Remembrance, An Intercultural Mental Health Process
by Pam Colorado
Mental Health is a European, western derived construct which, in the context of colonialism, has been imposed upon Native peoples. thus one could question the health of “mental Helth”. I propose that it is possible and timely to create processes and models of mental health which are intercultural and have, as their first order of business, the healing of mental health practitioners…myself included!
Issues of mental health and culture are central to my life. I am a traditional Oneida woman, married to a Hawaiian, Kuhuna Kalai Wa’a and Kii, that is, a man who has the Huna or secret knowledge of how to carve traditional ocean going canoes and images. We live on the island of Maui where I commute to California to teach in the Traditional Knowledge Program—a doctoral program for tribal people worldwide. I am also of French ancestry and travelled to France during my early twenties to make peace with the conflict I felt as a mixed blood person.
In twenty years of activism my model of mental health practice evolved from a largely clinical social work/community organizing focus (with a few cultural touches) to an almost completely cultural, spiritual practice that drew on western psychology when necessary. Although reluctant to draw on extra cultural approaches,I found psychology and its terminology to be helpful in dealing with deadly colonial wounds, notably alcoholism. Counselling methods also became a bridge to the western and professional world and to assimilated parts of my personality. In fact, western counselling helped me to decolonize and to embrace my true cultural identity.
But joining Native and western approaches to mental health has always made me uncomfortable. First of all, there are no guidelines or mutually established ethics to govern the linking. Second, the concept of mental health is inextricably bound up in relationships of domination and power. Prior to the invasion of North America there wasn’t even a concept of mental health! Native cultures sought and were an expression of grounded lives lived in balance and intimate communication with all living beings. third, western practitioners’ denial of the power dynamics between Natives and westerners emotionally charge the counselling process. Fourth, whether we like it or not, there is no part of Native life that has not been violated or desecrated. As a result, we carry enormous and undifferentiated anxieties and pain; often we swing back and forth between western and Native behavior without conscious choice. Finally, as my genetics suggest, there is no escaping the obvious fact that American Indians and Euramericans (with their mental health practices) share a land and a reality. We must address the intercultural mental health conundrum and transform it into something good.
Recently, I worked with a French American person whose wife had suffered with terminal cancer for ore than two years. I began the work in my usual way, as a cultural person who used western concepts to communicate and engage. Four months later, when the work was complete, I had been taught a way of doing Native mental health in the western world; moreover, a westerner had entered my Native paradigm and healed aspects of my life. I refer to the process as remembrance and share some of it with you now.
A stormy twilight sky holds the ocean in an indigo embrace. Moving smoothly through the cold spring ocean, I hesitate for a moment, questioning the wisdom of a swim so late in the day. Hawaiian elders warn against this. As I realise I am alone in the water, a sense of vulnerability rises; I do not recall how I got here. I want to return to shore but am powerless to move. The growing density of the night time sky is matched by a sense of growing danger in the water. Suddenly, I am aware of an enormous and awesome presence—Mano! The shark1
My reaction is instantaneous. Rolling over on my back I lie suspended in the water and I wait. Mano is one of the most powerful animal spirits in Hawaiian cosmology. The shark empowers priests, healers and intellectuals; it is an Aumakua, the head of a major clan system and it is Mano that accompanied and protected the first Polynesian voyagers to settle the Hawaiian islands. Lying motionless is the only act of reverence available to me. I can feel him approaching from my right; swift and smooth. He transverses the length of my body, as if appraising me. Death may be imminent. I am afraid. I am hopeful. The shark turns and heads directly towards me. Bright blue lines of electricity stream from either side of his head. Reaching my still body, he races beneath me, around me, wrapping me in blue lines of vivifying intelligence and power. Then he is gone.
I awake, shaking and weeping with joy. Gathering up my medicine bag, I pull on some clothes and head to Launiopoko Beach to make an offering of thanks. Pulling Indian tobacco from its pouch, I call to Mano. Laying a gift of tobacco in the water, I wait. Was it a true dream? A few moments pass, doubt begins to enter my mind. Just then a movement about fifty feet off to the left catches my eye. It is a shark fin, standing nearly one foot out of the water. This must be a great animal. As quickly as it moves towards me, it turns and disappears from sight.
As I drive home, I wonder at the beauty and power of Native ways. The feelings that went through me when I saw the shark acknowledge the offering! I wonder what the meaning of this experience is and what is expected of me. A few days later, a stranger stops by our house to look at Hawaiian art work. It is Mr. Robert Requin (Mr. R), an elderly gentleman of enormous wealth and great political repute.
It is not usual to greet someone of Mr. R’s standing, so I paid attention to what happened. As he entered our house, he went almost directly to the scale model canoe, “Lele O Ke Kolea”, the canoe that brought the first Hawaiians here. As I approached Mr. R to welcome him a spiritual presence, nearly palpable, filled the room. My traditional training enabled me to see it my western mind interpreted it as a crucial bonding. I was shocked because I had never had such a moment with a non Native person.
Any traditional Native person will tell you that ordinary reality is not real at all. This world is spiritual and beings of great power, like Mano, move through the veil of our conscious minds. Like Creator, Mano touches us. It is only an instant but in that moment we experience something timeless and real—our own truth. Truth, according to Native thought is meant to be lived. When a dream comes, work of transformative nature is sure to follow. Because the work is spiritual and difficult, it is important to interpret the direction of the dream accurately.
In the weeks that followed, I struggled for understanding and direction. I spoke to another traditional person who responded, “A strange thought just came to me—your visitor is Mano!” The truth of the message was so strong, it took my breath.
Identifying the Mano as the spiritual protector and power of my visitor, gave me a beginning point for determining how we were related. For a few days, I struggled trying to remember anything I heard or knew of the relationship between Mano and the Thunderers—my clan. The answer came in the middle of the night when I awoke thinking of a petroglyph from the Northwest Coast (where I learned the process of deciphering the ancient language).
On a large rock, located in the tideline, is a carving of the Shark and Thunderbird, held together by a huge lizard—the protector of water and change of consciousness. This 15,000-year-old carving is predictive of transformative learning—of movement into a higher integration of knowledge which will be sensory or predictive. The Lizard also implies genealogy or ancestral communication. In a western sense we might say I had determined an archetypal relationship. I understood that this was a powerful connection but I lacked a course, or even a next step of action.
