The Mystery of the Moon Amidst the Stones: Callanish Stone Circle

Full moons have a beauty, a magic, a magnificence of their own; even more so when aligned with a Celtic stone circle. I marvel at these Neolithic sites and wonder what the Ancient Ones knew that gave them the knowledge and the motivation to create them. Most of us have watched with wonder and curiosity documentaries of Stonehenge, the grandest and best-known Celtic stone circle. Other grand circles and even more small circles appear throughout the Celtic Nations. Many aligned to summer or winter solstice, thus celebrating the Sun.  Others align with the moon and no one can explain how or why these differences occur. But, the one I find most intriguing is the Callanish Stone Circle which has a unique alignment to the moon.

The Callanish Stone Circle (pictured here) is located on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. It is one of the grand circles that has guardian or gateway stones forming entrances and avenues leading into the circle. It is placed to purposely create sacred space for miles around, resulting in a breathtaking landscape becoming a sacred landscape.

I had the great good fortune to visit Lewis a couple of years ago with my dear friends, Gabriella Songbird and Heather Cowen, who play magnificent music that listens to and speaks to the land. They call their creations soundweavings. See for more on their work.

They connect to the land and magnify the already palpable energy of the stones to new heights. On our last night in Lewis, a visiting videographer caught their sunset concert and posted in online. I encourage you to take time to listen to it now or at your leisure. My gift to you thru them: Click here to find it on the Resounding Earth Facebook Page.

As you look and listen, notice the mountain ridge in the background. Known as “Sleeping Beauty”, this southeast mountain looks like a woman sleeping on her back. Every 19th year, the moon rises from her belly and folks for miles around see her “birthing” the moon. Later that same evening, the moon positions itself over the Callanish Circle where the moonlight is channeled down the avenue of stones leading into the circle. I have yet to see that so can only imagine the awe it must bring to those present: beyond Magnificence to Mystery and Wonder.

We may have missed the 19th year but we did have time to see the area and experience the stones at different times a day. We walked the path from the sea loch. We paraded down the avenue. We sat in the well of stones at the center of the circle. I stood for a long while with my back against one of the circle stones, just taking in the energy and looking toward Sleeping Beauty. I sensed the power of the Mother, gave appreciation to the Divine Feminine and felt both supported and guided. There was an eerie familiarity to the entire experience: that feeling of coming home to a place you had never knowingly visited.

We drove the narrow, twisting roads between lochs and green rolling hills toward the mountain. When we reached a small bridge, Gabriella pointed out a small group of standing stones on the hillside. We picnicked and meditated there, where the sea and the loch merge. As the crows fly, it was only a few miles from the Callanish Circle. We could imagine Ancient Ones gathering by sea and land to celebrate and perform ritual. All was part of a magnificent and elaborate story of which we only experienced a fraction. I tapped into Celtic mystery that day for sure.

Do you pay attention to the moon? Do you have a favorite viewing place? Do you have an experience to share about your connection to the moon and its energies? Share if you will.