The Relentless Majesty of Huna

Chapter 3: Na i ke Umu Ki
(The Hunian Firewalk)

And how the Umu Ki Ceremony was returned to Huna

by Ho`anoiWahinenuiho`aLani

      It was about 800 years ago that the gods decided to offer us the means to the acquisition of faith again, for those who wished to perpetuate it, to end their confusions and involuntary suffering. And the Created World was drenched in the fire-made-sacred of the Firewalk.

A number of religions were close enough to reality to see the path towards faith there, and kept that flame alive. It was somehow transmitted to the na Kahuna (Priests) of Polynesia at about that time.

And Arii-Peu Tama-Iti, HRA,  of our Hunian lineage tells us this of that time:

“It is to be seen that their purpose was accepted along with the theory and practice. In the lands of origin the rite had been used to provide or to give proof of, “purity” or “purification” in the religious sense. It was supposed to bring clairvoyance and clairaudience so that the fate of lost voyagers might be learned, lost articles recovered etc. It was a thanksgiving ceremony. It called down a blessing on crops and people and animals. It brought rain. It replenished the fish in waters nearby. In India one fire walked to fulfill a vow when prayers had been answered. Walking on hot coal was supposed to cure sterility. In Japan firewalk was used as a healing ritual for various forms of sickness.

In Polynesia firewalking was used more or less for the same purposes, but as an additional rite and not to replace older rites already in use … Once a set of ideas has been accepted, it is fitted neatly in with other ideas already a part of the scheme of things, and soon takes on the aspect of having been a part of the older systems for centuries back.”

-Arii-Peu Tama-Iti, HRA

Six hundred years passed. Firewalking spread all over the World again, giving many pomaika`i all over for the Children of God (all beings having a capacity for the loss of faith). Crops came and were watered, sicknesses healed, lost faith restored.

But then it began to die out all over the world again. And in Hawaii, no young haumana could be found, and the last of the na Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki (Priests of the Fire-made-sacred) called out to the na Aumakua, and were heard. Their plea heard even decades before they cried out.

And the cries  were heard by the gods, some of whom came together as our first Po`e Aumakua (Council of God-selves), and they presented kokiki before the child they had found in Boston. And all the painful, fearful choices made, and he arrived in the Hawaiian Islands, a sturdy young man, but shriven of all hope but for the Aloha of his friends who had called him to them in the time of his need.

It was 1872.

He spend several years creating the great Bishop Museum in Honolulu, the center of all scientific investigations of Polynesia and Micronesia. Dr. William Tufts Brigham was its designer, and first Curator and Director.

But like the super-heroes of the 1930's Comic Books, he had a secret life and identity. To the native Hawaiian with whom he had constant relationships with for the gathering of artifacts and researches, he was, “Kahuna Ha`ole Nui William”.  [Great White Priest]

Around 1890 one of another of his prayers was answered and he experienced one of the great mysteries and wonders of this world—the Firewalk…

As Kahuna Ha`ole Nui William told it to Kahuna Nui Max:

      “When I'm gone”, he [Kahuna Ha`ole Nui William Tufts Brigham] said to me [Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long] one evening, " you may tell what I am now telling you. I know you will tell it as nearly word for word as you are able. If I thought you would put words into my mouth which were not mine I would tell you nothing, but I trust you. You have the proper cautious approach and understanding needed in a study of the kahunas. You may say for me that I gave my word as a student and a gentleman that I would, and had, told the exact truth about what I saw and did. This is all either of us can do. Both of us will be branded unholy liars by a certain class. That class you can afford to snub, and, as I will be dead, I will have lost my childish fear of losing standing as a scientist. However, I trust that before you are as old as I am, the thing we call 'magic' will have been taken into the laboratory, in some way, and made a part of the working equipment of the world."

      Dr. Brigham, in his earlier days, made frequent trips to the " Big Island," or Hawaii. There were many kahunas working there at that time. In the course of his investigations on firewalk he made friends of a number of them. He posed as a ha`ole, or white, kahuna, and discussed beliefs and methods with the brown magicians on intimate terms-trying always to get from them the secret of secrets which they guarded so carefully.

      Among his kahuna friends were three Hawaiians who knew the fire-magic. They used it mainly to prevent lava flows from damaging the property of clients. One of them had 'been called in by Princess Ruth at the time the town of Hilo was being approached by a slow-moving lava flow. Everything had been done to stop the encroaching mass of lava, which was kept hot by the burning of self-generated gases in its substance. In a doughlike mass, and with a wide front, it continued day after day to tumble slowly forward, rolling and grinding, toward Hilo. Stone walls were built in front of it and promptly torn aside and absorbed.

      A large number of men spent days throwing earth and rock into the flow to thicken and stop it. Even water was ditched to a place in front of it. Nothing availed. Closer and closer it crept, destroying everything as it went. The Princess came from Honolulu by ship. She met the Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki at Hilo and went to the face of the flow. There she cut off locks of her hair at his direction and, while he recited the proper invocations, threw the locks into the slow-tumbling mass.

      It is recorded in history that the flow went but two rods farther before stopping. The town was saved.

This old kahuna and two others had agreed with Dr. Brigham that they would demonstrate their fire-walking art when opportunity offered. They also had promised to let him do some firewalking under their protection.

