Ancient Hawaiian Spirituality
To Mona Kahele: our beloved Kupuna, and to all who bring down
me ke aloha nui. Martyn Kahekili
Online Huna & Ho'oponopono
E Ku ... E Lono ... E Kane ... E Kanaloa
Polynesia ... a vast expanse of islands scattered across
the Pacific ocean ... home to the greatest voyagers and navigators
of the ancient world.
Long before Western ships dared to venture far from land, the old
Polynesians navigated between the distant islands of their ocean world.
The Polynesians also navigated the natural
forces of their cosmos. They believed that the gods (akua) and
the spirits of their ancestors (aumakua) could control the
elements of nature - and they honored their most important ancestors
Ho'opuka e ka la ma ka hikina
Ka ua kahe hele no kumu kahe ...
In ancient times, many stone temples were built
to honor the Polynesian gods. Called
marae in the south Pacific and heiau in Hawaii, these
temples were built to communicate with the gods - and to harness their
power. The first and mightiest god was often called I'o, a
Names of the gods differed - Tangaroa
and Rongo of Maori New Zealand were called Kanaloa and
Lono in Hawaii. The primeval natural and supernatural energies
were more important than their names.
Pa ka makani na ue ka lau oka niu
Ha'a ka pua kou wali i ke kua ...
Ancient Hawaiians called the trade wind
makani - the life-giving spirit of air. For millennia this
elemental wind helped shape the islands of Hawaii, and later the emotional
and spiritual lives of Hawaiian people. This wind helped the early
Polynesian voyagers cross the Pacific ocean in their ocean-going canoes.
The makani brought the god Lono, the god of
fertility and healing, and supported the aloha culture. The wind is
also called Ha. Aloha means with breath;
aloha is generally translated as "love".
The makani wind brought another Lono - Captain Cook
- and the haole hordes that followed him.
Western visitors to Hawaii are often called ha'ole
(pronounced ha-owlee) by native Hawaiians. This word has been used for
pale-skinned foreigners since Captain Cook arrived at Kealakekua Bay over two
centuries ago. To be called haole is to be grouped with the cultural arrogance,
prejudice and ethnocentric opportunism of those who brought disease, devastation
and death to the aloha culture.
It is not a compliment. Haole means without breath
and without life. To Hawaiians, ha'ole have little
contact with family, culture or soul. Haole rarely honor or even
name their ancestors. Ha'ole cannot appreciate the beauty and
dignity of Hawaiian people. Haole appear to only appreciate opportunities.
Old traditions that sustained Polynesians for
millennia were soon rejected. The missionaries called the old gods
demons and labeled their restorative power as witchcraft. To
live in balance with nature became somehow wrong ... somehow bad
... somehow evil. Nature was to be controlled.
The missionaries' children became the new landowners of
Hawaii, and made the old ways illegal under haole law.
But the old ways were
too lively to die. They became huna, hidden, in remote
villages and upland farms. Distorted stories about the old ways are
marketed and sold by haole writers, sensing opportunities. Much is lost, for few
now live who know the truth.
Error and deception proliferate. Many Hawaiians feel embarrassed
by their ancestors, and deny or distort their family histories. Only
recently do the keepers of balance, the kahuna, risk sharing their
knowledge again. Only now can Hawaiian spirituality slowly recover
from the return of Lono.
Hawaiian spirituality includes chants that blend with the
wind in the trees and the rhythm of the ocean
waves to offer experiences of the underlying spirit of
Polynesia. Hawaiian spirituality draws mana (power) from Kane
in the clouds, from Kanaloa in the ocean and from
Ku in the wild places. Pele, the impulsive goddess of the volcano,
can be gentle and loving, as serene as her hapu'u fern forests and kukui
Yet Pele's red lava and shaking earth demand respect. Listen for
Pele's chants rumbling and echoing in deep caverns below Hawaii
Hawaiian spirituality includes hakalau - an expanded
sense of time that reflects a gentle flow of water
across a tranquil bay, as Kanahele described in his book Ku
Kanaka. Haole visitors may not appreciate that life in
Hawaii happens "when the time is
right", a sense of life that disrespects haole
Aloha - E Kolo Mai
Can you appreciate Hawaii? Can you aloha ‘aina -
can you love the land? Come talk story with us
by the old Hikiau heiau on Kealakekua Bay,
come walk with us in an aromatic forest of kahili ginger above Waipio
valley, come meditate with us under hapu'u fern trees deep within
a Ka'u volcano crater.