One day, during a phone conversation with Mr. R, we discussed our French family histories. Realising that our ancestors had arrived in the New World about the same time, I decided to check my family tree, a lengthy document. Turning to a random page, I glanced down and discovered that a man from my family and a woman from his had married in 1560; furthermore, this couple moved to the New World and became the progenitors of both his family line and mine! This confused me. If I had found a mutual Indian ancestor, I would know what to do or who to contact. I was in for a surprise.
Mr. R had purchased a number of traditional Hawaiian art pieces of my husband’s and had asked me to bless them. I readily agreed, until I turned to do it and discovered the purchases included Lei o Mano—weapons of war constructed of sharks teeth and a wood that women do not touch! How do I, as a woman, pray over weapons of death? Is this proper? Do I have the authority? These questions took several days and the pieces were to be delivered the next day. Finally, I understood the next step.
Moving the weapons into the sunshine, I made my prayer but something didn’t feel complete. So, I meditated some more and realized that I needed to do a night ceremony as well.
That night on the lanai, the spirits spoke in unmistakable messages. Mr. R’s wife had survived because two, vainglorious physicians, eager to win the respect and approval of her wealthy husband, had used extraordinary means to keep the woman alive. She had been tortured. I knew it because for a brief moment the spirits made me feel what she had suffered; it was agony. I was told that her end would come soon and I was given several other pieces of information for Mr. R.
When I came in from my prayers, I was shaking with fear. I knew I had to tell Mr. R but I doubted myself. What if I was wrong? What if I had misinterpreted something? And I questioned my right to even tell someone such news. Nevertheless, the following morning while burning sage, I called Mr. R and shared, as gently as I could, all of what had transpired. To my amazement, he nearly wept with relief. In the next few weeks, everything happened just as I had been told. I was stunned at my self doubts and with the power of these old ways.
I was also pleased that ancient Native ways could help Mr. R—in fact, even seeming to complement his devout Catholicism. But two weeks after his wife’s death I learned that my sister was alcoholic and suicidal. Thee generations of family addiction came crashing down on me. All my work in healing did not seem to stop the destruction and death in my own family. I was terrified.
Another dream came to me. This dream revealed the origins of the family addiction problem. It rested in an event that happened in France nearly 700 years ago—an event that Mr. R’s family shared. I awoke from the dream, it was near midnight. Heading directly for the closet, I rummaged around until I found my baptism candle (although raised traditionally, I had also been baptised Catholic, perhaps to cover all the bases!) I took the candle out to my rock altar and then stopped. I didn’t know where to put it. How could I respect these two ways and still bring them together? Desperate for my sisters life, I finally placed it on the lower right hand corner. Then I began my prayer, in my Indian way, explaining what I was trying to do and why. I asked permission to proceed. It seemed okay, so I picked up the candle, stuck it in the damp tropical earth, and lit it. I wasn’t sure how to pray. I tried all the Latin prayers I could remember but nothing felt genuine. Then I tried it the Indian way, by calling to the ancestors. Suddenly, the sultry, leeward night was hit with a cold wind from the North. It came down on me so hard and fast, I had to cup the flame to keep it from going out. I was scared. I knew I had pinpointed the cause and I knew I needed help.
The next morning, I called Mr. R and asked him to help in the tradition of his French Catholic religion. He agreed and for the next three days he prayed for us.
About a week later, Mr. R and I spoke. I thanked him and told him the astonishing news. My huge French-Indian family had finally acknowledged the problem of addiction in our family and was preparing for a family intervention for my sister. He was not surprised because he had felt a peace come over him the first night of his prayers. We both wept and laughed on the phone. Who would ever have guessed the combined power of a Pagan and a Catholic!
I used to think that darkness was evil but an Elder once told me, that darkness is safety, security, like the womb. In the darkness we are all one; separations cannot be seen. Perhaps this is the Huna, or inner secret Hawaiians know. For Mr. R and I to heal required great risks and trust. We both stepped into our shadow many times but we were not alone. At night, in a dream, the shark spirit came to give me the power to do the healing work. Although I doubted myself, I still went to the beach and made a thanksgiving offer. A real shark came proving the truth of the dream as well as the value of facing self doubt.
Mr. R knew of the terrible things his culture has done and continues to do to Native people, but he stepped through that history when he asked for my help.
I entered the shadow again when I turned to my French genealogy; used my candle and asked Mr. R for his help. It was difficult to do. Yet, the evil visited on my family—the multigenerational alcoholism derived from and depended upon the continuing hatred and divisiveness of Catholic and tribal people.
Most likely I will never see Mr. R again, but in the dark moment we shared, a beautiful healing emanated. Two people—from vastly different political, socioeconomic backgrounds, one traditional Indian, the other Catholic—joined using western psychological language and simple loving prayers particular to our own cultures. We healed. Nothing happened, yet everything changed.
First Reading, Vol. 13, No. 3, Sept 95 ESPC
Astronomy and Cosmic Architecture in Ancient Hawai’i
Francis X. Warther
Kilauea, Kaua’i, Hawai’i, U.S.A.
Karen J. Meech
Institute of Astronomy, University of Hawai’i
Honolulu, O’ahu, Hawai’i, U.S.A.
As presented August 1993 at the
Fourth “Oxford” International Conference of Archaeoastronomy
August 23-25, 1993
Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
Kumu Kahi, First Beginnings:
Astronomy and Cosmic Architecture in Ancient Hawai’i
In this paper we propose to show, evaluate and discuss two types of solar astronomical alignments derived from two separate ancient “chants” that have been preserved through the unwritten memory of the Hula. The hidden meaning (kaona) when resolved gives the instruction for the solar alignments and cosmological purposes in the Hawaiian islands.
These chants, because of their directness and simplicity, would appear to have come from a classic poetic beginning during the formation of a cosmic view adapted to island living. They were also selected for their enormous informational and cultural content which we believe gives an insight of the mind and creative capacity of the ancients.
Later in this paper we will briefly explore this early creative past and outline what we perceive as a master plan designed by the ancient sea chiefs.
