This past Saturday, Uncle Glen and Chris of Marae Haa Koa led us on a learning excursion to sacred sites in Waianae. We met that morning at beautiful, dolphin-filled Poka`i Bay, with a group of almost fifty people (such a great turnout) and started the excursion with pule (prayer) and a brief introduction of Marae Haa Koa and their earth religion. We were given ko`a (coral) to signify our place in the world and our individual contribution that enables the group to work. Coral, is the first born in the Kumulipo (creation chant). From the birth of coral, other life forms follow. In the ocean's ecosystem, it is the coral that is the foundation at the very bottom of the food chain. Take away the humble coral and everything in the ocean dies. We may each be just one person but without each of us there is no "we", every one has a contribution to make and when we give of ourselves, we serve the well-being of the collective, ensuring harmony, ensuring life.
Poka`i Bay and the surrounding area was once taken over by the military and the bay was to be their boat harbor, which is why there is a break-wall still standing to this day. The homes of native Hawaiian families once stood just a couple hundred feet from the waters, but decades ago they were kicked out to be overtaken by the military. Their homes were bulldozed and homes for the military were erected there instead. The only home that still stands to this day from before that hewa time is the family home of Uncle Glen, who at the age of 16 went around the neighborhood gathering signatures to save it. Poka`i Bay holds much history, although not always known by that name. The area was once called Malaea, which is recognized by the pohaku Hina (white sea stone of Hina, distinguished by its white appearance) that stands in the shade at the nearby park. Where that memorial stands was once a school in more ancient times, where Astronomy, Geography, and other sciences were studied by our ancestors.
Past that place, heading out towards the open sea, there at the end of the cliff is where Kaneilio stands. Kaneilio temple is the perfect viewpoint to stand at and look back inland where the various mountain peaks will be found to be in alignment with the rising of the sun at the solstices and equinoxes. Kaneilio temple itself was built in alignment with the Orion and Canis Major constellations. Kaneilio is the female creator dog who protects travelers of land and sea and this specific point in Waianae is a definite prime point for navigators in more ancient times to use. Also, from there you can view Mauna Lahilahi, also a sacred place, as well as Pu`u Kea`au near Makua Valley where it is said there is a temple or building of some kind that is still standing (at least partially), built by the Menehune of old Hawaii.
Our next destination was Kaneana Cave, where another Pohaku Hina marked its presence. The petroglyph figures on the stone, Chris explained, was Kane and Kanaloa with a double rainbow (rainbows are kinolau of Kane). He also shared an interesting fact that the sides of a pyramid at Giza are built at the exact angle that you have to be at to see a rainbow while another has its sides built at the exact angle to see a double rainbow. I've read before that the pyramids or maybe one of them were built with angles corresponding to the Golden ratio, but that new piece of information is quite interesting!
Kaneana cave is a natural sea cave that is over 3 million years old. Formed by crashing waves when the sea level was about 90 ft higher than it is today, Kaneana is a most sacred place. Known as the "womb of Papa", this cave was said to be the dwelling place of the goddess Hina, her son the demigod Maui, as well as her other son Nanaue, the shark man. Interestingly, this sea mountain and all to its left is actually not a part of O`ahu. It is considered part of Kaua`i because this sea mountain and all the way past Kaena point was formed from a volcano that is actually beneath water between O`ahu and Kaua`i and not created from either of Oah`u's two volcanoes, which would make sense why Kaneana would be the Home of Hina, when her cave is said to be located on Kaua`i. So very interesting.
At the mouth of the cave, a giant and curved stone column with what looks to be just like vertebrae is in fact noted to be the spine of Papa (earth mother). The caverns to either side shaped just like what you would imagine the space of a rib cage and lungs would look like. At the back there is a large indention in the stone that actually has an opening that leads to another cavern beyond. That indention looks unmistakably like one made by some being at rest. That indentation is said to be where Nanaue, the shark man stayed, and by the large topmost part of it, I can see it being able to hold the head of a large shark. Hawaiian legend and history truly blend and merge in such sacred natural places. It is my honest belief that this is all true, one must only open their eyes, see for themselves, and be open to learn. Upon entering this cave, I got this very obvious energy that one needed to be very respectful and careful. Although there were many visitors, I was in this hushed, still space, in complete awe and reverence. There was such deep mana in this place, such history. I am so honored that I got a chance to go there, I don't even recall hearing of Kaneana until the field trip invite so this was an awesome trip for me. I hope to accompany Uncle Glen and Chris again on another field trip sometime and will definitely be getting in touch with them soon.
Little by little I feel like I'm relearning, remembering what was once common knowledge for our ancestors of old. The more I learn, the more I realize that what I've been looking for with sights set far away, is already a part of me, my culture, my home, and my direct environment. I follow the hints and knowledge I've been shared with eagerly, seeking the next lighted steps on my path back home to divine connection and knowing. E ke Akua, e ho`opomaika`i i ko`u huaka`i.
I Am Kawehi. 26 years of life on this earth, steadily growing, rising and blossoming like a lotus birthing through the mud, upwards into crystal waters and then to rest atop in open air as the firey sun alights my form. I wander. I imagine. I expand and seek to understand. I see. I AM.