Sìthean Mòr

Sìthean Mòr (large fairy hill) lies to the south of the road leading to the Machair. It is also known by the alternative name of Hill of the Angels. This smooth grassy knoll has historically been the setting for many rituals and traditions rooted in both pagan and Christian beliefs. It has also attracted the attention of many folklorists as it has strongly been associated with the world of the supernatural.

John Philip Newell writes:

It is an ancient practice to pray at the rising and setting of the sun, those times of confluence when the day meets the night and the light gives way to darkness. St Columba liked to pray on this hill as the great fire of the sun dipped into the Atlantic. On one occasion a young brother in the monastic community secretly followed the abbot at sunset to see what it was that Columba did in his evening practice of prayer. The young monk, perched on a hillock at the edge of the Glen of the Fairies, saw that as Columba prayed there were angels of light descending and ascending on him. Thus it came to be called the Hill of the Angels. In the Celtic world these messengers of light are everywhere present. The glory is at times more readily seen on Iona but it shines too in the darkest places of our lives and world.