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The thirteenth ‘Glastonbury Symposium: Investigating Crop Circles and Signs of Our Times’ took place in July 2003. BARBARA WADDELL gives her impressions of the event…

As one of the co-organisers, Andy Thomas has been in the habit of launching the Symposium Saturday morning with an impassioned presentation on some subject of general concern, such as conspiracy theory, avoiding Armageddon, etc. These presentations have been memorable for the outrageous quality of their dramatic opening, and this year it seemed he was going to take the same approach. But no. This year, after a brief entertaining entrance, and never for a moment losing his sense of humour, he took the courageous step of talking about what the crop circles mean to him personally – how on seeing his first one he felt “Yes! That’s it, that’s what has been missing all my life.”

“My joy is to bring the phenomenon to people who know nothing about it, to see the look of wonder on their faces when you bring the mystery to them.” “They send people on these journeys – but unfortunately there are many people who would deny us these journeys” - journeys where we become aware of something big around the corner. Just making do is no longer enough. The power of collective thought was demonstrated when some two million people joined the anti-war march in London on February 15 to protest at the gulf between what we want and what our leaders are doing in our name. As individuals and together, Andy says we can make a difference. “Change is in the air.”

Among other changes this year were the use of black & white cinematography among Steve Alexander’s gallery of splendid still pictures of crop formations (a worthy experiment but not, I felt, an improvement on the mind-changing effect of simple rapid changes of view) and the formal inclusion of an open forum on the Friday evening so that participants’ views could be expressed.

The main change for me personally this year was that, by being “authentic” as he put it, Andy released me from my usual feeling that I ought to attend all the weekend’s presentations. It in fact shows more respect for people to absent oneself than to fall asleep during a presentation because of information overload. So I too focussed on the intrinsic meaning of crop circles for me personally rather than on possibly predictive messages they may represent, their association with other signs or how they are constructed. In practice, I didn’t skip many speakers.
The problem with the phenomenon for most of us has been that we had no ready-made context into which they fitted. So we either dismissed them or set about trying to fit them somehow into the context we already worked to. Or we decided, like the presenters I heard this year, that we must develop – or create – a context, a worldview, that would contain and begin to explain these important signs of our times. That way, we are better able to take advantage of the expansion of consciousness so many of us associate with the “new millennium”.

Karen Douglas, co-organiser with Andy, described how she was one of a group who in 1993 took part in experiments to discover if human consciousness was a factor in the crop-circle phenomenon: they instinctively felt that the Charley Knoll formation that year was linked to their experiment – and it changed their lives forever.

Stanley Messenger was still warning us that we are not ready to enter crop circles and had better not do so for more than short periods. While this shows us his loving attitude – and the loving attitude of the channelled beings who communicate with him – it sits ill with the idea that has often been referred to over the years at the Symposium and to which I believe Stanley subscribes: that we create our own (experience of) reality, so that we never set ourselves a challenge for which we are not ready. The challenge may, of course, be to learn from the mistake of assuming we know it all and trying to run before we have learnt to walk. Stanley (at 86) has certainly not done that. It was only this year, he told us, that (while he was working with Michael Glickman) he went into a formation to communicate with it, placing his third eye on the ground at the sharp angle of a wedge-shaped section of standing wheat. He suddenly realised: “Oh, I see! That’s what’s going on!” at a level too deep for words, even (as he thinks) for emotion.

This description of his personal awakening alerts us to the realisation that we each have a different, equally valid, individual experience of a formation by relating to its geometry. The sharp angle of that wedge, many feet wide at the other end, is for me a metaphor for focus – focus on an individual experience as part of our shared experience of the ever-changing phenomenon.

Ian Crane pointed out that the real meaning of the Greek word ‘metanoia’ is not (as translated in the Bible) repentance, but “change of minds”. “A radical revision and transformation of our whole mental process is called for.” Is the appletree-cum-mushroom formation of 2002 a symbol of the need for metanoia?

We certainly need a change of mind in Britain about the current removal of geometry from the national school curriculum! Its role in enabling us to transform our thought processes was demonstrated, coolly but with intensity, by Allan Brown as he described his discoveries, with Michael Glickman, of the linear figures implicit in the early quintuplets. Because squaring the circle symbolises the relationship between earth and heaven, there was for centuries an obsessive interest in doing it with the minimum number of moves. When someone provided a mathematical proof that it couldn’t be done, the interest faded away. And here was the geometric proof in the corn that it could! Every circle teaches you something, he said, that you didn’t know before.

