❤︎ Join us for our Women's Retreat in Bali ❤︎ October 4-10, 2017 ❤︎

Mahealani Moon

In the Hawaiian tradition, the Akua Moon is the first night of the full moon, followed by Hoku, and then by Mahealani. Tonight will mark the 3rd of those three nights, and the energy of the full moon begins to wane. It has felt like an intense rising of energy this last week as one of my biggest projects came to completion yesterday.

Growing up in North Carolina, I was an outsider. In the South, when I was growing up, most people were considered "white" or "black." There wasn't much gray area...or rather, tan skin was kind of just confusing for most.  I blended right in with my classmates, letting them know I was "Hawaiian," which to them was some far-off idyllic paradise that made me feel even more special and not so uncomfortable being different.  After moving to Hawaii in 2005, and now living here for 10 years, I am so proud to be able to express my Hawaiian culture by learning about my native roots, and to be able to share this knowledge with my community and my new 'ohana of Hawaiian oli sisters.

Papa Oli is Hawaiian chanting, the sharing of culture, language, stories and tradition through a vibrational chanting sound.  I remember reading an article in the Hana Hou Magazine years ago about Hawaiian chanting, and being enraptured because I had only heard the 'oli in hula songs over the years.  I longed to connect to my culture in that way, but was feeling ashamed of my voice, because I didn't think I was good enough...but someday, perhaps, I thought.

An excerpt from the article:

“Oli,” says Kaumakaiwa, “is the bridge between everything. After you acknowledge the forms in your words, you must know how they are in one big web. Through oli, you make the connection.”

I met my Kumu, A'ia'i, at the Kokua Kalihi Valley Community Health Center on O'ahu's South Shore, where we prepared to hold an opening ceremony for a birthing conference to be held on Oahu. She taught about 20 women, including myself, a chant about the Hawaiian plant 'ulu (breadfruit.) 'Ulu is one of my favorite fruit nowadays, although back then I didn't understand how to pick, cook or eat it. 

The Hawaiian language is a simple one, yet complicated in that every word can have multiple meanings, depending on the context. 'Ulu, for example indicates growth, but it also is a starchy fruit that was a staple food in the Polynesian diet. 

However, fast forward a few years, after I began to teach prenatal yoga and birthing classes, a young woman, Leilani, whom I met in her early pregnancy, became my dear friend. She came to prenatal yoga one day, and met A'ia'i, who had come into my boutique.  They met, and soon after, Leilani instigated the chanting class by gathering and organizing a group of women together to participate. Since May 2015, a group of us have been gathering to learn the practice of 'oli, the gift of Hawaiian chanting. All of the women grew up in Hawaii, except myself, and we all have a yearning to understand more about the culture and the land of the Hawaiians.

We have spent the last 8 months preparing ourselves for our first hō'ike, a "recital" for chanting oli. We collectively decided (upon the guidance of our beloved Kumu A'ia'i) to hold the hō'ike on the full moon at 12pm, which fell on Saturday, January 23, 2016. Synchronistically, this moon is the "wolf" moon in Native American culture, which rings true to our gathering. The legendary howl of the wolves is a true sign of communication, just like the oli, and as wolves travel in packs, so does our oli group.  As women learning the chants and gathering weekly, we have grown together, and not only learned the chants, but a lot about ourselves and each other. We even had 4 keiki consistently joining us, as all of us are young mothers whose children need us often.

My beautiful Oli 'ohana (from L to R): Myself, Lisa, Luna, Kumu A'ia'i, Waimea, Kaliko, Lydi, Leilani and Kawai
Photo courtesy Leilani Johnson. Top image courtesy Waimea Doroha.
We prepared our outfit for the hō'ike by buying muslin cotton fabric, sewing the edges and then painting a special design along one edge. The design is of triangles, from Kumu A'ia'i's tattoo, a symbol that forever connects us to the genealogy of our Kumu and her teachings. We harvested 'olena from her garden in upland Wahiawā, washed, grated and juiced the turmeric to create an orange dye. Kumu taught us how to stamp the cloth with her unique stamps, and we painted on a second layer to darken the image. She taught us how to carefully store our kihei, and we even created some for the keiki who would be joining us for the ceremony.
We invited a small group of family and friends to witness our ceremony, and we students chanted 17 chants in total, with Kumu chanting an opening and closing chant on her own.  Before everyone arrived, Kumu placed our kihei (our muslin cloth drape) on us by tying it across our shoulder. Then she blessed us each with a chant and a kukui nut lei. We then dressed ourselves in our ti leaf wristlet, ti leaf lei (necklace) and lei po'o (head lei) that we each made for ourselves from materials we each harvested.
I am so grateful to have taken this special time in my life to learn about and honor my Hawaiian traditions. I have learned from my elders: our Kumu, as well as my oli sisters (being the youngest woman in the group.) And I will always take chant with me everywhere I go.
It is as if I never had to learn the chants, but rather remember them from deep within my soul.  I am so proud of the gifts that have been shared in this journey of remembering my Hawaiian roots. E Ala E!


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Gem Guide

Amazonite | Amethyst |  Apatite  |  Aquamarine  |  Chalcedony  |  Chrysoprase  |  Citrine  |  Druzy  |  Fluorite  |  Freshwater Pearl  |  Garnet  |  Iolite  |  Kyanite  |  Labradorite  |  Lapis Lazuli  |  Lemon Quartz  |  Moonstone  |  Mother of Pearl  |  Opal  |  Peridot  |  Pink Opal  |  Puka Shells  |  Pyrite  |  Quartz  |  Rose Quartz  |  Rhodochrosite  |  Ruby  |  Sunstone  |  Tanzanite  |  Topaz  |  Tourmaline  |  Turquoise

     

Agate

  • agate is excellent for balancing emotional, physical and intellectual energy,
  • harmonizes the yin and yang, the positive and negative forces of the universe
  • metaphysically, agate has a lower intensity and vibrates to a slower frequency than other stones, but is highly regarded as a stabilizing and strengthening influence
                              

Amazonite

  • heals and opens both the heart and throat chakras to enhance loving communication
  • Assists in manifesting universal love
  • Soothes emotional trauma
  • Alleviates worry and fear
    

Amethyst

  • symbolizes piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom
  • using an Amethyst as a meditation focus will increase the positive spiritual feelings and love of the divine
  • helps overcome fears and cravings, as well as relieve headaches
  • can also be used as a dream stone and to help insomnia by placing the stone under your pillow while sleeping
  • this powerful protective stone can transmute negative energy into loving energy and enhance intuitive guidance
       

 

Apatite  

  • aids in manifestation
  • can help deepen meditation as well as raise kundalini energy
  • aids in communication and self expression, leading to knowledge of truth through the throat chakra
        

 Aquamarine

  • reduces stress and quiets the mind
  • a stone of courage, it is believed to counteract dark forces
  • sharpens intuition and opens clairvoyance
  • clears the throat chakra and encourages service to humanity
  • encourages responsibility for oneself and promotes self-expression
  

 Chalcedony

  • a powerful cleansing stone that absorbs negative energy in order to balance the body, mind and spirit
  • transforms melancholy into joy
  • eases self-doubt
  • facilitates inward self-reflection
  • creates harmony

Chrysoprase

  • stimulates self-acceptance, forgiveness and compassion
  • said to enhance fertility
  • promotes relaxation, deep meditative states and peaceful sleep
  • stimulates creativity
  • energizes the sacral and heart chakras
    

 Citrine

  • powerful cleanser and regenerator
  • warming, energizing and highly creative stone
  • absorbs, transmutes, dissipates and grounds negative energy
  • stone of abundance, teaching us how to manifest and attract wealth, prosperity and  success
  • soothes group/family discord
  • raises self-esteem and self-confidence, helping to develop a positive attitude
  • enhances concentration
  • helps overcome depression and fear
  • promotes inner calm so wisdom can emerge
    

Druzy

  • encourages clarity of mind
  • stimulates the rising of Kundalini energy to the crown chakra
  • balances the chakras
  • amplifies the energy of the surrounding stones
    

Fluorite

  • powerful mineral that helps ground your energy and improve focus
  • absorbs negative energies within the environment
  • helps heal infections and disorders within the body
    

 

Freshwater Pearl

  • symbol of love and purity
  • promotes truth and loyalty
      

 Garnet

  • balances the root chakra
  • stimulates passion and creativity
  • promotes courage needed to overcome challenges or situations of crisis
  • improves self-confidence
  • works to heal blood-related diseases
     

Green Onyx

  • physically, onyx is beneficial for teeth, bones, bone marrow, the feet, and blood disorders.
  • a secretive stone that assists in keeping your own counsel
  • provides support and relief in times of exceptional stress and confusion
  • can be used to heal old grief and suffering

Iolite

  • activates the third eye, enhancing visualization and intuitive insight
  • aids in understanding
  • helps you express your true self
  • creates harmony in relationships

Jade

  • a "dream stone" that when placed on the forehead can bring insightful dreams and emotional release
  • a symbol of purity and serenity
  • much revered in the East, it is associated with increasing love in the heart chakra 
  • releases negative emotions
        

 

