The End of One Great Cycle & the Beginning of AnotherThe first formation of the 2012 Crop Circle season (in the UK) has arrived. It is located near Lurkley Hill in East Kennet. One popular reporting site has the location given as Hill Barn, East Kennet. It is a circular design, containing a simple twelve-petalled flower. The petals are standing, apart from an area in the centre where they all intersect, creating a flattened twelve-pointed star at the centre of the formation. The circle appears to be around 60-80ft – covering almost two sets of tractor lines. From the images available, it seems that the circle may have been there a couple of days, certainly the crop appears to not be very flat. This could be due to any number of reasons including; phototropism (if the circle has indeed been there a couple of days), or it could be an indicator that the immature plants are just not ready yet to hold the impression of a formation. A first report indicates the formation is messy inside, but there is, as yet, no other reports to compare it with. Certainly, rapeseed formations are prone to damage, I’ve never seen a truly pristine one. At this early stage we simply await more information. The first circle of the season is almost universally greeted with elation and cynicism in equal amounts. Elation for those who love the circles and cynicism for those who are perpetually conflicted by the whole phenomenon and are unable to turn the cynicism they feel into action and withdraw from the subject entirely. It is one of the ‘greater mysteries’ of the entire phenomenon why those that deride the subject continue to engage with it so vigorously.
It seems perhaps appropriate that the 2012 season should start with a twelve-fold formation. It has already been labelled a ‘flower of life’, although I am unsure exactly what that phrase means in this context. I always thought that a ‘flower of life’ was a circular mandala of intersecting circles that had a distinct 6-fold geometry, although I readily admit that I am no expert on that particular branch of study.
However, all of that said, twelve is an important number in human culture. It is has also been a number that has pervaded crop circle geometry over the years. If you take the time to look back through the many forms the circle-makers have offered us, you find many twelves. Traditionally, twelve is associated with time and space. We divide our day into twelve hours and our night in to twelve hours. We divide our year into twelve months and our year is also ruled by twelve constellations that make up our zodiac. In the UK (as in some other cultures), twelve has been used as the base number of both counting and measuring systems. The UK’s currency was base-12, before our current metric (base-10) currency system was introduced in 1971. Imperial measuring systems also used base-12, for example there are 12 inches in a foot. Many cultures were organised into twelve tribes, and of course there were the twelve disciples of Christ’s inner circle. Almost all its associations pertain to the passing of time and the measurement of space, but it is also a traditional way of diving and organising cultural and social structures.
Twelve can be divided by, 2, 3, 4 & 6, it is often found in tiling and other ancient decorative arts. Triangles, squares and hexagons can be picked out of twelve fold designs, and often twelve is associated with imagery of the World as a whole. It can also be seen in our musical scales when we add in half-tones to a piano keyboard – seven notes, plus five half-tones. I think twelve is a ‘satisfying’ number. There is something about it’s correspondences and connections are edifying and harmonious, perhaps it has something to do with the relative ease by which it can be divided into further sub-components and constituents.
If 2012 truly is the end of one great cycle of time and the beginning of another, then twelve, would perhaps symbolise that transitional point, after all, thirteen (the next number) is the number of transformation.
KAREN ALEXANDER – APRIL 18th 2012
Some Historical Twelves…