Thursday, January 16, 2014

The four full moons of Kaulana Mahina (the four full moons of the Hawaiian Moon Calendar)

Nä Mahina Mä‘ama‘ama Loa
Nä Mahina Mä‘ama‘ama Loa are the full moon phases, the brightest and largest moon phases in our mahina’s lunation. Hawaiians recognize four full moon phases in the lunar sequence.
AKUA is the first full pö mahina that Hawaiians recognize. Akua rises approximately 5:00 – 6:00 pm and sets about a half an hour before sunrise on the following morning. Akua is almost completely round and very bright. Akua is in the sky for almost the entire night.
HOKU is the second full pö mahina. Hoku rises in the east at the same time that Lä sets in the west. Hoku is directly overhead or zenith at midnight. Hoku sets on the western horizon the next day at the same time that Lä rises over the eastern horizon. Hoku is in the sky for the full night and it is recognized as the true full moon phase.
MÄHEALANI is the third full pö mahina. Mähealani rises approximately an hour after sunset. Mähealani is usually an orange or reddish color and is also known as Malani. When this pö mahina is about to set in the morning, it is called Hoku ‘Ili. Hoku ‘ili means “stranded star”.
KULU is the fourth full pö mahina. Kulu rises in our sky approximately two hours after sunset and sets on the western horizon approximately two hours after sunrise.
-from MAHINA the ebook

Last night we bundled up and took a ride out of the woods to watch the moon rise over the Cascade Mountain Range. From our encampment, the sentinels of Tall Ones hide Mahina until she has moved in her counter-clockwise path and is quite high in the night sky.  Mahina was to rise minutes after the sun set, so if one is trying to be 'precise' about which of the four moons it was, it was probably a Hoku Moon. (See the description above) The drive to our moon sighting spot is also the highway that takes ferry traffic down to the landing. Most folks are on a mission to get that boat, so it's not uncommon to be tail-gated by the anxious driver. We, the anxious driver behind us, and Pete and I got to our destination in good enough time. The ferry was there, and the driver made the boarding. With a bit of re-positioning Pete got our little Scout car into a good angle facing the Cascades.

It's too easy to slip into that anxious driver role, even when I'm not the anxious driver wanting to make the boat. With multiple chemical sensitivities life without a spiritual program is life with the burner turned on HIGH all the time: one is sure to burn! There was a challenge to juggle before going to the moon rising ... an episode with toxic smells happened minutes before driving down. I was triggered. Without room for God, I was on my way onto that burner turned HIGH. Fortunately, the Moon is a companion to my Higher Power and in practice, she tames me when I 'think' it's not possible and floats me in the waters of transformation (full moon) when I wall myself off so I get a better perspective.

I donned my I Can Breathe Mask with the red rose on it and surrendered to the episode: let go, let God and placed no blame while speaking up. I made room for letting the glory of the Hoku Full Moon be magical.There was too much wood smoke at the little park where we waited for Mahina to rise, so we sat and looked out the windshield at the zigzag of snowy peaks that trimmed the tops of the Cascades. The sky was hazy, but the mountains were visible. Our chances for spotting the moon were good. Behind that mask I breathed and relaxed. Letting go and feeling the goodness of being alive on Honua (Earth). The light of the sun was dimming but still present. A shade of apricots simmered in the heavens. And then, boing. There she was a golden globe of what I can only call moon yellow slipped from behind a crest trail snow cap.

We clapped, and I found a rhythm of celebration and drummed the dashboard. I pulled the mask from my face and breathed normally. The moment of a triggered exposure had passed. The company of the present was rewarding. We watched and chatted. We watched and breathed her in. If you missed the moon rise last night, there's another one tonight. My ancestors were keen and consistent observers of nature, and recorded their relationship with nature and the elemental forces of connection. Living on island worlds in the middle of the Pacific Ocean there vantage points were unobstructed ones with horizons and access to the heavens that etched in their na'au (gut) bodies like indelible tattoos. I am lucky to have been reminded of this in time to live the rest of my life on Honua with that spiritual connection.

Mahalo Mahina ... shine on! It's so good to be able to count on the moon.

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