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Milk Hill (2): A Basket(ry) Case! The fine crop circle at Milk Hill (2), near Stanton St. Bernard, Wilshire, reported 5th August reminded me of the firstbasketry weave crop circle at Bishops Cannings reported August 6th, 1999. At the time it was astounding to us who were observing these fantastic formations in the fields and, although the farmer began harvesting The Basket almost immediately after it was laid down, Bishops Cannings of 1999 was certainly a milestone in the design aspect of crop circles. “The Basket” at Bishops Cannings, August 6, 1999: basketry as a new method of circle creation! A hint of circles to come? (Photo Urich Kox) (Anderhub 94) The basket and weaving themes also found in this Milk Hill formation can give us some clues as to the message it carries. Other concepts to integrate here are: the circle, the hexagram/six, the centre/heart and the torus/swastika. The whole image at Milk Hill (2) is contained within the circle, a primary feminine sign, as opposed to the straight line; it is associated with the idea of protected, consecrated space. In the Hindu tradition the One is described as: “an unbroken circle with no circumference, for it is nowhere and everywhere” (Walker). 1. 17th century mandala, Rajasthan – symbol of cosmos in simultaneous evolution and dissolution. 2. Cosmic mandala, Bhutan – primary movement of the universe. Within the circle we see a six-armed rotating flower, surrounded by a small basket weave circle with a centre circle embedded in a hexagonal shape that extends into the flower shape. The hexagram, two equilateral triangles intertwined so as to form the Seal of Solomon that is implicitly defined by the hexagon, is a symbol of the multiplicity of creation, with the seventh point being the centre. In this paradigm we have the six days of creation and the final day of rest as is stated in the Bible. The hexagram also defines the structure of space with the directions: North, South, East, West, Above, and Below. The centre of the hexagram unites all thus giving us a compact and complete image of the Alpha/Omega relationship. The hexagram represents the perpetual union of the Masculine and Feminine Principles, and therefore, the maintenance of life in the universe. The Heart is associated with the Centre and the Sun, and in this crop circle even the lay of the plants around the small central circle suggests the Sun. “The heart is symbolized by the sun as a centre of life and the rayed sun and radiant or flaming heart share the same symbolism as centers of the macrocosm and microcosm, as the heavens and man and as transcendent intelligence.” (Cooper 82) The heart contains and moves our life-blood and is considered the unifying life-principle by the Aztec. In Islam the heart is the spiritual centre, the Centre of Being; in Hebrew it is the Temple of God; in Hindu, the Divine Centre; in Buddhism, the essential nature of Buddha and in Taoism, the seat of the understanding. (Cooper) The centre is truly significant for this formation because of the suggestion of movement around a centre, “for all centers are symbols of eternity, since time is the motion of the periphery of the wheel of phenomena rotating around the Aristotelian ‘unmoved mover’.”(Cirlot 142) So the heart, as centre, becomes essential to unity of multiplicity in creation and life. It is the symbol of the relationship dynamic we call love. As Cirlot points out “the importance of love in the mystic doctrine of unity explains how it is that love-symbolism came to be closely linked with heart-symbolism, for to love is only to experience a force which urges the lover towards a given centre.” (142)Not only is the heart, as the centre point an anchor for unifying the All, but it also functions as the mover of life-blood, energy. The rotational aspect of the design at Milk Hill (2) is similar to a swastika-like movement; the gradual expansion and then contraction of the arms from the centre to the outside of the central design imply a torus shape as well. Drunvalo Melchizedek speaks of the torus: “The torus is literally around all life forms, all atoms, and all cosmic bodies such as planets, stars, galaxies and so on. It is the primary shape in existence.” (156) José Arguelles tells us about the swastika: “The swastika is a fundamental symbol reflecting the unceasing flow of phenomenal change. It portrays the generative feminine as a totality of motion and energy. Like the continual emergence of conditioned being from the cervix of the unborn, the swastika also is generated from a central point which…extends uniformly in the four cardinal directions.”