The chants belong to a vast collection of oral literature composed for use by Polynesians for many cultural purposes. The Hula, or Dance as reported by Adrienne Kaeppler (1983:8-14), and we paraphrase: has unique, distinguishing characteristics that separate the Hula in Polynesia from the dance in Melanesia and Micronesia. The Hula text or chant was basic, delivered with melody and rhythm, accompanied by a musical instrument and most of the time, with an interpretive “dance” — more a ritual of expressive movement—with strict, formal and stylized movements. The chants incorporated hidden meanings through metaphor and allusion and could be interpreted on more than one level.
Thus Polynesians began with a unique cultural chant-dance form which was developed by Hawaiians to a high art. We believe the word Hula presently meaning “dance,” originally meant “chant,” or “Word.” Old Hulas refer to “The Voice only the Voice” as the necessary action to gain entrance to the Hula School (Halau Hula). The Halau is the long house that enclosed the school of students, so its other meaning was hidden; so you could say, “The place of the hidden word.”
Since the chants we are concerned with here were the sacred, unchanging ones, we will stay within this frame.
The chanted poetry, called mele, had two types: mele oli, poetry not intended for dancing, and mele Hula, poetry meant to be accompanied by stylized dance movement. Teh two chants are mele oli, the sacred ones used for prayers and spiritual meaning: voiced without dance, music by percussion. We want to stress this distinction by quoting Mary Kawena Pukui (P.H.L. 1972:201), the principal Hawaiian authority.
“The hula dancer in training was dedicated to Laka, the hula Goddess. Hula training was a religious matter. Total dedication was needed. The student, man or woman, was kapu, or set apart.”
That is, ritual virginity was mandatory while in the Halau Hula until after graduation. It was, however, not a permanent kapu.
So the chants were conceived within institutional framework, a cultural form unique to Hawai’i and Polynesia, which are further united by one language and culture.
The familiarity of the “Tropics” in astronomy was covered very well in Ethnoastronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the American Tropic, edited by Anthony Aveni and Gary Urton who, with others, were contributors. We only wish to mention what certain aspects of the investigation have shown to be unusual and specifically Hawaiian.
It was David Lewis who pointed out the significance of “place” in the possible cohesion and originality of the art of thought patterns of these renowned navigators. He said Polynesians are the only people who travel and experience living equally on both sides of the equator with named tropic boundary lines. (The Maori of New Zealand behave as if they were still inside the tropics.)
Another art we discussed was the Polynesian ability to visualize island groups of unknown extent as if from above at a great distance, like the Rapa Nui “dream voyage flight.” Lewis contributes this art to the navigators’ facility during a voyage to instantly point to the direction of his home island. Tavake, the last Polynesian navigator, who died in 1970, used this ability.
The balance of two territories about the equator, which is a sewn seam or piko (navel), is like place with two north stars, a mirror image of events in wind current and time; of uphill and downhill; of left and right. We find this an extraordinary place to study; particularly the time reversal, where your calendar of six months summer, six months winter has to be turned 180 degrees when you cross the seam.
In Hawai’i, Kane, June 21 summer solstice, rises in the northeast, and Lono, December 21 winter solstice, rises to the southeast. In the Marquesas below the equator, Lono, winter solstice, stays at its geophysical location and rises in the northeast, and Kane, summer solstice, rises in the southeast. You see, in forming a concept of time, Polynesians had to reverse the months to give meaning to realities they experienced.
From these thoughts and descriptions of the Hawaiians, the Tropic bounded world of the Polynesians was not conceive of as a triangle, but a square approximately fifty (50) degrees on a side. Astronomically, it is a mana (life) space: the only space where the zenith and anti-zenith celestial events peculiar to the Tropic world can occur, and beyond whose boundaries shadow (death) is cast. To say it makes a difference if you believe the zenith event is the primal life force would be an understatement.
With this background we go directly to Chant One.
N. B. Emerson (1909:114) and M. Manu (1899 & Ms.).
Emerson gives no title other than Mele (Song), and says it is a “fragment of folklore.”
1 Hiki mai, hiki mai ka La, e. 1 It has come, it has come; lo, the Sun!
2 Aloha wale ka La e kau nei, 2 How I love the Sun that’s on high;
3 Aia malalo o Ka-wai-hoa, 3 Below it swims Ka-wai-hoa,
4 A ka lalo o Kauai, o Lehua. 4 On the slope inclined from Kaua’i to Lehua.
5 A Kauai au, ike i ka pali; 5 On Kauaui met I a pali,
6 A Milo-lii pale ka pali loloa. 6 A beetling cliff that bounds Milo-lii,
7 E kolo ana ka pali o Makua-iki; 7 And climbing up Makua-iki,
8 Kolo o Pu-a, he keiki, 8 Crawling up was Pua, the child,
9 He keiki makua-ole ke uwe nei. 9 An orphan that weeps out its tale.
A brief explanation per line:
[See illustrations, Figures 1 and 2.]
Line 1The sun is rising, east.
2 The sun rises to its zenith.
3 Ka-wai-hoa, a small peak; zenith on a four-year cycle (plus or minus four from July 13,1989).
4 We stand on Ni’ihau island, sun reflected down from Kaua’i island.
5 Look toward Kaua’i; see the cliff.
6 A big cliff that bounds Milo-li’i valley.
7 The sun climbing up the cliff named Makua-iki.
8 Pua is Kane-a-Pua, the “Baby Sun.”
9 Alone, it takes five days to return, or eventually climb the cliff and return on its six- month trip to the south.
This chant and the tradition of when first used comes from Moses Manu (1899 & Ms.) and is given in “Hula,” B. P. Bishop Museum (1980:8,9). It tells the story of the visit to Ni’ihau isaland and Chief Halali’i by the Hula Goddess Kapo’ula-kina’u, or Kapo for short, in which she takes possession of the chief, causing him to chant. Then, turning to her younger sister, Kewelani, Kapo takes possession of her, also. Kewelani proceeds to chant and dance the mele above. This occurs, of course, on a June 21 solstice rise and return date of Kane, principal god of procreation, or the return of Lohiau, the symbolic Kane of the Pele-Hi’iaka Hula cycle.
The cliff Makua-iki, which lies approximately 29 kilometers (18 miles) away, besides being the mountain peak around which the Tropicbirds of Kane circle is also the peak from which Pele’s flaming fire sticks are sailed out over the ocean. This ritual was possibly performed to encourage the return of the summer sun, the source of fire.
