>Magical circles


In the summer of 2008 a beautiful stone circle appeared on the beach at Aberystwyth. As the days passed, people added to the circle, created baby circles alongside it, a pathway up to it, they washed the stones, photographed it, meditated on it…Perhaps surprisingly the only thing they didn’t do was destroy it – that was left to the sea during a particularly strong high tide some weeks later.

People have used the circular form in many types of guides for centuries. From stone circles such as Castlerigg and Stonehenge designed to align seasonal changes and agriculture, to manmade circles such as the compass and clock-face which have been key to human exploration of our planet. The circular mandala serves as a spiritual tool and meditative aid. In all its forms the circle represents our human drive to create order out of chaos.

The circle is so common to human life that it easily draws our attention, but is equally easily overlooked. What was it about this circle that inspired admiration, nurture and reverence, rather than the more common response in this day and age of destruction, vandalism or even official removal in the interests of ‘health and safety’ or some equally spurious justification?

Have you come across similar appearances in the landscape?What did you do there and why?What do you think inspires people to make such features and what is it that makes people add to them and admire them rather than disturbing or destroying them?

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