Hawaiian alchemy

The Hawaiian alchemy is the embodiment of the secrets of the North-Polynesian culture. This is its top, because on the territories of the Hawaiian Islands are the most active mountain volcanoes in the world. The erupting lava from them did not only create the islands, but also became the basis of the fiery culture of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian archipelago is a unique natural formation, consisting of a chain of 24 islands and more than a hundred atolls of different sizes. The archipelago is located in the north of Polynesia and is one of the U.S. states. The islands are all covered with ashes, due to the active craters of the local volcanoes.

In the southern part of the archipelago are located eight major islands – Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Kauai, Niihau, Lanai, Kahulavi and Oahu, which capital is Honolulu. Each island is unique with its activity of volcanoes, water sources-geysers and air flows. Certainly, a special impression creates the lava that formed the topography, the fauna, and the whole nature of the islands.

On the largest and most southern island of Hawaii are the most active craters of the world – Kilauea (eruption, Hawaiian) and Mokua-Beo-Beo, and also the mountain of Mauna Kea with the extinct, once majestic volcano. Each of these places on the island archipelago is the shrine of heiau (Hawaiian) – this deification of the volcanoes by the indigenous peoples is the key to the understanding of the Hawaiian alchemy.

Polynesia is a large group of islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In southwest of the Polynesian triangle is New Zealand, in south-east – the Easter Island, in north – the Hawaiian archipelago. The people of Polynesia came into being as a result of the mixing of ancient southern Mongoloids and Negro Australoids. The northern group of Polynesians, also include the related cultures Tonga, Titi, Samoa, Mandarava and Hawaiians.

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.The diameter of the largest atolls reaches up to 50 km. The area of the Lyusansen atoll near the coast of New Guinea exceeds the area of the Azov Sea (320x140 km).

Mauna Kea Mountain (White Mountain, Hawaiian) is remarkable for the fact that its foundation rises to a height of 9740 m, thus making it the highest peak in the world. However, the altitude of its height is only 4205 m.

Unfortunately, most of the Hawaiian alchemical knowledge was buried under an avalanche of information from the modern world. Also, the native Hawaiians, the direct descendants of the sacred knowledge carriers, today are only 1% of the population of the islands, and another 13% – metis people. However, in the stories and legends, passed on from one generation to another, we can still see the picture of life, way of life, education and worldview of the islanders.

The Hawaiian alchemy is based on the knowledge about the creative and destructive power of fire. The connection with it is established through the sacred dance Hula. This dance, in its turn, connects Man with all levels of existence: the divine and natural forces – the whole universe. A graphic display of this connection are the signs on the frozen volcanic rocks – petroglyphs. They are plotted in the sanctuaries of Heiau.

Fire has a special meaning for all Polynesians. The Polynesian islands arose as a result of the eruption of numerous submarine and terrestrial volcanoes. Fire and lava were once perceived by the Hawaiians as a spontaneous, destructive force, destroying everything around. This primal force Ai-laau (eating forest, Hawaiian) was associated by the Hawaiians with the crater of Kilauea. This force, the expression of the fiery power of the Earth, formed their home – solid earth.

The islanders' knowledge of the world and the history of its creation were associated with the natural life forces: in due course the destructive power of Ai-laau acquired, in the minds of the Hawaiians, some creative features and started to be associated with the goddess of fire Pele. The various volcanic rocks, created by the powerful energy of Pele, are called by her name. For instance, the Tears of Pele - drops of lava, cooling in the air and preserving their natural form. The main place where Pele appears is called Ke-ahu-a-laha, and there also is located a sanctuary.

Another force of fire, the sister of Pele, is the goddess of lightning Hiiaka. The sisters were the daughters of the god Kane Milohai and the goddess Haumea. Kane Milohai – the creator of the heavens and the whole universe, and Haumea – the mother of the world, the goddess of fertility. Together Pele and Hiiaka form the two images of fire – the power of creation and the power of destruction. Pele and her sister Hiiaka are two powerful energetic activities that can transform, develop or destroy every living thing. Therefore, the basic concept of the Hawaiian alchemy is expressed in the duality of the forces of fire.

According to the traditional Hawaiian legends, in the craters of volcanoes, the habitat of the sisters goddesses, appeared the half god-half human Muai. He is mentioned in six Polynesian cultures: Maori, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa, Mandarava and Hawaiian. According to one version, the fiery man Muai was born in the crater of the Haleakala volcano. In the Hawaiian alchemy this hero takes the image of a man, who became perfect.