There is, we believe, another hidden meaning embedded in this chant: a parallel alignment. If we move one mile north from Kiha-Wahine on Ni’ihau island to another platform called Ka-Uno-ka-Ha, we obtain the June solstice rise against Makana cliff, which is 45 k. (38 m.) away and over Ka-Ulu-a-Paoa heiau with the platform Ke-Ahu-a-Laka. This altar of Laka, Goddess of Hula, the most famous and oldest Halau Hula on Kaua’i island, has been the place for graduation ceremonies in accord with tradition.
We quickly have several interesting things happening: Makana (The Gift) peak towering above Ahu-a-Laka is the other peak from which the fire stick ceremony is performed. This alignment would ritually link the two first Hula platforms on two separate islands in a simultaneous ritual in vast spatial time related to the rising June sun. It is a counter alignment, also, since Ka-Ulu-a-Paoa Heiau on Kaua’i isalnd receives the June solstice sunrise, and from this place you could also clearly observe the December solstice set. This alignment then gives Ni’ihau island a futue, and Kaua’i island, a past. It is an interesting conjecture, and somewhere in the chants we should hear the echo of this alignment.
Before the theory of refraction comes up, note that in Hawai’i on some days before the sun rises or after its setting, the laws of earth curvature seem to be suspended. To illustrate, we have stood at Ka-Ulu-a-Paoa Heiau on Kaua’i and have seen Lehua crater; which “should be” below the horizon, loom up as if it were only 8 k. (5 m.) away instead of the barely visible 45-k. (38-m.) distance it is actually.
This heiau-to-heiau alignment at the time of the June solstice is particularly interesting in that from this selected location the horizon sunrise may be observed only for the five-day standstill, whereas sunrise will not have been seen for at least four months prior to this time. This is because the greater mass of Kaua’i island effectively blocks the sunrise from a Ni’ihau island perspective for 35 degrees out of the 50 degrees total. This design feature makes the standstill of the summer solstice rise a very selective window, indeed.
It is an interesting conjecture that the June 21 solstice rise is a Hula festival of importance, and also a clear example that one of the purposes of the sacred Hula was to record and reveal the ritual cosmic alignments, and including the full cycle of festivals.
Note that the Hula was controlled by goddesses. Starting with Pele, whose red lava line creates the islands, Hi’iaka, younger sister, a seer, prophet and spirit catcher; Haumea, the Mother Goddess of the sea with her world sea tree of life; Laka, principal Goddess of the Hula, whose altar in the halau faces to rising sun and the elder patroness mentioned above, Kapo, “The rich darkness of all possibilities with the red stain.”
Laka and Kapo are a duality: La here is sun and life; Po is eternity and underworld. Both, together, are symbolic of the Ku Kuahu, the upright principal that joins heaven to earth.
When we recognized this chant as astronomical on it kaona (hidden) level, similar references were then recognized in other chants which had lacked the hidden level of translation.
To illustrate this relation, one twenty-seven line chant called Mele Ho’ala (no ka Hula Pele), Emerson (1909:196), ends with the lines:
“Awake, ’tis day, ’tis light;
The sun stands over Wai-hoa,
Afloat on the breast of ocean;
the iwa (Tropicbird) of Leinoai is preening
On the cliff Maka-iki-olea,
On the breast of naked Lehua.
Awake thee! Awake!”
The poetic reference on its kaona level may be read as zenith and rising sun against the cliff.
One of Pele’s brothers, a navigator named Ka-Moho-Ali’i, has a kino lau (body) form of a dark cliff, and Kaua’i island, which has many of these cliffs that plunge into the sea, has Ka-Moho-Ali’i as its first chief and patron. A younger brother named Kane-a-Pua (“Baby Sun”) climbs the cliffs of his older brother; thus “Pua the child” finds a place in chants from the ancient oral tradition such as the first chance cited, line 8. Pua always visits Kaua’i island and his brother where rank on rank of cliffs abound.
The place on Ni’ihau island where Kapo and Kewelani performed this first Hula with its implication of sun alignment looking toward Kaua’i island would appear to be a walled heiau (sacred space) called Kiha-Wahine on a point of land called Pali-Koa’e. This is situated on the western edge of a vast, sun-baked, flat plain of 2,024 hectares (5,000 acres). Pali-Koa’e means “Cliff of the (white) Tropicbird” of Kane (The Sun).
The opening from lines of another chant (Emerson 1909:67) begin,
“Haunt of white tropic-bird and big ruffled owl,
[the cliff on Kaua’i].
Up rises the first-born child of the pali. [cliff]
He climbs, he climbs, he climbs up aloft,
Kaholo-ku-‘iwa, the pali of Ha’i.”
This is interesting for it gives a new name for the cliff and area on Kaua’i island. A facet of the Hawaiian way of naming is that the person or object named may carry many different names, all correct, carefully chosen for inherent meaning, and used at different times or for different purposes because of inherent subtleties. This fits with the oral poetic tradition—the true bardic tradition in Hawai’i—complete with metaphysical level.
Another chant in its last eight lines expresses the rising sun as:
“Love returns to Ni’ihau
To the secret waters of the pa’o’o fish.
The breadfruit fruiting at ground level
And the black stalked sugar cane at Halali’i.
There is Nihoa further back,
A tiny islet in the sea.
The hot sun beats upon the plains.
Turn and face Kaua’i.”
Again, metaphor and allusion mixed with physical alignments. To truly “read” this chant, you must either know the place or be able to project yourself into it by way of the map. You must know the culture, the references, the sun-roundness of a breadfruit and the out-of-place character of it fruiting at ground level; you must know this black-stalked sugar cane, and its properties and uses; relatedly, you must know the nature, also, of the lake of Halali’i, and in which months it disappears, and how this relates to the mentioned cane; you must know the inherent meanings of the lake name, which is the same as the chief possessed by Kapo in Chant One of the Hula.
We give all of these related chants to show the importance given to this specific time and place alignment by the Hawaiian composers of the Hula, the realities and significance of the rising solstice sun and its zenith.
Chant Two describes six setting suns, five from one point.
This comes from Roberts (1926:265 No. 122) Hula ka-la ‘au; oli oli; by Akoni Mika, 1865.
