Deeper into Hawaiian Huna © Martyn Kahekili Carruthers 2003
I studied with native Hawaiian elders … I thank Papa Henry, George Naope, Miriam Baker, Margaret Machado, Mona Kahele, John Kaimikaua, Lanakila Brandt and (through his students) Daddy Bray for their incredible knowledge and wisdom.
Kumulipo: Origin of Life
Kumulipo (kumu li po or kumu uli po) is a Polynesian word, which can be translated as beginning in darkness or source of life or basis of existence. The old Hawaiian chant called Kumulipo describes the creation of the world, and the relationships between humans and other forms of life.
Kumulipo is a story of the lipo (dark depths) of the past to the lipo of the future. The chant describes the origin of the islands, the dawn of life and the birth of the first humans. The Kumulipo chant begins …
I heard this chant explained during a seminar by Rubellite Kawena Johnson in Kailua-Kona around 1991. She was professor emeritus of Hawaiian language and literature, born on Kaua’i (she was named a Living Treasure of Hawai’i in 1983.)
Special symbols are associated with Hawaiian creation myths. Some are found in the pokaku i’i (petroglyphs) carved into the lava by the old Hawaiians. A few more are recorded by Kahuna Daddy Bray, in Kahuna Religion of Hawaii; and others by Leiani Melville in his book Children of the Rainbow.
Further south, near Tahiti, an old chant of the Tuamotos Islands recorded by Kenneth Emory (1897–1992) refers to a place called Tumu-po (t often replaces k in southern Polynesian words). Tumu-Po has the same roots and meaning as Kumulipo … the creation of heaven and earth.
Tumu-Po, source of the night world …
I sometimes help people explore and experience the kaona – the hidden messages – of Hawaiian chants and symbols (kahuna symbols that reflect creative processes).
Hawaiian mysticism can take you into and through Kumulipo, and help you explore a deep awareness of creativity and of life. If you connect to your ‘aumakua and perhaps ‘awaiku (angelic beings), you can allow yourself to experience ever deeper levels of integrity and connectedness. You can follow the old Polynesian mystics who explored these levels – including the Alaka’i, Kumu and Kahuna (leaders, teachers and experts) of old Hawaii, the Tahua of Tahiti and the Tohunga of New Zealand.
Based on their experiences, we help people explore and change their hihia (confused relationships and emotions) that prevent happiness or delay success. Awaiku and ‘aumakua can reveal ways to heal lives and reveal the hidden integrity of ho’oponopono: forgiveness, healing and redemption.
Do you want to experience your true nature? Below your chattering personality you can explore deep truths, transcend duality and merge into a shared consciousness of connection. Your individual soul and family soul can gently interact in the experience of ‘aumakua.
Through this work I strive to honor the genuine Alaka’i, Kumu and Kahuna;, and their equivalents in other cultures – those exceptional individuals who help people move from disconnection to connection, from conflict to peace, from separation to wholeness.
Kumulipo – The Ultimate Dream
Po is your source, and can be your Kumu (teacher). Your many generations of dead ancestors, without whom you would not exist, and your unborn descendents can support and empower you. We are all eternal in the Po – both the accepted and the rejected – both the past and the potential.
The ancient Hawaiian Po was mysterious and infinite. Po is the ultimate kumu (source) of all Hawaiian gods; preceding even Io. Po is the ultimate origin of all life … and life’s ultimate destination. To this day, many native Hawaiians use the phrase, mai ka po mai (from the night, or since time immemorial) to indicate the divinity, wisdom and traditions that originated in antiquity.
Hawaiian akua – gods and goddesses – originated as male and female principles generated in the Po. The Kumulipo chant refers to Kumulipo – male night and Po’ele – female night. (See Hawaiian Mythology by Lilikala Kame’eleihiwa). Other traditions call them Kane and Wahine (and in south Polynesia Te Ira Tane and Te Ira Wahine).
Po and Potential
Explorers of the Po will also find fearful heroes, angry victims and sad, hungry spirits … as through the Po you can enter Milu (the world of the dead, the land of shadows) where you can find, reclaim and redeem your lost ancestors and other dead relatives.
