The journey of initiation, first part
The Ho'omaka (initiate) had been laid out on a long black solid block of lava rock, 4 feet high, by 6 feet by 3 feet. Around the lava rock in each corner and in the center on each side was a Kukui nut oil lamp that provided light for the five Kahuna to do their work. As the initiate lay there the Kahuna Lomilomi massaged the Ho'omaka for what seemed like days. As they worked, their chants reverberated into the cool night air:
"Kau ka halia, i ka manawa,
He hiamoe kou. Ho ala ana oe, o oe, o
O halau lani o hoa ka lei,
He me manu e, e kani nei..."
Each day the Ho'omaka went, he felt, deeper and deeper into himself. During what seemed like the second day, the images came flooding back.. He remembered a time long ago. He remembered!
The days of The Order of Kane had come to an end. The soldiers of Pa'ao had arrived, and they were hunting all the Kahuna of the old order, and burning the temples. In this time, as he remembered, was a young Kahuna, and he feared for his life. As he hid near the temple, he sensed his doom. All his masters were dead, his mother, father, wife, and young baby daughter, had all been killed. He knew that all was lost, and felt he was next. Even though the soldiers of Pa'ao were all around, he managed to survive through the night. And as the sun rose in the morning, the Pohaku O Kane (the stone images of the One God who had created the universe) had laid themselves down. None were broken, none were damaged. And as he remembered, the sadness came flooding back, and then the tears. The perfect times were over. That idyllic time of love, peace, and happiness was over.
When the Ho'omaka awoke the face of the kindly old Kahuna was smiling down on him. She said, "Welcome back." He said, "We aren't the first. I remembered when we were here before." She smiled as he continued, "There was a time when we all lived in harmony. Women were equally honored and could rise to the highest level with the men." "Yes, little one; you are right," she said. "In the ancient times it was so. Those times are gone now, but they will return." "But why did it end," he asked. "Everything moves in cycles, from the highest to the lowest. The time of balance was over long ago, and we are now in a time of imbalance, a time for extremes. But the balanced times will return. It is predicted. They will return."
The journey of initiation part 2
The Haumana (student) bowed to his Kumu (teacher). He had just finished the initiation process that moved him to a new level of training. He was excited. He had hoped for years, he had dreamed of this day. He knew what he wanted -- he wanted to go all the way. He wanted it all -- to learn everything there was to learn. He had, it seemed, passed all the tests; some of which he knew, some of which he did not know. Although he was not aware of it, up to this point, those who had instructed him were mostly interested to be sure that he understood, and had learned what he was supposed to learn.
This was the first time he had met with the Kumu. To this point usually it had been just the Alaka'i (instructor, assistant) teaching the classes. The Kumu began to speak, and as she spoke her voice reverberated with waves of eternity.
"E pule kakou.
E Iho ana o Luna
E Pii ana o lalo
E Hui ana na moku
E Ku ana ka paia
E ola mei makou
E ola mei makou
Ho mei ka mana, ka ike, ke ola no
The Haumana's head began to expand. As the Kumu continued, the Haumana found it hard to focus on the words the Kumu spoke. Finally, he managed to focus in, and the first words he heard and understood were, "You need to understand, my son, we know why you're here. You're here for your gain, you're here for your power, and what we want is your enlightenment first. Then we want your service. You can't understand that now, but you will, you will." The Kumu continued,
"Ai, Ai, Ai.
Ho'opuka e-ka-la ma ka hikina e
Kahua ka'i hele no tumutahi
Ha'a mai na'i wa me Hi'iaka
Tapo Laka ika ulu wehiwehi..."
"Now, sit and meditate on the light as you have been instructed, my son, and pay attention to what you see." The Haumana closed his eyes, and rolled them up to the right, then to the left, then the rolled them straight up, and just as he did, the Kumu touched him between the eyebrows, and a burst of light filled his head. At that moment, he was free! He floated straight upward and into the sun, and he became one with the infinite light of the sun. As he merged with the sun, his entire body seemed to be disappearing, or so it seemed to him. First head, then his neck, then his torso, his limbs -- all disappeared in the light. Then finally his conscious awareness became one with, and merged in the light. As it did, his consciousness expanded to infinity and then exploded in the light.
