Rainbow from plane window on our way to Molokai
Rick (Pono) and I (Hā’awi) just returned from a month in Hawaii, completing further Advanced and Master Trainings. We’d love to share some of our ‘talk story’ with you here. As we grow in our understandings, we have more to offer you as teachers and healers! Each time we visit the islands, there is change.
Special personal development for each of us was in store. As the successor to our Kumu Kaleolani, Pono was given responsibility for teaching a large part of the workshops and leading the rituals. Kaleolani has announced that Pono will also be teaching Advanced classes under his supervision. And Hā’awi, along with three others, was given the formal status of Kahu-o-Mana (Keeper of Mana, the creative life force).
Aloha, Big Island!
We arrived on the powerful Big Island of Hawai’i for two weeks of Advanced Class. We began by honoring our mothers, and through them, our female ancestors – making an altar with photos of them, and asking that they be present in all their wisdom as we moved through our class. Each day, fresh offerings from the garden and kitchen were placed on the altar. We then visited a heiau (temple) that is connected with Mothers and Grandmothers, and gave our formal calling.
Soon we had one of our favorite days: our visit to the Volcano and the Goddess Pele. We go as the ancestors have done for generations in our lineage, to pay tribute to the power of creation and destruction, and to behold the aloha (unconditional love) that is necessary for this process. Of course, we also connect with the element of Fire. We approach Pele as a halau (a learning group), and we chant an oli written especially for us to honor Her and Kaleolani. And there was a wonderful event for our lineage – two of our dearest ‘ohana (family) members were given the status of Kahu o Mana: Loretta Maka-Malamalama-o-Hina and Jim Po’okahiko. Pono and Hā’awi assisted in the ritual. It was wonderful to witness our lineage strengthened in this way! An inoa (naming) also took place that day. Doug became Kahua-Uhane. Congratulations to all!
There is another place that is absolutely precious to our lineage, and especially to Pono, who studied there under his Hawaiian Kumu and adoptive father Lanakila, now passed. That is Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, or The Place of Refuge. We walk through the grounds reverently, as Pono shares his knowledge of its history and purpose. After, we walk over the lava rocks to a certain tidepool, a place where dimensions merge and deep healing occurs. We hold ritual there, connecting with the ocean and the God Kanaloa of the unseen realms.
We also visited the Mo’okini Heiau, a very remote temple built by some of the first Tahitian settlers, and dedicated to the God Kū, an energy of rising strength, earth and fire, and warriorship. This is a place where the veils between worlds are thin, and many spirits are near. It’s a place where tens of thousands of people were sacrificed to the God. It’s also where the people lived and worked. But now – it is empty of all but the winds…and the memories…
And there was yet another wonderful event. At Pu’uhonua o Honaunau, two of our ‘ohana – Cheryl Pu’uwai-ike and Larry, were married by Kaleolani (with Pono playing ‘ukulele and singing The Hawaiian Love Song!). Our family was celebrating so much, and we all felt the love! Much happiness Cheryl and Larry!
On to Molokai Pule O’o – Island of Powerful Prayers
Next came our Master Training on the island of Molokai. This island is less visited and much more culturally Hawaiian. Right away, we were welcomed by Kaleolani’s friends Caroline and Billy, who took us down to the beach to learn about throw net fishing, and to try our hand at casting the (huge and heavy) nets! We learned a lot and enjoyed the beauty of the West End of Molokai at the same time.
Roberta, Fern, Linda and Caroline
Pono did a masterful job on his very first attempt to cast the net! It felt natural to him (doesn’t he look it?) and there were past-life connections.
Next came Hā’awi’s special day, along with Jay Kinā-Kau Kō’ohinani. We went to a place called simply “The Lookout”, because standing there, one can see the peninsula of Kalaupapa below. It’s located on top of the highest sea-cliffs in the world, with the purest winds you can find anywhere, amid an ancient ironwood forest. It’s an amazing place elementally and spiritually.
Hā’awi was named there three years ago, and was thrilled to be told it was also the place of her ‘uniki (graduation) to Kahu-o-Mana. Pono was given the honor to perform the prayers and rituals for Hā’awi, and did a magnificent job. Kaleolani did the same for Kina-Kau. “It was a life moment I will never forget,” says Hā’awi. “It was empowering, vastly spiritual, and so loving all at the same time.”
This day was followed by our hike up to the waterfall at the top of Halawa Valley, through a lush jungle and the ruins of many sacred places. The waterfall itself is sacred, and we were happy to have a swim in the freezing pool to wash off the sweat and mosquitoes.
Our group at an overlook of Halawa
Our class finished with an amazing luau prepared by Caroline, Billy and their neighbors, where we shared an assortment of native Hawaiian dishes, and sang songs and watched them hula.
And finally, the two of us went off to Maui for some needed rest and together time. We had the privilege of meeting George Kahumoku, a grammy-winning singer, song-writer, and slack-key guitar player – not to speak of being a high school teacher and organic farmer as well! Pono had a private ‘ukulele lesson with him, and we attended a concert later that week. But mostly, we enjoyed the beach and the relaxation. We knew we’d be busy once we got home, and we’re back refreshed and rejuvenated.
This talk story can’t possibly touch upon all the details and depths of our teachings! What we’ve given here is an example of learning in the “old ways”. We hope it gives you a sense of how this spiritual path can open doors for the students. Immersed in the culture, feeling the pure elements on our skin, participating in ritual, sharing our own mana with that of the ‘aina (land): May both our ‘ohana and the Islands of Hawaii be blessed.
by Linda Hā’awilanikealoha