He Hawai`i Au. I am Hawai`i (an)
Hawaiian Blessings by Haunani Kauka
About the chants
I was thinking, the only other thing we might do is talk a little bit about the vowel sounds and the fact that Hawaiian was an oral language, not written. That means the tones to the Hawaiians meant something, and they had different values. The vowel sounds in Hawaiian are:
"A, E, I, O, U"
In fact the name for fire is ahi but when you light something it is ho`a. To light it, to make it become fire, so you have the element of fire: a
And it comes from here (the belly) and bring it up (through the gut and up and out) and the fire comes and overwhelms.
And then other one is e: wind, spiritual movement and rhythm. Like the wind that blows off the ocean, cleansing.
The next one is water. Now water, fresh water, was so important to Hawaiians that the word for wealth is water reduplicated, waiwai. This whole area (Kailua and Kawainui marsh) was very, very rich in ancient Hawaiian times because it had so much fresh water. And the sound of water is: i
It's in the word, the name Hawai`i. The word for water, wai, is in the word. It implies that Hawai`i is rich in water. Thats interesting because the word Hawai`i only has two vowels in it, the fire sound a and the water sound i. You get fire and water and we get steam! Were cooking! Then we get Pele, one of the lesser of the Hawaiian gods.
And then there is the sound: o, which is the land, this whole thing that sustains us, which the Hawaiians were so in tune to. Id have to say nature based, I guess nature based is a way of living, similar to the American Indians and a lot of other nature-based people who believe that we are not the owners or the masters of any of this. We dont conquer the land we live in harmony with it, and all these are our brothers and our sisters and our aunts and our uncles and parents and ancestors. In many ways, that is what this is all about. About how to BE a part of these things and to live WITH them instead of overpowering them or conquering them. And so:
The sound of the Earth is
And we end up with the human element: u. The sound uuu.The Hawaiians were so in tune with nature that they could ask the winds to stop when they wanted, and they could ask the rain to come or go. Because the winds and the rains and everything were family they would be accommodating when asked. Building something like this (pointing to a terraced taro field) how do you bring these big stones? You ask them if they want to participate and if they want to be a part of the project, they literally carry their own weight. And so we have the sound of
And so we go all the way back through fire, winds, water, earth, and humanity:
Sounds pretty good, ya?
Click here to read about how `Illima, Haunani's sister picks a Hawaiian name for either a new born child or adult.
|The thing I really, really want to impress upon people, I think that the thing we need to be reminded of is the fact that your normal, average person has the ability and power to invoke the elements, to become a part of the elements and to use them, or to ask them for help. You dont need to be ordained. You dont need some other connection to the universe and the powers. Every single one of us has that ability. We just forgot! I think that one of our jobs as Hawaiians is to remind people that we can do it on our own. We need to remind people that they need to get out of their houses! Get out of the house. Go stand in the rain. Walk in the mud. Get bitten by the mosquitoes! Human skin is an amazing thing. Its water resistant and it washes!
I want people to find basically what I think is the essence of Hawai`i which is aloha. It's such an overused word these days but basically meaning love, unconditional love. Not just love between people but love especially between the land and the wind and the rain and the rocks and the ocean; and learning how to live together in peace and harmony. Thats the biggest thing: peace and harmony. I think thats the thing that the world is lacking the most, especially our industrial world where we have learned to covet and desire and think we need things. We dont need those things; we dont need any of those things.
Right now in this moment, everything I need I have. I have my health. I have the sun. I have the water and the wind.
What I want people to know is that they can bring this peace to themselves. I really, really, really want them to start learning to be peaceful. You have to be peaceful in yourself in order to grow peace. Because when that becomes a part of you, you emanate that energy out there and it begins to affect other people. And so, for instance, in my own life, the more peaceful I am that is what I draw around me. So, my world is peaceful. I have zero enemies. No one is after me. I am no one's victim. Why? Because I believe that I am peaceful and that I can get along with everyone. So thats what I put out there and thats what the universe presents to me.
So when I am blessing people, I think all I am really doing is spreading an essence of aloha and energy and peace, and allowing it to come and engulf wherever you are. When I go to bless someones home because the energies are bad, basically I am going with my own spirit and some other really natural things like salt water, and just asking those energies that arent working in harmony, to either be harmonious with us or move on to somewhere else.
I also really, really, truly would like to remind people that this is something they can do whenever they feel that happening. Along the same lines, I'd like to ask people to be personally responsible for what they do and for who they are. Because I can not create your peace: I can hopefully assist you in finding peace. I can maybe teach you how to do different practices to help bring you peace, but bottom line you have to choose it, you know? And if you dont choose it, well, there is not too much I can do about that. And so eventually, those people kind of filter out of my world because that is not what I want.
How do I know these things? They just feel right. In Hawaiian custom, or in any practice, there are things that feel right. In Hawaiian it's all in here (pointing with two hands placed one above the other in center of belly), all in this gut reaction thing. No, I didnt go to a theological seminary. No, I didnt sit down with a kahuna spending years and years and years being taught. But the more and more I trust myself, the more Ive come to know and believe there is in me an inherent power. If I just get out of my own way and feel more than think, then it all comes to me. It's taken me some time to get to this point in my life, but here I am! I am a happy camper.