A Beautiful Economy?!

The Unbreakable Bond of the Milk Hill formation

Milk Hill, Wilts 6th & 8th July 2011 - Wheat

Milk Hill, Wiltshire
6th & 8th July 2011 - Wheat

“Nature is saturated with Deity”, so said Ralph Waldo Emerson and, although I’m sure he meant something different, this quote encapsulates the geometers view of nature too – that the divine may be seen (hidden in plain sight) in the patterns, numbers and proportions of the forms that make up the natural world. That we also see the same canon of patterns, numbers and proportions in the crop circles may be what gives rise to their association with spirituality, or the conviction that the crop circles themselves have a spiritual nature. Geometry, it could be said, is a spiritual activity, walking in the footprints of the divine creator, so to speak. To draw a circle is to create the whole world in miniature. Beware those who replicate these forms lightly – they have power.

There is a complex relationship that exists between the notions of Deity, truth, and beauty. All seem inextricably bound like a never-ending Celtic knot; it could be said they are what lies at the heart of our attraction to the crop circles, what makes then so compelling and vital.

Fig. 1 - Underlying (unmanifest) geometry

Fig. 1 - Underlying (unmanifest) geometry

The Milk Hill formation of 2011 was one of my favourite crop circles of the year. Not only was the location incredibly beautiful, but the formation itself was one of those circles that was multi-layered in geometry and meaning. It was beautifully made, and even when Steve and I got to visit it sometime after its appearance it was still stunning inside, with precise cookie-cutter edges and elegantly laid crop.

The formation occurred in two phases, the first on the 6th of July, the second two nights later on the 8th. The first phase appeared as in figures 1 & 1a.

Fig. 1a - Sketch of phase one (6th July 2011)

Fig. 1a - Sketch of phase one (6th July 2011)

On the drawing board, the formation comprised three flattened rings and a partially hidden tripartite form. The pattern has an immediate Celtic Knot-like feel to it, the way in which the three points of the triangular-shape seem to come from behind the central ring and travel up to touch the perimeter of the design before disappearing behind the second ring, adds a three-dimensional quality to the design and suggests that there is something hidden. If you look closely at the drawing you will see that it was necessary to draw-in that hidden pattern to create the final design. There is a hidden tri-vesica design which underpins the whole formation. This pattern is better known as a Trefoil (meaning three leaves), or a Triquetra (meaning three-cornered). It is an ancient design, most often seen in Celtic artwork.
I discussed the symbolism of the Trefoil in a blog earlier this year when it was seen in the crop circle at Hannington, it represents trinities of all varieties – Father, Son, Holy Ghost – Mind, Body, Spirit – Maiden, Mother, Crone etc, etc.

Fig. 2 - The invisible Triquetra made visible

Fig. 2 - The invisible Triquetra made visible

In this crop circle, the simple tri-vesica of the Hannington formation has become the three-dimensional Triquetra, a never-ending Celtic knot and in doing so it adds a further symbolic meaning – that of an unbreakable bond. As part of my contemplations on this design I drew the formation again, this time making the invisible, unmanifest Triqutra visible.

To me this crop circle symbolised an affirmation (or reminder) of an unbreakable bond that exists between landscape, human consciousness and the crop circles and after such an uncertain season I find it deeply moving. Just as in the crop circle design, this hidden trinity is what lies at the heart of the crop circle phenomenon; it is perhaps also a spiritual relationship in which all three symbiotically enrich each other in a profoundly mystical way.

Fig. 3 - The central rose

Fig. 3 - The central rose

But there was more to come. The Milk Hill formation was to evolve and two days later a central rose had been added to the original design. At first glance I was slightly flummoxed as to the nature of the relationship to the geometry of the first phase. But as I went back to the drawing board I realised something quite remarkable – the central rose design can be picked from the pre-existing underlying geometry of phase one. Now of course, in the field, this geometry does not physically exist, in phase one, the centre of the formation was a large standing circle with a tiny flattened circle at its centre. But never-the-less the second stage rose-design could be drawn using the underlying (unmanifest) geometry of stage one, as you can see from my sketch (figure 3).

Fig. 4 - Completed drawing - Stage two (8th July)

Fig. 4 - Completed drawing - Stage two (8th July)

The relationship between beauty and economy is one that is rarely talked about, but here it is made manifest in the most dramatic of ways. Economy is born of necessity, in nature the most must be got from the least, but while the use of finite resources is carried out with frugality, it is simultaneously always carried out with a sense of beauty and grace. God may be ever practical in his works, but he is always in the same moment the embodiment of beauty and grace.

I finished my drawing of the Milk Hill formation, not by making a separate drawing of stage two, but my adding the central rose to my drawing of stage one – just as the formation occurred itself. As I did so I was reminded of Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn – especially the last few lines…

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou says,
“Beauty is truth, truth beauty,” – that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

I think the same may be said of the crop circles.

KAREN ALEXANDER – OCTOBER 7, 2011

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