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Ley lines
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rynner
Location: Still above sea level
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PostPosted: 15-07-2007 15:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

This subject has been quiet for long time, but there are still loonies - er, researchers out there, carrying on the good work:

Spirits, sacred stones - and how to dowse your aura
A sceptical Gemma Bowes joins the mystical Society of Ley Hunters for a bizarre, spiritual trip to the beautiful isle of Lundy
The Observer Sunday July 15 2007

In the bright docks of Ilfracombe, the sturdy MS Oldenburg rocked in the harbour as beefy men packed rucksacks and provisions into large plastic containers and dragged them aboard. After collecting my ticket in the harbour master's office, I felt a tap on my shoulder. The striking appearance of my guide, Lawrence Main, should not perhaps have come as a surprise, considering the nature of his interests, but he was monolithically tall and tanned with sea-blue eyes glinting from the depths of a wild grey mane of dreadlocks and the white horses of his long beard. He looked like Neptune or an Indian sadhu, albeit one in tiny shorts, a red fleece, sandals and bum bag.

As chairman of the mysterious Society of Ley Hunters, he had invited The Observer along on one of their annual holidays, to celebrate May Day on the island of Lundy off the north coast of Devon, in the hope this coverage would attract new members who share their passion for dowsing and stone circles. Anyone can join the group by paying the £10 membership fee. At least twice a year the society visits ancient sites that they believe lie on important ley lines - such as Stonehenge, Glastonbury and the Outer Hebrides. It looked like an interesting way to spend a week's holiday.

A heavy-looking indigo sea began to slap the hull as we set out into the Bristol Channel, wind battering our faces as we huddled on wooden benches on the deck. With their dowsing rods, measuring sticks and anoraks, the group resembled a GCSE geography class on a field trip.

Knowing little about what ley hunting would involve, I assumed there would be informal history lectures and some dowsing with those bendy rods, but as Lawrence talked it became clear the week might be a bit more full-on. He was a druid, he said, and had been reincarnated as such several times. This allowed him to communicate directly with the Green Goddess - the pagan Earth Mother - in his dreams.

To be closer to 'Earth spirits', he sleeps outdoors every night, up the hill from his home near Carn Ingli in the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, where some of the Stonehenge monoliths originated. For the entire two-hour voyage he spoke non-stop of the mystical connection ancient people had with the Earth, of star signs, spiritual healers, psychic powers and the leys - mysterious energy lines that criss-cross the Earth - which we would be searching for on Lundy.

My head was spinning as we finally disembarked down the wildly swinging gangplank and headed up a rough concrete road that traverses the cliffs of the beachless island. Turning into a nobbled path it passes through the only clump of trees to Beacon Hill, where all the important buildings are scattered - pub, shop, church and a few cottages, all owned by the Landmark Trust, which employs the residents.

Slumping on the grass outside the jolly Marisco Tavern to wait for a tractor to bring our luggage from the boat, pint in hand, created the sort of relaxing moment when most folk would remark on the weather, but this lot casually nattered about orbs - unexplained blobs of mystical light.

'Yeah, I saw a green one the other day, hovering around in the bushes.'

'I think they're Earth spirits, fairies maybe.'

'Nah, I reckon they're the souls of the dead.'

I chatted to Pam from Ohio, who was on her first trip to the UK. What an introduction! I wondered if she'd realised what she was booking, but she said she was part of a similar society in the US, and despite being a high-flying software developer by day, moonlighting as a pagan meant she had jumped naked over her fair share of fires.

The women, all spiritual healers, seemed friendlier than most of the generally introverted men and didn't take the ley hunting so seriously, poking fun a bit at the blokes' obsession with measuring sticks and note-taking, and preferring the social aspect of the trip. That night I got a bit drunk with them over seafood chowder in the tavern, and though the conversation never strayed from the spiritual we had a good time, apart from one terrible moment when a woman in her eighties fell off the bench, smacking her head on the tiles. While the healers laid their hands on her brow the unconvinced waitress ran for ice.

