Our Divination of the moment I drew from The Hawaiian Oracle deck. I fanned the cards from left to right and drew a single card with my left hand signaling it’s origin from the right hemisphere or intuitive seat of the brain. Ka Pe’elua or The Caterpillar was the aumakua or spirit guide selected.
In Ancient Hawai’i, Ka Pe’elua would feast on the leaves of the ‘Uala or the Hawaiian Sweet Potato. This food staple was crucial to sustaining the Hawaiian population in health and prosperity. Ancient Hawaiians respected and understood the natural order of the Universe and did not seek to oppose the Pe’elua by killing it but rather they fostered conditions mutually beneficial by creating an area where the Pe’elua could feed on discarded ‘Uala leaves after removing the caterpillar from the plant. A supplication asked of the creature requested that it leave the tubers for human consumption in exchange for the delicious leaves, hoping that both species could be supported in life by the ‘Uala, in peaceful coexistence.
Pe’elua’s wisdom speaks to us about creating boundaries on a spiritual level, preventing ourselves from crossing into the realm of retaliation and revenge based on fear of lack, but instead seeking an outcome where there are no losers but winners on both sides. We must find balance in our understanding of perceived threats instead of moving automatically into opposition, squashing what we fear with a heavy hand of vengeful resistance. When we react with destructive fear, spurned on by our entitlements, we create an atmosphere ripe for suffering that ripples out into our environment only to return to us with devastating effects. The results compromise happiness and the natural order of the universe; potentially leading to more conflicts with unimaginable collateral costs.
In Western civilization the solution typically sought to preclude predators from competing for a limited resource calls for destroying the perceived threat. Multinational GMO corporations reap enormous profits from the sale of their patented genetically modified seed crops along with the highly toxic cocktail of proprietary chemicals required to sustain their seeds through maturation by the across the board killing of insects and weeds.
Whether we talk about the conflicts in the middle east; the justification for and the production of genetically modified organisms; or the politicians willing to up-end a fragile economy to get their way without compromise; the wisdom of Ka Pe’elua is clear. Find the common ground first and work for mutually beneficial outcomes that sustain life for all not just the the diabolical ego’s of the powerful.
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The Hedge Witch has risen dramatically in the locus of popular culture over the past few years as interest in Pagan traditions and magical folklore has exponentially expanded. This is due in part to legal protections and the popularity of Wicca as a Neo-Pagan religion and the folklore inspired writings of authors like JK Rowling and Wiccan Hedge Witch Rae Beth. What is a Hedge Witch you may ask? And, what ‘s the difference between a Hedge Witch and a run of the mill witch?
First, witches like faery princesses, and dragons exist in our imagination and fantasy entertainments but witches also occupy the world of oblique reality and to this day are being brutally murdered in more bigoted parts of the Earth. It is important to acknowledge that witches are an ancient primal archetype possessing the ability to strike fear in cultures world-wide just like the Dragon, Giants, and Naga. Second, a “run of the mill witch” or typical witch simply does not exist as they vary between cultures, secular and religious practitioners including Wiccan, Thelemic and other New Age and Neo-Pagan Religions. Some practice in groups or covens; others prefer solitary pursuits. A few are exclusively identified with one sex; some are white, some are black some are green; some are known as Kitchen Witches and others as Warlocks.
The term Hedge Witch originated in reality and originates from the old English Haegtesse or Hedge Rider. A Hedge Rider or Witch is solitary practitioner of the natural healing arts and naturopathic-magic, but may work with others of their kind on rare occasions. Hedge Witches are also known as Traditional or Natural Witches and their skill sets and services depend on the person; often combining elements of divination, herbal healing and natural magic. Some practitioners claim it as the evolved art of the Cunning Folk, while others say that its’ practice is more a nature based neo-pagan religion like Wicca, which in my opinion is rather myopic and akin to saying Walt Disney invented the fairy tale. However, the histrionics of the Traditional Witch extends beyond just folklore and has ancient roots extending back to the biblical Witch of Endor and even further still in the esoteric histories of Egypt and Mesopotamia.
