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Pu'uhonua o Honaunau & Lono
A hui hou © Martyn Kahekili Carruthers

Online Huna & Ho'oponopono . Hawaiian Shamanism

I first visited Pu'uhonua as a tourist, with no idea that this place would become so important to me. I enjoyed a peaceful walk around the park, took a few photographs and left without thought of return. A month or so later I returned with David Kawika Blaikie and participated in a huna ritual which influenced me strongly and motivated me to study Hawaiian healing.

The Elder Gods of Hawaii

The old gods of Hawaii - the akua and the ancestral 'aumakua - were often credited with guarding people, families and villages. Before the illegal American takeover of Hawaii, most native Hawaiians worshipped four principal gods. They were: Kane, god of the sun and the heavens; Kanaloa, god of the ocean; Ku, god of the wild places and warfare; and Lono, god of the land and of weather.

Some Hawaiian people from the Kona district of Big Island considered Lono to be 'aumakua (deified ancestor), as he was once a chief of Kealakekua. Some Kona Hawaiians numbered Lono amongst their original ancestors, and still ask him for blessings. Across much of Polynesia, Lono (also called Rono and Rongo in the south) was respected as akua - as one of the highest gods.

The main temple of Pu'uhonua o Honaunau remains dedicated to Lono. Outside it are many tiki (statues) of Lono in various aspects. Lono was respected as an advisor and healer. Lono could be invited to festivities and feasts and his help could be sought in times of crisis. Lono could be asked to solve community problems and heal diseases. Lono could also punish a community with drought.

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is a famous sanctuary of pre-Christian Hawaii that has been partially restored. It is about 30 km south of Kailua-Kona. This image shows the Hale o Keawe (built around 1650) at sunset on Honaunau Bay.

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

Pu'uhonua o Honaunau

Many royal chiefs (ali'i) of old Hawaii lived near Honaunau Bay, next to an ancient temple complex. A pu'uhonua was a place of refuge where defeated warriors and breakers of the stringent kapu (taboo) system of sacred laws could be cleansed or forgiven (kala) of their sins (hewa).

Under the kapu system, sins could include touching a chief (or even stepping on a chief's shadow), a woman eating a food designated for men (e.g. most types of banana) or eating a bird or fish out of its regulated season. Although punishments could be severe, the spirit of a pu'uhonua was respected and those people cleansed there could freely return to their 'ohana and families.

The Hale o Keawe has been restored and is maintained as an active place of Hawaiian worship. The tiki (statues) of Kane and Wahine near the temple (heiau) represent the highest male and female deities - the active and passive principles of creation. Other tiki represent guardian akua (spirits).

Within 30 years of the arrival of Captain Cook (thought to be the return of the god Lono by some native Hawaiians), the old temples (heiau) were abandoned and the strict kapu laws were replaced by strict Christian laws (idleness could be punished by 2 years of forced labor, building roads to fruit farms). Much later, after 150 years of neglect, Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was designated a national park.

Puuhonua great wall

The great wall around Pu'uhonua o Honaunau was built about 1550 and is up to 10 feet / 3 meters high and 1000 feet / 300 meters long.

The kahu (keeper) of the old pu'uhonua heiau (temple) while I was in Hawaii was Lanakilakahuokalani Brandt. Lanakila was a kahuna pule of the order of Lono (deity of agriculture and healing). He had a shop in the village of Kealakekua in which he made and sold traditional Hawaiian musical instruments.

To stay relevant, sacred traditions can evolve to meet the changing realities of life. Lanakila

I enjoyed meeting Lanakila in his little shop when driving through the village. Kahu Lanakila Brandt was the only kahuna of Lono that I knowingly met, and he was an authority on aloha, ho'omana and la'au kahea. Sadly, Lanakila's old body died in December 2005. I offer gratitude to his spirit.

Aloha is a complex and important word of near unlimited powers. But its greatest power and beauty is that we all have it! We need only to open the floodgates and let it flow; let it inundate all within our individual spheres. Then truly will each of us be living within "that internal paradise, the spirit of Aloha". Lanakila Brandt

Hawaiian Family Therapy - Ho'oponopono

Elder Hawaiian healers recognized illness caused by external relationships (mawaho) and diseases caused by internal imbalances (maloko). Mawaho illnesses required ho'oponopono with the living and the dead, while maloko disease required herbal remedies (la’au lapa’au). Many diseases required both.

