Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year 2014

Pete and I send all our 'ohana, our readers, our friends all the best of wishes for a happy and loving new year. Mahalo for all your support and aloha you are the safety pins and roots that keep us together.

Mokihana and Pete

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Astrology by hand

Thanks to CJ Wright of Auntie Moon for this free Vintage chart.  Click here for the download.
I was flipping back and forth between websites and astrology charts yesterday reading a new solar return report for my blog Makua o'o (it will celebrate 5 years on January 5, 2014). My husband walked in and stood behind me, "Wow imagine doing all that by-hand!" Yeah, I thought about that. Astrologers (some) can and still do that. But not so much any longer with all the tools available on-line. I depend on astrologer to navigate my life with Sun in Scorpio, Moon in Capricorn, Mars and Saturn conjunct with Pluto all in Leo, with Uranus in Gemini for quick turns and Jupiter conjunct Venus for luck and expansion. Many of my readers on this blog come for the astrology posts, I am surprised by that, but glad to see how the charts, angles and insights of astrology pros must have something that continues to feed you. I am far from being a astro pro. What I love is the depth of study possible with a committed interest to the art; there's always more to discover and new insight on an old issue.

An elder in training is a lifetime journey, some believe it is lifetime after lifetime of labor, and not work.  I love what Lew Hyde writes when he distinguishes between "work" and "labor" in his book fittingly titled The Gift. This excerpt comes from the chapter The Labor of Gratitude.

..."Work is what we do by the hour. It begins and ends at a specific time and, if possible, we do it for money...Labor, on the other hand, sets its own pace. We may get paid for it, but it's harder to quantify." Hyde goes on to make the connection between labor and being in A.A. " "Getting the program" in AA is a labor...Writing a poem, raising a child, developing new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention all forms--these are labors. When I speak of a labor I intend to refer to something dictated by the course of life rather than by society, something that is often urgent but that nevertheless has its own interior rhythm, something more bound up with feeling, more interior, than work...A gift that has the power to change us awakens a part of the soul. But we cannot receive the gift until we can meet it as an equal." Hyde's discussion includes his analysis of the fairy tale-fable of The Shoemaker and the Elves, an analysis that both recalls a story from a long ago familiar setting (as a girl reading the tale) and now at 66, an artist and elder in training who appreciates the labor of life, and art. I highly recommend reading the book and reading Hyde's artful way of using tale/fable to highlight his point of view. Hyde says, "We therefore submit ourselves to the labor of becoming like the gift. Giving a return gift is the final act in the labor of gratitude, and it is also, therefore, the true acceptance of the original gift."

"We can't predict the fruits of our labor; we can't even know if we'll really go through with it." Like astrology, the gift juggling and considering potential in your genetics or your natal chart point to the labor involved in our decision to become a human, on Earth. The gift, the labor persists in the daily and cyclical navigations and crossings of a life; seeing how the challenge of a secretive Scorpio might soften without dissolution; or, affirming the best use of a Capricorn moon is to feed it in solitude. A blank chart is beautiful to look at, but it is in the living that turns something beautiful into a gift.  

E ho'a'o no i pau kuhihewa. Try it and rid yourself of illusions. - 'Olelo No'eau

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Moon in Capricorn, January 1, 2014

New Moon in the Twelfth House (mine)
This is a period of review, letting go, and recharging one's spiritual and, by extension, physical "batteries". Focus, now, is on fulfillment through service, empathy, and awareness of other's needs; but it can also be a time of withdrawal and some sort of retreat in a social sense, depending on your personal and natural predisposition. Some kind of soul-searching is in order, and the urge to find some level of emotional peace of mind will be apparent. This is a more sensitive position of the New Moon, and it is best to find some sort of peace for the soul in preparation for the New Moon in the first house—a period that is more active and busy than this one. - Cafe Astrology

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." This is a prayer and mantra that I feel most in need of today. As the year draws shorter, and the winter is truly in place though Winter Solstice has marked a place from Earth that says the longest night is passed and light is promised. Nonetheless, winter is a time for hibernation and with the New Moon in my 12th house coming January 1, 2014 I am reminded that rather than pushing at making something grow this is a time to recharge my spiritual batteries.

I posted this chart earlier today. It was a chart of discovery! I had just discovered that my newest project, the second in a series of "medicine stories" scheduled to be launched on January 1, 2014 is one that is 'all squares and oppositions' ... all lots of hard work. An old chum and life journeying friend shared an insight with me about struggles and the addiction to them. I could relate: the habit was bred in me early, early, early. Fortunately for both of us, there is room for letting that habit go: I have a choice about how to work. What do you think old friend? Not too late to give up an out-dated habit as ancient as this one?

