The sacred Isle of Iona: magical by full moon light

Last week we had a wonderfully restorative trip to the magical, mystical Isle of Iona, off the West Coast of Scotland, a place of pilgrimage for seekers from all over the world.

On the night of the full moon, I went out for a twilight stroll by the sea, from which rose an evening haar, creating a hazy filter through which the full moon glowed. I took some very atmospheric photos.Here is a moonlit image one of the spectacular High Crosses to be found on the island:

Iona Cross, Full Moon, August 21 2013

Iona Cross, Full Moon, August 21 2013

photo: Anne Whitaker

Today this ‘thin place’ offers the rare chance of escaping from nearly all of the unwelcome trappings of the twenty first century. To a great many people it is the desert island of dreams come true. Whether or not one is religious there is a spiritual peace to be found here, perhaps best reflected in the words of the composer Mendelssohn, after his visit to Iona in 1829:

“…when in some future time I shall sit in a madly crowded assembly with music and dancing round me, and the wish arises to retire into the loneliest loneliness, I shall think of Iona…”


200 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2013
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

4 responses to “The sacred Isle of Iona: magical by full moon light

  1. Such an interesting place… and beautiful, of course. I didn’t realize that it was associated with Columba. There are several people who have headed off to such places recently – my own traveling juices are beginning to flow. It’s not time to travel yet – but come more clement weather and more money in the bank, and off I go!

    Long ago, I had a necklace with such a cross. It was made by the James Avery craftspeople – very skilled. I can’t find anything like it on the web now – it was proportioned just as the one you show. What’s even stranger is that I have no idea what happened to it. I may even have given it to a graduate or confirmand and forgotten about it. Mind like a sieve, and all that!


  2. Been there, seen it , done it, and love it as much as you do.


    • Thanks for dropping by, Sheilagh. I still have that postcard you sent me some years ago, of the full moon at the Callanish Standing Stones on the Island of Lewis, displayed in my kitchen. Love those Full Moons – and those islands!


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