The journey of initiation part 3
The Haumana was nervous, for this was to be the first of his major initiations into the Order of Kane. As he made his way to the appointed meeting place, he wondered just what his initiation would mean. As he walked, he thought of all the reasons why he wanted to study the ancient science of Ho'omanamana. Even as a child he remembered being fascinated with things mysterious and esoteric. He had always loved the idea knowing the secrets and mysteries of the universe. The idea of being of service had not yet dawned upon him, but it would.
As he neared the Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge), he remembered all that he had learned about the Pu'uhonua. They had all been built in the ancient time (hundreds of years ago), during the time of balance. The legend was that if a person were to walk, or swim, or crawl, or even drag themselves inside the boundaries of a Pu'uhonua then any and all past transgressions and sins were immediately forgiven and, with the aid of a Kahuna, you were immediately reborn to a new life.
The Haumana managed to make his way to the area late in the afternoon, and as he neared the entry to the Pu'uhonua, he passed by the small cluster of Noni trees, and then he saw the Kahuna. The Kahuna was tall, very tall -- maybe six feet, maybe more. Her hair was very long, with streaks of gray. There was great wisdom in her eyes, and when he looked at the Haumana, he felt as if the Kahuna could see to the depth of his soul. Trembling, the Haumana walked with the Kahuna out toward the ocean, around past the small bay. Once past the tall stone wall, they stopped at the main platform of the Heiau. The Kahuna chanted:
"Aloha na hale o makou I maka-maka ole,
Ke ala nui hele mauka o pu'u kahea la, ie ie!
Ka-he-a.Ê E kahea aku ka pono..."
The Kahuna stopped in mid sentence. That was unusual. She drew in a long deep breath. "This is a very special initiation," she said, "I'm to reinitiate you and instruct you to the highest levels. You see, you have been here before as a great one -- a Kahuna Na'auao."
If he wasn't in awe before, the Haumana was now. Silently, he followed the Kahuna around past the Heiau and over to the ancient site -- the one that had been used for thousands of years. Together they stood by the very tall solid lava spear that rose 20 feet into the air. "Now, breathe -- like this." The Kahuna took a deep breath in through the nose, and exhaled, making the sound, "Haaaaaaaa." "Keep breathing," he said. Then he began to chant:
Na aumakua o ka po
Na aumakua o ke ao
Na aumakua o ka pau luna
Na aumakua o ka pau lalo
Hele mai, hele mai
Ho mei ka ike, ka mana, ke ola no
Elieli kapu, elieli noa
Amama, ua noa."
As she started the sixth line of the chant, the Kahuna placed her hand on the top of the Haumana's head. As she did, the Haumana felt the top of his head disappear into what seemed to be infinity. In gratitude, he fell to the ground, lying face down with his hands outstretched over his head. As he fell to the ground everything around him disappeared, and from somewhere above, but not through his ears, he heard a familiar chant,
"Kau ka halia,
I ka manawa,
He hiamoe kou..."
For a moment, he realized he was in that place of boundlessness described in the chant. Then he disappeared in the light.
Hours later, he regained consciousness, but the crown of his head was still gone -- it would be three days before he felt that it had come back. In later years he would remember this initiation as the one that started it all -- the one that put him back on the path.
The journey of initiation part 4
"The principles of Huna are easy to understand, little one," the Kahuna said. "Do what you do. If you feel it will hurt no other person. This principle should be burned into your mind -- 'do what you want, hurt no other kind.' But do what you must do, what you need to do that will allow you to accumulate the Mana that will take you to the light. Remain balanced. Serve. Let absolutely no one, or no thing sway you from your path."
