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John Michell

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John Michell (born February 6, 1933, sometimes credited as John F. Michell) is an English author. Michell is best known for his books on earth mysteries, ley lines, sacred geometry, sacred sites, geomancy, gematria, archaeoastronomy, and Fortean phenomena. He has also published on Plato, euphonics, simulacra, the lives and works of eccentrics such as Comyns Beaumont, Julius Evola, eccentric behavior such as trepanning and the Shakespeare authorship question.


Michell was educated at Eton College and at Trinity College, Cambridge1. He then worked for a while as an estate agent in London1, before seeing his first book published in 1967. His writings influenced the development of the counter-culture. Gary Lachman states that Michell's book View Over Atlantis (1969) "put Glastonbury on the countercultural map" and Ronald Hutton describes it as "almost the founding document of the modern earth mysteries movement."2 By the late 1960s Michell was closely associated with members of the Rolling Stones.1 At this time Michell took the view that "an imminent revelation of literally inconceivable scope" was at hand, and that the appearance of UFOs was linked to "the start of a new phase in our history".1

In the 1980s, Michell was a member of the Lindisfarne Association and a teacher at its School of Sacred Architecture. He lectures at the Kairos Foundation, an "educational charity specifically founded to promote the recovery of traditional values in the Arts and Sciences",3 and has also lectured at The Prince's School of Traditional Arts.

![Michell's "New Jerusalem" sacred geometry diagram](NewJerusalem(Michell)_Sacred_Geometry.png "fig:Michell's "New Jerusalem" sacred geometry diagram")


John Michell is the author of over forty books, numerous, humorous short treatises and articles in publications such as diverse as the "International Times"4, "The Temenos Academy Review"," Earth Mysteries" and The Spectator.5

Since 1997 he has written a column of humor, philosophy and social commentary in Britain's The Oldie magazine, an anthology of which was published in 2005 as Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist. His better-known works include The Flying Saucer Vision: the Holy Grail Restored (1967), The View Over Atlantis (1969, later revised as The New View Over Atlantis, (1986), which stimulated renewed interest in ley lines, City of Revelation (1972), which concerns sacred geometry, A Little History of Astro-Archaeology (1977), Phenomena: A Book of Wonders (1977 with R. J. M. Rickard), Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions (1984) and The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth: Discovering the Sacred Geometry of the Ancients (2006) with Robin Heath.

Michell's books have received broadly positive receptions amongst the New Age and "Earth mysteries" movements and he is credited as perhaps being "the most articulate and influential writer on the subject of leys and alternative studies of the past".6 Ronald Hutton describes his research as part of an "'alternative' archaeology which is quite unacceptable to orthodox scholarship."[^Hutton127]

Metrology and numerology

A recurring theme in Michell's books, from "Living Wonders" to "Twelve Tribe Nations" to "The Measure of Albion", is of universal truths codified in nature and continually rediscovered, from ancient times to today.

Ioan P. Culianu, an expert in gnosticism and the Renaissance, wrote in 1991 in a review of The Dimensions of Paradise: The Proportions and Symbolic Numbers in Ancient Cosmology:

"After some deliberation the reader of this book will oscillate between two hypotheses: either that many mysteries of the universe are based on numbers, or that the book's author is a fairly learned crank obsessed with numbers."7




  1. Lachman, p 371 

  2. Hutton, p 121 

  3. Karios Foundation 

  4. International Times 

  5. The Spectator 

  6. Sullivan, Danny, Ley Lines: The Greatest Landscape Mystery Green Magic, 2005 ISBN 9780954296346 p, 11 

  7. Culianu, 1991