1 “He moku Ka-ula, Nihoa ame Ni’ihau 1 An island is Ka’ula, Nihoa adjoining Ni’ihau
2 I ka ulu la ‘i a ka Waihoa a Kane 2 In the calm rests the water produced by Kane
3 O Kaulana a ka la i Halali’i 3 The sun rests over Halali’i
4 Hala ka la kau ma kua o Lehua 4 And in passing rests over the back of Lehua
5 Kau ka LehuLehu o ke ahiahi 5 Then the dusk of evening begins
6 Moe e no, Kaua’i i luna ka la e 6 Kaua’i goes to sleep while the sun is yet up
7 E o ana no o Lehua i ke kai.” 7 While Lehua is still visible in the sea.
1 Ka’ula island is southwast, Nihoa is northeast.
2 The clam is a west sun space.
3 Halali’i is a wet season lake, and an anciet chief of Ni’ihau island.
4 Lehua’s “back” is to the west.
5 Dusk = sun is setting/has set.
6 Kaua’i is dark while the sun travels on westward.
7 Lehua is not only visible, but measured as by a (sun) path implied in the word, ana, to measure; so it can be understood that you as viewer are standing on Kaua’i observing the four named islands.
Question where you are standing, exactly, in this chanter’s scene, and what solar events you are seeing in the cycle. You are, of course, observing setting suns which are associated with the departing spirits of deceased Hawaiians; so the place to stand will be a leina, a jumping-off place from which to take the leap into the mystic sea of Po into eternity.
[See Figures 3 & 4.]
The procedure is to determine the back-sight from the islands called off, so, starting with Ka’ula island, which is 32 k. (20 m.) southwest of Ni’ihau and about 80.5 k. (50 m.) from west Kaua’i island, we try to measure the December solstice sunset line back to Kaua’i. We put aside Nihoa island as it is not in order. Moving north, Halali’i lake is next, but we suspect it is an anti-zenith, or nadir alignment. Since we do not have yet any observation point for this on Kaua’i, we select Lehua island and center a due west 270 degree equinox set back-sight on Lehua and bring it back to Kaua’i, which intersects with our December solstice line on a 270 degree equinox sunset back-sight on Lehua and bring it back to Kaua’i, which intersects with our December solstice line on a ridge called Kauna-lewa; now we have a “point.”
From these two intersected lines we project out towards Halali’i lake on Ni’ihau island at an estimated 2º02’ to 3º00’ north of 245 degrees. What we discover is that the south mountain range on Ni’ihau prevents moving the nadir line any more north than 248 degrees, and the line does cross Halali’i lake. It is a boxed-in alignment not capable of being moved off Halali’i lake if we were to observe a horizon set of the anti-zenith (nadir) suns.
This quite remarkable fact suggested an ancient astronomer had enjoyed himself with this one. Obviously what was being manipulated was the location of observation point on Kaua’i, and this helped to confirm what we are finding about the structures called heiau, commonly translated as “temples,” but actually denoting sacred space(s), and therefore “points” to stand.
We let this alignment rest for a bit because Nihoa island from the intersection was not on the 295 degree summer solstice set and was not known as a jumping-off place for spirits, so why was it included? Later we ran the anti-zenith lines on the chart for December 2 (90) at 21º52.9’ and the January 11 (90) at 21º52.6’. Amazingly, these two anti-zenith lines intersected the alignment projected over Halali’i lake and to sunset and the face of the cliff as in the chants. We are not quite sure how this had been achieved.
The Nihoa island included in the chant resolved itself by three pieces of information. The first came from Emerson (1917:XXVII) “Pele’s Account to Kamoho-ali’i of the Departure from Kahiki.” Briefly, Pele sails toward the islands with passengers including two brothers. When they stop at Nihoa island, Kane-a-Pua, the “baby sun” we met in Chant One, is landed, then the rest sail away to Lehua islet of Ni’ihau island. Unexplained, the navigator Kamoho-ali’i returns and picks up young Kane-a-Pua, and they return to Ni’ihau to the south.
The next two items are that when Hi’iaka, the prophet Goddess, is on Kaua’i island’s west coast, she chants.
Emerson (1909:258-259, lines 9-13):
“Out there with the floating Sun,
Where cloud forms rest on Ocean’s breast,
Uplifting their forms at Nihoa,
This side the base of Lehua;
There is the water of Kane.”
And the third is Pukui, Elbert, Mo’okini, Place Names of Hawai’i, 1974:165 and 148.
“Nihoa, See Mauloku,” the ancient name.
“Mau-Loku. Leaping place for souls, Nihoa Lit. continuous falling.”
Note that the falling of the soul into havai’i, the opening of the underworld, is a continuous-cyclical-circular motion of returning. So, of course, Kane-a-Pua was let off at Nihoa for five days for the June solstice set period and was picked up later when he could move south; and Nihoa is a leina, leaping place for souls; and the place to stand has to be between Pu’u ka Pele Heiau and Makua-iki alignment on Kaua’i island.
We propose that Nihoa just had to be included to complete all the solar set events: December solstice set; two anti-zenith sets; two equinox sets; and one June solstice set. The six setting suns, then, are referenced in a seven-line chant. Beyond being quite amazing, you wonder how long it took to gain the viewpoint and understanding to set this solar knowledge in language symbols. This is observed from Kauna-lewa ridge, the name of which means “The Square (or Four) Floating” and suggests that the six suns set into four pits in the floating western sea horizon, which is what they actually do.
Halali’i lake gains support as a place for departing souls to pass over or into from the chant referenced previously that mentions “the black-stalked sugar cane of Halali’i.” Checking Pukui & Elbert dictionary (1986:51), we are enlightened by “Halali’i, Ni’ihau, where a famous sugar cane once grew on the sand dunes. This cane was used in ceremonies for remission of sins.”
Kauna-lewa ridge, a high plateau now in sugar cane, started off an investigation into an unknown area. There is not a heiau there, or a recorded one, but the chant highlights a meaning besides “sacred,” i.e. the root word “hei” is “snare,” and “au,” a segment of time; so a good translation that fits is “a structure to mark a place that snares sacred time.” A consultant Kumu Hula (Source Teacher of Hula) said there had to be a chant about Kaunalewa, and one was found. So we will know more about this area in the future.