The journey of initiation part 5
The Ho'omaka (initiate) waited nervously for the Kahuna to arrive -- this was a special day, and one which he had been waiting for a long time. Today, he was to receive a name; and, as he knew, the name was designed to change everything, everything about him. For the name contained a different vibratory quality than the original name he had been given by his parents. More specially, this name would be a Hawaiian name, and so carried the vibration of the ancient ones.
When the Kahuna arrived, and the initiate could see that he was shaken. He was more reverent than the initiate had ever seen -- actually quiet. Normally the Kahuna was quite jovial, and this was a different state for him, that even the initiate could see.
Now, they walked. And they walked, and they walked. As they walked on the Kahuna showed more and more reverence. Was he even getting nervous? The initiate thought so. And then they were there -- at the fiery pit, Halema'uma'u in the Kilauea Crater on Maunaloa mountain. So, they walked on to Halema'uma'u. Right up to the edge of the pit. And they stopped at the edge of the crater, and it was awesome. The smell of sulfur, the chasm going down hundreds of feet to the floor of the pit, the blue cloudless sky, and the mountains all around, all combined to make this a truly awesome sight.
The initiate shivered. Maybe it was anticipation, or maybe he felt a presence, he wasn't sure. Before he could sort out his feelings, the Kahuna started his chant.
"E Pele e, Pele e, Pele e, Pele e, Pele..." The initiate's head began to spin, and his knees began to feel weak. The Kahuna chanted on and on. The initiate had to grab onto a nearby tree to steady himself. Then the Kahuna threw something into the pit. Later the Ho'omaka would learn that the Kahuna had thrown two pieces of Tapa cloth each with a name written on it.
Then the Kahuna said, "Now we wait... For a sign." They sat there, and waited and waited. "There," the Kahuna breathed a sigh of relief, "do you see those birds?" The initiate strained his eyes; he didn't want to admit that he saw nothing."There those birds...Good, it's a good sign."
The Kahuna turned to the initiate and said, "Your name is Kiai-na'auao-maikalani... it means..."
The journey of initiation part 6
As the Kahuna spoke, from time to time her voice trailed off into the darkness, then it would get stronger, almost like the waves she described, "In the beginning there was space and darkness and stillness older than time and forgotten by the gods. In a now, longer than forever, there was nothing, and there was everything, too; and it was silent beyond all sound, and still beyond all motion.
"Then, movement began to move as an impulse in the stillness, and a wave arose in that space, and then time began.
"The boundlessness of that infinite space was the Io, the source of all being. Being itself. Life began there as a wave of energy in the still, still unbounded space. In the beginning all came from here, and all shall return hereto in the end. When the darkness draws back in all of the light, then all shall return to her breast, even the gods.
"But there is no movement in the stillness of space until the power stirs -- the power of the active principle of the creation. He is the active principle, Kane. She is the passive principle, and it is she who as the Great Ocean of Uli calls to him to return to her, to sink into her abyss.
"And every thing that shall exist is subject to the nature of the active or passive principle.
"It is her call to him in the soundless infinite, from original darkness that arouses his interest, and as she makes the first call, it sounds like this, "EEEEEEE-AAAAAAH-OOOOOOOH" (IAO). That makes him arise, from his slumber, for he is essentially inert. IAO. Not on his own accord does he arise, but for the desire of Her. Until her hands touch him, he is as if dead in the kingdom of Po, the darkness.
"Awakened by her, then he shall manifest, and as he arises, he emerges as the all-potent, Kane, and his desire shall call to him the womb of all life, Uli. But without the kisses of Uli he sleeps forever.
"And as he arises he creates movement, and that first movement was called Ha, the air element (Makani) that creates movement. As the moment arises, it creates friction; that friction creates heat -- the heat being the fire element -- Ahi. As the fire burns, it creates moisture, wetness -- wetness being the element of water, Wai. As the elements all come together, and solidify, they become the earth element -- Honua.
And so, the five elements are born, and creation begins. Do you understand, she asked." The Haumana nodded. He did.
"But how do I tap into this energy," he asked. "Little one," said the Kahuna, "there is a rain barrel of water over your head, and you're trying to fit it through the eye-dropper of your neurology. You need to practice and expand your capability."