At a time when the volcanic mountain Mauna Loa, on the island of Hawaii, was active, Dr. Brigham happened to be close at hand. I will present the story as I reproduced it from my notes a few days after he gave it to me. As he tells the story, see him : a huge old man in the eighties, hale and hearty, although recently having suffered the loss of a leg ; mentally alert, enthusiastic, eager, humorous, and withal very earnest. It is night and he is seated in a great easychair beside a ponderous oak table which stands in the centre of a long low room.

" When the flow started," related Dr. Brigham, " I was in South Kona, at Napo`opo`o. I waited a few days to see whether it promised to be a long one. When it continued steadily, I sent a message to my three kahuna friends, asking them to meet me at Napo`opo`o so we could go to the flow and try the firewalking.

" It was a week before they arrived, as they had to come around from Kau by canoe. And even when they came, we couldn't start at once. To them it was our reunion that counted and not so simple a matter as a bit of fire-walking. Nothing would do but that we get a pig and have a luau (native feast).

" It was a great luau. Half of Kona invited itself. When it was over I had to wait another day until one of the kahunas sobered up enough to travel.

" It was night when we finally got off after having to wait an entire afternoon to get rid of those who had heard what was up and wished to go along. I'd have taken them all had it not been that I was not too sure I would walk the hot lava when the time came. I had seen these three kahunas run barefooted over little overflows of lava at Kilauea, and the memory of the heat wasn't any too encouraging.

" The going was hard that night as we climbed the gentle slope and worked our way across old lava flows towards the upper rain forests. The kahunas had on sandals, but the sharp cindery particles on some of the old flows got next their feet. We were always having to wait while one or the other sat down and removed the adhesive cinders.

" When we got up among the trees and ferns it was dark as pitch. We fell over roots and into holes. We gave it up after a time and bedded down in an old lava tube for the rest of the night. In the morning we ate some of our poi and dried fish, then set out to find more water. This took us some time as there are no springs or streams in those parts and we had to watch for puddles of rain water gathered in hollow places in the rocks.

" Until noon we climbed upward under a smoky sky and with the smell of sulphur fumes growing stronger and stronger. Then came more poi and fish. At about three o'clock we arrived at the source of the flow.

" It was a grand sight. The side of the mountain had broken open just above the timber line and the lava was spouting out of several vents-shooting with a roar as high as two hundred feet, and falling to make a great bubbling pool.

" The pool drained off at the lower end into the flow. An hour before sunset we started following it down in search of a place where we could try our experiment.

" As usual, the flow had followed the ridges instead of the valleys and had built itself  up enclosing walls of clinker. These walls were up to a thousand yards in width and the hot lava ran between them in a channel it had cut to bedrock.

" We climbed up these walls several times and crossed them to have a look at the flow. The clinkery surface was cool enough by then for us to walk on it, but here and there we could look down into cracks and see the red glow below. Now and again we had to dodge places where colourless flames were spouting up like gas jets in the red light filtering through the smoke.

" Coming down to the rain forest without finding a place where the flow blocked up and overflowed periodically, we bedded down again for the night. In the morning we went on, and in a few hours found what we wanted. The flow crossed a more level strip perhaps a half-mile wide. Here the enclosing walls ran in flat terraces, with sharp drops from one level to the next. Now and again a floating boulder or mass of clinker would plug the flow just where a drop commenced, and then the lava would back up and spread out into a large pool. Soon the plug would be forced out and the lava would drain away, leaving behind a fine flat surface to walk on when sufficiently hardened.

" Stopping beside the largest of three overflows, we watched it fill and empty. The heat was intense, of course, even up on the clinkery wall. Down below us the lava was red and flowing like water, the only difference being that water couldn't get that hot and that the lava never made a sound even when going twenty miles an hour down a sharp grade. That silence always interests me when I see a flow. Where water has to run over rocky bottoms and rough projections, lava burns off everything and makes itself a channel as smooth as the inside of a crock.

"As we wanted to get back down to the coast that day, the kahunas wasted no time. They had brought ti leaves with them and were all ready for action as soon as the lava would bear our weight. (The leaves of the ti plant are universally used by fire walkers where available in Polynesia. They are a foot or two long and fairly narrow, with cutting edges like saw-grass. They grow in a tuft on the top of a stalk resembling in shape and size a broomstick.)

" When the rocks we threw on the lava surface showed that it had hardened enough to bear our weight, the kahunas arose and clambered down the side of the wall. It was far

worse than a bake oven when we got to the bottom. The lava was blackening on the surface, but all across it ran heat discolourations that came and went as they do on cooling iron before a blacksmith plunges it into his tub for tempering. I heartily wished that I had not been so curious. The very thought of running over that flat inferno to the other side made me tremble-and remember that I had seen all three of the kahunas scamper over hot lava at Kilauea.

" The kahunas took off their sandals and tied ti leaves around their feet, about three leaves to the foot. I sat down and began tying my ti leaves on outside my big hob-nailed boots. I wasn't taking any chances. But that wouldn't do at all-I must take off my boots and my two pairs of socks. The goddess Pele hadn't agreed to keep boots from burning and it might be an insult to her if I wore them.

" I argued hotly-and I say 'hotly' because we were all but roasted. I knew that Pele wasn't the one who made fire-magic possible, and I did my best to find out what or who was. As usual they grinned and said that of course the 'white' kahuna knew the trick of getting mana (power of some kind known to kahunas) out of air and water to use in kahuna work, and that we were wasting time talking about the thing no kahuna ever put into words-the secret handed down only from father to son.