My work and the art of myth-making and storytelling that I foster has me expressing my self more clearly, even as the myth is difficult for some to read and understand. A young man new to our community talked with my husband earlier this week about my writing. He is intrigued with it but confessed 'it's not easy to read.' Many years ago when I was writing a regular column in a small press newspaper one of the fellows who delivered the publication said the same thing. He read it regularly, didn't always understand it, but kept reading it. At the time, when Hawaii Island Journal was (in my opinion) one of the best free-thinking and intelligently edited sources out there, I felt honored and grateful to be honing my craft and being paid. The pay was minimal, but I had a source for expression. I'll be long appreciative for the opportunity. Lane Wick and Karen Valentine did a hell of a good job!

More than ten years later, the Hawaii Island Journal is history. Piha pau! The bi-line continues, "Makua O'o" was first written in that publication. I continue to write with that bi-line here and makawalu (unfurl) from this platform. I learn some things every day. I write every day. Some of it is good. Some not so. Some I really love. Back to that chart I posted. Some thing I am learning to accept is the power of timing ... like water the flow is not one that can be captured, and when I try the water leaks from my fingers like hot soup. I get burned sometimes. Today, I see it is possible to be warned, and take the warning as good consult. Anyway, the point of the post is that the New Moon in Capricorn is not a good time to launch the next installment of my medicine stories. It's time to review and refuel my batteries, batteries which do indeed need recharging. A later launch time, in the spring, on a new moon looks better. We'll see. God and goddesses help with that Serenity Prayer.

Many good wishes for the New Year that makes the most of you!

Hauoli Makahiki Hou,

"Here are some ideas for intentions, house by house:
  • New Moon and stellium in the 1st house –  Take care of your body.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 2nd house – Quit wasting money and save some.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 3rd house – Quit swearing or blabbing or speeding or whatever it is you’re doing that seems immature.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 4th house – Set an example for your family.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 5th house – Parent your children.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 6th house – Follow through on the commitments you make at work.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 7th house – Do right by others.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 8th house – Take responsibility for your pathology.
  • New Moon and stellium in the 9th house – Learn something that takes some effort.
  • New Moon and stellium the 10th house – Focus your ambition.
  • New Moon and stellium the 11th house –  Be a solid friend.
  • New Moon and stellium the 12th asks –  New spiritual foundation

An astrology question

What do you see/read in the chart below?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Making the most of it, seeing the story between the jagged edges

We've had our first snow. Early in the morning when I woke and walked the short distance between the vardo steps and the Quonset door the first of the white and frosty snow had topped the iron table and dressed the Huckleberry branches. Spider webs dangled and blew in a gentle breeze, like filigreed  earrings fragile in appearance tougher than they look. The year is coming close to an end, Winter Solstice is close; the promise of more light and longer days. In the meantime the daylight ends around four o'clock. Snow is as foreign to our chickens as it was to me at twenty-five years. This is the chickens' first snow and they found it too foreign for their pronged feet, and took flight from their coop steps thinking their wings would take them to familiar ground. Not today, or at least not yet.

I'm in the middle of writing the third of what I'm called my medicine stories. Hatched from the need to make sense of life and the twists and switch backs that occur -- the ones that show me how attached to one sort of journey, and not the possibilities of lots others, I am finding great joy and the efficient magic of common things. A few choices and my consistent and insistent habit of writing have led me along the way of an artful life:

  • Learn from example. My mother was an artful being. She was fun and she was generous. She was also very good at making do with what she had. Safety Pins. Bake my own birthday cake. "Don't dwell on the past." "people come to visit me, not my things." The first medicine story "The Safety Pin Cafe" is my mythic memoir with my mother's memory at the core of things.
  • Notice the big and small things. I've always been observant, and secretive. For most of my early years I observed silently, being called shy. I continue to be observant, and not so much secretive as selective or discerning. The condition I live with makes it necessary to be alone a lot. In a very real way I suppose, my condition has come from my astrology: I have a Capricorn Moon. To nurture and nourish a Capricorn Moon time alone is essential.
  • Magic and tale telling is good. Before there was Disney, there were stories. Before there was television there was radio. Before radio there was talkstory, the everyday and common magic of stories told Island style, Hawaii kine. I was born to story tellers, and through my father's and mother's examples I listened to many tales. In the years since those story were first told, and the subsequent years of forgetting the details, I have not forgotten how I felt when I heard the story. Maya Angelo said “At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” That's what I hope to leave people with when I write; and especially hope that is true when they read the medicine stories. I hope I leave people feeling the magic.
  • Practice, practice, practice.  When I retired from the corporate whirl and the community classrooms I thought my career could morph from those structured years of working for the man. I held to that belief far too long. Trying to replicate old habits, I simply created old habits. Life, Akua, and the Spirits of Life have taken me (sometimes kicking and screaming) to this new practice. Makua O'o and the blogging practice that has unfurled from the practice of training to be an elder is a funny life. All and everything before counts, and, it makes no never mind. Both and everything, all and nothing matters. Mostly, I just show up and write. Practice. Write. Mend. Practice. Write. Mend ...
This newest medicine story is about a magician and a juggler, brothers. And is tentatively being called "Mend, meddle, magic." These brothers are given a responsibility, with instructions from the characters Pale (the border witch) and the Silver-haired Raven the principle characters from The Safety Pin Cafe. The question is: how practiced are these brothers with instructions? I'll end this pre-solstice ramble by telling you that the two photos above, taken while I was on one of my Artist's Dates, was inspiration enough to put something down for the new story. I have to give many thanks to my on-line writers' group Prime the Pump for the space and the artistic mirrors (my writing friends) who encourage me to keep at it week after week. THANKS, you know who you are!!!

Here's a tiny bit to read from the medicine story in progress "Mend, meddle, magic." See how those two pieces of pencil inspired some magic.

"It might have been a spell or perhaps the gap that happens quickly, like the snap of a pencil broken in two. Jagged where the once whole instrument colored bright yellow allowed a thought to etch itself onto paper, the pencil shorter now. Yet one has a point, an original purpose. The other?
"Have we been that bright yellow pencil, snapped in two?" Alex wondered to himself, wishing there was an answer he might have over looked.

The Magician held the spinning egg only so long as his brother allowed it. It was always that way. Magic worked, really worked, when it was allowed. Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago the two brothers were one pencil. They worked as one they may as well have been the same. Waiting for the egg to stop moving Alexander Santiago remembered the beginning. Time waited..."
Happy Solstice,

The second part of the journey and medicine story begun with "The Safety Pin Cafe", will be ready for readers on January 1st, 2014. Link here to find out about it, and buy it.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Moon opposes Venus

"... All day the Moon approaches exact opposition to Venus and holds it through the end of the sign late in the night. The themes are parental and hinge on balancing satiating inner needs with working toward acquiring the objects of desire. Structure and comfort must balance with inner needs for connectedness and nurturing. Do your personal life goals and commitments support this?"- Satori

Monday, December 16, 2013

Full moon in Gemini, December 16, 2014

The full moon (at midnight tonight in USA) is in Gemini (in the 6th house for me.) I regularly attend to what intentions I need to consider as the moon is new and potential, but pay less attention to the full moon. Something told me to check out the mood of the collective moon on this full moon to help me through the depth of feelings I'm experiencing.

"The full moon trines Juno as the Sun sextiles. It’s not easy but it is simple: telling yourself the truth. There’s no lasting satisfaction or genuine pleasure right now without candor or integrity. Commitments and fidelity figure prominently in a clean and healthy way. It’s a great time to commit or re-commit to the truth of your relationship, whatever that is."- Satori (link here for the full read)

Another angle on this full moon comes from a site called Aquarius Papers. It's an interesting perspective. Part of the article (a long one) includes this overview:

 "... An overview of this period ruled by this Full Moon shows it will illuminate how we need to move into a broader point of view about what we’re here to do, and reorient however we need to. Reorientation to provide for everyday and future need is a huge theme of this Full Moon. This will put the focus on individual, mental, and spiritual energy in receiving gifts and unique insights as things begin to fragment. We are still getting front end looks at what Saturn will solidify in November 2014... 

Pulling out my copy of Elizabeth Rose Campbell's Intuitive Astrology for insight I found these thoughts about the moon's placement in my 6th house.Campbell suggests "The sixth house supports community. ..The beauty of the sixth house ideal is that it can set a standard for what is possible and inspire teamwork and mutual respect. [the] key purpose of the sixth house is to link personal well-being with the health of the community." Campbell ends her thoughts about the 6th house, as she does with each of the perspectives on the houses with this question relating to moon in the 6th house: "How do I combine my capacity to care (moon) with the service I offer community? Through a corporation? A restaurant? Health care?"