The journey of initiation part 7
As she began, the Kahuna chanted,
"Aia i Kona hema noho kealoha
No uka ka iwa i kiani mai
Ho'olohe i ke kai o ka pahu kapu
Ke ola o na Haumana Hula,
Ke ahi o ke ao o ka wa kahiko
Kaulana kou inoa o Hawai'i nei
Eo mai oe i kou mele
Mahalo ia oe,
"The chant is to my teacher, Lanakilakeikiahiali'i," she said. "One of the greatest Kahuna Po Oka Hula. One of the greatest chanters of all time. His ancestry goes back before time, and it is he who started me on my journey. Each time before I teach chanting, I chant this chant to remind me of him, and to reconnect to the lineage.
The Kahuna continued, "Now, what is lineage? In Huna, lineage is everything. If I'm in alignment with the lineage, if I am Pono (doing everything right), then when I chant, the energy of everyone who has ever chanted the chant will line up behind me and chant the chant with me and through me.
"Have you ever noticed that some chanters have Mana, and some don't.? The ones that do, almost knock you over when they chant, and it's not the volume, it's the feeling of the life force energy they vibrate in your body through your hearing the chant. But others chant, and there's no Mana at all." The Haumana nodded. "That is lineage. Everyone who has ever chanted that chant lines up behind me and chants the chant through me and with me," she said.
"As you grow in Huna, remember your lineage. One day you will teach. When you do, sometime you will have to call on lineage for help. When you call on the lineage, remember -- they can only help you if you are in line with the teachings. My advice to you is, only teach through the lineage, only teach what you have permission to teach, and teach it in accord with the lineage, and then what you teach will have that metaphysical power called Mana. Do you understand, my son?" The Haumana nodded. He understood.
"Now, let us breathe together."
The journey of initiation part 8
The Kahuna chanted,
"E Ku i ke kala
E Lono i kau weke kala
Weke puha ia
Kalakaua i ahuena
Kapu ka aha o ke makala au e Kane
Kala weke puha ia e."
The Haumana was stunned. Only a moment ago he had been in quite a bit of emotional pain, and yet now, it was gone. This was a pain he had borne for years. It wasn't just a pain, but a deep, deep emotional scar -- one that he had expected to carry forever. And now it was gone. Gone! He couldn't understand it. He looked at the Kahuna, "Mahalo," he said with gratitude.
The Kahuna nodded, "Now, you must learn so you can help pass the teaching on to others. Will you do that?" The Haumana nodded, "Yes."
The journey of initiation part 9
The Haumana listened as the Kahuna told him the story of the three selves. It was a story that he had heard before. It was every day knowledge -- the time when everyone in Hawaii knew of the three selves. It was just a part of "how it was." So, he wasn't listening closely as the Kahuna gave the instructions, but when she began to chant, the Haumana began to feel his head really opening up.
Na aumakua o ka po
Na aumakua o ke ao
Na aumakua o ka pau luna
Na aumakua o ka pau lalo
Hele mai, hele mai
Ho mei ka ike, ka mana, ke ola no
Elieli kapu, elieli noa
Amama, ua noa."
Now, it was time to do the breathing techniques that would generate the Mana to send up to the Higher Self and make the connection. As he breathed, he felt the energy build, more, and more, and more, and just when he thought he would bust, the energy began to rise up through the aka cord up higher and higher -- up to the higher self.
He felt the Ka'auhelemoa. Then the Higher Self came down inside him, and his consciousness merged, and he became one with the light.
The journey of initiation part 10
The Ho'omaka awoke suddenly as if in a dream, when he noticed someone had been standing near him as he slept. As he rubbed his eyes, his surroundings became clearer -- and then he saw her -- the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. She was so beautiful she looked to him like a goddess, and then he recognized her. It was Pele, the goddess of the Volcano. He had heard of people seeing Pele as they went places, but never her visiting someone!
