Buckland Down, nr Cerne Abbas, Dorset
This crop circle was first publicly reported very late in the day on Saturday the 26th May and is located at Buckland Down, near Cerne Abbas in Dorset. The circle is in Barley crop and measures approximately 180-200ft in diameter. It is the first circle in barley of the 2018 season. The circle sits between a radio mast at the side of the field and a dew pond in the same field. This crop circle was pressed very lightly into the crop, with many of the plants beginning to recover (via phototropism) after just 24 hours of it being reported. You can see from the pictures below, just how little definition the design has in the field because the plants are growing so vigorously at this time of year. We have not heard that the farmer is granting access to this formation, so please do not enter the field without specific permission.
We have had crop circles at Cerne Abbas before, notably last year where one of the early formations of the season appeared in a field close to the chalk hill figure – click here for more information.
Landscape: Cerne Abbas is famous for its chalk hill figure – the Cerne Abbas Giant. It is regarded as an ancient fertility symbol dating back to the Iron-Age. The giant stands 180ft tall and is in fact the largest chalk hill figure the UK – he stands on the side of the hill fort at Cerne Abbas. There is an earthwork at the summit of the hill known as the Trendle. You can read more about the Cerne Abbas Giant here. There is also a curious standing stone along the pathway running along side the crop circle site, known locally as the Wishing Stone (or Bellstone) – you can read a little about here. It’s not known if it is an ancient megalith or perhaps a more recent boundary marker, but there is a nice comment on the link above that locals use it as a place of contemplation or wish-making.
Design & Symbolism: This design is a variation on the classic quintuplet design (five dots on a dice – four around one). This formation is a double-quintuplet wheel with eight arms emanating from a central circle. Four shorter arms each terminating in a circle and four longer arms each with a crescent moon and a circle. It’s a very attractive design and reminiscent of designs from previous seasons and the use of crescents and circles to create an angel-like pattern is something we’ve seen many times in the crop circles – see here for another similar formation on Dorset back in 2014.
What makes this design so special however, is the parts of the design you don’t see in the field. One of the very strange characteristics of the quintuplet-type designs is that they all ‘Square the Circle’. Squaring the Circle is an old conundrum that has preoccupied geometers for hundreds of years. The point of the exercise is to draw a circle and a square with equal perimeters or areas – using only a compass and straight edge. There are many different ways this can be achieved, but it is the symbolism of the act that is important. The circle represents heaven, the Divine, while the square represents Earth, or the material world. When geometers Square the Circle (or Circle the Square!), they are bringing heaven and earth into alignment – they are creating a space where heaven and earth meet – in other words, they are creating Sacred Space. That the crop circle designs do this on a regular basis tells us something important (symbolically) about the nature and intent of the phenomenon. You can see Karen Alexander’s beautiful drawings of this formation in the Geometry Gallery below.
Visiting the Circles? If you are thinking of visiting any crop circles this summer, please read our Visiting the Crop Circles section. It’s full of useful information and etiquette for visiting the countryside and the crop circles. Please remember that you should not enter any fields without the express permission of the farmer.
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NOTE: Some of the images below are beautiful landscape scenes. Click on each image to enlarge them and see the whole picture.
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I decided to take a different tack with this drawing because I wanted to show how this design Squared the Circle. I found two instances, but there may well be more. In the painting the black ink areas show the crop circle design as it was in the field. I have then used colour to show two sets of circles and squares that ‘Square the circle’ – i.e. they have the same perimeters (within a high degree of accuracy). Once of the circles is mostly hidden under the crop circle design – but you can just about see it (in blue). The pencil line will show you the geometry more clearly, but I liked the way the colour makes manifest this hidden geometry, while still showing the design of the formation.