Those are great questions for me on this full moon, balancing my need to care for myself and the community is not an easy trick for me. You?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pluto transits the 12th House: digging deep, hiding when appropriate, surviving to thrive again

 "With Pluto direct and headed deeper into my 12th house, I’m acutely aware of hidden or ethereal power, for good and ill. I feel it’s necessary to tread carefully as the 12th is the house of self-undoing and asylums, something I understand better all the time. Just imagine being stuck in a dark well for a number of years. You best keep your wits about you unless you want to be driven insane...
 Elsa P. 12/14/2012
" Hide or perish... I relate it to Pluto in the 12th House.
I’m pretty sure I’ll survive[Pluto's transit through the 12th House], so what I want to do now is milk the transit for all it’s worth.
It’s very powerful…and very hidden.
Just think about that a minute.  You’ve been counted out, but you’re more vitally alive then you’ve ever been before in your life."Elsa P. 12/09/13

Children hiding in caves

"As the propeller drone of an Antonov becomes audible, children scurry into a cave mouth and wedge themselves under boulders.
‘We’ve lived like this for four months,’ Hanadi tells me, a mother living in caves to escape air raids.
‘We boil up leaves and wild fruits to eat.’
In the fields below Hanadi’s caves, rather than standing crops I see graves of Antonov victims.
In Nuba, tens of thousands of civilians now hide in mountain caves."
 He 'elele ka moe na ke kanaka. Lawe i ka ma'alea a kU'ono'ono.
A dream is a bearer of messages to man. Take wisdom and make it deep. - 'Olelo No'eau

I woke from sleep shivering. Yes, it's cold outside but the cold was coming from inside. Coming from the deep sadness. So often, these captive feelings find their way into the fiction I write, the myth converts the unthinkable into truth. The story transforms. And, it will probably go there into the mythic page, but for now the dream wants me to put it down as chronicle. Like my astrologer, Elsa P. I have the planet Pluto transiting my 12th House. The transit began just about now, 5 years ago. December, 2008. Pete and I were living in the basement "Kitchenette". The years of digging deep, hiding when appropriate and surviving [and believing] we could thrive again had begun.  We have made progress with the deep work -- the labor, the kuleana, the responsibility --- of making sense of life affected by toxic chemicals and the culture that has created convenience at all costs. In the early years of hiding we hid to survive. Like the children pictured above, and the situation which forces them into caves the collective fear weighs deep. Unconscious. When woken to the reality of the fear and the sadness, it shakes me. I feel it deeply. I Shiver.

What happens to me, all of humanity, when Pluto transits the 12th House of secrets and insanity is unique to the individual but collective in the culture in which she lives; and the collective is all of us. I did not know the children of the Sudan would show up as I began to write this morning, but that's the way of the internet and the process of searching. I googled, "hiding in caves + photos" and the photo above is what I found. I put it here and connect to it and ride the potential of astrological advice to "milk this Pluto in the 12th House transit for all it's worth." Yesterday I wrote about Aloha. It's the taproot of grounding for me. As I write I breathe it in, and take it into the hiding places within in. When I breathe out the words come and my fingers fly.

Pluto transits the 12th House of my Capricorn Moon. The lessons for me are about deep emotions relating to the 'Moon'/home/nurturing/mother. From the woods where we have parked our Vardo For Two the season of winter challenges us. It challenges me not to be asleep to the depth of feelings that are within; not to be so afraid that I act from arrogance; affirming the ancient wisdom of the mother/earth/my kupuna (the elders of my blood). When I woke with shivers, I dressed in the flannel night gown passed down to me just-in-time and pulled on my wool felt booties. The small stainless steel pot needed to be washed, I walked the short distance to the wash house where there is hot water. Not frozen from the cold temperatures the hot water came. I squirt some unscented dish soap into the pot and scrubbed it clean. Out of the corner of my eye as I rinsed the pot I saw my mother. Her portrait occupies a spot where she can keep her eyes on me. "Good morning, Ma," I wave and smile at her and think ... what a sweetie pie. Through the wash house door it's still dark outside, and cold. Glad for the booties and flannel night gown I return to the Quonset, pull the extra sheet from the door way and set the clean pot onto the burner. Hot water from our coffee pot allows me the convenience of measuring two cups of water to make the morning oatmeal. A handful of raisins added to the oats make a great breakfast. While the oatmeal cooks, I come to these keys and ask for the words that get to the deep shiver of the sad dreams. I hunt. I find. I put the words down.