" The upshot of the matter was that I sat tight and refused to take off my boots. In the back of my mind I figured that if the Hawaiians could walk on hot lava with bare calloused feet, I could do it with my heavy leather soles to protect me. Remember that this happened at a time when I still had an idea that there was some physical explanation for the thing.

" The kahunas got to considering my boots a great joke. If I wanted to offer them as a sacrifice to the gods, it might be a good idea. They grinned at each other and left me to tie on my leaves while they began their chants.

" The chants were in an archaic Hawaiian which I could not follow. It was. the usual' god-talk 'handed down word for word for countless generations. All I could make of it was that it consisted of simple little mentions of legendary history and was peppered with praise of some god or gods.

" I almost roasted alive before the kahunas had finished their chanting, although it could not have taken more than a few minutes. Suddenly the time was at hand. One of the kahunas beat at the shimmering surface of the lava with a bunch of ti leaves and then offered me the honor of crossing first. Instantly I remembered my manners ; I was all for age before beauty.

" The matter was settled at once by deciding that the oldest kahuna should go first, I second and the others side by side. Without a moment of hesitation the oldest man trotted out on that terrifically hot surface. I was watching him with my mouth open and he was nearly across-a distance of about a hundred and fifty feet-when someone gave me a shove that resulted in my having my choice of falling on my face on the lava or catching a running stride.

" I still do not know what madness seized me, but I ran. The heat was unbelievable. I held my breath and my mind seemed to stop functioning. I was young then and could do my hundred-yard dash with the best. Did I run ! I flew ! I would have broken all records, but with my first few steps the soles of my boots began to burn. They curled and shrank, clamping down on my feet like a vice. The seams gave way and I found myself with one sole gone and the other flapping behind me from the leather strap at the heel.

" That flapping sole was almost the death of me. It tripped me repeatedly and slowed me down. Finally, after what seemed minutes, but could not have been more than a few seconds, I leaped off to safety.

" I looked down at my feet and found my socks burning at the edges of the curled leather uppers of my boots. I beat out the smoldering fire in the cotton fabric and looked up to find my three kahunas rocking with laughter as they pointed to the heel and sole of my left boot which lay smoking and burned to a crisp on the lava.

" I laughed too. I was never so relieved in my life as I was to find that I was safe and that there was not a blister on

my feet-not even where I had beaten out the fire in the socks.

" There is little more that I can tell of this experience. I had a sensation of intense heat on my face and body, but almost no sensation in my feet. When I touched them with my hands they were hot on the bottoms, but they did not feel so except to my hands. None of the kahunas had a blister, although the ti leaves had burned off their soles.

" My return trip to the coast was a nightmare. Trying to make it in improvised sandals whittled from green wood has left with me an impression almost more vivid than my fire-walking."

It is one of the tragedies of Huna, although something which adds spice and potentialities and turbulence to our lineage, that Kahuna Ha`ole Nui William Tufts Brigham, first Mo`i of Huna, didn't pass on this miracle to his only haumana and mamo, Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long. But if he had, this would have been a very short story indeed!

But like my descendant, Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Kahuna William performed “experiments” on the actions to convince themselves that fire is really hot—and that fire burns:

"It's magic," he [Kahuna William] assured me [Kahuna Max]. ” It’s a part of the bulk of magic done by the kahunas [Priests, Ministers] and by other primitive peoples. It took me years to come to that understanding, but it is my final decision after long study and observation."

" But," I objected, " didn't you try to explain it some other way ? "

The doctor smiled at me. " Certainly I did. It has been no easy task for me to come to believe [religious] magic possible. And even after I was dead-sure it was [religious] magic I still had a deep seated doubt concerning my own conclusions.. Even after doing the fire-walking I came back to the theory that lava might form a porous and insulating surface as it cooled. Twice I tested that theory at Kilauea when there were little overflows. I waited in one case until a small overflow had cooled quite black, then touched it with the tips of my fingers. But although the lava was much cooler than that I ran across, I burned my fingers badly-and I'd only just dabbed at the hot surface."

" And the other time ? " I asked.

He shook his head and smiled guiltily. " I should have known better after that first set of blisters, but the old ideas were hard to down. I knew I had walked over hot lava, but still I couldn't always believe it possible that I could have done so. The second time I got excited about my insulating surface theory, I took up some hot lava on a stick as one would take up taffy. And I had to bum a finger again before I was satisfied. No, there is no mistake. The kahunas use magic in their fire walking as well as in many other things.

"There is one set of natural laws for the physical world and another for the other world. And-try to believe this if you can : The laws of the other side are so much the stronger that they can be used to neutralize and reverse the laws of the physical."

…All in all, it would appear that fire-magic works in strange ways which are little related to the " laws " of Science. -MFL

The loss of the fire-made-sacred under the adoption of Kahuna Max to Kahuna William, was a deep loss for Huna.

Kahuna Max longed for that experience all his life—but it never could break free to come to him.

In 1949 the Po`e Aumakua almost panicked to bring the fire-made-sacred back into Huna hands. There were only two na Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki left in Polynesia at all, and none of them Hawaiian.

From the Society Islands, a kokiki was presented to a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki. His fellow Tahitians had come to ruin in Hawaii. Wanted to come home, but had no way to do that. No money. Would he go to Hawaii and put on several Firewalks to make money to send them home?

He would. He chose his wyrd, his kokiki, and the kumu hua of the Firewalks were ho`oikaika in the manawa. (The thought forms strengthened in the Time/Space Continuum until they ua and became a reality in the NOW.)

And Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Tu-Nui Arii-Peu came to his kinfolk in the time of their need.

In the unfolding of the Huna Wyrd, he needed help in arranging matters, and our HRA member, the greatest Hawaiian Scholar, Arii-Peu Tama-Iti (Charles Kenn) was right there to help him! As the Po`e Aumakua of Huna intended, but they each had to chose their kokiki themselves. All the na Aumakua can do is create a Kumu Hua in the Manawa and bright the coincidence into fruition. The decisions are always up to us.


Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Tu-Nui Arii-Peu, kumu Arii-Peu Tama-Iti, HRA and an honored Sacred-Fire attendant

1949, Honolulu Firewalk

      Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Tu-Nui Arii-Peu decided to initiate kumu Arii-Peu Tama-Iti into the Firewalk cult. Thus the fire-made-sacred would have been returned to Huna, through the HRA.

But the Po`e Aumakua of Huna is not unopposed. There are two opponents to Huna, and all other truly important and good changes to humanity's Wyrd. Evil (The Will to Win at Any Cost), and The Opposition. Indeed, it is the mark of a potential success to attract the attention of Evil and/or The Opposition. They show interest in things which matter. Their entry into a scene emphatically points to the seriousness and potential good a thing might accomplish.

We are on ke alanui e pono ia `o huna (the great path of Huna righteousness), are the Path, Evil are as the bandits on the Path hiding behind the boulders, ready to snap out at the sign of weakness. They offer corruption and the winning, they are free of Service. They seek to titillate one's Evil inside us to answer their call.

But The Opposition is on a different plane of existence. It is the incline of the Path. The faster the climb, the more exhausting. It seeks to block progress by titillation of one's virtues into the making of decisions which cause others to fail.

Arii-Peu Tama-Iti: February 20, 1949.

      As I stepped down to the first stone in the walk, any misgivings I may have had, left me. My mind seemed to become strangely empty or blank. The very uneven surface before me suddenly seemed to become smooth almost like a pavement. I stepped slowly forward, planting my feet firmly on the stones, but found myself doing as most of the others had done, using my arms to help keep my balance as I stepped from one rounded surface to the next.

      I felt no sensation of heat on the bottoms of my feet as I entered the pit and began my crossing, but the heat on my face and hands was terrific.

      I was nearing the end of the pit, with two steps to go, when a friend standing at the side called out, “Atta boy, Mr. Kenn!” My attention was momentarily distracted and I involuntarily glanced up at him. I did not falter in my deliberate pace, but at the instant he called out to me, there came a sharp stab of pain in the ball of my right foot and in the toes—this foot was just coming down. My pace automatically quickened and as the other foot made contact with a stone for the last step, a similar stab of pain was felt in it. I stepped out of the pit and found both of my feet continuing to pain me with a sharp tingling, but not with the familiar sensation of burns. I examined both feet and nothing was to be seen in the way of markings or blisters. Later, at home, I made another inspection and found what seemed to be hard lumps under each toe. The stinging sensations resembled the pricking of many needles, but the soles of my feet were not hot to the touch, or sore. This condition lasted for about five hours. In the morning my feet were back to normal in every way and the strange lumps had vanished completely.

      The feeling of having the mind a blank was a common experience among the fire walkers I talked to. It is evident that a break in this peculiar mental state, or an interruption of the successful course of the walk, acted in some way to “break the spell,” and that burns then occurred as if no protection had been offered”

That assumption, although specious, is only partially true, isn't it? The Goddess Wahinenuiho`alani and his Aumakua were still able to protect him a little. There were no burns, only the tingling which can signal the work of the mana loa of healing.

February 19,1949


      Any which has a “Mazeway” is a “religion”, anything which duties not, isn't a religion.

We all live our lives as if we are in a Maze. When food, shelter, love, etc. are plentiful, everything is smooth and easy, there is not great need for a religion, except as a form of entertainment.

But when things get scarce, and hard, and in desperation, we seek a map to our Maze—a Mazeway. The Mazeway are the moral instructions on how to live a good life in our Maze, it is the instructions given to us to help us in our choices.

One such fundamental Moral teaching of Huna is: Affiliations over Acquisitions. In other words, in all choices between our duties and our desires, we must choose our duties first. To fulfill our duties to our `ohana before increasing our own treasure or hungers.

It is a tool of The Opposition to corrupt us by turning our virtues into vices. But these situations are rare in life, but their effect on us is devastating upon us and all we know when they sneak up on us. When we are confronted by kokiki corrupted by The Opposition—there are no good choices. It is a time of our inevitable condemnation under a doom. It is our pono that death comes to us all, and we may start another lifetime innocent of the decisions made in past lives (but not the consequences to our souls).

Although Evil (the Will to Win) is too subtle and Metaphysical for Science to ever discover or know, The Opposition is so powerful that it exists both in the Eternal Metaphysical World and the Cr4eated World of physics as well. Here the Scientists call The Opposition—Entropy.

In 1980, I was in a conversation with Arii-Peu Tama-Iti about his resignation from Huna three decades before, and what it meant that he was an honored speaker at the International Huna Conference in Napo`opo`o on the Big Island of Hawaii.

We were alone except for the HRI BoD John Bainbridge, who taped the conversation—then lost that tape.

Arii-Peu Tama-Iti, now very old, told me the story of what had happened after the Firewalk of 1949.