It is commonly believed that Hedge Witches are found world-wide. Traditionally known as the Village Witch, Witch Doctor, Kahuna La’au Lapa’au, Shaman, Wise or Cunning Woman or Man, this often misunderstood sometimes fringe member of the community consulted on any number of herbal cures, natural and supernatural remedies of spirit, mind, and body. The Hedge Witch assuaged matters of the heart often acting as a therapist, meta-physician, fertility, and virility specialist. The Hedge, once signified the outermost boundary of ancient villages, fields, and large estates. This boundary represented metaphysically the border between the world of the living and the nether-world of spiritual beings. Practitioners of this type of naturopathic-magic were often called Hedge Witches, not only because they lived in or just beyond the hedge or forest but because they were also believed to commune with spirits, as well as, affect the living with the use of natural magic and herbal remedies found in the “hedge”.
I was raised “On the Hedge” so to speak as the cultural differences between my parents where seemingly insurmountable and at times contradictory. As Intuitive consultant I identify with the Hedge Witch Archetype and draw upon both my Hawaiian healing intuitions of the Kahuna La’au Lapa’au and the hereditary Hola’e which stems from my maternal line going back 20 generations to the Kahuna Nui Pa’ao and my many years of study of western esoterica and the observations of my step-mother(of Eastern European heritage) and her powerful intuitive elucidations which both terrified and fascinated me. For hundreds of years through my paternal line our family maintained a famous well which was widely used for healing, divination, and potent wish making in the South West of England. All this says is that herbal and spiritual healing have ancient roots in my psyche and my genetic structure and Hedge Craft harnesses the mind to heal, as I understand it. As a Tarot Card consultant I utilize my understandings of these healing modalities to aid people in finding clarity and understanding in the face of their difficulties. I believe the power of the mind can create miraculous healing if properly coaxed and that overwrought thinking and stress can cause illness if left unchecked. If you have difficult questions that need answering please contact us for a consultation.
Divination of the Moment
Let the light in and experience joy, Wunjo is the Rune that signifies the emerging psyche from the darkness into the light, allowing for restoration and rejuvenation of the spirit, mind, and body. So pull back those heavy drapes of excessive thinking and let the light in! In Hawaiian tradition the Kukui or Candle Nut metaphysically and literally means light, as the oil from the Kukui fueled the ubiquitous tiki torches that illuminated the inevitable darkness of the Polynesian night, dispelling fears of the unknown.
We often allow the darkness of negative thinking to oppress and dominate our thoughts through the judging and condemning of ourselves and others. When we “lighten” up we pull the heavy rocks or negative thoughts that block the light of our love from shinning up and out from the vessel that holds our spiritual light and soul. In Hawaii when we offer a Kukui Lei (garland of Kukui nuts) with Aloha to guests and loved ones, it recognizes the Divine Light and love we share as children of God.
Insensitivity to other belief systems is an endemic plague undermining the fabric of every society. Lightening up your beliefs and you might realize that politics is a costly game that one need not play in order to find happiness.
If you haven’t received your daily dose of Vitamin D try spending a little time enjoying the sunlight on your face. Smile, because you are precisely in the right place, at the right time, right now! Bask in the light for it is a gift to receive, like ripe fruit on the vine, it is there for your enjoyment! If the darkness that surrounds you can’t wait until the Dawn, light a candle and regard its energy and dissolve your overwrought thoughts and share the…
This is the second post in our Hawaiian Hedge Plant series and we will be outlining the many marvelous uses for the sacred Hawaiian Ki or Ti Plant.
One of the most sacred and versatile plants introduced to Hawai’i by early Polynesian settlers was the Cordyline fruticosa, once considered a member of the Lily family botanists have reclassified the plant as an Agave. Known to Hawaiians as the Ki or Ti Plant, This tightly clustered plant with wide blade-shaped leaves 7 to 10 cm wide and 40 to 80 cm long is fast growing, reaching heights anywhere from 1 to 4 meters.
