John Michell a Tribute!!.... (First published, Stonehenge Campaign newsletter, June 2014)
For those who never read the cult classic “View over Atlantis”, the book that almost overnight made ley lines and stone circles household words to millions who had never heard of them before, John Michell would be but a name. But for those of us that knew him, he was more than a name and/or a living legend, he was a friend.
As a penniless writer in the early sixties, John had the good or bad fortune to inherit a crumbling mansion near Newbury, which he couldn’t afford to keep, and was too run down to sell. He hit on the idea of renting it out to more unconventional folk, a rock band for instance, and that band just happened to be the Rolling Stones, making Stargroves another legend in its own lifetime, as featured on the cover of Beggars’ Banquet.
John, meanwhile, was living in a run down terraced house of his own in Notting Hill Gate, and letting the community use his basement for meetings, soirees, poetry, rap and music, in a project called the London Free School, out of which two more legends were to arise, John Hopkins’ “International Times”, London’s first underground newspaper, and the original Notting Hill Carnival.
In 1967, whilst writing his first book, “Flying Saucer Vision”, he visited Glastonbury, not only putting it on the map, but also setting the scene for the first ever Glastonbury Fayre to occur in 1971. In 1985, in response to the Battle of the Beanfield, he put out the now much sought after “Stonehenge, its Druids, Custodians, Festival and Future” which challenged commercialism and police state mentality, in the name of eternal spirituality and universal values.
In all, John Michell wrote over forty books and pamphlets, showing how the number system underlying Stonehenge, Glastonbury Abbey, the Great Pyramid, the works of Plato, and the Book of Revelation, was essentially the same. It was based on the ancient science of harmony and proportion between earth, moon and sun, known to the ancestors 5,000 years ago when building Stonehenge, not at all improved upon by modern science, which interprets everything as random. John showed how studying this “City of Revelation” could lead not just the individual, but humanity itself, to enlightenment. Which is why some people called him not just the greatest druid of his day, but the greatest philosopher since Plato.
John himself would have none of it, having scrupulously avoided the press all his life, he was the quintessential mercurial traveller, here today and gone tomorrow. He had a wicked sense of humour, and loved to party, and will be sorely missed by all who loved him.
ã Rollo Maughfling 7.06.2014.