His initiation into na Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki was incomplete, and his kumu had gone back to Tahiti. He received an invitation to join him, and finish his initiation. Live his family for a time.

At about the same time, he received word that his friend Melville [Leinani Melville, I think], was dieing in San Francisco and was calling for him.

Now, the Huna moral precept is: Serve your friends before you serve yourself. IN a situation between becoming a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki or sitting with your friend as he dies, the only choice is to go to your friend. Even if there was foresight of what was about to happen, he would have understood that in going to his friend he would fail his gods, and fail generations of HRA in Huna. Still, Huna would have said to go to his friend.

But The Opposition was involved in…not trying to prevent the fire-made-sacred from returning to Huna, but ensuring that the person who brought it was a person who had the right to do it, by self-sacrifice and cost.

He didn't know. The Kalo wasn't with him yet. He knew of the prophecy, of course. That the next Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki would rule all of Hawaii. But he didn't know that a Death Prayer Priest knew of his initiation, and the invitation to come to Tahiti to complete his initiation.

Or in Arii-Peu Tama-Iti's own words, in his book, Firewalking from the Inside which he had the HRA and Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long publish, he relates:

      “Chief Tu-Nui Arii-Peu let down the bars and made the inevitable welcome. Being permitted by circumstances to let down the bars, he opened his heart as well, and with his customary generosity offered me everything.

      …[H]e has adopted me as his blood son, has given me an honored place in his family line, and has made me the proud possessor of his distinguished ancestors. He has also given me a new name to use as a member of his family. I am using that name in the author’s signature of this report. I am Arii-Peu Tama-Iti as well as Charles W. Kenn. At this writing I plan to accept his warm invitation and go to spend most of the coming winter season with him on Huahine where I can continue searching for information of value. I shall also, in all probability, complete my initiation into the cult of the fire-walk to the point of being able to use for myself what has been taught to me. If I succeed, I shall be one of the three remaining fire-walkers in Polynesia.

      As a candidate for initiation as a fire walking priest of the Ti Oven Cult, I was allowed to see every step leading up to the final crossing of the hot stones. Of necessity I was permitted to forgo the long and arduous training of other days, but was given the assurance that once I learned every step in the rite and all of the invocations, I would undoubtedly be able to perform the ritual. I would then have been consecrated to the work and would have been properly ordained, or introduced to the gods so that they would, thereafter, respond to my invocations.

      So following the Huna precept: Affiliation over Acquisition, and never suspecting what would happen, he came to San Francisco and held his friend's hand as he died.

MEANWHILE BACK AT THE RANCH, the Kahuna `Ana`ana saw his chance, and took it. He set himself against Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Tu-Nui Arii-Peu in far away Tahiti, and took his life.

As far as is known, Arii-Peu Tama-Iti never Firewalked again. His soul turned `awa olelo (bitter mouth) and he resigned from the HRA and spent many years preaching against Huna to all the Polynesian organizations which would have his lecture to them.

His error was in Externalizing (Other-Sourcing) the results of his decisions of which kokiki to follow. And knowing that he was trapped by The Opposition and Wyrd, so that no decision would have led to a good outcome. SO he decided to hate Huna and Kahuna Max rather than himself. But if he had been Self-Sourcing, he would not have needed to hate at all. Nor to despair. (For in desperation, we destroy what we love.) If he had changed his attitude to Self-Sourcing, he still would have grieved his losses and Huna's losses. But inside, he would have known his purity of intention, and that would have sustained his soul. For that is all Oiai`o calls upon us to do—to  Serve as best we may. We arenot called to Win. Although that's always nice and fun. It isn't always possible.

And so, in 1980, I wondered why he was there with us Huna na haumana. He told me that is was simple, Huna had ho`ikaika (persisted) through the death of Kahuna Max Freedom Long, he never thought it would survive, and since it had, it should be given a chance to perpetuate itself and do the good it would do.

He was a grand gentleman, although no one ever knew of his turning around in the matter except for John Bainbridge and myself. But what could I do but forgive him. A couple of months later he died of old age. And anti-Huna, anti-ha`ole Polynesian folks still quote Charlie Kenn's bad opinion of us to me to prove to me how Evil Huna and Kahuna Nui Max and I am.

The anti-white, anti-Huna militants are strange. They complain that Huna isn't Hawaiian (it isn't), the word huna has no religious connotations in the Hawaiian language, where it means secrets or dust. Then they complain that since it is Hawaiian, we must have stolen it from them…? And besides we“didn't get it right”.

<SHRUG> Huna is its own thing, it always was.

From Arii-Peu Tama-Iti's letter of resignation:

Charles W. Kenn, HRA and F. H. F., our good friend who is rapidly becoming the recognized authority on the Hawaii of yesterday, and who gave us the book reporting on the Honolulu firewalking tests some months ago, questions the experimental work of the summer. He writes, as of October 3rd [c. 1949], from Honolulu:

“Your last Bulletin was interesting. But I still believe that it is not important that we find some logical  reason to explain why things happen as they do in Huna. …The Huna concept of immortality lies in the idea of ancestor worship, ho`omana kupuna, that a descendant is only a continuation of ancestors, a germ of that spark within him was taken from all ancestors down the line, …I presume. that every man has his own ideas about certain things which appear to govern his actions more than what really is or is not basic Huna philosophy. Remember the story of the boy who took his father’s watch apart to see what made it tick, but found that the ticking had stopped and that he could not get the watch together again? Maui, in search of the secret of immortality (his seventh deed), entered the open mouth of the sleeping monster (mo`o) and went on into its insides to examine its heart.. On his way out, having learned the secret, the mo`o awakened and closed its jaws, crushing Maui to death.”

[MFL:] THIS IS WHERE I CAME IN. …HRA Kenn is on firm ground when he objects that the measuring of aka bodies of men and thoughts are not a part of basic Huna. In self-defense I must make my position clear. Years ago, when I was trying to learn what the kahunas [Priests and Ministers]  of many kinds and classes knew or had known, believed or had believed, and did or had done, I found myself up to the ears in the pieces of a jig-saw puzzle mighty few of whose parts matched.

…I am not content at all to know the exact ritual and precise facts of the rite of cutting the umbilical cord of the first born. I want to know how those ancestors of ours got to be Aumakuas and WHY they should be worshiped. At this point in my long search after thirty years I still have not learned exactly how I should construct a thought form cluster to make my prayer, or exactly how to generate and use the mana which I am convinced that the kahunas used. If an instrument, be it a pendulum, a Biometer [Psychometric Analysis]  or HRA Cameron’s invention [the Aurameter], will measure the size and shape of a thought form cluster I make, and. tell me how long it endures or where it goes or how to make it radiate more strongly — even if that isn’t basic Huna — I'm all for it. After all these years of sniffing around in the facts, beliefs and all pervading superstitions, of other men — most of whom have been dead for a very long time — I now want a few simple things which will WORK.

CHILDHOOD FAITH AND DOCTRINES has been derived for most of us from early BELIEF IN Church training, teaching, contacts and personal observation and experience. As children we have been encouraged to believe, and to pray. Most of us learned very early in life that our prayers were seldom answered. We may have felt a great sadness because of this or because we observed the prayers of our elders go unanswered. In any event, our forming minds received deep impressions of doubt which lasted down the years. What renews and strengthens? Evidence? Is “seeing believing?” Yes, our greatly weakened belief to both, provided there has not been an emotional reaction in childhood or later, to the lack of answers to our most earnest prayers — a response amounting to an emotional storm which left in its wake a series of fixed hurts and doubts, to say nothing of almost inevitable resentments. To get rid of these fixations or to hurdle them, requires far more than a single convincing piece of evidence showing that God is in His heaven and that He or His angels hear and answer prayer.

Where a at strong set of fixations exist, no amount of pounding with evidence will cause the slightest change. Ancient Huna and modern Psychology teach us this. Then how to “…help thou my unbelief?” Will some Savior do it for us? Improbable at this late date. The only way we know to get rid of fixations is (1) to find them,. and (2) to rationalize their cause and thus drain them off.

For a number of years I have advocated this using it myself.  I still advocate it. I am still busy, I have gone back into this method of approach to my early days to search for the origin of my personal fixed doubts. When I find such a source, it always is accompanied by the damning rationalization and complete and irrefutable proof that I first prayed, and that, as a result, secondly, I got no resultant answer. The instant I touch such a sore spot — unhealed for all the years — I am slapped in the face and across the heart by that old logic which is the blind behind which the emotional content of the fixation lurks. That Is why, some years ago, I saw that, at least in the majority of cases, it was necessary to make a fresh start, to find the best possible set of beliefs, to accept them logically and emotionally, and to begin the slow work of rebuilding the crushed belief in a Higher Power, and faith in the possibility of an answer to prayer.

Armor against fresh frustration and the danger of awakening and strengthening the old fixed doubts, lies, at least for me, in having in hand and ready for use at all time, a LOGICAL EXCUSE OR REASON by which to explain to myself WHY I made a prayer action and WHY I got no results. Huna has been a godsend to me. It tells me (1) what I have to do, and do correctly, to make a successful prayer-action. It tells me the conditions that will or will not permit the proper action on my part the limitations under which I must be willing to work. I must not hurt another. I must not have a guilt sense to prevent the low self from making the contact with the Aumakua and sending the mana, the carefully readied thought-structure of the condition desired, etc. (2) I must keep doubts from entering in as I make my picture of the desired conditions lest the structure contain the things I desire to avoid, I must water my prayer-plant in the Aumakua garden each day with the water of mana. I must not change my picture — pull up my plant to see if it is taking root. I must hold the faith unfalteringly, hour by hour, day by day, month by month, and, if the game is worth the candle, year by year. (3) I must make certain that I do not mention my prayer-action and the follow-up to someone who will curse the entire project with a sneer of scorn or word of doubt. This is to be avoided at all costs. Mental attitudes rub off of one of us on to another like soot and black contagion. The slightest whisper of doubt will hit us with trip hammer force as powerful suggestion because old doubt fixations are so easy to revive. The need to “go into your closet to pray” is a very great need indeed. Nothing Is so fragile as the thought picture of the prayer, so easily shattered -or so brilliant with the light of Faith and that Love whose overshadowing we must come to know as Real beyond reality.

To the simple mind of an islander — a kahuna of yesterday – there was I grant you less need for the elaborate rationalization and complete understanding which are an utter necessity for me. He had not been treated to such large doses of a religion which bad retained outer form but had lost its workable knowledge of both low and high magic. Perhaps, as a child, he had seen the prayer-actions made, the rituals gone through, careful step by careful step, and had seen the gods respond and the fire walk made possible. Contrast such a proof ,such a powerful physical stimulus, with the vague or even contradictory answers to prayer in Christian circles . Even a simple belief must be based on something, but a belief complexed by fixations resulting from repeated failures in demonstration cannot be rebuilt except on new and massive foundations of proof and repeated proof. I would that each of us could perform the rites and be given the proofs of fire-immunity before every major effort of prayer.