Hawaii can still evoke aloha 'aina; even in haole
visitors who cannot recognize a sacred landscape. ‘Aina
refers to rhythms of life that can nourish your body, mind and spirit
- if you accept these gifts. Mana manifested as life force is called
mauli, which fills your body during conception as a blessing of mana
from your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, stretching
backwards in time to your 'aumakua - your ancestral deities. Why not
thank your ancestors for your blessing of life-energy.
Mo'olelo refers to the old power
of the sacred stories. Hawaiian chants, perhaps in a grove of kukui
trees, or on a black sand beach, accompany the wind and waves. These chants can
connect your innermost being to your family - to your ancestors - to the
elements - to the cosmos. Compare these experiences of Hawaiian spirituality
with the abstractions of haole religious word-games. Are you ready to share
your aloha - are you ready to share your breath with us
as you learn the old chants?
Sacred chants release their mana in the breath that forms the sounds. Hawaiians could apo,
they could catch the insights and experiences of connection. The
Hawaiians were careful witnesses of the flow of power and they avoided insulting their
ancestor-gods - the source of blessings.
Our ancestors did not die, their spirits walk amongst us and can guide us, if we
listen. Our ancestors communicate through dreams, or the beauty of trees or
clouds. They take form in the elements of wind or rain, or in rock or in fire.
Why not dance and sing to express gratitude for their wisdom and beauty?
But the old ways were interrupted by haole law
in 1827. They became illegal. Kahuna Daddy Bray was arrested in Honolulu
for chanting in a public place as recently as 1964. Yet, as the
rape of the planet continues and essential resources dwindle, those
who remember the past may yet survive the future.
The Kumulipo, a sacred Hawaiian chant, tells
a story of creation from chaos. The Kumulipo teaches the evolution of light and
life - from darkness came a living earth in which our ancestors' spirits could
take form. The Kumulipo includes abundant
descriptions of aumakua -
protective family spirits or guardian angels. Hawaiian spirituality honors and
protects the animals and plants described in the Kumulipo.
(* 20 second, 330 kB excerpt from Ho`oluana
(1991) by Makaha Sons
O ka lipolipo, o ka lipolipo
O ka lipo o ka la, o ka lipo o ka po
Po wale ho 'i hanau ka po
Hanau Kumulipo i ka po ...
From depths of darkness, deep darkness
Darkness of day, darkness of night
Of night alone did night give birth
Born Kumulipo in the night ...
'Ohana refers to both
family and community. According to the Kumulipo, the universe is one family;
created and related in 'ohana. Ohana describes family and
spiritual connectedness - more valued by native Hawaiians than by most
haole visitors we meet. From 'oha, the roots of the
taro plant, and na, or balance; 'ohana describes
a community where relationship responsibilities balance personal goals.
Many native Hawaiian families preserve their old proverbs and chants,
their blessings and names; and their huna or secrets.
But these diamonds from the sacred past are distorted by two centuries of
haole exploitation. Hawaiian spirituality includes a cry for
pono - a desire for justice following two hundred years of suffering under haole
invaders. Yet ho'oponopono (creating justice) is a Hawaiian
blessing - a gift of harmony - a gift of Soul - for those willing to accept the
responsibilities of love.
Forgiveness is essential to haole religions - but
do haole know how to forgive? If you avoid forgiveness you carry a burden of
anger, sadness and guilt - and you invite disease and suffering into your life.
