Callanish, Cailleach na Monteach and the Moon

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Framed between these two standing stones that form part of the Easterly arm of Cnoc An Tursa / Callanish 1 is Cailleach na Monteach (old woman of the moors). The distant mountains form the image of a womans form lying on her back. Every 18.6 yrs on what’s known as the Southern Lunar Major Standstill the moon rises seemingly from her body and skims the horizon disappearing for a while below the horizon then reappearing (regleam) dramatically, if viewed from the stones at the bottom of the avenue, seemingly to set into the centre circle at Callanish 1.

This happened in 2006 and is due to happen again in 2025. I hope to still be here to see it and have my camera at the ready this time. The moon in this photo is a lot higher than it is for the Southern Lunar Major Standstill but I love the light it casts over the hills, lochs and stones.

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