I know that many of you have heard of the Crop Circles phenomenon, but have you heard of Ice Circles? This is a very strange occurrence that some attribute to natural phenomenon and others to supernatural or extraterrestrial agency. I am fascinated by this and am puzzled as to why I have not seen these beautiful circles given more attention in media circles. What are some of the theories out there about their formation? It depends on the circle.
Some form in streams and rivers and actually rotate! The most common scientific explanation is the rotational sheer of a slow current at a rivers bend or turn. This rotational sheer breaks of a chunk of ice and then grinds it against other pieces of ice creating circles. Seems plausible enough to me. They are simply gorgeous works of art in my opinion, sculpted by Mother Earth herself. From my point of view all of nature is conscious and alive. I look at these circles and am simply astonished at the precision of the shape, and their hypnotic rotation.
I am not an Hydrologist but I can say that water has always fascinated me, and these Ice Circles are no exception. To me the scientific explanation is certainly valid and I am sure very true. But how do we look at these from a pagans and a poets point of view? To me it is a coalesence of spirit and nature showing us it’s beauty and intelligence. And yes I do mean intelligence. Nothing other than water, creek beds, organic matter, and cold air can form a circle like this. Nothing. I see the hands of the Sídhe in these kind of things and am always amazed at their cleverness and power. I mean, look at that!
They mimic the turning of the planet, the galaxy, and the seasons. What I see when I look at these beautiful works of art is consciousness. I do not pretend to know what kind of consciousness, but consciousness nonetheless. It turns like King Arthur’s table or the witches magic mill dance, or the circular dance of the Sídhe. They can also be rather ominous.
This circle was first observed from the International Space Station on Lake Baikal in Siberia. It is believed to be caused by raising methane gas from the lake bed and spun by the Coriolis Effect as it rises through the water. This spinning reaches the ice above and swirls below it melting it in a circle. Circles so big they can only be seen from far above. That is the scientific explanation. Poetically this is like a giant warning sign of global climate change. Almost as if the land is telling us that we have come almost full circle and time is running out to change our environmentally destructive ways. Like the Sídhe dancing the worlds end on ice for all to see.
Whether beautiful or terrible they are fascinating signs of an intelligence and consciousness in the workings of the universe that are far older, and infinitely more powerful than man. Check out some great pictures here. I highly recommend watching one of these babies actually turn in the video below: