W A I - H A : W A I - P A

Word Treasures of Kahuna Rituals
(Selected by permission from the correspondence of Max Freedom Long)

"You have touched the very crux of the problem confronting the Illuminist who aspires to practise, rather than just speculate, preach, or investigate. We need above all a practical method of prayer, in ritual or with a mixture of ritual and related magic. The Kahunas used an amazing variety of words, nearly all heavy with significant root-symbols, for PRAYER. The base of many of the words is the root WAI, meaning Water; and symbolically water is same voltage of the vital force (mana). In the word wai-ha we have the idea of this vital force combined with HA, which implies 'affirmation, intensification, strong breathing.' Thus we have the symbol of the act of consciously generating a surplus supply of low mana in the body (a thing Baron Eugene Ferson demonstrated most satisfactorily in his work).

Then there is a secondary meaning of the HA root, that of a "trough or other channel thru which water is run or conveyed." So, in this word we see the Kahuna method of praying by generating surplus mana, to convey by the channel of connecting aka thread to the Aumakua (High Self). And in another word for prayer, wai-pa, the pa root means "to divide." This can only mean that the person uttering the prayer divides the mana signified by wai; and the division is with the Aumakua, unquestionably, as it is to this latter that the prayer is addressed. The root pa also has the secondary meaning of "to reach out to touch or to strike something, as an arrow, thrown stone, spear, etc." Thus it is a symbol of the act of prayer, in which the Aumakua is touched - the subconscious entity reaching out along the aka thread of connection, to make contact and give the mana.

In other expressions for prayer there are root symbols indicating the importance of sending a prepared thought-form on a stream of mana as it goes to the Aumakua. The Ritual included the steps needful for successful prayer. The important preliminary ritual must kala or cleanse the subconsciousness of a sense of guilt or other fixations, as of fear, unworthiness, and doubt ("draining the complexes" ML).

Furthermore, as Jon Sonall pointed out (Round Robin, Sept. '46), the Aumakua is within us so far as we are concerned, for we have 'inside' us the subconscious entity, and it is only thru this entity that the Aumakua can be reached. We ourselves, as conscious mind entities, lack the necessary sensory organ: we are paying guests in the house over which the subconscious presides - guided by the group-soul Aumakua (Akuanoho), who furnishes the instinctive knowledge-urges for the task of running the body.

By all means let us have a practicable and workable ritual for prayer. With that, we can be sure that "all else shall be added to you." In the ritual we indeed seek the Kingdom of Heaven (which is "within", even the "Father" was said to be "within" by our Lord, if we are to believe the record in John - which believing is difficult if not considered almost entirely under the heading of symbology and [5] initiatory plays). The kahunas looked within for the subconscious, and the impressions it might bring back from its contact with the external Father-Mother Aumakua...

I have been pondering this problem of ritual, and there is no doubt that our knowledge of the actual Huna rites is sadly deficient. The Kahunas were introduced to the Aumakuas, who served as group souls or advanced nature spirits; and after becoming acquainted and learning to make contact with these entities, they proceeded to pray in the proper manner to get fire immunity, weather or fish or shark control, etc. I am so far unable to find names for the several Aumakuas in this category, although there are endless names for the lesser and greater Gods and godlets, mostly seeming to stem from the bastard and degenerate branch of Kahunaism given to human sacrifice and temple-idol worship.

The rites by which a Catholic priest are initiated into his priestly state depend on the theory that the office can be handed down only thru another priest in succession from the original source, the Christ. In a like way, the kahunas had to be put in touch with the higher Powers by those already in contact. This principle seemed to apply also to the lesser godlings who controlled life below the human level - the apprentice Aumakuas. This relationship seems to have carried on down to the Kahuna who gave to his son the several unihipili spirits which had been captured and trained generations back, and which were used in the ana-ana form of death prayer. All these relationships had a strength similar to that of blood relationship, which has ever been a peculiarly strong bond in most savage lands. Even the artificially made blood-brother was held in the closest bond. In India some of the greatest teachers have been known to help pupils achieve realization by taking them into actual physical contact, or thru laying-on of hands, or administering of a slap or prod.

All these sidelights point to the probable means of establishing for the newcomer a contact with the higher entity, by enabling him to touch, and so stick the end of the aka thread to the aka or tenuous body of the God in question. Once this connection had been formed, the subconscious entity of the man could follow the thread, to send out the thought-form of a prayer request, and the needed amount of basic low mana to carry the thought-form to its destination, or to enable the God to answer the prayer.

(Here we see symbolic matters mingled with the actual physical mechanisms in the glib Kahuna explanation. It is all symbol, in so far as understanding what use the God may make of the mana, or mhat methods the God may employ to accept and act upon the thought-form of the prayer. The symbolism suggests that the thought-form is accepted as a "seed" and watered with the symbolic water of the mana, so that it grows into a fact in earthly affairs, in the course of time.)

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In presenting this series of articles on the Huna, Round Robin offers its readers exclusive material, not obtainable elsewhere, interpreted by one of the few contemporary authorities. The subject matter is of vital importance, and deeply related to the whole field of occult studies. (Mr. Long's address is 702 No. Cherokee Ave., Los Angeles 37)