My people, the Po'e Kanaka, have a history of digging, digging deep, hiding when appropriate, and surviving to thrive again. That kuleana, that responsibility persists. For me, as I write from the woods of the Pacific Northwest, the examples of doing and living the work often comes from the generation we have birthed -- our children. The link to a Tedx Talk in Manoa on O'ahu, filmed in October of this year (2013) is one of the fine examples of longevity, collective wisdom and ancestral abundance. Kamuela Enos was raised and lives in Waianae, O'ahu where the largest population of indigenous Hawaiian population on the Earth lives. This young man is the hiapo (oldest son) of Eric Enos founder of Ka'ala Farms.  Eric Enos is my age, Kamuela Enos is my son's age. During this transit of Pluto (deep and power) in Capricorn (grounded and meaningful) through the 12th House, a significant transformation continues and passes from generation to generation.

Enos opens with this thought to describe his kuleana responsibility, his work, his hana, "It's this notion of "Indigenization" ... taking the tools and the structure of the colonizer and repurposing them to be vehicles for our anestral practices and perogatives to be relevant in the 21st century. Link to the Tedx Talk to listen to Kamuela Enos' presentation.
I have warmed from the shiver of a bad, sad dream. Waken to the clarity of what I can do and do believe. I do my work. I write. I research. I tell the stories and weave the magic that is common. Common in the sense that I know there is a source of lasting wisdom and I head toward it. Make use of the deep transit going on in Pluto? Yes. Lawe i ka ma'alea a kU'ono'ono. E kuhikuhi pono i na au iki ame na au nui o ka 'ike. Take wisdom and make it deep. Instruct well in the little and the large currents of knowledge.

Activate your kuleana.

Ka'ala Farms, Waianae, O'ahu

Sunday, December 8, 2013


 Aloha is the intelligence with which we meet life.
Olana A‘i, Kumu Hula

"I love that[referring to Kumu Olana A'i's quote]. And so I'm here today to discuss the alternative ways of knowing. Because I no longer say "Hawaiian ways of knowing" anymore. Because people just relegate that to the margins. "Ways of knowing," as if it's a quaint, anthropologic way of describing something outside of us.
No, it's "epistemology." This is the philosophy of knowledge. This is the belief of knowledge, production and exchange. What is important about knowledge.
So the truth of knowledge is very profound. And it starts with our sensual development. Where did you grow up? How did you grow up?...
You know, when people believe that literacy is the highest form of intellect, I beg to differ, beg to differ. You know. Poor thing, you cannot read. Yeah, in a modernity sense, you've got to read. But don't tell me I'm stupid if I no can read.
Understand your own shackling of colonialism, that would put literacy as the highest form of intellect, and not aloha..." Manu Meyer

I woke this morning with the feeling of ha'aha'a humility. It was not so much that I thought it as much as I felt it. It's 23 degrees outside and though our vardo is cozy and toasty warm with heat, the Quonset Hut, where I am now, is just barely warm. So I am layered up from toe to throat. Discomfort will do that, bring me to humility, knowing that shelter keeps me safe enough when Nature turns on the taps -- freezing, firing, blowing, rising the waters. In addition to the effects of winter something else serves up the value, the feeling of ha'aha'a for me. Back on the islands I hear the voices of my family in Waimanalo talk about the strengthening bonds of aloha. Time and situations are bringing generations together in everyday ways: a ride to the North Shore to share time, catch the surf, read a book; hanging out for Thanksgiving sitting and laying around on the floor after eating; asking for and getting a massage a'e style (treading with the feet); playing ukulele.

Far from the place where those things are happening my heart longs to be there too. The cold amplifies the longing. I put more clothes on. In my dreams Pluto transits my Capricorn Moon and bits of rubble I can pretend aren't there in the light of day come in no logical progress; that is the nature of Moon Tattoos. The cold, the longing, the humility of experiencing life over time is a practice of meeting life. Manu Meyer reminds me that distance challenges me to remember my core values and sort through the 'colonial' beliefs that linger, hide and tempt me to be blind or deaf to Aloha all around and inside.

