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Ancient Hawaiian Spirituality

To Mona Kahele: our beloved Kupuna, and to all who bring down the sun
me ke aloha nui. Martyn Kahekili Carruthers

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 as gods.

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 primeval creator.

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 ancient 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 tree groves. Yet Pele's red lava and shaking earth demand respect. Listen for Pele's chants rumbling and echoing in deep caverns below Hawaii Volcano Park.

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 schedules.

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.

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 ...

(* 20 second, 330 kB excerpt from Ho`oluana (1991) by Makaha Sons of Ni'iau)

'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.

Elementary Huna

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.

Ho'oponopono . Huna, Healing and Ohana . Kumulipo . Aumakua

'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

Huna Kalani Workshops

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.

Huna Kalani Workshops: Ho'oponopono & Ho'omanamana

Huna Introduction Huna Elements Huna Dreamtime Return to source Huna in Hawaii
Ohana, aloha and ho'omana

Ho'oponopono, kala and Hawaiian healing

Hawaiian prosperity chant

Honua, Ha, Ahi & Wai

Ele'ele eke and Hawaiian healing

Hawaiian chant for controlling water element

Moe uhane

Dreams that change reality

Hawaiian Dreamtime chant

Moe heiau

I'o and Creation

Aumakua, akua and la'au kahea

Advanced Huna: I'o, Kumulipo and Awaiku

Hawaiian cleansing chant

Visit special and sacred places in the Kona, Kohala and Kau districts of Hawaii.


Kahuna symbols

Aumakua initiation Kumulipo initiation Hakalau initiation Awaiku initiation Milu initiation

Online Huna Healing: Ho'omoe & Ho'oponopono

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Kahekili Carruthers 1998-2018
All rights reserved.

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Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email