The accuracy of the alignments was first plotted on charts, then by visual and compass check in the field. On Ni’ihau island, privately owned, this was not possible. By checks at Makua-iki, the cliff splitting the sun was verified, and back checks from Ahu-a-Laka were made for the December solstice sunset. However, this was not considered satisfactory, therefore two Garmin G.P.S. units have been acquired and associate Karen Meech will be conducting surveys that will be possible for even out of line-of-sight alignments, of which there are quite a number overthe 1167-k. (725-m.) length of the twelve islands.
This will remain an ongoing investigation; the prospects opened up are endless and exciting.
As shown, the two main chant examples together—rising sun, settings suns; both oli oli sacred Hula without dance—reveal some astounding information. Both had to be composed by astronomer-navigators who had a thorough knowledge of their islands’ positions even out of sight, but not impossible to locate. We are not dealing with traditional poetic understanding of chants as prayers, name chants, love poems of people and places; instead, we have direct reference to the celestial events that are ritually incorporated and part of the Hawaiian belief systems.
In one nine-line and one seven-line verse we are made aware of past knowledge of all the solstice, equinox and zenith-nadir events of the Tropic world.
What is unique for the history of alignments, generally, is that the astronomer-site planners linked separate islands into a cosmic web, a simultaneous ritual alignment through space in the same time. This suggests a design strategy to create a master plan that would eventually link perhaps all of the islands in a ritual whole. This grouping was first done for the three-island group of Ni’ihau, Kaua’i and O’ahu, according to Kamakau (1964, Vol. 2, 14) and Hawaiian historian of the 1840s. He informs us that the three-island group had one astronomy with the center of learning being located on Kaua’i island at Waimea. Here astronomers called Po’e Kilo Hoku went to make their observations, kilo meaning stargazer or seer, and hoku, star.
Our researches suggest that through chants and tradition a concept of a oneness, a completeness called lokahi keeps recurring, and insistance that the family, the chiefs and the islands are “one” and the search is for a unifying system.
We find evidence of this in the composition of a Pele-Hi’iaka cycle, a chant journey through the islands requiring six months up and six months down. From zenith to nadir is also six months and binds the half year of growth to the half year of harvest.
What also needs thought is the vastness of the sea in which the navigators repeatedly sailed. The island are points, areas of rest, repair, recreation, until it is time to sail again. Haumea’s sea is the navigator’s homeland; the points of land are where family and relation are visited: blood relations are all over Polynesia.
The islands, themselves, are round like women’s breasts with a high mountain pyramid as a point of direction expressed in two ways: makai, seaward, and mauka, mountainward (away from the sea). The navigator is either going or coming. The other direction is around, direction defined by either the right or left shoulder being toward the mountain. The islands are clocks and the rising/setting sun changes position as you move circularly around the island in a constant changing juxtaposition of geological forms. They are unlike any other land form to live in—very different from places on continents.
We promised to discuss two chants of the Hula, but we can say that they endlessly multiply to include the twelve tropic islands of the entire Hawaiian chain: from Necker island or Moku Mana Mana, the “toe of Pele” on the tropic, to the island of Hawai’i with its active volcano of Kilauea, the “head” of the Pele figure. This we will have to leave for other papers to follow.
Finally, there is no question that we must follow the creative mind of the ancient astronomer-navigator. In these investigation, success, if any, is due to this newly-defined Hawaiian multidisciplinary system which all of you have done so much to create and which we call in Hawai’i “Astronomical Architecture,” a planning system founded on the navigators spiderweb of stars.
“Astronomical Architecture” is truly a search for archaic Hawaiian history embedded in the realities of ancient myth. This field of Archaeo-Ethno-Astronomy has opened up and expanded our understanding of the Hawaiian mind by finding reasons for this vast amount of public architecture and what it was used for, and what could have been seen and transacted inside these large ceremonial landscape complexes. We recognized the format as we began investigating from the island pie segments out from the mountaintop to the sea, circling to include the entire island, and as it revolves it includes in its sweep other islands that cross the spokes of the eight pillars of the solar cycle.
The ancients created an all-island ecological whole that was composed in a vast architectural plan. This plan selectively used land forms and structures that captured and dramatized the great cosmic events that they wished to “stop,” to “snare” in time. Thus, through this twelve-island ritual space they expressed their valued and molded tradition and beliefs.
For Hawai’i—all twelve of the islands of Pele—it is a Kumu Kahi, a first beginning into an ancient past, a knowledge still to be uncovered from the layers of literal meaning.
Francis X. Warther
Karen J. Meech
For viewing online only. If you wish to have a copy, please visit the artist’s website here:
State Of The World Forum
The Presidio- Box 29434
San Francisco, California
9 Oct. 1997
Greetings return to you my lords, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life.
Greetings from the Spiritual Warriors, keepers of the flame, we greet you twice.
Greetings from the Chiefs and Elders of The Mound of The Whale, keepers of the receptacles of knowledge, the fruits of beauty, we greet you thrice.
We sing praises and blessings to the ancestors of Turtle Island who have passed this way a thousand generations ago and have become the earth itself. All that remain are the names that point the way to legends.
It was a way of life that had heart and communion of spirit. Songs that tell of heroic moments that have moved their people to find values true to their inner vision.
Their dance is one that is the beat of the earth itself. Their names are of nature. Their closeness to the land is deliberate.
Their wealth is determined by the integrity of their heart and the freedom of their soul.
They are not poor, they are the bounty of this land, they are the earth itself.
We sing praises and blessings to the ancestral house of Turtle Island, for the vision it seek is not for the eyes, it is for the inner spirit to receive this vision and speak of it to the ancestral house, their heart.
The ancestors ride past on memories that only the clouds can recall.
Know your place within this mystery and a true way to walk by opening your heart to the sighing of the wind that the grandfather’s voice that speak the truth that does not die; open to the earth and ready to fulfill a destiny.
We sing praises and blessings to Mother Earth who spins the web of creation, the eternal principle of truth; who weave the tapestry of life; awareness is her substance, the seeds of life.
We are the prayer spoken individually as consciousness. We create our beliefs and redefine their edges moment by moment and call this cascade of momentum, our life.
