Callanish and The Lunar Standstill 2024

by Daniel Giamario | July 2, 2024 |


The TOTAMS 2024 Annual Gathering


From June 19-26, 28 members of the Turning of the Ages Mystery School gathered at the Doune Braes Hotel in Callanish on the Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, plus another nearby venue, for our TOTAMS 2024 Annual Gathering. It was a broadly international group, with folks from Ireland, Portugal, Chile, Mexico, the Philippines, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Scotland, Canada, Switzerland, as well as the American contingent. This was the fourth time Eileen and the Doune Braes hotel hosted one of our school’s events, and we occupied the entire hotel. It was quite the fine adventure! I had actually reserved this hotel way back in 2019, right after our last event there, already in anticipation of the 2024 Outer Lunar Standstill and the Moon “Walking on The Land”.



Northern Solstice on The Beach



The weather produced extremely contrasting experiences, to say the least. On our first full day we went to Garry Beach located in the Northeastern part of Lewis. That day was truly magical! Bright sunshine, hardly any wind, and mild temperatures. Five of our participants even went into the waves for an invigorating dip! Here on the beach, the intention was to make use of our first full day as a grounding experience, feet on the sand and/or in the water, amongst giant natural stone pillars, and to celebrate the North Solstice!


When The Moon Walks on The Land …


Callanish 1987, by Margaret Curtis

The main highlight of our trip though was to be the night of the Moon Walking on The Land. The very low Moon would be passing (“walking”) close across the body of the Cailleach, the “Old Woman of The Moors.” Many of the Callanish sites were built 6000 or so years ago to specifically view the Moon setting into various parts of her body. At Callanish I, the Moon, for a period of 18 months and only every 19 years, can pass below the tall stones there. Hundreds were gathered to witness this auspicious event. I had been fortunate to have been there in 1987 to witness this event. It turned out to have been a life-changing experience for me which I have written and spoken about variously. It was also that night in 1987 Margaret Curtiss took the iconic photo.

Unfortunately, though it was a warmish and still night, the Moon never appeared through the thick clouds above the Cailleach. In fact, most all gathered there, including myself and half of our group, left before the time the Moon, in clear weather conditions, would pass through the stones. Even some high-end film crew that had erected metal scaffolding at the Northern entrance had already disassembled their elaborate equipment and vanished! BUT, just at the right moment, the skies did clear, and six or seven members of our group stood enthralled at the Northern entrance and indeed experienced this most magical occurrence. Here is one of the photos taken by our Finnish TOTAMS Astrologer Ville Viinikka. Our group, thus, may have been the only ones who both saw and photographed it at this time, at the June Solstice of 2024. I had always stated that it might take an entire clan to bring the magic alive – and that is what we accomplished!

Callanish I, Lunar Standstill, June 21 2024 by Ville Viinikka


Graduation & Sacred Marriage Ceremonies


The rest of the week was filled with my astrology talks and marvelous presentations by our guest speakers Cristina Moreira and Ville Viinikka. They enchanted us with their research and we learned so much about Portugal and the Atlantean megalithic forebearers (Cristina) as well as authentic Finnish history, greatly debunking the many mainstream obfuscations (Ville).

For our final ceremony, yet another sunny and still day greeted us! This was my 13th trip to Callanish, and never before had I ever experienced two entire days of total sunshine, warmth and little or no wind! The other days of our week, overall, were chilly and windy, temperatures rarely climbing above 12 ℃.


Mary and Daniel with the new graduates (Jonna Karjunnen standing in for Naraya).


Then, for our last evening, the path took us to at Callanish III where Mary Kern and I had the great pleasure of leading five TOTAMS students through a heart-warming graduation ceremony for their Foundational Certification. We congratulate and welcome Sharon Wright, Susan DeRyder, Estela Bremer, and TOTAMS Council members Naraya Naserian and Lizzy Kay Moon!


Following this, as has become tradition during our Callanish trips, we facilitated the school’s signature Sacred Marriage Ceremony amongst the stones of the Triple Goddess and the Green Man. As we had experienced and discovered, these stones are an exact match – as above, so below – with the stars of the so-called Summer Triangle: Deneb, Altair and Vega (the Triple Goddess), together with the crescent Moon (Green Man stone). The weather conditions were perfect, and this was an awesome capper to our experience together as a group. I even felt guided to create a new format for the ceremony, one that filled me with great satisfaction. “Never the same way once”, as the jazzers like to say.

Sacred Marriage Ceremony – The Women


Sacred Marriage Ceremony – The Men




Many thanks to our organizational team of Naraya, Emitt, and Shiva. And much gratitude to our minivan drivers: Jonna and Naraya, with special thanks to Aebhanne for filling in when Naraya unexpectedly fell ill. Thanks also to Levi for driving our additional car, which made it possible to rent the additional venue and include a few more participants in our adventure.

Much appreciation also to Eileen and her staff at the Doune Braes Hotel, especially Sharon, Daryn, and John, their amazing chef. I discovered that Eileen has the widest Out-Of-Bounds Moon I have ever seen – most fitting for the unassimilable outlander nature of our school and my own obsession with the Lunar Standstill!! Even Eileen’s good friend Sharon, another Gemini Moon, has her Moon nearly as much OOB.

In many ways, this gathering was dedicated to the work and life of Margaret Curtis, the “Queen of Callanish”, who passed last March. No one knew more about Callanish. All I know about it I learned from her. Thus, it was an extra special treat to have with us Sally Laughlin, another old friend and student of Margaret’s. During our sessions and conversations, Sally often remembered things Margaret had said that I had forgotten! At over 80, Sally was also the oldest elder in our Group!

On a sad note, at the beginning of the week I learned that my friend and astro-twin Jack Roberts, a great researcher of Celtic lore, leading expert about the Sheela-na-gigs, and writer of books about Ireland Stone circles, passed away just prior to the commencement of our event. He had been with us for the 2019 Callanish gathering and I was planning to visit him in August in Ireland. He is sorely missed. Two giants have passed since March of 2023 …

I am unlikely to make it for the next Lunar Standstill season in 2043! But I have now seen three and I am happy. This is the final of four Lunar Standstill seasons within the Great Turning of The Ages (1962-2034). I am beyond grateful that 28 brave souls answered the call to join us. And I am certain our presence has made a difference.


A few more pictures …





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