The ley hunting began next morning as we rambled across the wind-beaten fields and moorland, Lawrence leading the dowsing-rod-wielding procession. Lundy's ancient burial mounds are noted in the tourism materials, but dozens of significant standing stones have been largely ignored by the islanders. By dowsing for energy lines we hoped to discover more forgotten stones placed along them by ancient people. Sceptics (including most scientists, historians and archaeologists) say that any perceived alignment of sacred sites is due entirely to chance, but the ley hunters believe they were purposefully located on energy lines, and that 'there's no such thing as coincidence'.

We stopped to dowse around some big stones, and some of the men ran about in different directions yelling that they'd found leys, a process that appeared more intuitive than scientific.

'Has anyone ever dowsed each other's auras,' asked Shaun Kirwan, a professional 'geomancer' who heals the Earth by building stone circles to act like acupuncture and altering negative energy lines that make people sick or stressed. I offered to be a volunteer, so the others made a ring around me while Shaun strode towards me with his dowsing rods. At a metre away the rods suddenly swung around, apparently indicating the size of my aura, which was 'healthy'.

'Imagine eating something you think you're allergic to,' he said.

I mentally wolfed down some bread rolls and this time he got much closer before the rods swung out: my aura had shrunk, showing I had a wheat allergy! Everyone set to work dowsing each other's dairy intolerances and I tried not to feel embarrassed when some smirking locals passed by on a tractor.

On the rugged east side of the island we found a lovely rounded stone behind some sheep fields. Shaun reckoned it was 'female' with 'strong energy', so he and Lawrence decided to bless it. Lawrence whispered tenderly: 'Thank you, stone, for being here,' and poured water on it. As it ran down the side, I pointed out that it made the stone look like the yin-and-yang symbol. They jumped on this, declaring the stone male and female, even more special. We held hands around it, shut our eyes and chanted 'Ommmmm'. Rolling Eyes

Some of them lined their foreheads up with the point where the ley entered the stone, then stumbled over - the power of the energy had knocked them into a spin. I had a go and felt nothing, but they said they could see me starting to turn. Later in the pub, the guys behind the bar confided that they'd watched us do this. 'Nothing escapes us,' they chuckled.

There were similar activities every day and though I could definitely feel the dowsing rods swinging about of their own accord, often in places that supposedly had strong energy, I felt unconvinced about what it meant. The lectures in the evenings sometimes threw up wild and interesting theories, surprisingly complex and well argued. Paul Broadhurst described how the symbol of the dragon represented Earth energies in all cultures and that St George was really the pagan god the Green Man. A more cynical Michael Hodges presented a clear, almost scientific, investigation showing stone circles to be date markers aligned with the constellations, apologising to me afterwards for the others' spiritual theories and duller speeches.

Sharing the Barn hostel with most of the group created a Lord of the Rings-meets-Big Brother atmosphere, what with the giant crystals on the bedside tables, the women meditating or playing the harp in our dorm, and spiritual healing in the pub. For people with way-out beliefs who frequently saw fairies, they were very strait-laced: preferring water to alcohol, never mind hallucinogenic drugs; and most were in bed by 9pm.

The staggering beauty of the island made it impossible not to feel Lundy was a special place, and all the talk of energies and magic only increased its ethereality. Tuning into nature to become part of the Earth's consciousness sounded like a beautiful thing in which to believe. But at times Lawrence's ideas were extreme. Over a picnic near the amazing ruined Old Battery, he explained how the 'elite' were using Earth energies for negative gains, that the Masons ate human babies, that Diana was sacrificed to the spirits by the Royals and that the military monitored him because he knew too much.

When I needed a break I explored the island's coastal paths and derelict cottages, spotting hairy goats, sika deer and the Lundy ponies running wild across the heather; sadly the few puffins left on the island evaded me. The skies were immense, and though the wind was freezing I got sunburnt. Pounding waves had prevented half the group from docking their own boat, so I never got to meet the author Robin Heath, who the others spoke of as if he were a god.

The days had been building towards Beltane, the pagan festival that marks the beginning of summer. The more devout would not celebrate until the morning of 1 May, when the moon would be fullest (and invisible), but the rest painted their faces and set out into the pitch black for a traditional celebration under the stars.