To attempt to define the unfathomable mystery that gives birth to the miracle of our being creates a stagnant atmosphere of conflicting philosophies that we have named religion.
So the dilemma arises that has bewildered all faiths, how to evolve in creative expression, seeking to grow past fear and into a heart sharing of meaningful activity while enclosed in a circle of spiritual speculation that speaks of inner truths yet bogs the soul in thought and ritual.
Life itself is the prayer, the prayer is not eternal or for show.
Spirit is the inner essence, the eternal principle that speaks of our life as its truths, but worship of it misses the point.
We are our God, The Creator living in the creation getting to know the Creator better, praying to ourself is useless, but living in light of our truth and applying it into a moment by moment joy of sharing expressive mastery is the enlightenment of our soul.
Self realization is mastery, not philosophy- it is joy, not effort- it is truth, not blind participation.
Our prayer is our joy, and each of us sings of the same truth.
the cordage, is symbolic of the lives we have completed and the result of the choices we have made throughout our many incarnations.
The occasional knots in the cordage are brought about at this tme, by the “Law of Attraction,” when life choices were taken away either by or from the weaver.
Where the braiding is taking place is the current
in our life. The strands are of different lengths, substances and textures, and some tend to be more central to the cordage than others, but at each and every choice, the strands are braided in and out, depending on the ramifications of the choices made.
Each choice is made by the weaver, and each choice brings new form to bear on the cordage. All the strands are valid and some are likelier than others- until the choice is made. The tangling of the cordage strands is caused by choice.
Now: Our own nature, of course, is of the water; in that we as spiritual warriors, are easily impressed and moved.
This is the very fiber of the cordage and the nature of our physical journey and vigil in this three dimensional experience: To not only be move, but to instruct ourselves to the preferred manner of our movement in mind, body, and spirit; for we are the best teachers we will ever find.
Therefore, as each person enters the energy web of Papa hanau moku, Mother Earth, each experiences two major influxes, that of of the conception, which has to do with the physical manifestation of the incarnation, and that of the moment we call birth, when the divine breath, the Ha, is drawn into the body.
Thus those who know the stars and their configurations and influences, such as a navigator of the ancestral canoe, are able to see a rather broadly drawn map of the places through which a spiritual warrior, a bearer of light, has travelled, is travelling, or may be expected to travel, be it upon the physical, the mental, or the spiritual level, through the watery world of spirit, Hawai’i; our direct link, braided with the cordage of love. Aloha.
It is said that we are one link, one connection, in a millenium long cordage of spiritual warriors, activating the wisdom of persuasion and the mastery of the highest evolutionary development, the Chief, related to and the continuation of cognizant nature.
We change what we can and accept what we cannot change for those who can, the descendants of the next seven generations.
We ask that you remain seated until the awa service is completed. When your name is called, we ask that you, the recipient, clap your hands once for the awa servers recognition of the recipient. You may speak over your cup of awa. Upon the return of the awa cup to the server, a command of “Pa’i ka lima” will be given; everyone will applaud in unison “three times.”
Makaukau? Inu awa?
We the spiritual warriors with the bearers of light, leave you in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life; rejoicing in the power and the peace braided with the cordage of love. Aloha.
Hono Ele Makua
Dr. Apela Colorado
272-2 Pualai St.
Lahaina, Maui, HI.
25 OCT. 2001
Greetings return to you, Dr. Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life.
My apologies for the delay in responding to your request. My attention was toward a sacred site in Kona, Project Hokuli’a. All is well for the moment and maybe the ancestral bones would return to its place through the court order. Anyway, here is the information I received for your request.
HEALERS ORGANIZING A COUNCIL OF ELDERS
Here is the echo of the ancestral thoughts:
Here is Kanaka Lawelawe, the servant; this energy is all about do anything, be anything, try anything. It is typified by the “DOER”, a being who does, and does. The mana is that of EXPERIENCING, regardless of purpose, regardless of outcome, regardless. The energy is part “I AM” and “I WANT”in the ancestral Sea of Time
In this place, The Sea of Time, we exist and experience. Duration leads to sequence, and we separate then from now, this from that, and you from me. Everybody wants to do something; we stir. Entered Na Po’ai Ali’i, The Circle of Kings (Round Table?)
The Circle of Kings is in the Ancestral House of The Spirit Incarnate and is the gift of “I PROJECT”. It is the gift of togetherness. If I AM to project myself, there is nothing I would like more than to be in good company. The Circle is UNITY, the commonality of all things, all a part of a whole, and the gift’s achievement in the world is PARTICIPATION, every person acting like a part of a whole. Entered KAUILA NUI MA KE HA I KALANI: The Lourd Lightening of Kaihelani.
The ancestor, KAUILA NUI MA KE HA I KALANI, LIGHTNING, is a condition that is CRITICAL, one that seem to border on chaos, yet is loaded with energy. It is a condition that is unstable; something is bound to happen, but no one knows where the lightening (Lightning) will strike. It is a state in which great amounts of energy are unleashed. What may have been static before is now undeniably dynamic and powerful. Kauila nui ma ke ha i kalani dwells in the Ancestral House of the Matrix; the combination of the energies of IMPULSE and REACHING. Entered the counsel of the Ancestral Healing Stone, KALAMA ‘ULA.
The Ancestral Healing Stone, Kalama’ula, dwells in the Ancestral House of Perfect Form and in the realization of “I PERFECT”. The challenge on the alanui (Path) of perfection is dealing with all the things along the path that get in the way.
Kalama’ula perceived as a obstacle stands (6x6x6) in my way, stops my forward progress. If I look at the same block of stone in a slightly different light, it can appear as a PROBLEM. Now it is something that must be figured out, solved, before I can go on.
But I can cross the subtle line of perception and see the ancestor, KALAMA’ULA as KUMUPA’A (FOUNDATION), a solid foundation built and established with the strength of compassion, a footing, a stepping stone. Now, The Ancestor, KALAMA’ULA, is not in my way; Kalama’ula as building, something to build with, or blocks as stepping stones ahead of me. The question is: When is an impediment and impediment? The answer is: When I say so.
Kalama’ula is the realization for Na Maka o Kaha’i, her seas of LABYRINTHS (HO’O POHIHIHI) and the Southern sea of quiet flowers (KE KONA KAI OPUA I KALAI).
