Potterne Hill, Wilts.
(close to Devizes)

Detail & Location: This circle was first reported on the 7th June 2023. The circle was in a field of green barley close to the village of Potterne, near Devizes in Wiltshire. Google Maps Link. OS Grid Ref: SU 00249 5908. The circle measures approximately 300ft in diameter. 

Visiting: You will need personal permission from the farmer to enter his field. 

Location & History: There were two crop circles close to this location in 2020 at Potterne Field. See here and here

About this crop circle: This circle has been described as a lotus, solar image, or sunflower design. It is based on 18-fold geometry. 

Please see the Geometry Gallery below for more details as we have 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 – which at the time of writing is none. 

Click here for Copyright Information about the reproduction of images on this website.

Please Help to keep us Flying in 2023: We hope to take to the skies again in 2023 to record the circles that appear this summer. 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.

IMPORTANT: We’d like to thank our colleague Hugh Newman for his kind permission to use his photos of this crop circle on our website. Thank you!

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Geometry Gallery

Some thoughts on the Potterne Circle of 2023

The mystery of the Centre Circle

The Potterne crop circle of 2023 had many qualities to recommend it. The first, is the fact that like a handful of other crop circles over the years it has a large standing centre, with no marking to denote its centre - the crop is virgin and undamaged. Ever tried to draw a perfect circle with out a central anchoring point? You'd need a template to draw around, or within. In a crop field at the scale of this circle, you need a pretty big one! However, I think the seeming impossibility of this feat, is only a wry wink of the eye to us, and it is actually calling our attention to the fact that this circle has no centre or content - it is an entirely empty space, yet is simultaneously one which cannot be occupied either. We are not invited to the centre of this formation - not even to see it. That circle stands as a huge hidden mystery. 

Almost all interior crop circle spaces are accessible to walk around - it can be said that because of this we are symbolically invited inside them. Even the geometry is such that there are openings for us to walk around all of the interior elements. Even the tractor-lines in a field are at times utilised to provide egress to those walking around the crop circle. The crop circle can be placed in the field, in relation to the tractor lines to allow this to happen - I've seen it any, many times. In fact so used are we to this, that it comes as a bit of a shock when we discover a space which is inaccessible. By inaccessible I mean, that the space cannot be reached without trampling down crop to do so - like a circle surrounded by an unbroken ring of standing crops. 

In a phenomenon so steeped in symbolism, it's funny that we rarely stop to think about what might be being conveyed by this. It has always sat uncomfortably with me that these spaces should be breached, the gesture, presentation and symbolism of these spaces, says clearly, this space is not for you. Yet I've seen many lumber in without a thought, we are stupid and we don't look or notice. We never question our right to be where we want to be. We miserably fail the 'noticing' (intelligence) test put before us almost every time. We are just not subtle enough it seems. 

In the Potterne circle, the choice is not given to us. We are allowed to walk amongst the petals of this sunflower, or lotus, but her central heart is not revealed. There's something deep here to contemplate. What is being said by this?

Re-constructing the Crop Circle

Key to this crop circle is the number nine and its multiples, eighteen and thirty-six. Nine is interesting geometrically, on paper (and with a protractor) the 360 degrees of a circle clearly divide easily to 9 sections of 40º each. However, with a compass and straight-edge it's a different matter altogether and division by nine is much more tricky (see gallery images below).

This circle begins with the central circle, then eighteen circles sit side-by-side on the perimeter of that circle, there are then an additional eighteen circles of the same diameter that connect the centres of the first eighteen, giving thirty-six circles - as can be seen in Peter van den Burg's excellent exemplar below. A further eighteen circles (again of the same diameter), are then added placed of the upper point of the vesicas created by the original thirty-six circles. The petals on the crop circle can then be picked-out from this geometrical framework. The size of the small circles are each 1/18th of the perimeter of the circle (or 20º). Peter also shows below the sizing of the smaller circles can be picked from a six-fold division of the large circle. 

Big Cosmological Numbers

36 + 18 = 54 one of those 'big' cosmological numbers connected to the movement of the earth against the background of the visible constellations. Fifty-four degrees is one degree of axial precession.These cosmological numbers can be found expressed in many different ways, but 18, 36 and 54 are all found in the key angles of the triangle, square and pentagon. They have been found embedded into our myths and traditions for thousands of years, forming a lost treasure trove of ancient knowledge pertaining the movements of the planets and the stars and a possible quantum holographic super-structure for the cosmos itself. Many of these numbers are also found in the crop circles, connecting ancient knowledge and traditions, with modern mysteries and folklore. 

So far, so good. 

A Final Phi-nesse

This circle presented us with a final mystery. As you can see in the photographs, the points of the petals are exaggerated into fine points in the crop circle. Aesthetically alone, these extensions are beautiful, providing a natural ease to the formality of the under-pinning geometry. But I wondered if there might be more to it than that, the circle-makers rarely do anything on a whim. Sure enough, when a took out my Golden Section callipers, they showed that with the petal extensions, a Phi relationship could be established across the entire design, connecting the (unmarked) centre of the formation with the large ring and then the tips of the petals - stunning!

This is a circle I will come back to. There's something been said here, that I don't yet fully understand. 

Karen Alexander 2023

With thanks to Peter van den Burg for this diagram of this circle in the gallery below. 








Google Maps Link. OS Grid Ref: SU 00249 59087
You will need permission from the farmer to enter this field.  

Further Reading

Find out more on the websites below: