John Michell (writer)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

John Frederick Carden Michell (9 February 1933 – 24 April 2009) was an English author and esotericist who was a prominent figure in the development of the Earth mysteries movement. Over the course of his life he published over forty books on an array of different subjects, being a proponent of the Traditionalist school of esoteric thought.

Born in London to a wealthy family, Michell was educated at Cheam School and Eton College before serving as a Russian translator in the Royal Navy for two years. After failing a degree in Russian and German at Trinity College, Cambridge, he returned to London and worked for his father's property business, there developing his interest in Ufology. Embracing the counter-cultural ideas of the Earth mysteries movement during the 1960s, in The Flying Saucer Vision he built on Alfred Watkins' ideas of ley lines by arguing that they represented linear marks created in prehistory to guide extraterrestrial spacecraft. He followed this with his most influential work, The View Over Atlantis, in 1969. His ideas were at odds with those of academic archaeologists, for whom he expressed contempt. Michell believed in the existence of an ancient spiritual tradition that connected humanity to divinity, but which had been lost as a result of modernity. He believed however that this tradition would be revived and that humanity would enter a Golden Age, with Britain as the centre of this transformation.

Michell's other publications covered an eclectic range of topics, and included an overview on the Shakespeare authorship question, a tract condemning Salman Rushdie during the The Satanic Verses controversy, and a book of Adolf Hitler's quotations. Keenly interested in the crop circle phenomenon, he co-founded a magazine devoted to the subject, The Cereologist, in 1990, and served as its initial editor. From 1992 until his death he wrote a column for The Oldie magazine, which was largely devoted to his anti-modernist opinions. He accompanied this with a column on esoteric topics for the Daily Mirror tabloid. A lifelong marijuana smoker, Michell died of lung cancer in 2009.

Michell's impact in the Earth mysteries movement was considerable, and through it he also influenced the British Pagan movement. During the 2000s, his ideas also proved an influence on the Radical Traditionalist sector of the New Right.