Here in this place, getting involved creates access and inner completion makes the way out of the sea of Labyrinths.
Over this sea shines the Star of Independence where spontaneity creates a way in and decisiveness makes the way out of the sea of quiet flowers.
We are all making drastic modifications in our lives. We are all re-connecting to the Source. And as we all endeavor to re-connect rest assured all our paths will go in different directions, but all knowing the destination will be one and the same.
For it is not what service you DO, it is the love (aloha) with which you do this service that makes all services equal. It is the quality of love with which you do it.
The being of doing needs to begin with being to respond to the call for service.
With the permission of the ancestors, I leave you, Dr. Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life; rejoicing in the power and the peace braided with the cords of patience, revealing the tapestry of aloha.
Sincerely in service,
272-2 PUALAI ST.
LAHAINA, MAUI, HI
18 JUNE 1999
Greetings return to you, Doctor Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life.
We of the ancestral tribal mind, dream our dreams and they are full of gentleness of the mind, the warmth of the heart and the humility of the soaring spirit; “Let peace prevail, enfold it with the red cloak”. If darkness comes persuade it to follow the way of peace. The ancestral bowl of light.
In appreciation and support of women of vision, like yourself, Doctor Colorado, there is a connection to the Universe where Kane retrieved from Lehua, the bowls of light and two red stones. Like the ancestors, you are connected to the Universe by your own visions as part of an inseparable aspect of creation- the merging of the ancestral tribal mind.
This sense, the intuitive avenue through the heart, opens the mind to the appropriate translation that it may enter the theoretical aspect of living and effectively integrate those feelings of the heart into usable theory of that ancestral tribal mind.
Since time on Mother Earth is so limited and time within the bosom of the Universe is so extensive, there is room for you to develop your own level of cosmic vision and give birth to it through the appropriate channels of physical reality.
The level of the material human mind is limited and grows slowly, but the level of the spiritual tribal heart is eternal, and as it becomes filled with aloha it changes the very nature of the material man into the vision he holds most dear: that of himself as an alive and integrated extension of the Universe- The Ancestral Grand Plan.
Doctor Colorado, you have distinguished yourself by a consistent superior performance of the ancestral mind on the beach of Quida, Benin, West Africa, January of this year, 1999. Proof of the quality of your instruction can be seen by the fact of students’ dissertation, one that I witnessed, in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, this last March, 1999. You have clearly demonstrated that you are eminently qualified as a Kumu- an Elder, a teacher, and a foundation built and established with the ancestral strength of compassion. I appreciate, respect, and support your good work and recommend its essence to those of interest.
May the spirit of the land and all its relations, with the ancestral tribal mind of the Oneida, create a sanctuary fully imbued with aloha. With the permission of the ancestors I leave you, Doctor Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life; rejoicing in the power and the peace braided with the cords of patience, revealing the tapestry of aloha.
Hono Ele Makua
272-2 Pualai St.
Lahaina, Maui, HI.
24 July ’01
Greetings return to you, Dr. Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life.
I am responding to your latest request of the “Healers Circle,” and the ancestors replies to the query.
Now: Through the eighth and ninth gates we pass into the “Circle’s” most interior ring, “The rod and ring of divinity, measured justice,” the hall of signs (Hoailona); where KE AULI’I (The Rod) is about leadership, measurement, force, and impact the mind has on the world, when clear and purposeful, it carries the approach of COMMAND in the simplest and most direct sense: by my word, by y will.
A compelling thrust beyond debate, above criticism. Yet Ke Auli’i also mete out justice. So the balancing approach is one of discernment about how much command is used, utilizing DISCRETION. In combination, Ke Auli’i is the force of the empowered will tempered by a sense of fairness and justice; shared by the ninth and tenth ancestral houses of “I CARE”, and “I REALIZE,” in the sea of pyramids where COMMAND provides entry and DISCRETION makes an exit. Now entered the star of INDEPENDENCE.
KU OKO’A, independence is about non-attachment to things or to people. It is typified by “KAHO’OPAKELE” (The Deliverer), the being who releases ties and bonds. The mana FREEING, loosening, making space. The mana is part of “I PERFECT”, and “I EXPAND.” It also creates the light of Kona Kai Opua i ka lai (The Southern Sea of Quiet Flowers). Mana moving from a point, or consciousness removing itself from something. Now, entered Ka Po Kaka’a, The Wheel.
Ka Po Kaka’a is in the ancestral house of MANA, where the positive polarity is about AUTHORITY, the positive polarity of power (MANA), and its negative is OPPRESSION, and is the ancestral makana (gift) of “I CARE.” It is the gift of getting your feet wet, of going through with things; the gift of EXPERIENCE. It is the ability to go along with life and learn from it. The result of this APPLICATION, KNOWING BETTER WHAT TO DO NEXT TIME, having first hand knowledge that can be applied in new ways. And entered PUKA ANIANI
Na Puka Aniani (Windows) is about the side of ourselves that exhibits perspective. The window represent one’s PERSONAL VIEWPOINT that is expressed to others. It is a side that is OBSERVANT, trying to take it all in, in order to have PERSPECTIVE. The window also describes a SEPARATION from the rest of the world, and the SELF LIMITATION that can result from separateness. The window dwells in the ancestral house “THE PERFECT FORM,” expressing “I PERFECT” through the mana of FREEING and PERCEIVING; and expression of kona kai o pua i ka lai.
The heart of the ancestral magic is the experience of the joy of union with the CREATOR. This joy will of necessity radiate throughout the life of the positive adept.
Any purpose which you may frame should, the ancestors suggest, take into consideration this basic union with the One Infinite Creator, for this union will result in service to others of necessity.
The principle behind any ritual of the white magical nature is to so configure the stimuli which reach down into the trunk of mind that this arrangement causes the generation of disciplined and purified emotion or aloha which then may be both protection and the key to the gateway to intelligent infinity.
Your rituals at your level of progress contain the concept of polarization and this is most central at your particular space/time. Your is the dance at this space/time in third density.
With the permission of the ancestors, I leave you, Dr. Colorado, in the love and in the light of the ancestors, The Source of Life; rejoicing in the power and the peace braided with the cords of patience, revealing the tapestry of aloha.
Sincerely in service.