This popular and storied Hawaiian hedge plant is considered to bring good luck to those who plant it near their homes. The Ki was sacred to Lono, deity of fertility and music and his consort Laka goddess of the hula or dance. It was used as an emblem of the Ali’i and denoted elite rank, privilege, and divine power. The kahili, (feather standard of royalty and the nobility) in its earliest form, was a Ki stalk with its clustered foliage of glossy, green leaves at the top. The leaves were used by the Kahuna La’au Lapa’au or high priests and administers of the Kapu(ancient Hawaiian law) in many healing, religious, and ceremonial rituals.
Practical Applications for Ki, Ti, Si, La’i – Cordyline fruticosa
Some of it’s many practical uses included: food wrappings, cups, plates, rain capes, hula skirts, leis, cordage, footwear, hukilau nets, fishing lures, and thatching material.
Food and Beverage-
Ki root was baked to extract sugar and the baked Ki root itself was savored as a desert, used as a preferential emergency food in times of famine, and brewed into a beer during pre-contact times which has since evolved into a distilled spirit, known today as Okolehao (iron bottom). Once used as a treatment for scurvy, it is best described as a cross between rum and tequila.
Ki is most likely indigenous to Southeast Asia and was transported throughout the Pacific by Polynesians who used the relatively light weight, compact, starchy rhizome for food during long ocean voyages.
Topical Medicinal Uses-
The natural shape of the Ki leaf lends itself well to creating hot packs, poultices, and herbal wraps packed with other medicinal hedge plants. Here are some simple and effective traditional Hawaiian la’au applications for Ki leaf.
Aches & Pains: For muscle pain and stiffness in joints snugly wrap one large Ki leaf around the joint or muscle area overnight. Repeat for 5 days or as needed.
Back Pain: Wrap heated river stones in Ki leaf and apply to sore muscles for inflammation and pain relief.
Fever: Place the Ki leaf in cool water, and then apply the leaf as a compress directly on the effective areas to help reduce fever. Cover the patient with a light sheet, to avoid chilling.
Decongestant: Steam from boiled young green Ki shoots and leaves can be used as an effective decongestant and the fragrant Ki flowers reduces asthma symptoms.
Stress Relief: Young green Ki shoots can be boiled and chilled to make a muscle relaxant and nerve calming beverage.
Magical or Metaphysical Uses-
Ki stalk was used as a diving rod in the practice of Huli Honua which is akin to the Taoist tradition of Feung Shui. The intuitive understanding of the movement of earths energy fields or Geomancy as practiced by the ancient Hawaiians, was the process of aligning oneself with the mana or energy of the ’aina or the land. Understanding the flow of that mana could be determined with the Ki stalk. The proper alignment of all man-made structures with-in the flow of the earth’s energy fields was essential for harmonious and successful living in ancient Hawai’i.
Today the Ki leaf is used in ritual cleansings and blessings. Dipped in a mix of Hawaiian sea salt with fresh water and accompanied with a pule or prayer, the Ki Leaf is used to sprinkle the holy water over it’s recipient(s); offering divine protection from evil and an invitation for the presence of good.
Aloha nui & Happy Gardening!
Tarot Card of the Day: The Seven of Pentacles:
As we prepare to reap what we have sown, and collect the object of our labors the opportunity to examine our true intentions and our current situation is at hand. The Seven of Pentacles reveals to us that through hard work and determination we can nurture our thoughts into material fruit, however, in the moment we are not quite ready to collect the harvest as our labors have not fully ripened. It is often in this moment of re-evaluation that our true intent becomes realized and the pesky pests that lie in our past attachments emerge from the subconscious to gnaw on our potential. Fear of success, is a vague and elusive rat. To the unrealized mind this is the moment when things mysteriously begin to fall apart, right before the harvest, when our burgeoning ideas and self-confidence begins to falter and the weeds of doubt and the vermin of fear destroy our co-creative efforts. Onipa’a, be steadfast for the harvest is at hand! The Seven of Pentacles asks us to stop and pause to re-examine your reasons for working so hard and whether it’s the path you truly should be following. Re-affirm your commitment to your own happiness and take the next step as the pay off is right around the corner. Be weary of letting your fears stop you from receiving what you have worked so hard to achieve.