What Allan Brown said reminded me of my feeling that it is not a geometric angle which is almost accurate when checked against its numeric measurement, but number which is the nearest we can get to a geometric expression of proportion – the relationship of the physical to the metaphysical whole, of which it forms only a small part. ‘Metaphysical’ only means “beyond the physical”.

Part of that “beyond” are the various discarnates currently in touch with us on this planet. Andy referred to one being called Jeuz (channelled by Paul Bura back in 1994) who, advising against efforts to prove the reality of crop circles to non-believers, talked about the difficulty of helping the group film the creation of a formation because it would have to be done in co-operation with playful elemental forces who are difficult to get to behave. Implicit in the idea that we create our own reality is the realization that we co-create events on the planet, often without direct physical action, and always with the co-operation of the other local life-forms, both human and non-human.

There is (said Linda Moulton Howe in a deeply researched and wide-ranging presentation covering among other things unexplained balls of light in Norway and a mysterious T formation of cut-down trees in Alberta) US military, intelligence and civilian testimony to the interaction of such non-humans with Earth life. An interesting point in Linda Howe’s talk was the discovery that the hexagon, known as the Star of David, was a symbol of greater antiquity than its use by the Jews – an Arab symbol of protection. So was its appearance in the corn in North America a prediction, or warning, of the event of 11th September 2001? She asked the famous Dutch boy Robert, who sometimes sees balls of light before crop circles appear, what those lights are. And he says the crop circles are somehow connected with angels, something to do with problems in the environment and deception. They are like an antidote, but he has no idea what that means or why he is involved. The most impressive factor of Linda’s presentation was that she asked questions for us to pursue, rather than making positive claims.

Michael Glickman similarly said that he had learnt from the phenomenon not to deal in certainties: he had developed humility – with discernment. He sees crop circles as deeply meaningful, above all helping us with our transition during the dimensional shift, which he does not claim to fully understand. As a sort of dimensional demonstration, he created a Möbius strip and cut it down the middle – to produce one long strip. Dimensions are not what they seem. We need to relaminate the world...

Did I catch a reference to spherical geometry in Michael’s discussion of squaring the circle? Certainly it was implied by Robin Heath, who said “It is one thing to square the circle in the corn, another to square it with the planets”, which, however, the ancients seem to have done. From my notes I see that he said “It’s rather more than a few greys.”

Among discarnates who received mention at length were the faery folk of myth (Serena Roney-Dougal) and the UFOlk who seem to carry out abductions on people, several of whom Budd Hopkins has interviewed under hypnosis, as shown in his film clips after dinner on the Sunday. By expanding our worldview to include the wide range of these beings, we can begin to improve our communications with them (not least via crop circles) in order to understand their intentions, which are at least as varied as human intentions – none of which, I believe, are fundamentally other than good.

We are living in two realities, and they don’t relate at all easily, said Palden Jenkins in a talk entitled ‘Politics of Portals’, in which he defined politics as how civilisation is organized. “The international community needs to start functioning as an international unity. The collective can respond very quickly” to the shared resonance of our beliefs. “We are concentrating on the idea that a belief is correct instead of following through that belief.” “We were told before we chose to come that it would not be easy.” We have forgotten why we came but “circles are a kind of trick to get us to walk into an energy field” – so “the agenda of the world has already changed”.

I was fascinated by Peter Chin’s demonstration of ‘Poetry in Motion – Dancing with the Light Beings’, but I didn’t understand what he was saying. Since he was using words, he must have intended us to follow them in order to gain some insight into “the intelligent and healing links between the crop circles and Tai-Chi Chi Kung spiralling movements”, to quote the programme. I did not, however, regret choosing this item on the agenda because we could all share his obvious delight and didn’t feel a need to argue with his viewpoint.

All the signs around us point to our growing ability, with the expansion of consciousness, to live and let live and therefore experience Life more fully. As evolving portals to greater reality, crop circles help us get Life in perspective. Experience is the key rather than intellectual understanding. As my understanding is primarily intellectual, I look forward to another leap in the expansion of my consciousness during my attendance next year at the ‘Symposium for Investigating Crop Circles AS (not “and”) Signs of Our Times’.



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