the poor, broken land in the little area of Goshen to which I was called to heal. Our work does make a difference, so please, do what you can on all levels to support the land where you live. Many blessings!

    1. Thanks Laura! Reiki is a wonderful way of bringing healing to the land–thanks for sharing your experience with the Goshen land.
      Funny enough, when I was visiting Goshen about 7 years ago, I also did some energetic work there! 🙂

      1. Willowcrow, that’s so interesting you did energy work in Goshen about seven years ago. At the time, I was living in Sonoma County, CA, and I inexplicably started having loads of synchronicities and dreams bringing Northern Indiana onto my radar and eventually telling me I would live here. Most parts of me wanted *nothing* to do with Northern Indiana, but I felt the land itself calling me. Life worked true love into the mix to sweeten the deal, but it all started around seven years ago. Prior to that, Indiana was a place I closed my eyes through if I needed to pass it on the way to Chicago. Some calls are more insistent than others! 🙂

        1. Indeed. Part of why I am back in Western PA is for that reason–some calls are insistent, and the more you ignore them the louder they get :). Regardless, I’m glad you are doing work there–Indiana certainly needs you!

        2. PS: I had to read that again. That was 7 years ago? That’s exactly when I was in Goshen. I don’t remember what time of year it was, but I went up there with a friend who wanted to visit this Mennonite fair they had. Given what I remember being at the fair, I’m guessing it was sometime in Sept-Nov of that year. Wow. That’s kind of blowing my mind!!!!

          1. Yes, probably September. That’s when they have the Mennonite fair. It was October of that 2008 that I started getting the call to Northern Indiana. Then it got much more insistent until I finally left CA in February 2010 and moved to Chicago, but very close to the Indiana line. Then I moved to Madison and it turned out the guy I moved in with became my partner and his parents live in Goshen. When he mentioned possibly moving here to support them, he thought it would end the relationship, but I just said, “Yeah, I’ll go there with you. Indiana’s not letting me go. I’ve been preparing myself for this for years.” 🙂

  5. I’m fascinated to hear that you had a ley line and were able to feel it. If ley lines are created by humans, do you have an idea how there came to be one in your back yard?

    1. I have some theories, Karen. I found two stone circles in the various parks and woods, not far from where I was. I’m wondering it it was intentionally planted and formed at some point. Another friend said he found a third large circle. So within 10 miles, three stone circles and a ley line? Someone was busy :).

      The stone circle I found in the woods was quite old; it had probably a 40 year old tree growing up through it and several smaller ones.

      I had some good confirmation on the ley line (I never spoke of it after I found it) with someone I deeply trusted, so I was pretty sure it was there. Over the years, others had sensed it as well and mentioned it to me. So good outer plane checks there :).

  6. Dr.Peter Riefentaler

    Dear Willowcrow ,

    wwhat a sad experience

    met with the Hopi Elder Thomas Banyacya 1992 :




    Gesendet: Freitag, 17. Juli 2015 um 20:53 Uhr Von: "The Druid's Garden" <> An: Betreff: [New post] Lines Upon the Landscape: Spiritual and Energetic Ramifications of Oil Pipelines and Fracking

    Willowcrow posted: " I’ll never forget May 1st, 2014. I came down to the sacred circle at my homestead in Michigan and with the intention of performing a private Beltane celebration ritual I had prepared. As I began the ritual, something felt very, very wrong. Wrong in th"

  7. It must be so heartbreaking to witness this transformation in the land. I admire your courage and determination. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thank you, Leeby! Believe it or not, it was even worse coming back to PA and seeing the fracking wells everywhere….I’ll blog about this too in the next few months (I’m still trying to process and understand it all): fracking well in the middle of the community garden, 12-16 fracking wells in the local parks (I haven’t yet found them all, but anywhere you walk, within 10 min, you will run into one, and then 10 min later, another, and so on…all over the place). Fracking well down the street in a field near a school!!!! Fracking well above the river for drinking water, the list goes on and on.

      1. Wow, you have walked into ground zero. I live near the northeast PA drilling grounds, but not in them. They drilled a test well 4 miles from here, and that was scary enough! There has been more resistance here–my husband is an anti-fracking activist while I have kept a low profile. (I edit his letters to the editor.) I agree with you about the reasons why people accept this. A few people make money from it, some businesses prosper, and people aren’t going to say no to that. But some very scary studies are coming out about the health costs, on top of known problems with contaminated drinking water, radiation, etc.