Hula – the dance of fire

The Hula dance came into existence at the same moment when all things appeared on the Earth, and that's exactly how the Hawaiian legend tells about its origin. Hula is the protector of the life of humans, animals, plants, flowers, ground and underground waters, volcanoes ... – in short, the defender of the real process of life on the islands.

Hula – a narration, where every hand gesture, posture, movement of the hips, turn of the head, hit of the foot on the ground: that's an expressive story. The dancer does not just imitate, he actually transforms into plants, the ocean, the earth and the sky, the blowing of the wind, the thundering of the breakers or the swinging of the seaweed, he can surprisingly organically adopt the characteristic features of animals or objects, and thus merge and resonate with the forces of nature. This is a dance about the natural perception of life, and in order to perform it, one needs not so much to master the technique of movements, as a full of love, receptive and sincere attitude to the life.

Hula is the key to understanding the Hawaiian alchemy and the translation of its name is the “opening of internal power” or the “kindling of internal fire”. From the performers (initially they were only men), like in every ritual dance, was required the ability to completely merge with the natural or animal forces, as well as with the power of the goddess of dance and wild plants Laka, and achieve “an energy unification”. The dance is often performed before the altar of this beautiful goddess, considered the patroness of Hawaiian women. The cult to the forces of nature is connected with Laka, who is actually the reflection of these forces, and she is constantly in the dance, as if directing the people how they should live naturally and fully. Only those, who live a real and open life, are destined to meet the beautiful Laka.

Once on the territory of the islands was the ancient temple of Halau Hula, dedicated to this goddess. It was some kind of a training center, where the students learned the intricacies of the Hawaiian alchemy, learning to perform the Hula dance. Throughout the course of training the dancers did not cut their hair and nails (it was believed that it allowed them to store the acquired knowledge); some foods were banned; sexual intercourses were also forbidden. The eroticism in the dances of the Polynesian islands was originally associated with the goal to summon the fertile forces of nature, embodying them into movements.

According to the Hawaiian alchemy, due to the Hula dance one can preserve and enhance the sharpness of mind, the flexibility and strength of the body. The patterns of movements and the positions in the dance may be different, but the effort stays the same. In reality, the effort is the altar of the goddess Laka in the temple of Halau Hula.

The ancient legends say that ‘the one, mastering Hula”, in fact, masters the art of reviving the dead Kupuku. When Hula is performed by a true master, in the audience appears a feeling as if a warm rain is poured on them, animating after the scorching sun. The energy that comes out from the dancer creates such a feeling, as if the goddess is present next to you. Hula is a certain state, in which happens a direct transfer of knowledge, shared by the friendly Laka. The dance is accompanied by ritual songs.

Oh, Laka, send your blessings to me, the stranger.
And to those people inside the Home of Hula – to the teachers and students.
Oh, Laka, bless those dancers
When they come out in front of the people.

Oh, Laka, living in the shady grove,
We offer up our gift to you.
Oh, Laka, the mother of all things
Let the joy be with us.

Pictograms and petroglyphs

The Hawaiian aborigines used the rocks and walls of the caves for the application of different signs, fixing the events that were important for them. But most often for the application of these signs – petroglyphs and pictograms – they used the surface of not yet solidified lava, which they revered as sacred and called pahoehoe. The most concentrated placement of pictograms is in the places of power, where there was a touch with the cosmic energy.

The Hawaiian pictograms (na ki `ipohaku, Hawaiian) are not some frozen, dead pictures: the drawn, already in the ancient times, signs continue to live even these days, interacting with the local generating power of Pele. This is one of the manifestations of immortality, when people try to "tie" their energy to a certain place, where they specifically apply a sign, so that the energy could continue to develop further, even after the death of the physical body.

Petroglyphs, (petros – stone; glyphe – carving, Greek) – prehistoric cave paintings and later images, for instance, on specially set stone megaliths. They are, in fact, independent pieces of art, as well as a connecting element with the place, where they were applied. The oldest petroglyphs date back to the late Paleolithic period 10,000 – 12,000 BC. Approximately 7000 – 9000 years ago began to appear other writing systems, such as pictograms and ideograms. The petroglyphs were common to a large number of social groups that continued to use them until the twentieth century. They can be found in all corners of the globe, except Antarctica. Most often they could be found in Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America, and Australia.