(33) Implicit in this crop circle design are the attributes and movements of all living beings and all cosmic bodies. This is the amazing elegance of crop circle art! Through this one image we are given a picture of the macrocosm and microcosm as One: One in All and All as One. Within the Great Circle, each individual creature has a direct resonance with the Source/Centre. Each of our hearts is a torus, just as the energies that create matter in the form of stars follow the path of a torus. This is the POWER OF LOVE. The Egyptian hieroglyph for basket symbolizes “everything made divine, God and the Universe interfused in one single being.” ( Mariette in Chevalier 70) It is also “An analogue for the protective maternal body, associated with both birth and rebirth.” (Tresidder 20) The basket has a very specific and colourful role in ancient stories. Very often it is the means by which heroes and divine children are brought to safety to fulfill their destiny. Their destinies involved world order actions, i.e. Moses led his people to freedom, Romulus and Remus founded the great city of Rome, Sargon was regarded as the first person in history to create a multiethnic, centrally ruled empire based in the city Akkad. These and more heroic individuals were saved from death by means of a simple basket-cradle. Moses, Sargon, and Romulus & Remus were among the many heroic figures who were saved by means of a floating basket.The basket, as a woven and containing artifact, is representative of the Goddess with her many names: Diana, Hecate, Isis, Ceres, Plenty, Constancy, Fortune. Venus Genetrix, in this case could be included because of the inference of fertility by association with the six-point geometry, the cornucopia, and harvest offerings. It is easy to imagine the heroes as beingreborn from the Great Goddess via the basket on the waters. The reborn, in turn, initiated new establishments on the Earth. Venus Genetrix seen between the two houses in which she appears: Taurus at night and Libra at daybreak; Venus as the six-sided star who precedes and follows. In its association with the harvest basket offerings and the cornucopia, the basket weave design adds the meaning of fertility and an unsolicited profusion of gifts from the gods. The cornucopia itself has both male and female attributes: the phallic horn, and womb-like hollow. Symbols of harvest, fertility, bounty of the Earth and gods; Amalthea, a nymph who nourished Zeus from the cornucopia.So, at Milk Hill the second time around, we find that a universe (a united turning), is moved into life by a throbbing central inner heart existing within each atom and life-form on Earth and in the Cosmos. This formation is a perfect image for the expression of the One in All and All in One; it is an image of both. The intricate basket weave reinforces the idea that each and every individual in creation is a part of the tapestry of life. The rotational movement of the torus/swastika/flower reminds us of that constant creative heart energy flowing through the Cosmos and beyond. The woven basketry effect memorializes the stories of the rebirth and safekeeping of those who are prepared to flow with the NEW.And we cannot forget the fact that the crop circle designs are fabricated with the very food we eat: “A sheaf of wheat or corn is a well-known symbol of the fertility of the earth and of growth and abundance. It represents the fruitful union of the sun and the soil.” (Bruce-Mitford 71) The fields themselves are the baskets of offerings we constantly receive from our Mother the Earth. What do we offer in return?Michelle Jennings Sources:Anderhub, W. & Hans Peter Roth. Crop Circles: Exploring the Designs & Mysteries. Lark Books. New York. 2002.Arguelles, José & Miriam. The Feminine: Spacious as the Sky. Shambala Publications, Inc. Boulder. 1977.Bruce-Mitford, Miranda. The Illustrated Book of Signs & Symbols. Reader’s Digest. Montreal. 1996.Chevalier, Jean & Alain Gheergrant. A Dictionary of Symbols. Penguin Books. London. 1996.Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. London. 1971.Cooper, J.C. An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols. Thames & Hudson.London. 1978.De Vries, Ad. Dictionary of Symbols and Imagery.North-Holland Publishing Co. Amsterdam. 1974.Encyclopédie des symboles. Michel Cazenave, rédacteur. Le Livre de Poche. 1989.Purce, Jill. The Mystic Spiral: Journey of the Soul.Thames & Hudson. London. 1974. Sacred Symbols. Robert Adkinson, ed. Abrams. New York. 2009.Tresidder, Jack. Dictionary of Symbols: an Illustrated guide to Traditional Images, Icons, and Emblems. Chronicles Books. San Francisco. 1998.Walker, Barbara. The Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects. Castle Books. Edison, NJ. 1988. http://symboldictionary.net/?p=3299 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nb_(hieroglyph)http://www.magic-point.org/Html/101.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sargon_of_Akkad