Burderop Down, Nr. Barbury Castle, Wiltshire.
(very close to Burderop Down Shooting School)
Detail & Location: This circle was reported on the 14th of June. It is in a field of green barley and measures approximately 200ft in diameter. See the Google Maps link for precise location.
Crop Circle Reporting and Covid-19: After considerable thought and consultation, we have decided we will not be censoring crop circle locations during the Covid-19 pandemic. There are no current restrictions in place in the UK that call for a blanket ban on visiting the countryside. We consider the reporting of crop circles to be in the spirit of journalism, and censorship to be an anathema to that spirit. Therefore, we will be treating the crop circle community as adults and asking everyone to approach the information carefully and responsibly. This will include not visiting the circles if the farmer has not given explicit permission to do so and should permission be given that they practice social distancing by staying 2 metres away from fellow visitors. It would be our very strong advice that visiting the crop circles on the ground should be kept to an absolute minimum for now. However, because we know that the location of any given circle can be important to researchers and those that record the circles from the air, we will continue to share what we know.
Flying during the Covid-19 Pandemic: As yet, because of the current pandemic, we have not been able to take to the air to record the crop circles as we usually would. We are however, very confident that the restrictions keeping us grounded at present will be lifted before too long and we will be able to cover the rest of the season as usual. In the meantime, we are every pleased to have teamed up with the excellent AEROBO (Art in Flight) who will be helping us collect images and drone footage of the latest crop circles to share on the website.
Visiting: As far as we are aware no permission has been given to visit this crop circle. Please do not visit this circle. Thank you.
History & Connections: Barbury Castle and its surrounding fields have been the home to many crop circles since at least the early 1990s. One of the most famous crop circles of all time appeared here on July 17th 1991 (fig. 1) – it is still regarded by many as their favourite crop circle of all time.
Here’s a little quiz for the very eagled-eyed of you. What is missing from Bertold’s diagram here? (Fig.1) There is a deviation from the actual formation. Email us if you spot it!
As I looked back over some of the most notable crop circles to have appeared at Barbury Castle over the years I was struck by a thought; if we interpret the new 2020 circle as a ring of 12 chalices, it would fit in with several other formations that have appeared here that have also has a religious or spiritual theme, including the Menorah of 1999 and the Kabbalah of 1997. If one sees the chalice as a spiritual icon (as Grail or as holder of the Christian Eucharist), this this would make an interesting triumvirate.
Barbury Castle itself is approximately 2500 years old and remains of round-houses have been found at its summit. In 2006 a replica of one of these was built at Barbury Castle, sadly it was burnt to the ground by vandals in 2008.
Design & Symbolism: Firstly, let me say that interpreting the crop circle designs is most often not a quick or easy task. Most crop circles are multivalent and can have many differing interpretations. This is the nature of symbolism full-stop, symbols can convey a great many principles and choosing just one might be doing the design a disservice. That’s why, especially in this day and age of instant answers, we are often the victims of simply wrong information, or of a shallowness of approach. We need time to let these images work on our psyche before jumping to interpretation. Interpretation should be the last thing on the list of things to be done with a crop circle, first we need to explore and consider, consult and consolidate.
This crop circle is 12-fold in design and its pattern is made entirely from circles. There has been some suggestion we may be looking at a multi-dimensional image (at least 3D). Perhaps a stacking of spheres – this is something we could explore. This is also the second 12-fold formation of the year so far (Sixpenny Handley being the other). Twelve, amongst other things, can be interpreted as having a connection to time and measure, day and night, months in the year, constellations in the zodiac etc.
The twelve chalice like images sit around a thirteenth circle in the centre. This in someway might mimic another Christian image of Christ at the centre of his twelve disciples. The chalice is a very interesting symbol which I will have more to say about at a later date. As holy vessel it can be the container of spirit, salvation or the sacred.
I’m very much looking forward to drawing this circle and will update this page again with drawings and analysis as I complete them.
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 and you will need to be aware of and abide by any restrictions in place in the UK in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Please Help to keep us Flying in 2019: If you have enjoyed looking at our pictures and information please consider making a small donation to keep us flying. There are so few of us left regularly recording the circles it’s really important that we continue. And while some now use drones to record the circles, it is important that there are still images taken from aircraft where the best quality camera equipment can be used and images that include the broad vista of the landscape can be taken. This kind of photography is expensive and it gets harder with each passing year to raise the funds we need to continue our work, but if everyone who regularly looked at this website made a small donation we would meet the funds we need. You can make a donation here.
