by Daniel Giamario
Since August 1984, I have now been to the Callanish Complex on the outer Hebridean Island of Lewis 9 times. That means it has been an entire Saturn cycle since I first heard about the “Great Shining Ones” and the “Moon walking on the land”. Thirty years later, our conference of April 13-21 2014, was the crowning joy for me of this journey of discovery and initiation. The report I am offering now speaks to the magic that unfolded during this remarkable time.
I designed the conference: “Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine, Re-dreaming the Magical Connection between Earth and Sky, and Soul and Spirit”, to take place within the extraordinary time frame. This event happened during an eclipse season (including a total Lunar Eclipse at sunrise) and the 5th exact Uranus-Pluto Square in a series of 7. This Uranus-Pluto square was amplified by Mars and Jupiter producing the much-discussed Grand Cross scenario. I also chose this time frame to ceremonialize the beginning of the Inner (Minor) Lunar Standstill season that peaks next year, when the lunar nodes reach Zero Libra/Zero Aries.
Admittedly, this was an audacious plan as past trips to Callanish have revealed this place to be one of maximum light and shadow. With so many powerful events happening I could not help but wonder – what would happen?
I assembled a dream team of facilitators, both of whom had been to Callanish before. Many of you know Anyaa MacAndrew, Shamanic Astrologer and Priestess Circle maven, who was the second person (after Cayelin) to become certified as a Shamanic Astrologer. Also on the dream team was Nita Gage, an old friend from my days learning Shamanic Breathwork with Venus Rising and Linda Starwolf. Three years ago, Nita and I were visiting Callanish and that is when first began dreaming up this event to be held at the Doune Braes Hotel near Callanish.
The Perfect Venue
Previous trips to Scotland (including Callanish) involved lots of traveling from place to place with not enough time to really settle in and enjoy anyone location. Our plan was to solve this problem by having the group stay in one place for the entire conference. We knew this would require a really safe and supportive place.
The Doune Braes Hotel in Carlaway is just 8 miles from the Callanish stones and it turned out to be heartful and welcoming, as well as an extremely supportive place to support our adventure. Even the day of our Shamanic Adventure did not faze them one bit! We offer much gratitude to Eileen, Angela, and the rest of their amazing staff and we hope to be there again soon.
The Conference Itself
For this event we set out to create a veritable smorgasbord of different experiences to activate and animate the conference themes including:
- Experience of the stones and the land – as often as possible, notwithstanding weather and transportation restrictions. We spent time at Callanish I, III, IV, and VIII, as well as a fabulous beach, for teaching and ceremony, often with Margaret Curtis as our guide. (Margaret has been researching the stones for several decades and knows the stones and the land like no one else.) Amazingly, the weather cooperated for each of our outdoor activity plans.
- Shamanic Astrology contextual teaching—I had the opportunity to teach most of the Script material, with a strong emphasis on the Sacred Marriage material of Venus and Mars. We also used the new Shamanic Astrology Divination Card Deck.
- Historical and Mythological teachings—in collaboration with Anyaa, I also had the opportunity to share my research on the history and mythology of Celtic, pre-Celtic Neolithic times.
- Ceremony—we punctuated the conference with indoor and outdoor ceremony. Anyaa created a beautiful opening ceremony, and we co-created two fabulous outdoor ceremonies, one on the beach for healing our lineages, and another at Callanish III, to re-weave a Masculine/Feminine alliance and heal the wounds of heirarchical Patriarchy. And then on the last evening, we created a version of a David Deida stage three café, after dividing the group into the three groups of Householder, Self-Interest, and In Service to Spirit Mystery Schools.
- Shamanic Breathwork – Nita and Anyaa facilitated a powerful Shamanic Breathwork session that everyone, including me, participated in. Most researchers feel that the Neolithic builders of stone circles and chambered cairns were engaged in some form of ceremonial altered state experience. Shamanic Breathwork provided us with a potent non-drug induced acceleration of our experiences with the land, sky, and stones.
- Vision Boards and Journaling – Nita and Anyaa guided our group in the creation of vision boards, documenting our journey, as well as guiding the journaling process.
- Free Time for integration and social interaction. Our idea in having the group in one place for the whole 8 days worked really well, as there was plenty of time for socializing, free time, walks, long meal-times and integration. We had most evenings free after a long dinner.