Pictogram (pictus – painted, Latin) – an image, used as a symbol. Usually the pictogram corresponds to a certain object and is used for reporting information, which emphasizes its typical features.

Ideogram (idea; grammar - record, Greek) – a written sign, a conventional image or pattern, designating not the sound of a speech, but a whole word or concept.

The petroglyphs are certain formulas that, despite the apparent simplicity of the images, are not so easy to guess their meaning. There is also a version of the extraterrestrial origin of petroglyphs, which gives them extra meaning: in this case, the tribes, interacting with petroglyphs and pictograms, represent themselves as the keepers of special knowledge about the connection between Heaven and Earth. For example, in the U.S. state of Idaho, in the area of the river Snake, the legends describe some creatures that had appeared in these places 30,000 years ago. The petroglyphs depict these creatures and their interaction with the residents of the ancient city. Similar petroglyphs were also found in Colorado, Arizona and California.

The appearance of the pictograms in Hawaii is referred to the II century AD. From this particular moment we can start to count off the history of the Hawaiian alchemical pictography, the conceptual pictorial aspects of which are divided into three levels:

  • event pictograms, depicting human activities;
  • totemic pictograms, showing the power of the Earth;
  • cosmic pictograms, reflecting one or another power or divine manifestation.

There is also one more separate level of pictography - mixed, connecting all of the above mentioned. It fixes the energy components – Man, Heaven and Earth – in a certain place, where the symbol is applied. The pictograms were applied to horizontal and vertical surfaces, which obviously were associated with the “axis”, linking Heaven and Earth.

The pictograms were localized in specific places, which were powerful energetic zones and were used for ritual purposes, sanctifying the place. In this particular case, they were applied by the priests kahuna (priest, shaman, master – Hawaiian), who were conductors of the cosmic, divine energy and were responsible for the correct application of the sacred petroglyphs and pictograms. Thus, the pictograms connected Man with the power of his place of residence.

The depicted figure on the pictogram often displayed the process of connecting with some force. And the place, fixed by a sign, was used for the preservation and accumulation of energy, associated with the meaning of the petroglyph. In this case, the energy of Man simply continued to exist out of his physical body.

There is one more assumption related with the function of the Hawaiian petroglyphs. Perhaps, in ancient times people were not endowed with the ability to hold their attention on a particular object, as it is given to us today due to the developed sections of the brain. And for them, it was easier to transfer the concentrated efforts on a stone, so that they reflected the “movement of their consciousness” on the outside. Therefore, we can assume that the pictogram is some kind of a separate living consciousness, which performs the functions of a human brain.

From the example of some typical signs we can see the energy levels of the petroglyphs.


The effort of a swimming man

The actions, performed by the aborigines of Hawaii, had a bigger meaning to them, than just a simple life activity, such as swimming. The fixation of such actions in the form of a pictogram proves the existence of some sacred sense in the distribution of efforts. The question arises, why the aborigines needed this, and what's the point of paying attention to the everyday life. The answer could be found in the pictogram – Rainbow man.

Rainbow man

Rainbow man, a pictogram, indicating the possibility of unification with the forces of nature. During this connection is cultivated an effort, allowing in future to further strengthen the unification, that is to significantly enrich yourself energetically.


This pictogram marks three sign levels. In the foreground is shown a man with a form of breast, symbolizing the connection with the totemic power of the turtle. Next is depicted some sort of an action, or transformation, i.e. an effort. And in the distance – the fixation of the cosmic, divine energy. It is those necessary conditions, which make the energy transformation possible, i.e. the alchemy. Particularly interesting for the alchemy is the process of transformation, which symbolizes the human effort (the middle figure).

The Running Man

The effort plays the role of a communication between Man and not only the external forces, but also the human community – between each other. However, the spent effort should be somehow appreciated. It is obvious on the pictograms that the Hawaiian culture separated, in the first place, the external effort, without attempting to somehow accumulate and develop it within the body. This is evidenced by the absence in the reached to us knowledge of mentioning the need and methods of conservation and confinement of the energy.

Hula Dance

This sign of the “Hula dance” expresses the interaction with a certain effort in movement and points to the importance of saving the knowledge about it.