NOTE: Some of the images below are beautiful landscape scenes. Click on each image to enlarge them and see the whole picture.
A Renewed Vision of the Grail
12 Grail Cups and a hidden Seven-pointed Star
By Karen Alexander 2020
The 14th of June 2020 brought news of a beautiful new crop circle located at Burderop Down, near Barbury Castle in Wiltshire. It was a harmonious 12-fold design with what at first appeared to be a truncated 12-petalled flower at its centre.
A Special Location
In point of fact it was in the exact same field where the much-lauded Barbury Castle Pi formation of 2008 had appeared. This was a synchronicity of a very personal kind to me. The Barbury Castle Pi had been a pivotal and important crop circle to my old friend Michael Glickman, he counted it amongst his ‘astonishments’ during a lecture he gave called ‘A Few Astonishments’ back in 2014. I will always associate this field with him. Not just because of the 2008 formation and what it meant to him, but also because a few of his dear friends were able to get him inside the formation - an unplanted right of way passed through it - something I suspect he never thought he’d do again.
As I looked at this new circle in the field I immediately saw 12 cups (I am sure I was not the only one). Next to books on geometry, crop circles and alchemy, I probably own more books on the Grail than anything else. It is a story that has captured my imagination since being a child. The Grail in all its guises and from many differing traditions is still a constant fascination to me. This crop circle, for me, was undoubtedly a vision of the Grail. What is the Grail I hear you ask? Well, let’s come onto that later. First let’s look at the numbers and geometry of this formation.
Twelve and Seven
There are two majors numbers at play in this crop circle, the first and most obvious is 12. As you will see in the gallery below I have shown a pencil line drawing of the basic geometry underpinning the design. The circle is divided into 12 equal sectors and the ‘cups’ are made by a series of intersecting arcs whose diameter is derived from the distance between the largest of the centre circles and a circle that creates the tops (or rims) of the cups. It is a simple, but hugely satisfying pattern to draw, the bases of the cups are created as-if-by-magic from the crossovers of these 12 arcs.
The second number at work here is not so easily discerned. It is in fact decidedly hidden. Like many great crop circles, this one has an exoteric geometry and an esoteric geometry. The exoteric is the 12 that is seen immediately, the esoteric geometry is 7-fold. An acute 7-fold star sits with prefect precision between the outer perimeter of the entire design and tangents the inner most circle of the design. The fact that this 7 is hidden (or veiled) is symbolically important.
Twelve has been part of the ordering and structuring of human society since the earliest of times and throughout the entire world. Its connection with the harmonies of the circle, the solar year and the constellations of the heavens are key to understanding its potential for producing a harmonious whole.
Seven on the other-hand is about the ‘mysteries veiled’. John Michell said that 7 was the number of “Sprit, Revelation, the Eternal Feminine and what lies beyond the Veil”. It is a mysterious number that neither generates or is generated. It is sometimes called the virginal number because it does not meaningfully interact with any other number in the decad. Seven was also associated with the Goddess Athena - who likewise was not born of the womb, but emerged in full maturity from the head of Zeus. Despite this shunning of other numbers, 7 is a balancing force within the decad. The numbers 1 - 6 when multiplied equal 720, as do the numbers 8 - 10. This places 7 at the pivotal heart of the decad.
However, 7 does have a curious relationship with 12, which is why it was interesting to see them woven together in this crop circle. Both numbers played to their archetype, 12 as the major organising principle of the design, 7 as the hidden, ‘veiled-spirit’ at the heart of the geometry.
They are linked numerically, both 12 and 7 are products of 3 and 4.
3 x 4 = 12
3 + 4 = 7
12 and 7 also have a very curious link geometrically, which I have seen made mention of in John Michell’s book ‘A New Light on the Ancient Mystery of Glastonbury’. This relationship concerns the proportions created by a 12-pointed star and a 7-pointed star. On page 154 of the book John discusses the sarsen stone ring, and Aubrey hole ring at Stonehenge, he shows that the proportion between them can be shown as either a 12-pointed Star, or a 7-pointed star - the difference between the two being almost negligible. When I talked about this with crop circle researcher Peter van den Burg he calculated the difference at just 1: 1.026. This is indeed curious. Symbolically, at least, it speaks of a very close relationship between these two geometries/numbers.
If 12 is the solar year, then 7 is the days of the week and the generator of the lunar month (28 days). Between them they create a Divine marriage of Solar/Lunar, Male/Female archetypes, they also show the marriage between the organising principle and the spirit that moves within it.
What is the Grail?