Thick cloud obscured all celestial features, but as three of us walked slowly towards the special stone, Shaun whispered: 'Just watch, the moon will come out as we get there.' It seemed unlikely, but sure enough, the full face burst out the second we arrived - a sign from the goddess. We cheered and some of the others who had been hiding suddenly jumped out with daffodils in their hair, handing us armfuls and singing and dancing around us before dragging us into a circle spinning around the stone. Shaun told us to chant silly words - 'plinkety plonkety plunk' - to attract fairies. He sang pagan songs and when he ran out we did the conga and the hokey cokey.

When the moon clouded over, everyone went quiet and he blessed the stone, then asked everyone to, metaphorically, 'throw something into the fire, and take something out'. One extremely shy man, who had barely spoken all week, couldn't get out the words, but a friend chipped in: 'You want to put in shyness, and take out confidence!' He repeated it and it was a moving moment. Everyone hugged and danced some more, then jumped over a torch to represent the ceremonial Beltane fire. They all kept their clothes on. It was as much fun as all the other festivals I don't believe in - Hallowe'en, Christmas, Easter - so why not resurrect this, too?

I left the next morning, and although at first I'd wanted to escape, in the end I felt sad to wave goodbye to these intriguing, positive people who had welcomed me so unquestioningly. It had been a bizarre, fascinating and enlightening trip, showing you don't have to cross the globe or live with a remote African tribe to immerse yourself in a foreign culture and have an intense travelling experience. As long as you can keep an open mind and swallow your cynicism sometimes, this is an exciting and rewarding way to travel in your own country - and learn a lot more than you would on your average seaside holiday to Devon.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2007/jul/15/escape.uk

I've been to Lundy a couple of times - like most islands, it does have a special atmosphere.
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gyrtrashOffline
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PostPosted: 15-07-2007 18:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Ryn.

We debated going on that trip ourselves with some mates. Looks like we missed an interesting experience...
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miss_scarletOffline
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PostPosted: 06-08-2007 12:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quicksilver~ wrote:
The alledged St Michael's Ley runs from Marazion in Cornwall to the arse end of England in Norfolk and beyond.
..

Erm actually Hopton is in Suffolk not Norfolk, we meet there at beltane every year for a jolly good mead session, But it was apart of norfolk up until a few years ago!
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phi23Offline
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PostPosted: 04-04-2008 11:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a double posting from the TV and Radio reminders in the Fortean Culture section but hopefully no-one will mind.

15:00 today on BBC Radio 4 (and listen again afterwards no-doubt)
Ramblings
Walking through Time
Clare Balding explores routes with connections to the past.

She joins a group of ley hunters at Llanthony Priory near Abergavenny. Lawrence Main and writer Phil Rickman explain the work of Alfred Watkins, author of The Old Straight Track, as they take a group of enthusiasts on one of the ancient spirit paths that criss-cross Britain.
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Frazer_ColeOffline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2008 11:45    Post subject: Leys and Lines Reply with quote

new memeber but an old hand at dowsing. You can't really get to grips with Michael and Mary lines unless you feel the 'dowse' for yourself. I thought it was bunk and coincidence before I got out in the field. Leys and Death Paths are getting confused with energy lines but they are real and I've proven that to many sceptics. (what they are and what to do with them... thats another thing).
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escargot1Offline
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PostPosted: 21-06-2008 15:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Out walking my dogs late last summer, I remembered that I had a compass with me. (It's a posh one attached to a smart Swiss watch which came as a gift from my daughter when she lived in Switzerland.)

So I idly pulled it out and started finding north, as you do, and was intrigued to notice that instead of settling, it began to spin. As I moved around, it spun randomly left and right, until I found a spot where it spun continuously.

Aha, said my companion, known to you as Techy. We're obviously standing on crossed ley lines.

Dunno how to test this theory but I found it very interesting.
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markbellisOffline
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PostPosted: 22-06-2008 00:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you've got a compass that attached to something that vibrates and, if it's got batteries, has a current running through it... like a watch....
Dowsing is the ideal way to find ley lines, as it is something that doesn't work finding something that doesn't exist.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 22-06-2008 02:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if Alfred Watkins, the person who came up with the concept of 'Ley Lines', back in the Nineteen Twenties, had any knowledge of Australian Aboriginal beliefs in the Rainbow Serpent. A belief connected to ancient tribal pathways across the Australian continent and reliable water sources.

Alfred Watkins had his original inspiration, back in 1921. But, it was not until 1926, that British anthropologist, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, developed his understanding of the Rainbow Serpent myth.
Quote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aboriginal_mythology

...