Just before we settled into sleep last night Pete put down the novel he's reading Havana Bay a spy, investigator story set at the turn of the century (1999) in Cuba. Cuba. A very large island nation. Out of favor with the US. Independent in a very different way today when its people and its economy no longer traded with the US. The novel and the details of everyday experiences I hear Pete describe while he reads the espionage brings up conversation about Cuban wooden box drums -- Pete built two for drummer friend who traveled to Cuba in late 1990. We talk also about the size of Cuba confused by the use of the metric system as I am, we're not sure whether the island nation is 1,000 miles long. Cuba is 42,426 sq miles (109,884 km²). I recall the videos I've watched about Cuba's reclamation period "the special period" post embargo. 

"We live in a vanilla society," Pete said just before he turned the lamp off. I was between wake and sleep, and grunted. But knew what we was saying. He added, "Well, you of all people know that!" It's true. I miss the other flavors. The discomforts we experience living from vardo for two are more than most experience in the Pacific Northwest. But we all take for granted the grandness of our normal conditions. 

I need to express some of these things whether clear or meaningful to others, who can tell. What is important is for me to know that at the core of being human loving and caring for one another and for critters like the wandering cat who would love to be inside is part of everything. Carry my stick, wrap up when cold, massage the message with fingers or feet and feel the love.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hoki: Women Jugglers of Tonga ...inspiration for story

 "Folk tales are like collective dreams; they are told in the kind of voice we hear at the edge of sleep, mingling the facts of our lives with their images in the psyche." - Lewis Hyde, The Gift

"When winter comes we often tell ourselves, we aren't ready for it. As if the season was part of our checklists, we say the thing that is exactly so. We aren't ready, but winter doesn't think about whether she is ready. She simply lives it. The world I live in, as writer and border witch, is one that does exactly as Lewis Hyde suggests mingling and weaving the facts of my life with the images in my 'mind' but something else happens as well. I feel the border where the everyday and the myth cross and park myself there, and pin the magic together to create story. Let me spin a tale from this and see where we are ... Read the rest of the story here.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Makahiki begins the Hawaiian New Year, December 4, 2013

December 4
Makahiki (start of the Hawaiian year).  To mark the start of the Makahiki season: 1) wait for the star cluster of the Pleiades to rise at sunset, which occurs every year on November 17; 2) wait for the new moon that follows this sunset rising of the Pleiades, which occurs in 2013 on December 2; 3) wait for the first visible crescent moon that follows this new moon.  This year, this slender crescent should be visible in the west at dusk on December 4, thus marking the start of the Makahiki season and of the Hawaiian year. - Bishop Museum Planetarium

The citing of the rising cluster of stars called Makali'i (the Pleiades) at sunset in the Hawaiian Islands means we look for them in the sky above us in the Pacific Northwest woods when the sky is dark around my birthday (November 16). We've seen the cluster, know the stars move close and feel the presence of our 'ohana even more.

Makahiki In Ancient Times 

"Makahiki can be a confusing word. It translates to English from Hawaiian as "year" or "new year," and also refers to the four lunar month long season which heralds the new year in the Hawaiian calendar.
In ancient times, as the old year drew to a close, the priests associated with certain temples on the western side of each inhabited Hawaiian island would watch for the appearance of Makali`i - the Pleiades - a star cluster which appears in the evening sky in the Gregorian calendar's October. When the kahuna, the priests, could finally distinguish Makali`i in the eastern sky shortly after sunset, they announced the next new moon would begin the Makahiki season. This was a time when warfare and most work were prohibited and the people celebrated with games and sports.  [Makahiki was a time of Lono, god of fertility and abundance]...Before the arrival of Lono-Makua (Father Lono) to preside over the Makahiki in a given district, taxes were collected in the form of offerings to Lono-Makua. The offerings included vegetable food, such as taro, hard taro paste, sweet potatoes, chickens, and dogs, dried fish, clothing, rope, feathers, feather lei, and anything else of value or needed for daily life. These things would be used to help support the functioning of the royal court and the priesthood to in the next year." -Leilehua Yuen
Last year Pete and I began the Makahiki Season by (me) re-telling one of teacher, storyteller and educator/entertainer Leilehua Yuen's stories (with her permission ... mahalo e Leilehua) about Makali'i; and shared a traditional Hawaiian New Year's checker-like game konane with our Whidbey Island community. We may bring out our konane boards and li'i stones again this year, and I hope to share Leilehua's story of how 'Iole the rat saved Hawaii ... in The Safety Pin Cafe. For now here is a link to 'How Iole the rat saved Hawaii.' How much does one man (one chief) need? Does one much maligned creature like the rat deserve to have a story perpetuated? And, is any of this true, Aunty? Well, listen and read for yourself and then decide what you will pass along as truth.

Here for the story of 'Iole.