Then she came right over to him, and laid down on top of him. She wasn't heavy, but as she came down on top of him, he began to feel the fire. Her fire ignited the fire inside him, and as they breathed together the fire came inside him through his mouth and nose, and he began to feel really hot inside. Then they began.
Minutes extended into hours, and as they did he became more and more impassioned. As if on fire, he felt like he was burning up. Then he realized that she had brought him up to a state of passion, and kept him on the edge for hours, and he wanted her desperately!
Then suddenly there was a red explosion in his head, and he shot up -- straight up in the air -- once again, he was free! As he flew upward, he noticed that he was being pulled toward the volcano.
Now, he was over the volcano, and then down inside, into the depths of the volcano. Deeper and deeper he went, until he came to the source of the flow of the lava deep inside the earth, and he realized that the source was the goddess herself. Then he became her, and all that was him disappeared, and he became the universe.
The journey of initiation part 11
The Kahuna chanted,
"Ai noho ana keakua I ka na helehele
I alai 'ia e ke ki ohu ohu e ka ua koko
E na kino malu I ka lani
Malu e hoe
E ho'o ulu mai ana o Laka I kona kahu
'Owau 'owau noa ua I kea"
Then she began to speak. And as she spoke the energy flowed out in waves from her. It was as if she had actually plugged into a source of energy, and was transmitting it out in circles.
"Now," she said, "we are going to connect you to your Awaiku -- the angels -- that will assist you in doing the work. The Angels, will be assigned to you. These angels are created by Kane so that the Kahuna can do his or her work. The angels are of a higher level than the Higher Self. They are of the second highest level right under Kane. This is important, the angels evolve based upon their assisting you to do the work. Because of that, these angels are debt free -- you don't owe them anything for doing the work they do.
You must use them or lose them, because they evolve by helping you do the work. Use them to do all of the work you do."
Then she chanted again:
"E Kane, e Kane, e Kane, e,
Ia awaiku ka ua i lanikeha..."
She chanted, and chanted, and then the Alaka'i began to feel the angelic energy coming in. It surrounded him, and then he felt two angels connecting to him in two places where the energy felt particularly strong. The energy became so strong and he found himself losing consciousness of the outside world as he fell into meditation. Just as he drifted off, he heard her say, "Look for a symbol and a name."
The journey of initiation part 12
The Alaka'i (assistant) was to receive his initiation into the higher levels, and he knew that this was to be a very special initiation. Five Kahuna -- three women and two men were arranged around him as he lay on the solid block of lava with which he was already quite familiar, so he felt very comfortable.
The Kahuna Po (the elder Kahuna) spoke, explaining the initiation, and ended with "these are Uli's symbols, and as an initiator of them, remember that since these symbols invoke very high level energies, they should be used for the highest good of all concerned. To use them or to allow them to be used for anything other than good works is monitored by the presiding deity of the symbols --- the goddess herself -- Uliuli. She will enforce their use. Take care to caution your initiates.
"Remember also, you are a caretaker of these symbols. Honor them. Treat them with love and respect and they will treat you the same way. Do you understand?" The Alaka'i, nodded "yes." He did. Then the Kahuna chanted:
"Noho ana Uli ka ulu wehiwehi
Ku ana i Maohelaia...e,ie,ie...
He mohai he makana na'u ia oe.
Then the five Kahuna began to energize the symbols and install them into the chakras of the Alaka'i, saying the name of each one as they did, and as they did, he felt each one coming into his field of being. That was the only way he could describe it. On and on they went, and all he could hear was the "Haaaaaaa" of the breathing of the Kahuna as they proceeded in the initiation process. Each part of the process felt different -- it had a different quality. Some felt hot, some felt cool, and some felt cold. Sometimes the vibration of the symbol was fast and sometimes slow. Sometimes it felt like light, sometimes like the wind, sometimes like the rain, sometimes like the sun, sometimes like the starlight in the sky -- each one felt different.
When it was done, just as they were finishing the Kahuna Po installed one last symbol, different from all the rest, in a certain place, as the last symbol -- and the Alaka'i became the Kumu -- the teacher.