Hōlanikū – A Return to Pō

[Disclaimer: not everything I write in this blog may be accurate to the places and the cultures depicted. This blog is not a resource for you to learn this information. This is only a narrative report of my personal experiences. I will do my best to accurately represent this information, however this can even be challenging to anyone for much is left to the interpretation of the person gathering and “reading” the information. I have very little to no background in Hawai’i ʻōlelo and the subsequent manifestations ( mele, hula, ʻōlelo no’eau, oli, mo’olelo, etc…) although I am a student of these and understand my own personal need to learn in order to expand my own knowledge and awareness. Because my knowledge is very limited in this context, I borrow heavily from my broader understanding of archetypal psychology and mythology. However these subjects too are relatively new and foreign to me.  One of the purposes of this blog is as a tool to help me apply the knowledge I am learning to my own story as a way to actualize it: to bring it to life! Thank you for reading!]

Return to the West. Entering Pō.

Every Journey Into Darkness is a return to greater awareness of self. Human existence is a profoundly existential experience; every human being is burdened, or gifted – depending on how you look at it – with a deeper sense of awareness of self. However, full consciousness is not handed to us. In our lifetime, we must seek it out. We must journey into the unknown, the uncharted territory, the shadow realm, and bring back with us our own awakening.

How does one do this? How do we know about that which is unknown? How can we embark on a journey in finding and obtaining our fullest potential? The answer, or rather the reward, is found only within the journey itself. Yet, as creatures who are but merely the latest continuation of the unraveling story of life, we may my find guidance  in all that came before us. These clues have been observed from people to people, generation to generation, preserved in stories which have been remembered through their cues from the environment that surrounds us: Earth, and the greater cosmos.

The story of the Human is a cyclical story embedded within the larger contextual story of life. Each of us human beings are an expression of this grand story. Our identity, our psyche, is but a representation of all which has come before, flowing forward and backward in time: spinning, spiraling. In a reality in which we as humans are perceiving our world, it is difficult to “see” the foundational forces that provide this “home” or “space” for us to even exist. This is why humanity is profoundly a existential experience: The physical world in which we are born into: the light, is only illuminating the creations, but we cannot see the source of these creations. For that, we must venture into the darkness…

I cannot deny my own acute awareness of a deep void that rests beyond my horizons. Its gravitational pull is strong, pulling me towards its edge. I both fear it immensely, and desire it tremendously. I fear it because it is unknown: as we all are naturally programmed in our genetic instinctual self-preservation to remain in a state of safety. But I desire it because I feel so contained and limited within this bubble of safety. What does it mean when your soul calls for you to expand, to risk everything?

I don’t have many answers, but I have found that when I respond to this calling, my perceived experience fills with meaning and purpose. Destiny comes forth and leads me on. Passion is ignited and lights my way.

I am about to return to a very special place. It’s name is Hōlanikū. It is both a place on this Earth, and a place in our psyche. I am returning here for work, both practical and spiritual. This place is an Atoll which is part of the largest protected preserve in the world, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, and it rests at 28.3925° N, 178.2936° W. It also rests in the realm of . As the Atoll exists much further north and west of the main Hawaiian islands, it also then exists within the realm of darkness: the subconscious; the source. It exists beyond the horizon, in the West where the sun sets, and in the North. These are places within us and without us where life came from and life returns to. It is where our ancestors rest. It is the home of our kūpuna. Mai nā kūpuna mai. 

I am still trying to grasp the deeper significance of ancestral places and their imprinted wisdom on the geography of us people. I am merely a beginning student who has been honored to learn from our greatest Kumu, our greatest teachers. I do not take this lightly. I take it as a huge responsibility, a deeper purpose. And although It often feels like a great undertaking: to walk between the realms of the conscious and unconscious in such magnitudes, I have already seen what walking this path has given me. A greater sense of myself. A greater understanding of the mystery of life and a clearer vision of where we as a people are going…

If you choose to follow this blog, you will be diving along with me into my journey. I will attempt to post regularly beginning now and all the way through the six months on  Hōlanikū, as well as the return. If you would like further information about this place and the work that we do, please visit the Kure Atoll Conservancy page.  If you would like deeper information on this place, there are many resources for this. Check out Kekuewa Kikiloi work titled Rebirth of an Archipelago: Sustaining a Hawaiian Cultural Identity for People and Homeland as well as some of his other work: KŪKULU MANAMANA: RITUAL POWER AND RELIGIOUS EXPANSION IN HAWAIʻI THE ETHNO-HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDY OF MOKUMANAMANA AND NIHOA ISLANDS:

Mahalo nui for your interest in my story!


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