If you forgive by forgetting - you invite the same consequences again. If you
forgive with spiritual ego - you sabotage intimacy. The kala
of Huna Kalani means to wash in sunlight - to release
with love - to speak your truth - to listen carefully - to strive
to understand - and to take appropriate action.
"Ho'oponopono may well be one
of the soundest methods to restore and maintain good family relationships
that any society has ever devised"
Dr, Haertig (psychiatrist and co-worker of kupuna Mary Kawena Pukui),
in the book Nana I Ke Kumu (Look to the Source)
After ho'oponopono comes ho'omanamana
- creating power. In rituals for gathering mana or life force,
ho'omanamana evokes and controls the raw elements of nature. The essence of
rock and flame, of sea and wind, and the mysterious fifth element
can be accumulated. These magical elements can be used during moe uhane -
during dreams of the spirit - in lucid dreams that change reality. The
old Hawaiian magic of ho'omanamana is sometimes revered
as healing - and sometimes feared as sorcery.
The elements of Hawaiian spirituality are the elements of nature.
Ride the winds at Ka Lae that blow over a door to Milu
- the underworld - the place of shadows where the dead go to forget and to
be forgotten. Meditate deep within a lava cave and commune with the spirits
of the testy mo'o. Brave the surf
at Waipio after a jungle walk along the old Ali'i' Trail. Witness
red lava from the active vent of Pu'u O'o and feel the heat of Pele.
Use the four to find the fifth - and connect to the universe.
Integrate your mind and body, and find your family soul
- your 'aumakua. Learn hakalau
(kahuna consciousness) and surf the waves of dreamtime
which can change reality. Connect with your dead ancestors in Milu and let your
awaiku guide you through non-ordinary realities, as you explore the
Hawaiian cosmology. We can help you heal your body, mind
and spirit. True to elder aloha culture - we can help
you heal your relationships so that you can heal your life.
Hawaiian spirituality invites you to recognize yourself
as malihini, a beginner, for whom each revealed truth is a surprise.
This can be your first step towards becoming haumana iniki, an
accepted student of the old Hawaiian culture. Do you wish to progress
to alaka'i ... a pathfinder?
The makani is gently blowing, as you read this,
creating waves in Kealakekua Bay. Wild dolphins often jump as
the sun sets, and the scents of coconut and flowers mingle with ocean
salt. The sacred statues around the old temples at Honaunau are casting
long shadows. When will the time be right for you to share your
aloha and join us in 'ohana? We wait
for you. E komo mai. Welcome back.
Hawaiian spirituality can help you connect
with your body, with your emotions
and with the world. You can learn to
love yourself and your life.
Mahalo (thank you) for your interest. A hui ho.
Healing and Ohana .
'Amama ua noa lele wale
The taboo is over, may these words fly free
E komo mai ... we hope to hear from you ... a hui ho!
Huna Kalani . Soul
Mentorship . Kahuna Training
E komo mai. Welcome.
We teach in many countries - usually on secluded beaches, forests or parks.
We can meet and work online - or in beautiful places.
We bring this
wisdom to the world under the name of Huna Kalani.
Do you want to heal
your life? We seek people who wish to bring back this ancient magic.
Huna Kalani provides an experiential
introduction to old Hawaiian healing. You can experience the
beauty and power of Huna Kalani in a series of workshops that
can expand your perception of reality. Hawaiian magic
refers to a technology that few understand. Within this old
healing magic are some of the roots of the systemic magic
of our Soulwork Systemic Solutions.
||Return to source
||Huna in Hawaii
|Ohana, aloha and ho'omana
and Hawaiian healing
Hawaiian prosperity chant
|Honua, Ha, Ahi & Wai
Ele'ele eke and Hawaiian healing
Hawaiian chant for controlling water element
Dreams that change reality
Hawaiian Dreamtime chant
I'o and Creation
Aumakua, akua and
Advanced Huna: I'o, Kumulipo and
Hawaiian cleansing chant
|Visit special and sacred places in the
Kona, Kohala and Kau districts of Hawaii.
Online Huna Healing: Ho'omoe & Ho'oponopono
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Kahekili Carruthers
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