Lacking an ever-ready firewalk for proof, to help my unbelief, I grasp at all straws. My need is immediate, not a matter of tomorrow or something to talk to death or fritter away in speculation, I sit twice, or more often at times, each day in the TMHG ritual, and I have the burden on my heart and the uplift under my spirit, of the needs of those who work with me.

Some of my friends are ill, a few are blind, many are in trouble of one kind or another. Anything that will bolster up my faith and help my unbelief is priceless. If Verne Cameron can let me make a thought picture of a vase on a shelf, then find it with his gadget and measure its size and outline its shape tell me how long it remains there as a real structure, that helps me to know that Huna is right. —my accepted belief — and that I can and do make forms by thinking, actual and substantial forms, even if of matter too fine to be seen by the eyes or felt by the hands.

The same can be said of every bit of corroborative proof that there are thought-form-structures, that things do radiate a form of energy, that invisible cords do connect people, things and man with his Aumakua…Heaven knows that I have one answer to prayer after another; and that hardly a day. passes without the arrival of letters telling that my friends are getting definite answerers to their prayers and to their TMHG prayers in which we work together as a congregation through telepathic aka thread contact. These proofs would be far more than sufficient for a simple and unhampered mind which remained a stranger to the doubt fixations I have known, but for me, such proofs need to be renewed as the offices on the altar, daily, yes, almost hourly.

No, not basic Huna — but for me, basic necessity. -MFL

But there would be no response back from Arii-Peu Tama-Iti for thirty years. He had become `awa olelo (bitter mouthed) about Huna.

Kahuna Nui Max would have to spend all his days without the miracle of the Firewalk in Huna. That was a part of the cost of Arii-Peu Tama-Iti's choice at his kokiki.

Then in 1968 I was standing in Kahuna Nui Max's home. We were talking about how I was to live my life to come. What would I do? Move to Pine Ridge Rez and raise Appaloosa horses with my girlfriend, then wife? Or become a Kahuna `o Huna?

He had, for the first and only time been yelling at me. That becoming a rancher would be a waste of this lifetime.

  1. And since Kahuna Nui had sent me a set of the HRA Bulletins and Huna Vistas Newsletters in 1962, what, if any duty would I assign to myself (I asked this of myself, Kahuna Nui Max never asked me for anything but to choose).

But the fire of the Firewalk always scared me silly.

I have no idea who I ho`ohiki Kahuna Max that I would return the fire-made-sacred to Huna. Unwind the pilikia of Arii-Peu Tama-Iti and kahuna Ha`ole Nui William's decisions which had lot it to us.

Years passed. Kahuna Nui Max died. I met Arii-Peu Tama-Iti in Hawaii.

My mom died, my best friend died, and I moved to the San Francisco area. In time, that ho`ohiki was definitely on a back burner. I never really thought of it.

Then the Po`e Aumakua commenced to start to give me kokiki to fulfill my ho`ohiki I had made kahuna Nui Max just before he shamanistically adopted me and ordained me as a Kahuna `o Huna of the Huna Fellowship.

One day there came a phone call. It was a lady representing Tony Robbins. I had never met anyone associated with him or his organization.

The lady told me that they were aware of me, and that Tony Robbins wanted me to attend his upcoming Firewalk in the Disneyland Hotel in Buena Park. It was on a Scholarship and there would be no cost for the materials and the five hour Seminar before it. We didn't discuss how she had gotten my phone number.

A few weeks later I found myself in the Disneyland Hotel at a Seminar costing hundreds of dollars, but I scholarshipped in for free. And I knew no one there, nor how they knew of me. The Po`e Aumakua rules.

I Firewalked for the first time that night. I warned Tony Robbins about his danger in doing a Firewalk the following month in Hawaii. Once he landed there, he got in touch with a native Kahuna who blessed his Firewalk, and carefully explained his purposes in a radio interview he did on Honolulu radio. Because he heeded my warning, and took my suggestions, no harm came to him. I never saw him again, nor was I ever contacted by his organization after that night. What happened? I have no idea.

I was still scared to try to lead a Firewalk. Even after my conversation with the Huna Goddess of the Firewalk, Wahinenuiho`aLani, whom I was even named after by a Hawaiian Kahuna to assist me in my desperate kainoa.

But still my fear blocked me.

Then the WWW Internet was created, and the BBS left behind. I was in conversation one time with a Methodist kahuna, Reverend Larry. I was grousing as I usually did, about the Firewalk. And Rev. Larry asked me if I could chant the prayers of the Firewalk which had come down the Hunian lineage. I said that I could. He asked me if I could build the firepit and light the fire. I said I could. Then he asked me something which opened the door to me: “Just what part do you expect God, and not you, to play in all this?”

And I was enlightened in the matter, and changed from Other-Sourcing to Self-Sourcing. I can't be expected to win, Oiai`o and the Po`e Aumakua only can ask me to be willing to Serve. “Winning” is always out of my hands.