Ho'o means to do or to make and ponopono means “to make right; to order, to correct.” I find that Honaunau is a GREAT place for ho'oponopono (although the park guards prefer that you wander around aimlessly rather than do something useful there). The ritual traditionally began with prayers and ended with a meal (lu'au) and exchanging Hawaiian flower necklaces (lei).

If guilt is believing that you did something bad; then shame is believing that you are bad. Shame is believing, "I am worthless and I can never be lovable". Shame conveys that you are not a member of your community. Ho'oponopono is about resolving both guilt and shame. Sadly, it has been greatly distorted by Western trainers and writers.

Ho'oponopono can correct, restore and maintain healthy relationships by cleaning (kala) the causes and guilt and sources of shame. Usually the most senior family member or respected elders gathered a family together. Family members were expected to cooperate and work through problems. During ho'oponopono, all feelings were acknowledged and periods of silence allowed time for reflecting on the causes and consequences of suffering. Then confession, repentance and forgiveness could take place.

Many of the old Hawaiians believed that health and disease reflects relationship issues - which included relationships with the dead, the angels and the gods. Ho'oponopono provided space for people to end and clean up relationship conflicts - guilt, shame, hurts, regrets, errors, disappointments and secrets - and to end their sick influence over health, family happiness and community harmony.

Lono Makahiki Festival

Lono, like other Hawaiian gods, could take on many forms (kino lau), such as the kukui tree and other plants, the rain clouds, and the pig (pua'a), whose dark bulk resembled certain dark clouds (ao) called pig clouds). For farmers, the rites of the makahiki festival assured rain. For chiefs, the makahiki offered an opportunity to gather tribute and taxes.

After makahiki, the akua loa, the image of Lono was decorated. A wooden staff, at least 4 meters long, was mounted with a small carved head. A longer cross piece was tied to the upper part of the staff, with leis and feathers. A piece of white tapa cloth, of about 15 to 20 square meters, was hung from the cross bar, rather like the sail of a ship. This image would be carried clockwise around the island in a procession. (When Captain Cook arrived - his ships seemed to be covered with Lono symbols).

During makahiki, the chiefs would collect taxes, feast and sport while honoring Lono for bringing rain. Games such as mokomoko (boxing) and wai pu'u one (surfing) helped warriors to stay fit for battle.

The Night of Lono is the twenty-eighth night of the lunar month. On this night, the thin crescent moon rises as the Hawaiian dawn breaks. People prayed for rain on this day, and for melons and ipu (gourds), which were kinolau Lono, embodiments of the god Lono.

Conversations with Guardian Angels

If you lose contact with an akua or aumakua, your awaiku (Hawaiian angels) can assist you to rebuild  these connections. However you may first need to reestablish and clean (kala) your connections with your dead ancestors. Your ancestors and your awaiku can help you connect (aka) to your aumakua.

These rituals required offerings and chants. A chant of summoning was followed by special chants for male and female lineage aumakua. A long chant to summon aumakua began:

E kulou mai e na lani
E ho'olohe mai e ka honua
E haliu mai ho'i e na kukulu
Na 'aumakua i ka hikina a ka la a i kaulana
A mai kela pe'a kapu a keia pe'a kapu
Eia ke alana a me ka mohai
E mohai pilikia i ke akua

Bend down, o heavens
Listen, o earth
Listen, o pillars of heaven
O aumakua at the sun rising and resting
From that sacred border to this sacred border
Here are our offerings and sacrifices
A troubled sacrifice to the gods

Special offerings were appropriate when calling a Hawaiian akua. The akua was given mana (power) to change whatever troubled the community. Old Hawaiian chants to call an akua often began by calling Kane, Ku, Kanaloa or Lono (supreme male gods).

Reconnection with awaiku, aumakua and akua is possible, and is part of Huna Kalani. We introduce people to old Hawaii by experiences of connection.

Mahalo ke akua

Waipio Valley . Pu'ukohala Heiau . Aumakua . Kahuna Training . Awaiku

Hawaiian Spirituality . Ho'oponopono . Huna, Healing and Ohana . Kumulipo . Soulwork

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 Soulwork systemic coaching.

Training in Hawaiian Mysticism & Healing
Huna 1 Bringing Down the Sun: Ho'oponopono & Ho'omanamana
Huna 2 Elements of Nature: Honua, Ha, Ahi & Wai
Huna 3 Dreamtime: Ho'omoe, Moe Uhane & Expanded Consciousness
Huna 4 Advanced Huna of I'o, Kumulipo and Awaiku
Huna 5 Huna Experience in Croatia, Mexico or on Hawaii

Online Huna & Ho'oponopono

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

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

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
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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