Kyanite

  • opens the throat chakra, encouraging self-expression and communication
  • excellent for meditation; amplifies high frequency energies
  • cuts through ignorance, fear and blockages
  • boosts self-confidence
  • relieves anxiety

 Labradorite

  • connects you to your higher consciousness
  • brings light to the wearer and blocks negative energy
  • stimulates intuition
  • balances fears and insecurities
  • strengthens faith in the self and trust in the universe
  • a stone of transformation and useful companion through change, imparting strength and perseverance
  • a highly mystical and protective stone
      

 Lapiz Lazuli

  • opens the third eye
  • balances the throat chakra
  • stimulates enlightenment and enhances psychic abilities
  • releases stress and brings serenity and peace
  • protective stone, blocking you from negative energy
  • encourages self-expression and speaking your truth
      

 Lemon Quartz

  • meditation with lemon quartz will enhance focus on your goals with a clear, bright outlook to manifest your future as you wish it to be
  • a good luck stone, it helps usher in opportunities for abundance
  • helps curb diet-related cravings
     

Moonstone

  • balances the hormonal cycle
  • soothes and stabilizes the emotions
  • promotes intuition and helps develop clairvoyance
  • balances the sacral and solar plexus chakras
  • brings about good fortune and passionate love
    

Mother of pearl

  • attracts fortune and happiness
  • symbolizes purity, integrity and grace
     

Opal

  • enhances cosmic consciousness
  • induces psychic and mystical visions
  • reflective, karmic stone, teaching you that what you put out comes back
  • helps you realize your full potential
  • stimulates creativity

Peridot

  • promotes grace and serenity
  • brings about forgiveness of oneself and dissolves feelings of self-blame
  • enhances prosperity in all areas of life
  • gently releases anger
    

Pink opal

  • said to aid in cleansing and activating the root and sacral chakras
  • creates a feeling of being centered

Puka shells

  • originates from cone snail shells in the ocean  
  • In the Hawaiian tradition, the wearing of puka shells was thought to ensure a peaceful and safe voyage, especially for sailors on a long journey
        

Pyrite

  • excellent energy shield, blocking out negative energy
  • a positive stone, facilitating tapping into abilities and potential, stimulating the flow of ideas
  • improves memory
  • boasts self-confidence
  • relieves anxiety and frustration

Quartz

  • raises the vibration and amplifies energy
  • enhances psychic abilities and attunes you to your spiritual purpose
    

Rose Quartz

  • a stone of unconditional love and infinite peace
  • activates the heart chakra
  • purifies and opens the heart and helps to attract love
  • enhances positive affirmations

Rhodochrosite

  • helps to attract soul mates
  • clears the solar plexus chakra
  • helps you to face the truth with loving awareness
  • encourages a positive attitude
  • enhances dream states and creativity
  • can lift depressed moods and bring light into your life
     

Ruby

  • stimulates the heart chakra
  • encourages you to "follow your bliss" and passion for life
  • promotes dynamic leadership
  • attracts sexual activity
  • creates a positive and courageous mentality
  • encourages transformation and removal of negative energy

Silverite

  • Sometimes called mystic sapphire, this stone is typically a sapphire which is heat treated to give it a coating to make it shiny.  
  • They are said to facilitate peace and balance within the physical, mental and spiritual energies of the body
  • Sapphires, in all their beauty, have been highly regarded and sought after throughout history, and associated with kings, emperors and Greek gods.

Sunstone

  • clears all the chakras
  • a joyful stone which brings in light and energy, allowing the true self to shine through happily
  • encourages optimism and enthusiasm
  • acts as an anti-depressant, lifting dark moods and bringing in the regenerative power of the sun

Tanzanite

  • activates the throat chakra for clear communication and expression
  • promotes compassion
  • calms an overactive mind
  • brings a peaceful understanding of one's own heart
     

 

Tiger's Eye

  • a protective stone, bringing out integrity and promoting clarity of intention
  • alleviates depression
  • helps to mend personal issues of psychiatric dis-ease, a feeling of unworthiness and self-criticism
  • increases low-sex drive
         

Topaz

  • a soothing stone that heals and energizes
  • promotes truth and forgiveness
  • helps you to find your true path
  • stimulates self-confidence

 

 Tourmaline

  • cleanses, purifies and transforms dense energy into a lighter vibration
  • grounds spiritual energy
  • clears and balances all the chakras
  • attracts inspiration, compassion, tolerance and prosperity
  • balances male/female energy in the body

 Turquoise

  • serves as a protective stone, keeping the wearer from harm
  • brings about good fortune
  • symbolizes friendship
  • can increase growth and muscular strength, as well as detoxify the body
  • said to balance all the chakras