Saturday, 14 July 2012

Crop Circles in Avebury

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This trip is one of a few that can be found leaving London during the summer months and provides a tour of the crop circles around Avebury. As new circles appear all the time this (along with the weather) makes each tour  different from the next. 

Crop circles intrigue most people. Their designs are often complex and tend to be both mathematically precise and have a spiritual connection with the earth and the solar system we reside in. Sacred Geometry is the term I learned during this trip that best fits the phenomena.

The bus departed from Westminster after 9am and headed west out of London. There were around 20 in the group and from a good cross-section of age and background. Quite a few had been to the area to see the circles before and also the stones in Avebury.

Onto the M3 from the Chiswick en route for Wiltshire we went. Although quiet, there was an upbeat feel on the bus with printed handouts been passed which set the context for the trip and put everyone in the mood.

The printouts detailed recent formations we were likely to visit along with background history of the circles and interpretations of some formations. The lady organising the tour mentioned that the first recorded circle was around 1690, created by "The Mowing Devil" which left me quite taken aback I have to say.

We passed Salisbury hill which marked our arrival at the epicentre of crop circle activity in England if not the world. Although Neolithic, Salisbury hill's history and origins are a mystery as it sits nicely amongst the gentle farmland around it.  Shortly after, we pulled up at the Silent Cafe, stretched our legs, had coffee and browsed around the little shop that sold books, t-shirts and other related crop circle souvenirs. Grouped around outside were guides waiting to be picked up. Some with long walking staffs, some with big wellies, some with oil skin coats and all looking the part. It was time to say hi and get to know each other in the group and break the ice. 

With a local guide on board we departed in good spirits and ended up at the side of a road at Wanborough Plain where we got out and scaled a fence in single file to a field of barley. One by one we followed the tracks made by the harvesters towards the formation. The thing that strikes you when walking around these mystical works of art for the first time is that up until that point you've only seen the aerial view. This different aspect means you adjust your attention to the experience of being there which isn't easy at first but you can't help but get into the detail of the craftsmanship. The group wandered around in a sort of random order. Some followed the path of the outer circle, some followed the paths of the two overlapping pyramids and some just wandered around the centre. Some stood still and meditated and one or two held crystals picking up the energy that circled from the end of a chain. The group started to intrigue me as much as the formation itself and throughout the initial time there silence filled the air until everyone gathered at it's centre. Light conversation ensued with questions about when and how it was made. After about 30 minutes we headed back to the mini-bus and returned to Avebury.

This video below gives you an idea of formation at Wanborough Plain

We got to the Avebury stones, broke for an hour and wandered the site that is reason enough to visit this area alone. For me, the size of these stones is what makes it so special. Where I come from we just have short dumpy ones but do they job all the same I have to say. Their presence is quite something and you can't help but follow their path across the two fields near the information centre.

I followed the stones with a girl from the group who joined the tour only for this part of the day saying that she has always been drawn to this place throughout her life and had visited many times. An hour passes quick when lost amongst neolithic wonders and we had to hurry back to the bus. The photo below which taken from flickr and is of one stones that caught my eye on returning to the bus. There seemed to be a horselike carving on one side of the nearest stone in the photo which I didn't see until almost back at the bus but didn't stop to take a snap. Next time I will.

Avebury stone circle, Wiltshire
Avebury Stones
Courtesy of Lee Robinson1
Fields of Barley,
Salisbury Hill in the distance
Everyone back on the bus again and off we went to the second formation of the day. There was a lively atmosphere on board and lots of anticipation for the next formation. We passed Salisbury hill a second time and pulled up alongside another field of barley. The ground was alot drier and we were now in the middle of a very pleasant afternoon. With coats wrapped around waists we walked through the field to the brow of a hill. 

There was a great feel amongst the group wandering in silence through a very intricate formation that spread very wide. It had no obvious shape and was made up like a lattice pattern with small clearings here and there. In silence the group drifted through this maze meeting each other along the way for a quite analysis.

Everyone gravitated towards what looked like the central point where the guide stood and the silence was well broken at this stage with many smiling faces and lots of comment. The guide then suggested an Om. Everyone fell into line holding hands in a circle and with eyes closed the guide lead off and all followed. "Ommmmm......." it was easy to follow for sure and this was all new to me and will say that I was carried away a little after a while. The connection with the group over the next several minutes was a spiritual experience I'd never felt before.  Omming is a healing meditative technique which originated in Hinduism and is a mystical Sanskrit sound which means "that which is sounded out loudly". Anyone was invited to say some words and thanks was given for the energy felt at this moment and at the place we all stood. On breaking hands there was alot of warmth and a few spoke of the great feeling they had within them during this moment of meditation. We headed back to the bus.

I found this on youtube which will gives an idea on Omming .....

After a short drive away we disembarked and walked through an avenue of stones to our final formation which was only days old. 

Crop formations appear all the time and this one was as fresh as they came. The avenue allowed us to walk as a group which was nice as there was alot of bonding going on, the interest level was high and there was a good vibe in the air.

Avenue of Stones leading to Etchilhampton Hill

As we followed the avenue of stones a microlight flew over several times. The interest in the crops formations, circles and Spiritual Geometry brings in visitors from all other the world and there are many options available on how they can be viewed. The microlight seemed the perfect choice to see circles all in one go but it doesn't compare to being on the ground where you feel the energy and see the detail.
Crop Circle, Etchilhampton Hill   

We got to the top of the field where the formation was and this time it was a perfect circle. It was quite small and the first impression (now that I was an experienced crop circle expert!) was that of a fake. Too simplistic I thought compared to the previous two. 

That said, none of the give-away signs of fakes existed. There were no broken stalks or damage to the crop itself. We were standing on Etchilhampton Hill and the circle was only 2 days old. We gathered neatly around the edge of the formation and stood in silence as the last few filed in through the small avenue made by the track left by the harvester. 

After a few moments the guide suggested another Om and everyone took part once again. The feel good factor of this felt right in the moment especially since this was our last formation of  trip. The guide suggested we all gather out hands into a middle point of the circle and feel the energy together. It was a great moment on a day that got better as it went on.

Courtesy of Jac Mac
The skies started to turn grey again as we returned to the bus and one final stop at a local pub for a reflection on the day. 

And after a hour spent over a pint of local brew and lots of lively chat we headed back and returned to London mid-evening.

Thanks to Margaret  for organising this trip through her meetup group The London Forum for Crop Circles & Other Mysteries 

Further reading on Crop Circles can be found on the website Crop Circle Connector and also look out for the annual Glastonbury Symposium which takes place each year.

And there are many many videos on YouTube just waiting to be found.

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