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Huna Kalani in Waipio Valley, Hawaii
Pocket Paradise Martyn Kahekili Carruthers

Online Huna & Ho'oponopono . Hawaiian Shamanism

The Pacific Ocean has long been home to a great seafaring race. Moving eastward from Indonesia, people now called Polynesians colonized islands scattered across a huge ocean. They brought their language, customs and gods to live in delicate harmony between land and sea.

I studied with many native Hawaiian kahuna and kupuna ... I thank Papa Henry, George Naope, Miriam Baker, Margaret Machado, Mona Kahele, John Kaimikaua and Daddy Bray for their incredible knowledge and wisdom that my friends and I integrated into a cohesive whole (see Awaiku).

Waipi'o is a beautiful reminder of old Hawaii. Surrounded by three 1000 foot cliffs, with many waterfalls, and a long sandy beach, it is a pocket paradise on Big Island. You are likely to feel hooked from your first unforgettable view from the visitor's lookout located at the end of the road from the lovely little town of Honoka'a.

Waipio Valley, the beautiful
Cliffs surround it
The sea on one side
The cliffs are hard to climb
Not to be climbed
Are the sea cliffs

Old Hawaiian Chant

A paved road accesses Waipio valley - and it's a good idea to avoid driving on that road, unless you have a four-wheel drive vehicle. (And if you rent a jeep, your rental contract may specify "No Waipio Valley"). A local resident called the road, "one mile down and three miles up". I totally agree!

Waipio Valley from the lookout

Waipio Valley speed limit

Waipio provides a place of refuge for a few fortunate people who want to avoid the twenty-first century. But don't expect to be showered with aloha if you trespass on their kapu (private) property. Honor their privacy - you don't want to experience the mana of irritated Waipio residents!

As you walk around Waipi'o, see and smell tropical flowers and fruit, especially guava, which grows here like a weed. Remember that the banana, avocado and citrus trees all belong to someone. Your mouth is likely to water as you walk around the valley. (I enjoy the strawberry guava that grows wild on the access road - the fruit is smaller than the more common white guava, and sweeter).

Beware swimming in Waipi'o. Playing in the surf is fun but the undertow and rip currents can be VERY dangerous. People have drowned in shallow water here. You could find yourself in Milu, the land of the dead, before your time. Keep in mind that if you see people surfing here, they are probably locals, that their surfboards are great flotation devices, and that they have fins (flippers) on their feet.

Milu - Hawaiian Underworld

Early missionaries to Hawaii distorted Hawaiian traditions to strengthen their own dogma. The old gods Kane, Ku and Lono were named a Holy Trinity of male deities. There was no Hawaiian equivalent of Satan, so Kanaloa, the god of the ocean, was re-labeled. The closest traditional Hawaiian concept to Hell was called Po-Milu or Milu - the land of ghosts - the place of the dead.

Po-Milu was named after a chief of Waipi'o named Milu who drowned at Waipio (following a warning by the god Lono) ... and he become a 'chief of ghosts' (see Hawaiian Legends by WD Westervelt, Ellis Press,1916). Waipi'o beach is a traditional entrance to this land of shadows. Another traditional entrance, on the south side of Hawaii, are the cliffs of Ka Lae - now called South Point. (Both are very dangerous places for water sports.)

In Hawaiian traditions, Milu was a peaceful place where people went after death to forget and to be forgotten. Going to Milu was preferable to becoming a lost spirit on the mountain sides; lonely and eating spiders. And Milu was far better than having your spirit captured by a sorcerer (kahuna ana'ana), enslaved (as a kino makani or wind-body) ... and forced to do horrible things.

Practical Tips for Waipio

Although beautiful fresh-water rivers and streams merge in Waipio to flow into the sea - don't drink from them. A bacteria (leptospirosis) could mess up your health and your holiday. There is an unmarked fresh-water spring at the back of the valley, where local people get clean water, about 3 km from the beach. It is not so easy to find although you can ask around.

Pack water in. I suggest one gallon (4 L) per person. After a long walk in the heat - you will want it, and having some left over is much, much better than not having enough. The stream water looks tempting when you're hot and dehydrated ... but don't drink it unless you want a bad week. Been there ... done that ... got the prescription.

There are no public footpaths from the Waipio access road to Hi'ilawe falls, nor direct to the Ali'i trail. Yet these unmarked walks are some of the most beautiful on Big Island. Pack a lunch and make Waipio a full-day journey. I recommend walking boots or strong shoes ... certainly not beach slippers.

Waipi'o Valley: Hi'ilawe falls

Waipi'o Valley: a road ford

Waipio History

In 1946 a tsunami flattened the valley (the same tsunami that damaged Hilo). Many people left and did not return. Waipio has no electric power, water, sewage or phones (mobile phones still don't work here in 2004). Forget about coffee bars and shave ice. Instead enjoy wild horses, taro fields and a tiny road that fords several rivers. (After a rainstorm, some of these fords can be flooded by fast moving water).

Some important heiau (pre-Christian Hawaiian temples) are in Waipio. Since the 1946 tsunami, however, the Paka'alana, Holuwelowelo, Moa'ula and Honua'ula heiau now look like sandy hills. Why not meditate here, under the ironwood trees, with the sound of surf and a cool trade wind?

Go with the Flow at Waipio

The waves on the beach at at Waipio are enticing ... and dangerous. Rip currents move faster than strong swimmers. I have been unpleasantly surprised here, especially when jumping into the waves after a hot and sweaty jungle walk. I have felt afraid and utterly exhausted in waist-deep water! Please be careful! Remember that this bay is a traditional entrance to the world of the dead ...

Be aware and beware of Waipio horses. They are gorgeous, especially the young foals ... and they are wild. Use a zoom lens for photographs. A bite or a kick from a wild horse could seriously damage you and your vacation.

On the far side of the beach from the access road is the start of a TOUGH walk to the next valley, Waimanu, over a high ridge. This is NOT a day trip - if you go, plan to camp in Waimanu - but get permission (1-808-974-4221) to camp first and prepare carefully. It's a strenuous walk even for fit people, cell phones won't work there, and you must pack everything in and out with you - up and down steep cliffs.

On the right (east) of Waipio beach are two waterfalls. The first is close and the second is a long walk over loose, slippery rocks. But if you've always wanted to stand under a tropical waterfall ... as the setting sun gets low in the sky you may find yourself standing in a small circular rainbow. If the sky is clear towards the end of the day, it may be worth the walk. (If it's sunset, please, please take a good flashlight or two.)

Keep in mind the long - long - long hike back up to the car park. Unless you are blessed with a 4-wheel drive vehicle, or a lift on a pickup truck (if someone stops for you - a $10 donation increases aloha and it's a bargain), by the time you reach your car you can expect tired legs, a chorus of coqui (tree) frogs and a sunset that you will remember with nostalgia.

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

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.

Hawaiian Shamanism: 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 & ho'omoe

Dreams that change reality

Hawaiian Dreamtime chant

Moe heiau

I'o and Creation

Aumakua, akua and la'au kahea

Advanced Huna: Awaiku, I'o and Kumulipo

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 & Ho'oponopono . Hawaiian Shamanism

Our huna coaching and workshops include instruction in mysticism and healing

Plagiarism is theft Martyn Carruthers, 2000-2018
All rights reserved.

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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