What is the Grail? The Grail has been expressed as many things; a stone that fell from Lucifer’s crown, the cup Christ used at the Last Supper, and which caught his blood at the Crucifixion. It has also been associated with the Philosopher’s Stone that gave immortal life, a platter that provided eternal sustenance - there are many others.
In their 1991 book Twelve-Tribe Nations, John Michell and Christine Rhone also discuss the idea of the Grail. They argue that at the very heart of the idea of the Grail, is an archetypal and symbolic vision of the Divine principle in the World. They suggest that the Grail is in fact a canon of number and proportion handed down since time immemorial that has been the foundation stone for many of our world’s great civilisations - a canon of number written in the Cosmos which when used as a guiding principle for civilisation, brings us into harmony with the entirety of creation and into wholeness with one another. This indeed is a vision of the first order.
For reasons that abound throughout his writings, and as you can tell from this article, 12 is a number I have come to instinctively connect with John Michell. Equally, 7 is a number I have come to instinctively associate with Michael Glickman. His delight at finding a 7 in a crop circle was always because he considered it to be the number of revelation - it is also one of the primary reasons he rather playfully called the crop circle makers ‘The Girls’ because of its association with the Divine feminine. This crop circle, it seems to me, was fashioned directly from the Michell/Glickman playbook. That it was placed in the field it was makes it all the more so.
So many, many things converge in this one crop circle, but I think it nothing less than a ‘Renewed Vision of the Grail'. It is a vision that seems in serious peril in this world of ours. We seem a million miles away from a world in which being in harmonious union or ‘breathing with’ the Cosmos is no longer recognised, never-mind considered important. The crop circle phenomenon is in many ways a modern day Grail quest, it keeps alive this precious vision in some very dark times indeed, we need to hold on to it tighter than ever. All of us that love the circles are being called to arms to keep the vision alive, to keep the flame, no matter how small, burning for a time when it will hopefully be rediscovered and bring about perhaps, another great Golden Age of Man.
This crop circle is simply, ‘symbolically HUGE!’ Grab your sword and come fight the good fight!
Thanks & Credits
This article would not have been possible without the generous help of a handful of very important people. I would like to thank some of my crop circle cognoscenti for their help in forming these ideas.
Steve Alexander, Peter van den Burg, Geoff Fitzpatrick & Scott Onstott.
Text | Hand-drawn Images by Karen Alexander.
With special thanks to Peter van de Burg for his thoughts, perspectives and analysis. You can see more of his great work on his Facebook page Geometry of the crop circles.
Thanks also to Bert Janssen for permission to use his diagrams in the gallery below.
Golden Section Proportioners by Scott Onstott.
Diagram by Bertold Zugelder.
Further Thoughts & Information
Squaring the Circle
Researcher Bert Janssen has produced a wonderful blog about further geometric discoveries in this crop circle. He shows that design ‘Squares the Circle’, not once, not twice, but three times!
It seems the bringing of Heaven (or the Heavens) to Earth is also encoded in this crop circle in another way and the numbers 3 and 4 are further emphasised.
You can read Bert’s blog here.
Comments from Peter van den Burg:
Construct a Golden rectangle and a square in a circle. Inner radius rectangle and crossingpoint square- rectangle will produce a thin ring. The difference between these two is reproduced at the lateral border to make the broader standing ring.
Construct a Squared circle from the square. This can be done any old way that you prefer, but the difference in radii of the thin ring will give you a good aproximation.
Take 0,618 from that circle. This can be used to construct the twelve chalices.
A circle tangent with the base of the challices will hold a √ɸ rectangle and a square to define the standing ring in the centre. The square and lateral border will make a Squared circle.
If there is a geometric theme that we can recognise after just a handfull formations it is this; There are one or two proportions that doesn't fit in a single template. You'll allways have to find a way around it. It wants you to search for it. The Cley hill Yin Yang was a marvelous design, powerfull in its elegance and simplicity. But it too had some elements that just didn't click into place. Something simular happens here. The curves that make the body of the chalice is based on an element that is not part of the formation. The squared circle in the outer ring isn't there. If there is meaning to be found in crop circles, this should be taken into account I feel.
Book Reference Details:
New Light on the Ancient Mystery of Glastonbury
By John Michell
Paperback: 180 pages
Publisher: Gothic Image Publications (16 Aug. 1995)
ISBN-10: 0906362148 ISBN-13: 978-0906362143
Twelve-Tribe Nations: Sacred Number and the Golden Age
By John Michell & Christine Rhone
Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd; First Edition edition (27 Aug. 1991)
ISBN-10: 0500014884 ISBN-13: 978-0500014882