Whether it's a warrior, a running man or a dancer – each of the figures shows the process of human communication with the higher powers, which caused a certain experience. The process of experiencing is actually the main value that determines the integrity of life. The destruction of this experience is prevented by the rhythm, or the protective spirits aumakuas.

The expression of the basic rhythm, the main defender of the Hawaiian aborigines is Honu, the green sea turtle, known as god Kauila (enlightening, illuminating, Hawaiian). She is a “guide”, illuminating the path to the Hawaiian Islands. According to the legend, the mystical turtle continues to live even now in its own home in the area of Pinalu'U Bay on the island of Hawaii. It can take a human form and communicate with people, or more precisely, with children, that once again points to the special importance of the natural rhythm, which is inherent to all children. We can reasonably assume that the Hawaiian aborigines on principle followed a certain sacred rhythm that formed their quality of life.

Animate stones

The stones had a divine origin in the minds of the Hawaiians, being an expression of the power of fire: the stone reflected the process of materialization and in ancient times was seen as the realization of the divine power of transformation. So, it's natural to assume that the stones were animated and became objects of worship.

In fact, the most famous similar stones are identified with the souls of the two sisters, who lived on the island of Kauai – an emerald island from the Hawaiian archipelago with lush greens and golden beaches. One night, their energy bodies made a flight to Kukaniloko, but on the way they were caught by the dawn, and the first rays of the sun turned them into two stones. So they remained not very far from Kukaniloko, until in the beginning of the twentieth century the road builders moved one of stones that impeded them. However, during the night the construction manager George Galbraith had a dream, in which the stone continuously repeated that it was placed upside down, and asked him to turn it over.

The next day, Galbraith found the stone that he saw in his dream and asked the workers to turn it over. Two old Hawaiians told him a story, telling that it's not a simple stone and that it is filled with a life spirit and his name is Kaninilao-Kalani. So, both stones were moved to Kukaniloko and thereby helped the two sisters to complete their journey.
These stones are actually the center of pilgrimage, which various transformations are associated with – from the healing of physical ailments to the transfer of the ancient sacred knowledge of Hawaii. Today they could be found in a cemetery in Vahiava near Honolulu. While being transferred, one of the stones fell apart, it was carefully glued and, oddly enough, both stones did not lose their power.

Kukaniloko – a place of power, where, according to the legend, were born the members of the royal family. This kind of a “sacred hospital” is surrounded by two rows of stones of volcanic origin, some in the shape of a bowl, and each row consists of eighteen stones. On many of the stones are carved petroglyphs in the form of a human body or a circle.

The Pohakuloa stone is related to the most favorite deified by the Hawaiians stones, which is in the capital of the archipelago Honolulu and the stone Naha in the city of Hilo on the island of Hawaii. A special place in the Hawaiian culture takes a group of four stones, lying on the Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. These stones – Kapaemahu, Kahaloa, Kupuni and Kilohi – store the powers of four Tahitian kahuna magicians and are endowed with energy, which only other magicians and priests can interact with. Two of the stones represent the female power, and the other two – the male.

The stones, a former object of worship, were wrapped by the sacred plant Tiki that fed them. This ritual indicates one of the most mysterious knowledge of the Polynesian culture – the catch of sound. Sound embodies god Lono, the husband of goddess Laka. The neighbors – the Maori, –call him Rongo. According to legend, enchanted by the Hula dance, he appeared on the top of a rainbow in order to marry Laka. God Lono is the seed of life, being some kind of a conceiving power that Man expresses through sound. However, the knowledge about the way of obtaining the true power of sound comes from the stone. A relation to this ritual has the force Kamapua'A, a half-man – half-wild boar creature. It is also associated with the art of catching the sound.

The stone hides many mysteries about Man's life and death, which the Hawaiian aborigines tried to learn. In some ways it resembles the attempt of the medieval alchemists to reproduce the Sorcerer's Stone.

If we consider the Hawaiian Islands as a land full of fiery energy, then the most fantastic ideas can be taken as real – the divine origin of the petroglyphs, or the mystical power of stones, and also the power of immortality in the Hula dance. However, we must not forget that Hawaii is a part of the Polynesian culture, which, although fairly complete, still has a lot of different manifestations (don't forget, for instance, how original is the culture of the New Zealand Maori or the Easter Island). But the most important thing is that the Hawaiian culture is alive, pulsing, breathing, and despite the fact that many of the today shrines are forgotten and abandoned, they continue to hold their spirit and power.


11 july 2007

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