Thursday, September 13, 2012

Awaiting Makali'i ... Makahiki Season begins late October


The Makahiki festival punctuated the yearly farming cycle in ancient Hawai`i. Celebrating harvest and Lono, the Hawaiian god associated with rain and fecundity, Makahiki marked a temporary halt to activities of war and occasioned lesser changes in many other daily routines. For religious reasons that coincided with seasonal weather, activities such as deep-sea fishing – associated with Ku, the god of war – were kapu, or prohibited, during Makahiki. Beginning in late October or early November when the Pleiades constellation was first observed rising above the horizon at sunset, the Makahiki period continued for four months, through the time of rough seas, high winds, storms and heavy rains...


Our top of the island home place is making room for changes. Like the land and critters who have lived here a long, long time we prepare for harvest and look to the season of sharing and rest. My ancestors of Hawaii were keen observers of Nature in all her seasons, but were as well keenly aware of the daily realities of Nature. Noting these realities was an inseparable part of the net that made what they as kanaka (human) did with what happened to Nature they saw, felt, heard and believed. Theirs was not a culture that controlled Nature, but was instead one that knew through generations of observation and living, they had a place and a part of that net.

Here on this moku, my kane and I move things around in our tiny home place to prepare for winter. We will need to insulate ourselves from the coming cold. Yet the irony of an insulating season is that balance necessary to be warm enough without walling off the warmth of relationships and aloha. I draw upon the evolutionary and astrological mana'o (wisdom) of the timing involved in this winter coming this Makahiki Season approaching. Thanks to my enrollment in a wonderfully deep and insightful on-line astrology class I reinforce my knowledge and learn to make peace with the nature of Saturn as that planet of long-term lessons moves through the sky. It makes good sense for me to pay attention; Saturn is my chart ruler and will affect the collective's (all of us) charts as well. Saturn moves from his 2.5 years through the sign of Libra into Scorpio (for the next 2.5 years) on October 6, 2012(oops, corrected that). When Saturn moves from the constellation Libra into the constellation of Scorpio the constellation Pleiades will also be rising on the horizon (in Hawaii) around that same time. Timing. The lessons of Makahiki Season are both practical and metaphoric. Each harvest time there is an accounting of what has been planted and what has been tended; how well we have managed our time-gardens-relationships rise on the horizon.

Pete and I have been in this home space for two years. We have planted ourselves in individual and collective ways: he is very involved with people, I not quite as much. What I do is so much internal and deep rooted work. My imagination and  love of stories that I find there are my community. However, while the planet Saturn has moved through Libra in the past 2.5 years I have attuned to the relationship I have with my attitudes and my friendships. Both of them have needed dusting and adjustments. Part of the healing and recovery from an illness of reactivity is to learn the difference between reacting and choosing to respond. It is a unique healing process and very much a process over time. This Makahiki I am blessed with finding new stories to fuel my needs as a storyteller, and wahine on a healing journey. With adjustments to my attitude (and that does cover a lot of ground) I have found new stories to tell. First, I was invited to gather with a small group of storytellers at a Story Circle in my South Whidbey Island community. It  has been many years since I have told story publicly and in a group. I'm making space for this invitation and refreshing my attitude about storytelling while asking for what I need to feel safe in the process. I said "yes" to this invitation several weeks ago. But only last week did the story that wished to be told show itself.When I discovered Leilehua Yuen's rendering of "How I'ole Saved Hawaii" I knew this was it.

Like I said, it has been many years since I've told stories in public. The old excitement at performing bubbled up. I made preparations: printing copies of the story at the library; and read the story through several times. In the meantime, I searched Leilehua Yuen's (old) website and found no contact information. The protocol for me as storyteller and artist is to ask permission. My prayers and my practice allowed me to continue practicing the story in my heart and mind. Yesterday(four days before the storytelling event) I GOOGLED and found Yuen's current on-line presence. I asked permission to share her beautiful Makahiki story "How I'ole Saved Hawaii."

 Aloha e Leilehua,

I hope this message reaches you and your 'ohana at a good time, and finds you all in good health. I am a storyteller, and author, and makua o'o. My name is Mokihana Calizar. While searching for a story to share at a story telling circle here on Whidbey Island in the Pacific Northwest, I discovered your "Makahiki Stories ... How 'Iole Saved Hawaii." It is a beautifully written version of Na Koko a Makali'i and one which weaves such aloha into each of the moments, and characters.

I am writing to ask your permission to tell a version of your story, crediting you for your rendering, at the South Whidbey Story Circle that takes place this Sunday, August 16, 2012. It is the first of its kind, a small gathering of storytellers to be held at our local library. When I first found your story I wasn't sure how to contact you. But, this morning I GOOGLED, and found your current website, and email.

You are living your story with grace and strength. How wonderful is this. I will wait to hear from you, and refrain from telling this story of I'ole until you have responded to my kahea.

To read some of my writing some of my work is here at my blog

Aloha nui loa,

Mokihana Calizar

This is what she wrote back:

E aloha no e Mokihana,

He oli komo keia!

Your event is August 16? AUE!!! I only just now received your e-mail. I am so honored that my telling touched you so that you want to share it. Please feel free to do so whenever you wish.

I would love to see pictures or a video and learn how your next storytelling session goes!

Malama pono,
The season of harvests is always a process and a journey of many plantings, done when the time is right and with attention to the elements of Nature as guideposts. I'm reading and listening the sweet and potent story of I'ole the rat who makes a decision, asks for help, and saves himself and his family (and Hawaii) during the season of Makahiki. The link to Leilehua Yuen's Makahiki story above will take those who are interested to a beautiful story of inter-relatedness and 'enoughness.' I hope I am able to share her story in a heart-felt way as I celebrate and acknowledge the net of Makali'i.

Mahalo e Leilehua:  her current website

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