Death is a great equalizer, yet only what was born can die and Soul is not born. No-one can be a hero or a victim except by choice, and no one is forgotten. The Po includes all beginnings … and all endings. And the Po is forever a hairbreadth from our everyday reality.
Some people dedicate their lives to helping the dead!
Some recent (not traditional) sources refer to a great soul, Po’e ‘Aumakua, in which all ‘aumakua (family and tribal ancestral spirits) gather and merge in the Po (primeval darkness).
Milu: World of Dead Spirits
Milu was a traditional chief of Waipio valley and Hawaiian legends record that Milu became the ruler of the land of the dead. The final journey of many Hawaiian people was to enter Milu. Two traditional entrances to this Hawaiian Hades were at Waipio valley and Ka Lae – the north and south points of Big Island, Hawaii. Worse alternatives for the spirits of dead people was to be captured by sorcerers, or to roam the hillsides as lost ghosts, eating spiders.
The processes of creation, preservation and fragmentation occur in different time flows. Causes and effects often become confused. We can escort you to Milu, to the Hawaiian world of the dead – so that you can complete outstanding business with dead ancestors and relatives. They watch each other, and they watch you. Some are free and fluid; while many are lost in guilty dreams or are frozen in grotesque postures.
Few amongst the dead seem motivated to create phenomena in our everyday reality, yet some of the dead, driven perhaps by guilt or anger, impact the world of the living. Sad ghosts or angry poltergeists may strive to balance some betrayal or injustice. If you accompany us on our journeys to sacred and mysterious places, you may encounter strange energies – for example those of dead warriors and their victims. And if you wish, you can learn how to set them free.
Awaiku: Hawaiian Angels
‘Ike no i ka la o ka ‘ike, mana no i ka la o ka mana
The awaiku of Hawaii are vaguely similar to Western concepts of angels. Awaiku are considered to be powerful, without the limitations of bodies, and able to fulfill wishes. I was told that the awaiku can move amongst us – not knowing (perhaps not caring) whose bodies are still living and whose bodies have died.
For Hawaiians of old, communication could continue between the living and the dead … during dreams, prayer or by kilikilo (divination). But spirits may not know that their bodies are dead; or not notice that time has passed since the death of their bodies.
Sometimes the living need blessings from the dead, so that they can truly live. Sometimes the dead need blessings from the living, so that they can truly die. Both the living and the dead may wait for the blessings of ho’oponopono and kala (cleansing).
Awaiku can follow intent and amplify mana (power) … hence angels can be demons and blessings can be curses. Consequences don’t seem to care how good were your intentions. Great care is needed.
Start a new article here …
Moe Uhane: Dream of the Spirit
Between the dreamer and the dreamed is a space of raw creativity. Dreams while the conscious mind is asleep and the spirit free (kino wailua) were called moe ‘uhane (soul dreams), while dreams with an alert conscious mind were called aka-ku (shadow stuff). Ho’omoe included ways to dream dreams that can change reality, which I incorporated into the methodology I called Soulwork.
Some Hawaiians feared losing themselves during the dream that we call death. They feared that their uhane (spirits) would roam the hills and forests as lost ghosts; eating spiders and moths. Even worse, they believed that their spirits could be captured by a sorcerer, fed filth and forced to do unpleasant acts such as a death curses (ana’ana).
And some Hawaiians of old were deified by their descendents as ‘aumakua.
We can help you find your lost family members – and change destructive family habits and family tragedies. Peace comes with the realization that you can serve something greater than the demands of your ego, something greater than the laws of your politicians. You can serve your family spirit – your lineage – your ‘aumakua – beyond your conscious intentions, your fears, your hopes, your dreams and your plans.
Our moe uhane includes connections to ‘aumakua (sometimes called power animals) to contact lost or missing parts of yourself, to communicate with them and perhaps to assimilate and integrate them.
We can help you to find yourself, and redeem your lost ones and yourself, by humbly taking your place in the whole. Restore your sense of life as you restore your self-esteem and honor. Free yourself from negative emotions as you find deep self-respect.
E komo mai. Welcome.
We teach this wisdom under the name of Huna Kalani.