        1. Oh yes, its really scary. But I’ve also clearly been sent there for a reason–so we’ll see how it goes :). I’m not drinking the water though, that’s for sure!

      2. That’s disturbing news. I’m sorry to hear that. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. It has prompted me to take a closer look at the fracking situation. I’m interested in trying to get something professionally published on the issue in a new age magazine.

        1. Leeby – I edit Trilithon: The Ancient Order of Druids in America. Its a growing publication (in its 2nd year) but that’s one option. I’m happy to talk with you more about it–or fracking.

          1. Cool. Thank you for the offer. I’ll check out the publication online.

  8. It is encouraging to hear of people standing up to fracking in the US. For those of us outside of your country, it seems as if the entire nation fell quietly to the frackers (much like western Canada). I mostly hear the voices of protest in eastern Canada and Europe. Despite the change in power that you have felt in your sacred spot, each and every action you do there is meaningful and healing. Your words do like-wise.

    1. Sylvaingrandcerf,

      One of the posts I’m working on now describes a bit about *why* fracking was so embraced by the people in Western PA. Being a progressive and a druid, it was hard for me to fathom the reason, but I think I’m now understanding it a lot better in talking to others (and exploring my own historical roots).

      In a nutshell, people in Western PA have a long history with other industries that extract things from the ground: coal and the steel industry (iron and ferrous ores). This is the traditional livelihood (and both of my grandfathers and great grandfathers worked in the mills or the mines). People in this area have always paid an environmental toll for their livelihoods–its present in the boney dumps I talk about in this post: This was just the way it was, back in previous generations.

      The loss of the mine and mill jobs was tremendously difficult on the region, and put many people of my parents’ generation out of work–sometimes permanently. Economic downturns get people to grasp onto any possibility for work.

      And it is in this context that fracking happened to Pennsylvania. It happened because it was seen as no different than the mines from before; it happened because people needed work, and “energy” has always been what people did. It happened because it was overwhelmingly supported by the populace here in Western PA, and anyone who tried to oppose it had no chance (and in fact, I’ve heard stories from organizers here who literally had to have police protection to protest things like Fracking or even to try to protest to get better regulation). So….that’s it in a nutshell.

      I haven’t written about this yet, because I’m still in the process of understanding it–and in thinking of solutions. You can’t just say, “well, we don’t want fracking” and present no viable alternatives for meaningful employment. So, its a tough issue and one I’m still wrestling with.

      Any ideas you have are most welcome 🙂

      1. I wrote a blog post about this dynamic a couple years ago, and for the life of me I cannot find it! My partner, David’s childhood friend is a poet: Julia Spicher Kasdorf. Her latest collection of poems is about fracking in PA, and she’s gone all around the areas and spent hundreds of hours documenting the damage to the land, the attitudes of the people, interweaving apocalyptic imagery with actual quotes from locals who think it’s a good thing. When we heard her present, the collection was still in process and unpublished, but keep an eye out for it. She’s using Bardic techniques to explore (and hopefully shift) the energies. Prior to her poetry, I had no idea why people would embrace fracking either, but her poetry really captures the paradox in a compassionate way that will hopefully build bridges that enable change and healing.

        1. Laura, I would *love* to get in touch with your friend. I’ll look her up and speak to her. I’m sure she’s visited somewhere near Indiana, PA as well if she’s been all over the region. What a wonderful resource–thank you for sharing 🙂

          1. She wonderful. She probably won’t recognize my last name, since she’s more David’s friend, but if you say Laura and David from Goshen, she will know exactly who you mean. She’s not a Druid, just FYI. She was raised Mennonite and is kind of the darling of certain Mennonite circles, even though she also explores that faith in her poetry. I think she’s Episcopalian, which imho, is as close as you can be to being a Druid and still call yourself Christian. 😉

  9. […] From The Druid’s Garden, “Lines Upon the Landscape: Spiritual and Energetic Ramifications of Oil Pipelines and Fracking“ […]

  10. I knew something was wrong, I could feel it. The energy from my childhood lake is weak. I thought is was me, getting older. Thank you for the article. Time for me to investigate further.

    1. Hi Jennifer – I’m glad this helped you. I have a whole series on Land Healing that you might find helpful as you investigate the deeper causes. The first post links to all of the other posts:

      Please keep me updated if you are willing.

  11. […] Lines Upon the Landscape: Spiritual and Energetic Ramifications of Oil Pipelines and Fracking […]

Leave a Reply