Hawaiian Spirituality & Magic
A hui hou by Martyn Kahekili Carruthers
Online Huna & Ho'oponopono .
Online Hawaiian Shamanism
To Aunt Mona Kahele and Papa
Henry Auwae: beloved kupuna,
and to all my kupuna who helped me bring down the sun
me ke aloha nui.
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) spiritual
beings (awaiku) 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 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 became 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
The makani wind brought another Lono
- Captain Cook - and the haole hordes that followed him.
Western visitors to Hawaii are often called haole
(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 haole is to be part of 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 a native Hawaiian, a haole has minimal
contact with family, culture and soul. Haole rarely honor or can even
name their ancestors. Haole cannot appreciate the beauty and
dignity of Hawaiian people. Haole only appreciate opportunities.
The missionaries rejected old traditions that sustained
Polynesians for millennia. Haole landowners, most often the children of
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.
Old ways became illegal
under haole law, but were too lively to die. They became huna,
hidden, for 200 years, in remote
villages and upland farms. Distorted stories about the old ways are
marketed and sold by haole writers. Many Hawaiians were embarrassed
by their ancestors, and deny or distort the histories about the old days. Only
recently have the keepers of balance, the kahuna, risked sharing
their knowledge again. Hawaiian spirituality slowly recovering
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 caverns below
Hawaii Volcano Park.
Aloha - E Kolo Mai
The missionaries ... encountered a basically spiritual culture. The Hawaiians worshipped and
prayed much. There was the rhythm of household prayer each morning and each
evening. On the Big Island the male head of the household prayed twice daily,
made an offering, took the ipu o Lono (gourd of god Lono) filled with
food into the center of the men's eating house (hale mua), prayed again,
then sucked the 'awa root attached to the gourd (as drinking from Lono).
Prayer (pule) was woven into each step of canoe making, fishing, and
farming with specified kapu days of the lunar calendar. Many Hawaiians had their
own ancestor gods in addition to the assorted gods and goddesses of varying
ranks. (From a Pacific School of Religion class)
Following the arrival of the Christian
missionaries, a time of great plagues began, from common Western diseases to
which the native Hawaiians had no resistance. White authorities declared that
pre-Christian spirituality and traditions were witchcraft and Hawaiian
people could be imprisoned and punished for following them.
Hawaiian spirituality was altered by
the missionaries, yet even now many Hawaiians bless ceremonies with both
Hawaiian chants and Christian prayers. So much has been totally lost - and cannot be
recovered - yet some spirit of old Hawaii lives on.
Hawaiian spirituality includes hakalau -
an expanded sense of time that reflects a "gentle flow of
water across a tranquil bay", as Kanahele wrote in 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 and clocks.
Can you appreciate the kokua - the gifts of the gods?
Can you aloha ‘aina - can you love the land? Come talk with us
by the old Hikiau heiau on Kealakekua Bay, come walk with us
through an aromatic forest of kahili ginger in 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.
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 to the flow of power and they avoided
insulting the ancestor-gods - the source of blessings.
Our ancestors did not die, their spirits walk amongst us and guide us,
if we but listen. Our ancestors communicate through dreams, or the beauty of
clouds. They can take form in the elements of wind or rain, or in rock or in fire.
Why not dance and sing and express gratitude for their wisdom and beauty?
The old ways were interrupted by ha'ole law
in 1827. They became illegal. Kahuna Daddy Bray was arrested in Honolulu
for chanting in a public place in 1964. Only in 1979 did the
Native American Religious Freedoms Act require the state of Hawaii to
remove all laws prohibiting the practice of huna, which took a further
ten years. 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 of Ni'iau)
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. 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 and life.
Forgiveness is essential to most haole religions - but
do you 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 lesson again.
If you forgive with spiritual ego - you sabotage intimacy. The kala
of Huna Kalani means to wash in sunlight - to clarify
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 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 a 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 - a place of shadows where the dead go to forget and to be forgotten.
Meditate deep within a lava cave and commune with 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 crater of Pu'u O'o and feel the heat of
Pele. Use the four to find the fifth - and connect to the universe.
We should be guardians; to tend, to take what we need, but not to take
Integrate your mind and body, and commune with the spirits
of your ancestors - your aumakua.
Learn to live in hakalau (kahuna consciousness) and surf the waves
of dreamtime which change reality. Meet your ancestors in Milu and let your
awaiku guide you through non-ordinary realities, as you explore the
undying Hawaiian cosmology. Huna Kalani can help you heal your body, mind
and spirit. True to the old aloha culture - Hawaiian spirituality can help
you heal your relationships so that you can heal your life.
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 at 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 and mysticism can help you
with your body, with your family and with the world.
Mahalo for your interest. A hui ho.
Healing and Ohana .
Aumakua . Awaiku
Can you help us recover Hawaiian
spirituality? We wish to return this wisdom to the world.
We seek people who wish to
bring back this ancient magic.
Online Huna & Ho'oponopono
. Coaching Adventures
. Kahuna Training .
E komo mai. Welcome.
We teach in many countries - usually in natural places.
We bring this
wisdom to the world under the name of Huna Kalani.
Do you want to heal
your life? We wish to bring back this ancient magic.
Would you enjoy experiential introductions
to old Hawaiian mysticism and healing? You can experience the beauty and power of Huna Kalani
in a series of workshops that can expand your perception of reality.
Hawaiian mysticism and magic refer to technologies that few understand.
Within this old healing magic are some of the roots of the
systemic magic that we also teach.
||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
Huna of I'o, Kumulipo and
Hawaiian cleansing chant
|Visit special and sacred places
in the Kona, Kohala and Kau districts of Hawaii.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright ©
Martyn Carruthers 1998-2018
All rights reserved.