Leaning upon his hoe, a farmer pauses to regard his efforts which are flowering abundantly on the vine, soon the flowers or The Seven Pentacles will transform into fruit and the time of reaping will begin. To the Ancient Hawaiians the vine growing Ipu was tended to with great care and skill. Flies and maggots would often overwhelm the blossoms impeding pollination and the slightest jostling or bruising of the young gourds would cause the fruit to rot. The vigilant gardener keeps the pests at bay so that verdant ideas may bear fruit.
As the lengend goes young Ke-ahi-aloa (Eternal fire) is adopted by an aunt on her mother’s side and taken from the Big Island to Kauai, where she is left to neglect. Starving, she is found by a couple who find her in their garden scavanging potatoes. Seeing her in such a state, the old couple take her in. Eventualy her parents in Ka’u are made aware of the aunt’s woeful neglect of their daughter and encouraged by his aumakua, Mano the shark god, her father sets off to find her. In the mean time Keahialoa is proposed to by an Ali’i has who fallen in love with her beauty. On the eve of the marriage festivities mysterious sounds can be heard in the forest. The Menehune and her family gods, are preparing a celebratory Luau in her honor. Her father arrives just in time to give his blessing, and Keahialoa decrees that never again shall an older sister be allowed to adopt a niece, but only a younger sister, and this rule is observed to this day by her decendants.
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Hawai’i Convention Center at the
9th Annual Native Hawaiian Convention
2008 Honoree – Princess Keelikolani
2007 Honoree – Princess Nahienaena
2006 Honoree – Prince Jonah Kalanianaole
2005 Honoree – King William Charles Lunalilo
2004 Honorees – King David Kalakaua & Queen Esther Kapiolani
2003 Honorees – King Kamehameha IV & Queen Emma
2002 Honoree – Queen Lydia Lili’uokalani
(from neighbor islands), via e-mail at email@example.com or visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org.
Tarot Card of the Day: The Fool
There is nothing more refreshing then starting your day with a bright open mind; ripe for opportunity and new beginnings. A choice is being offered to you today and with that comes the awesome responsibility of making the right decision. The Fool has no limitations outside of his own thinking and as such the opportunities are endless but be weary that the precipice of self doubt lays dangerously close and may need some thoughtful negotiation should your mind stray from it’s intended path. Ask yourself are you choosing Love or Fear?
A finely attired fop of a youth known as The Fool strides boldly into the field of action, his head turned upward with the nourishing rays of God’s loving intent at his back. Holding a white rose of pure intention his goal is a lofty one. Across his shoulder he carries in his sack, the four elements of co-creation, indicating that he holds all the tools he will need for self-realization and success while on his sojourn to the self. At his feet is his loving prancing companion, loyal to his cause, and equally oblivious to limited thinking; a reminder of God’s unconditional love.
Onipa’a – Hold Fast – a Memorial for a Queen
- The first grouping will consist of Coastal plants. Vegetation that voyagers might have seen upon reaching the Hawaiian shoreline, plants such as ‘ilima and hinahina.
- The second grouping will focus on Canoe Plants that were brought to Hawai’i by the islands’ first settlers, such as hala, ‘ulu, coconut, and kalo.
- And the lastly the Native Dry Forest Plants; recreating theoretically, how Hawai’i’s forests might have looked like, in ancient times.
From a hedge witch perspective it will be interesting to see what medicinal plants will be included in the exhibit and I’m particularly interested in the Native Dry Forest Plants.