Rainbow Serpent


...

In 1926 a British anthropologist specialising in Australian Aboriginal ethnology and ethnography, Professor Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, noted many Aboriginal groups widely distributed across the Australian continent all appeared to share variations of a single (common) myth telling of an unusually powerful, often creative, often dangerous snake or serpent of sometimes enormous size closely associated with the rainbows, rain, rivers, and deep waterholes....

Or, did Radcliffe-Brown find inspiration in the work of Watkins?

confused
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uair01Offline
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PostPosted: 23-07-2008 21:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is my favorite ley line website - because of the amusing Pickwickian character:

http://www.goddardmultimedia.fsnet.co.uk/semg/eline.htm

And we have leylines in Rotterdam too - at least that's what I was told:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uair01/2688781421/

Quote:
While preparing for a guided tour I gave for the V2 art collective I stopped at the Zatkini restaurant in the Witte de Withstraat. It has a nice “secret” back-garden and nice affordable food.

I sat chatting with my son and exchanged some comments with two older ladies at the next table. I had been preparing a talk about Fortean Rotterdam and had a book on “Power places in the Netherlands” with me (Wigholt Vleer).

Spontaneously the ladies started talking about the ley line that runs along the Witte de Withstraat and that protected this part of the city during the bombardment in 1940. “Yes, the rich people knew where to build the houses!” I showed them the book and they were delighted: “It has been republished! Where did you buy it? We will go and get a copy ourselves.”


Unfortunately we only have "power place" searchers here, no ley-lines AFAIK.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 15-09-2009 07:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although this article doesn't mention Ley Lines, I feel it's thinking along similar lines (pun not intended! Cool )

Prehistoric man 'used crude sat nav'
Prehistoric man navigated his way across England using a crude version of sat nav based on stone circle markers, historians have claimed.
Published: 7:00AM BST 15 Sep 2009

They were able to travel between settlements with pinpoint accuracy thanks to a complex network of hilltop monuments.

These covered much of southern England and Wales and included now famous landmarks such as Stonehenge and The Mount.

New research suggests that they were built on a connecting grid of isosceles triangles that 'point' to the next site.

Many are 100 miles or more away, but GPS co-ordinates show all are accurate to within 100 metres.

This provided a simple way for ancient Britons to navigate successfully from A to B without the need for maps.

According to historian and writer Tom Brooks, the findings show that Britain's Stone Age ancestors were ''sophisticated engineers'' and far from a barbaric race.

Mr Brooks, from Honiton, Devon, studied all known prehistoric sites as part of his research.

He said: ''To create these triangles with such accuracy would have required a complex understanding of geometry.

''The sides of some of the triangles are over 100 miles across on each side and yet the distances are accurate to within 100 metres. You cannot do that by chance.

''So advanced, sophisticated and accurate is the geometrical surveying now discovered, that we must review fundamentally the perception of our Stone Age forebears as primitive, or conclude that they received some form of external guidance.

''Is sat-nav as recent as we believe; did they discover it first?'' Rolling Eyes

Mr Brooks analysed 1,500 sites stretching from Norfolk to north Wales. These included standing stones, hilltop forts, stone circles and hill camps.

Each was built within eyeshot of the next.

Using GPS co-ordinates, he plotted a course between the monuments and noted their positions to each other.

He found that they all lie on a vast geometric grid made up of isosceles 'triangles'. Each triangle has two sides of the same length and 'point' to the next settlement.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6189320/Prehistoric-man-used-crude-sat-nav.html

Any three points not on a straight line form a triangle. I suspect a mental selection effect here, where most of the millions of possible triangles are ignored in order to concentrate on the isosceles ones, so until I see the book itself I'm as cynical about these triangles as I am about Ley Lines.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 15-09-2009 09:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Mail version does give a sample map, covered with triangles.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1213400/Ancient-man-used-stone-sat-nav-navigate-country.html
Convincing? Non!
Quote:
'So advanced, sophisticated and accurate is the geometrical surveying now discovered, that we must review fundamentally the perception of our Stone Age forebears as primitive, or conclude that they received some form of external guidance.'
On the question of 'external guidance', he does not rule out extraterrestrial help.