The wide variety of offerings from Nita, Anyaa and myself, as well as the experience of the Land, Stones, and Sky, provided a context for powerful experiences honoring as many places on the Wheel of Life as possible. We had a group of 27, including 6 men, so all the Mystery Schools were present. We had folks from Australia, South Africa, Canada, England, the Philippines, and the US.
Some people were tremendously impacted by the Callanish Stones, some not. Some resonated with the Astrology, some not. Some loved the Ceremony, but not so much the teaching. Some were utterly transformed by the Breathwork, and others not so much. For some, it was the food, ale, or the Scotch whisky that was a highlight!
It seems there was some kind of Magic for everyone. With the possible exception that a few participants got sick (nothing serious), one of the most amazing things was the ease and flow of collaboration and a noticeable absence of EXTREME Shadow or Light. Especially when compared to other Scotland adventures this one felt like a very balanced experience.
Who or what are the Great Shining Ones? (GSO’s)
It was during my first trip to Callanish in August 1984, that I heard the mythic and legendary riddle “…and when the Moon walks on the land, at the cry of the cuckoo, the Great Shining Ones return”. Since then, I have been fascinated with the subject of the GSO’s, and have discovered many different views about them.
Some accounts connect them with extra-terrestrials. Some have a negative view of them. Some have even connected them with a dark version of the Illuminati. I have even seen accounts describing the Callanish Stones as ancient godlike beings, who then became the stones, very reminiscent of the Watchers in the recent movie “Noah”.
I had my own direct experience of the Great Shining Ones on the Full Moon at Summer Solstice in 1987. This was one of the years when the Moon did walk on the land, the cuckoo did call, and for me, the Shining Ones did return. That night I experienced the long Northern stone row entrance to Callanish light up with a silver luminescent radiance, followed by a ball of energy that struck me in the – chest illuminating my heart. All confusion, guilt, shame, negativity, anger, and resentment, was blasted away, and I cried openly with tears of gratitude, and relief. It was one of the most powerful initiatory experiences of my life, and essentially led to the creation of Shamanic Astrology.
After digesting the experience of this remarkable conference, at the Saturn Return of my first visit, I still feel that the Great Shining Ones are a loving and transformative force that emanates or self-generates Love and Power from the land and sky, as a living organism. Callanish is an intelligent hierophany that geomantically honors and celebrates the magnificent mystery of “As Above, So Below, As Within, So Without”.
Stars and Stones, Sky and Land, Sun and Moon, all calibrated by sacred timings and enlivened by participatory ceremony, all work together. When the timings are right, and with the knowledge of the possibilities, the Great Shining Ones will show up. The foundation of these Shamanic mysteries, are very much alive in the far Hebridean Islands, activated by a deep Love of this Great Mystery, a privilege we humans can be conscious of …”and I will not forget…”
The success of this Callanish conference has motivated Anyaa, Nita, and myself, to create more of these conferences at sacred sites, in the coming years. Our theme of “Renaissance of the Sacred Feminine, re-dreaming the sacred connection between Land and Sky, Stars and Stones, Spirit and Soul” shall continue.
Next year, we are looking to create a trip to the Avebury/Wiltshire area of England, in July, and a possible return to Callanish in late September for a Total Lunar Eclipse.
I believe it will be possible to create these events in such a way that students and members of SAMS can receive certification credit for these events. Also, I am envisioning a way to include space in these sacred site adventures for a graduation ceremony within the framework of the current SAMS certification program.
In addition to Scotland and England, I can see us having future events in Ireland, Bali, Mexico, South Africa, Peru, the Greek Islands and Turkey, not to mention, Hawaii. If you missed Callanish this year, there could well be an encore next year. Stay tuned!
Preview for PART TWO
This upcoming article will share my insights and discoveries, both from the Conference, as well as a number of other places that Lynne and I had a chance to visit in Scotland and England, before and after the Conference.
These speculations will include research into my major life inquiry: “Who are we? And what the hell happened!?” Also new insights emerged to improve the SAMS paradigm that I am excited to share. It is important to note that SAMS is not a fixed body of knowledge as it is always organically evolving, and I am so grateful to carry out the research.
Daniel Giamario is the founder of the Shamanic Astrology paradigm and along with Cayelin Castell, the co- founder of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School. He lives in the Philippines with his wife, Lynne and can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com