Text and graphics © Freddy Silva 1998. Excepts from his upcoming book Secrets In The Fields


In 1991 the town of Wroughton had been having its own share of excitement. During the night of July 16th the whole town suddenly found itself electricity-free. At the same time, country residents around the nearby Neolithic hill fort of Barbury Castle had witnessed the, by-now, usual aerobatic display of small, brightly coloured flying objects, followed by what many described as a low rumbling noise akin to that heard at Alton Barnes the previous year. Next morning the headlines in the British press read 'NOW EXPLAIN THIS ONE'.

Covering 12,000sq yards, the Barbury Castle tetrahedron marked a further incursion into crop circle evolution. It was also an unmistakable and identifiable philosophical and alchemical symbol dealing with the very creation of the universe.

Not only was this soon-to-be-famous glyph to keep scholars busy for some time to come, it also attracted the interest of the now supposedly disinterested army who proceeded to block access to local roads, an act which blatantly overstepped their jurisdiction.

This pattern is one of the most important alchemical and Hermetic symbols. It is featured in Michespacher's 1654 book Cabala in Alchymia as the diagram describing the very process of Creation. The three balls are said to represent the three alchemical elements- salt, sulphur and mercury, in conjunction with the Godhead at the center which unites the three to create the Universe; in other words, the three elements are spun together and held in equilibrium until an energy from the Creator activates the process. This is the act of material manifestation. The diagram is also well known to Qabbalists and Rosicrucians whose roots can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian mystery schools. Their description tallies with Michespacher's, but because the source is older it is inevitably devoid of centuries of misinterpretation. The alchemical connotations which were fashionable in the Middle Ages are here replaced by water, fire and light respectively. These are contained by the triangle of complete equality (equilibrium), which in turn interacts with the three circles of the high throne- Father, Son and Spirit, the three sources of Light , also referred to as the Three In One. Generated by this diagram are the seven creative spirits; from this master plan evolves the true nature of the solar system.

The principle of Three in One is in itself a cosmic law. But as John Michell discovered, the whole structure is also a collection of numeric, musical and geometrical harmonies which founded the prevailing order in every old civilization: "It demonstrates the principle of Three in One by means of a central circle which exactly contains the combined areas of the three circles around it. Moreover, the sum of all the four circular areas in the diagram is 31680 square feet... In traditional cosmology, this was taken to be the measure around the sub-lunary world, and the early Christian scholars calculated the number 3168 as emblematic of Lord Jesus Christ. The same number was previously applied to the name of a leading principle in the pagan religion."

Michell further explores this number: 316.8 as the number of feet in the circumference of the lintel ring at Stonehenge and the perimeter square of St. Mary's Chapel in Glastonbury, which relates to the 31680 miles of the perimeter square around the Earth or the number of furlongs of its mean radius. Michell further wrote, "The number 3168 is superabundant, the Pythagorean term for a number which is exceeded by the sum of its factors. The sum of all the numbers which divide into 3168 is 6660, connecting the number of the Lord Jesus Christ with that of the Beast of Revelation." To Michell the Barbury Castle tetrahedron is nothing short of "a divine revelation."


I found it interesting that the three balls of the tetrahedron pointed to numerical values- the top ball with 6 rotations, the lower right to 7 ratchets. But what about the lower left? From a ground survey the spoke jutting into the circle did not begin at the centre but 5/12 of the way in. By using this circle as a starting point, it is possible to inscribe pentagonal geometry

The pentagon clearly connects with outer ring B, generating a proportional five-pointed star whose pentagon references the inner circle C.

Next we focus on the 6 clue in the top circle. By using its centre as an anchoring point it is possible to draw hexagonal geometry which perfectly coincides with outer ring A, and whose proportional geometry references ring B and circle C (below).

But the secret of this formation lay hidden for seven years, ironically. The only imperfection in this elegant crop circle was the left-hand arm of the triangle which was kinked at point C (below). Was it pointing to a clue?

Opposite point C, in the lower right ball, is a ratchet which conveys the seven notes of the diatonic musical scale. By overlaying the seven-pointed heptagon it clearly encloses ring B and intersects the ratchet on the seventh cog, at D. By also taking the diameters of circle A and ring B one can get an idea of the perfect placement and relationship of the ratchet to the center of the formation.

The heptagon is the most respected of sacred geometrical designs- at 51.428571º it is the only polygon not to have a whole number division. It is similar to the angle of inclination used in the Gizeh Pyramid, whose inner chambers have also been argued to be sound resonators, again linking it to the number seven.

Music, or sound, as the prime creative force of the Universe in ancient texts and all major religions, seems well suited to the message conveyed in this crop circle.


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