A Celebration of Circles


July 2022 Crop Circle, Ripples

After this rather intense summer, I thought I would keep it light with a little exploration of one the happenings that makes living in this part of the world so special, celebrating the stunning English landscape and the mysterious crop circles that appear in the (mainly) summer months. One of the major hot spots for these beautiful, often intricate patterns is here in Wiltshire and Hampshire. To the left is one from this July, 2022: a fascinating interlocking of circles, appearing as overlapping ripples or sound waves.


I try to visit at least a few circles each year as they are so close to home and I can't resist such a wonderful mystery, so tied to the land, ancient megaliths and fantastic geometric designs- all wrapped up in a puzzle of creation. The elegant 10-pointed star formation highlighted below embodies two of the features which often go hand in hand with the patterns: geometry and synchronicity. 

Last year the crop circle season (usually late June through part of August, but they do appear at different parts of the year around the globe) happened to coincide with a course I was taking online with the Prince's School of Traditional Arts: The Cosmos in a Flower, led by Tom Bree.

10 Pointed Star, 2021 Circle

 I had managed to visit and walk in three circles that season- including this one, an elegant 10-pointed star pattern with a pentagon overlaid and circles within and without the design. The formation was formed in early July and reported on the 4th of July.

I was able to visit a few days later (on 7/7) and it was in the same vicinity as one of the very first circles I'd ever visited when we first moved to the UK, so it was an extra special one!
2021July7 Crop Circle
It was a perfect day to walk the landscape, the wheat swaying to a soft wind under low, expanding clouds and a kestrel hovering eerily in place above the hill, occasionally diving for its dinner. I was intrigued as always with the precision of the pattern and the way the seemingly haphazard angles took shape into something so perfectly formed when seen from above. A fascinating aspect of this and many other circles is how perfect little tufts are left in the center of certain sections and smaller patterns are often made in the lay of the wheat itself, with basket weaves and alternating sections of stalks occurring in rhythmic interlays.  Patterns within patterns creating this meditative, beautiful unfolding of geometry just off the motorway.

Time went on and as school got out and summer started in force, we were grateful to be able to take a little trip to Cornwall during that time when travel was having its challenges. So it was while I was looking over the Cornish fields, compass in hand, during the fantastic Cosmos in a Flower course, that I suddenly realized the design Tom was teaching seemed familiar to me. He laid it out step by step, as usual, with each step leading to another elegant layer of complexity. The next day, as I was colouring it in, which can be done in a myriad of ways, I realized it was the foundation for the exact pattern that I had seen in the fields just a few weeks before.

The coincidence was startling but also seemed entirely normal for what it was- a somewhat magical, contemplative unfolding of beauty on the landscape synchronistically coinciding with one on paper. 

Irrespective of beliefs or theories, the creation of many of these patterns involve a stunning awareness of symmetries, proportion and order. Remarkable and inspiring, no matter what the source or why they are there, they are a sweet mystery that can be enjoyed at multiple levels and for their own sake.





Left: Spiral Circle, field near Avebury Stone circle, July, 2021
Middle: Center basket weave from Pilgrim's Trail circle, July, 2022
Right: Etchilhampton Hill, near Devizes, July,2022

Arial photographs by Stonehenge Dronescapes and Hampshire Flyer