However, Mike Pitts, editor of British Archaeology, said: 'The landscape of southern Britain was intensively settled and there are many earth works and archaeological finds. It is very easy to find patterns in the landscape, but it doesn't mean that they are real.'
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 16-01-2010 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not the only one unconvinced by the above story:

Did aliens help to line up Woolworths stores?
Researcher Tom Brooks reckons primitive man was a navigational genius. It's true, but only if you ignore the evidence to the contrary
Ben Goldacre The Guardian, Saturday 16 January 2010

Every now and then you have to salute a genius. Both the Daily Mail and the Metro report research analysing the positions of Britain's ancient sites, and the results are startling: primitive man had his own form of satnav.

Researcher Tom Brooks analysed 1,500 prehistoric monuments, and found them all to be on a grid of isosceles triangles, each pointing to the next site, allowing our ancestors to travel between settlements with pinpoint accuracy. The papers even carried an example of his map work, which I have reproduced here.

That this pattern could occur simply because one site was on the way to the next was not considered.

Brooks has proved, he explains, that there were keen mathematicians here 5,000 years ago, millennia before the Greeks invented geometry: "Such is the mathematical precision, it is inconceivable that this work could have been carried out by the primitive indigenous culture we have always associated with such structures … all this suggests a culture existing in these islands in the past quite outside our expectation and experience today." He does not rule out extra­terrestrial help.

In the Metro Tom Brooks is a researcher. To the Daily Mail he is a researcher, a historian, and a writer. I hope it's not rude or unfair for me to add "retired marketing executive of Honiton, Devon".

Matt Parker, his nemesis, is based in the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London. He has applied the same techniques used by Brooks to another mysterious and lost civilisation.

"We know so little about the ancient Woolworths stores," he explains, "but we do still know their locations. I thought that if we analysed the sites we could learn more about what life was like in 2008 and how these people went about buying cheap kitchen accessories and discount CDs." Cool

The results revealed an exact and precise geometric placement of the Woolworths locations.

"Three stores around Birmingham formed an exact equilateral triangle (Wolverhampton, Lichfield and Birmingham stores) and if the base of the triangle is extended, it forms a 173.8 mile line linking the Conwy and Luton stores. Despite the 173.8 mile distance involved, the Conwy Woolworths store is only 40 feet off the exact line and the Luton site is within 30 feet. All four stores align with an accuracy of 0.05%."

Parker used an ancient technique: he found his patterns in 800 ex-Woolworths locations by "skipping over the vast majority, and only choosing the few that happen to line up".

With 1,500 locations, Brooks had almost twice as much data to work with, and on this issue Parker is clear: "It is extremely important to look at how much data people are using to support an argument. For example, the case for global warming covers vast amounts of comprehensive evidence, but it is still possible for people to search through the data and find a few isolated examples that appear to show otherwise."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/jan/16/ben-goldacre-bad-science-aliens-woolworths
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 16-01-2010 11:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:

Parker used an ancient technique: he found his patterns in 800 ex-Woolworths locations by "skipping over the vast majority, and only choosing the few that happen to line up".


That's very funny.

He needs, of course, to append spurious justifications as to why a couple of the stores he uses, although ostensibly similar to all the rest others, are of especial importance to 20th century shopping man.

Bonus points are available for assuming that, despite all evidence to the contrary, the society is centrally planned with excellent communications and slight regional differences.
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 16-01-2010 11:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

And as an addendum: having just read this thread from the beginning (no, it wasn't worth the time), can I just apologise for the length and boorishness of my posts of seven years back.

Oh my, where have the years gone?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 20-04-2011 07:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now here's amystery! There's an article in today's Telegraph about Tom Brooks and his triangles:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8461290/Sat-nav-Prehistoric-man-used-crude-sat-nav.html

- but it's pretty well identical to the one I posted back in 2009!
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=905842#905842

Why should the DT recycle an old story? But even weirder is this: if you go to my earlier post and click on the link to the Telegraph article, you are taken to today's article!!!

This is odd, because the two versions (ancient and modern) of the DT article have different URLs, as you can check for yourself. So how (and why) did they do that? Did they know in 2009 that they'd be rerunning this article in 2011? Or is the DT experimenting with time travel? Confused

I think the Matrix is beginning to unravel...!! Shocked
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