Magic and Life

Kahuna Mō’aukala

Hello my lovelies! I hope that your month of May has been magnificent. Are you ready for June? Well if you are in Maui on the 18th, come on over to Lahaina. I will be at the Maui Theater performing feats of mind bending magic.
So being that I will be in one of the greatest states of this nation, I wanted to talk a little about Hawiian magic. Not illusion magic mind you. I want to shine a brief light on the traditional shamanistic magic that came about way before the new age belief system called Huna which started in the 70’s, by a non native no less.
So, before 1820, arguably when the first missionaries came to the islands (and eventually outlawed all magic practices), there were healers called Kahuna. These shaman/priests in Hawaiian culture held much of the same kind of responsibilities that the ancient Celtic Druids once held. They were the preverbal glue that kept the community together and kept it running smoothly.
Within this native priesthood, there were two main categories that defined the use, the Kahuna had in the community. There was the “Craft” Kahuna which used physical skills like wood carving and there was the “Sorcerer” Kahuna which used healing skills both ranging in deductive reasoning and in herbalism.
Inside these two categories there were 10 different casts (ranks) of shaman/priests. Each one was responsible for a very specific duty to their communities (but these duties were not in any way professions). I won’t name them all but to give you an example, some foretold the future, some were navigators, some performed human sacrifices, and some would seek out locations to build temples (called Heiau).
These 10 casts were also divided into 20 specific professions. For a short example, there were healers that would only diagnose ailments of patients and there were healers that would only use herbalism practices and methodologies to cure those ailments. Each individual profession would in some way lend to and support another profession, giving into a network of need throughout the entire community.
But alas, when the missionaries finally came, the practice quickly faded from the islands and was not passed on to maintain the culture and traditions. As I have already stated, it wasn’t until the 1970’s when the long awaited resurgence of the Hawaiian culture slowly brought back what was once lost and forgotten. But when this happened a peculiar thing happened. Kahuna la’au lapa’au (which means an expert in herbal medicine) was somewhat replaced with the New Age spiritual system known as Huna (which means secret).
This system was invented by Max F. Long (not a native). It is in essence, his take on Metaphysics, New Thought, and Theosophy. This is pretty much what he believed to be the practices of the ancient Hawiian Kahunas, which actually was not anything like the traditional beliefs in any way.
Even though there are very few priests today that still practice the traditional Kahuna ways, the Huna New Age movement has pretty much overtaken the profession of the shaman/priest in Hawaii.
Even though most might like this system. I have always believed that knowing the history “of a thing”, makes it more of an important part of your life, than just knowing how it works.
How about some fun street magic?!


-Seth
“The best medicine in life is knowing how to take complete care of yourself, mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
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