  • 1967 The Flying Saucer Vision: the Holy Grail Restored, Sidgwick & Jackson, Abacus Books, Ace ISBN 978-0-349-12319-6
  • 1969 The View Over Atlantis, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0-902006-00-3; first published by Sago Press in Great Britain in 1969; new edition published in Great Britain by Garnstone Press in 1972 and Abacus in 1973, and in the United States by Ballantine Books in 1972.
  • 1972 City of Revelation: On the Proportions and Symbolic Numbers of the Cosmic Temple, Garnstone Press ISBN 978-0-85511-040-6, ISBN 0-85511-040-6
  • 1974 The Old Stones of Land's End, Garnstone Press, ISBN 978-0-85511-370-4
  • 1975 The Earth Spirit: Its Ways, Shrines, and Mysteries, Avon ISBN 0-380-26880-9
  • 1977 with R. J. M. Rickard, Phenomena: A Book of Wonders Thames & Hudson ISBN 0-500-01182-6
  • 1977 A Little History of Astro-Archaeology: Stages In The Transformation Of A Heresy , Thames and Hudson, SBN-10: 0500275572 SBN-10: 0500275572 ISBN 978-0-500-27557-3 (reprinted 2001)
  • 1979 Natural Likeness: Faces and Figures in Nature Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-525-47584-2
  • 1979 Plinius Scundus C., Inventorum Natura, Harper Collins, English Latin, D. MacSweeney (translator) ISBN 0-06-014726-1
  • 1981 Ancient Metrology: the Dimensions of Stonehenge and of the Whole World as Therein Symbolized, Pentacle Books ISBN 0-906850-05-3
  • 1982 Megalithomania: Artists, Antiquarians & Archaeologists at the Old Stone Monuments, Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-27235-2, Cornell University Press ISBN 0-8014-1479-2
  • 1983 The New View Over Atlantis, Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-01302-0, ISBN 0-500-27312-X, ISBN 978-0-500-27312-8 (Much revised edition of The View Over Atlantis.)
  • 1984 Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions Thames and Hudson, reissued Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ISBN 0-15-127358-8
  • 1985 Stonehenge - Its Druids, Custodians, Festival and Future , Richard Adams Associates (June 1985) ISBN 0-948508-00-0, ISBN 978-0-948508-00-4
  • 1988 Geosophy - An Overview of Earth Mysteries Paul Devereux, John Steele, John Michell, Nigel Pennick, Martin Brennan, Harry Oldfield and more, a Mystic Fire Video from Trigon Communications, Inc, New York, 1988 (reissued 1990), also by EMPRESS, Wales, UK, 95 minutes, VHS.
  • 1986 commentary, Feng-Shui: The Science of Sacred Landscape in Old China, Ernest J. Eitel, Syngergetic Press ISBN 0-907791-09-3
  • 1988 The Dimensions of Paradise: The Proportions and Symbolic Numbers of Ancient Cosmology, London : Thames and Hudson, 1988. ISBN 0-500-01386-1
  • 1989 The Traveller's Key to Sacred England , reissued 2006, Gothic Image ISBN 0-906362-63-6
  • 1989 Secrets of the Stones: New Revelations of Astro-Archaeology and the Mystical Sciences of Antiquity, Destiny Books ISBN 0-89281-337-7
  • 1989 Earth Spirit: Its Ways, Shrines and Mysteries , Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-81011-7
  • 1990 New Light on the Ancient Mystery of Glastonbury, Gothic Image Publications ISBN 0-906362-15-6 (p/b), ISBN 0-906362-14-8 (h/b)
  • 1991 Dowsing the Crop Circles (Editor/Contributor), Gothic Image Publications ISBN 0-906362-17-2
  • 1991 Twelve Tribe Nations and the Science of Enchanting the Landscape, with Christine Rhone, Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-933999-49-6
  • 1994 At the Center of the World: Polar Symbolism Discovered in Celtic, Norse and Other Ritualized Landscapes, Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-01607-0
  • 1996 Who Wrote Shakespeare?, Thames and Hudson ISBN 0-500-01700-X
  • 2000, with Bob Rickard, Unexplained Phenomena: Mysteries and Curiosities of Science, Folklore and Superstition, Rough Guides ISBN 1-85828-589-5
  • 2000 The Temple at Jerusalem: A Revelation, Samuel Weiser. ISBN 1-57863-199-8, ISBN 978-1-57863-199-5
  • 2001 The Dimensions of Paradise: The Proportions and Symbolic Numbers of Ancient Cosmology Adventures Unlimited ISBN 0-932813-89-5
  • 2002 The Face and the Message: What Do They Mean and Where Are They From?, Gothic Image ISBN 0-906362-61-X
  • 2003 The Traveller's Guide to Sacred England: A Guide to the Legends, Lore and Landscapes of England's Sacred Places, Gothic Image Publications ISBN 978-0-906362-63-1
  • 2003 Prehistoric Sacred Sites of Cornwall, Wessex Books ISBN 978-1-903035-18-4
  • 2005 Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist, Dominion Press ISBN 0-9712044-4-6
  • 2006 "Prehistoric Sacred Sites of Cornwall", Wessex Books ISBN 978-1-903035-18-4
  • 2006 Euphonics: A Poet's Dictionary of Sounds, Wooden Books ISBN 978-1-904263-43-2
  • 2006 The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth: Discovering the Sacred Geometry of the Ancients, with Robin Heath, Adventures Unlimited Press ISBN 1-931882-50-9
  • 2007 The Star Temple of Avalon, with Nicholas Mann, Philippa Glasson, Robin Heath, The Temple Publications ISBN 0-9555970-5-6
  • 2008 Dimensions of Paradise, The Sacred Geometry, Ancient Science and the Heavenly Order on Earth, (revised edition of City of Revelation) Inner Traditions, Bear & Company.
  • 2009 How The World Is Made: The Story Of Creation According To Sacred Geometry (with Allan Brown), Thames & Hudson ISBN 0-500-51510-7
  • 2009 Sacred Center: The Ancient Art of Locating Sanctuaries, Inner Traditions ISBN 1-59477-284-3
  • 2010 Michellany, A John Michell Reader, ed. Jonangus Mackay, Michellany Editions, London ISBN 978-0-9566428-0-6

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