Search engines brought me at last to kahuna Paka. And the story of Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Keonaona's and my initiation into the Po`e I Ke Umu Ki is related here. Once you have read it, return here for the rest of the story:

Initiation into the Body of Firewalk Priests => Click here


The Hopi Prophecies of the Ending of this, the Fourth World

      The date for the return of the fire-made-sacred was March 21, 2001. That date had been set for over twenty years before. A place for the Firewalk had always been inserted by me into the Makahiki Celebration. In all the years before, that space of time had just been blank. All the festivities had just stopped for about three hours, a place was set for the Firewalk, but there was no fire.

On the day we would do our first Firewalk since 1890 or 1949, depending on how you counted it, the earth shook in Tahiti. The final prophecy of the Hopi of the ending of this, their “Fourth World” depended on a “Home in the Sky falling with a huge noise and looking to be a blue star”.

The earth shook when the Blue Star fell from the heavens. Mir, the Russian Space Station, that “House in the Sky” was headed straight for out Firewalk! The noise shook the ground. It was a brilliant Blue Star.

Natch, I figured we would all die. We didn't. That was the last of the Prophecies, all the rest have been fulfilled in their order. Now only two things had to happen, and we could kiss our butts good-by. The Hopi would have to cease their ceremonies, and a chip of the tablets the prophecies were carved into so many hundreds of years ago, would be returned.

An Indian friend of mine recently told me that the Hopi have just ended their Ceremonies.

Bummer. I wonder if that means something interesting is going to happen now? Other than the return of the fire-made-sacred of the Firewalk to Huna, that is.

So then the first Huna Firewalk on a Makahiki was conducted by me in 2001. Was conducted by Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Keonaona on Makahiki, 2002. The next by our kumu, Kahuna Paka in 2003. The next by recently initiated, Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Manawanui in 2004. Then by Kahuna Akahikane in 2005 (now where has that boy gone to?), the next by Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Ulana in 2006. And in the year of 2007, after that Firewalk, I will retire from Firewalks, so long as everything goes as planned, and my slot taken by Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki Manawanui.

The Malamaka`opuahiki

      It was 1980, and I was in Napo`opo`o on the Big Island of Hawaii for the HRI International Huna Conference.

I had been asked to come there because it was feared by some that the teachings of Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long were all but lost amongst the Huna people, and was being replaced by New Age teachings.

As far as I know, I am the only person in the history of Huna who has operated a Huna Healing practice in Professional Offices, for over a dozen years. Huna lone.

At one point, Dr. E. Otha Wingo, the President of HRI came up to me and told me that he had had several complaints against me for quoting Max Freedom Long, and he asked me not to quote him any longer…

For my Huna Healing Practice, I had had inexpensive Business Cards made up. Kahuna Max had defined what a “Huna Practitioner” was, and since I had fulfilled those requirements, that's how I was identified. I gave out those cards to the haumana there.

By 1983, at a HRI Regional Huna Conference in San Francisco area, Otha had tested me, and along with BoD John Bainbridge, approached me, and asked me if I would be insulted if they honored my depth of skill with Huna, by certifying me as a Certified Huna Teacher. I told them that I would be delighted and they did as they said they would do.

It also came to my attention there, that many people, not Huna Teachers or Practitioners in any way, had also had Business Cards printed up with the words, “Huna Practitioner” on them.

Rather than fight that, and be all Other-Sourcing and all, I decided for once to be Self-Sourcing, and I just when to a printing company and had the most magnificent Business Cards made up I could conceive of. In the process of looking through all his catalogs, I came across a symbol of three selves in harmony. It was an unnamed gold foil stamp. I had it stamped into all the dark brown ripple Business Cards with now identified me as a “Kahuna”. I had been a Kahuna ever since Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long had ordained me, but I thought it would be an arrogance to identify myself as such. I didn't know at that time that “Kahuna” just means any Priest, Minister or Pastor, etc. in the Hunian language. But I knew that I needed to distinguish myself from the others.

When I moved up to the San Francisco area, got professional offices, I needed a letterhead, and my great looking business cards were still looking great, so I had my printer take a photo of the symbol and use that as our letterhead.

Then I discovered that in the Hawaiian language, that symbol is called: malamaka`opuahiki (ma lama ka `o pua hiki), “the light, obscured by the cloudbank, persists”. I have no memory of how I found that out.

That was about in the year 1985. During that time, an artist, “Ki” wanted some healing work done and offered to trade his artistic labor for healing. He painted our Hunian altar painting. We didn't know what image to use, so I looked on my desk and handed him our letterhead, and he painted the Malamaka`opuahiki.

But he painted it strangely, mystically.

At first as I looked at it, I just felt a tingling in my mind. Later he explained it to me.

Twenty years later or so, I had just completed my first Firewalk on the Makahiki.

For days before the event when I was smoking my pipe in our backyard, I had visions of me memorializing the experience. In the visions of the future time of Huna (which is why I am the Mo`i. It isn't because I am good organizationally, but because I see the Hunians in the future, and move myself to become that, and the others join me in fellowship as we journey into the Light towards our Hemolele and our eventual reunion with out Beloved and Graduation into a new Aumakua) I looked at my outer left wrist, and saw the Malamaka`opuahiki ho`ailona`aku (tattooed) there.

I go the next day or so to get the ho`ailona`aku. Some of the people who are my first companions in Huna fellowship come as well. They will get the Malamaka`opuahiki where I get mine.

      And then that night, something unexpected and wonderful happens as I am outside smoking my pipe.

In a vision I am back to Kahuna Nui's front room in 1968, and I see myself ho`ohiki (vowing) to Kahuna Max that I will return the fire-made-sacred to Huna. And now I see the shadows of all those in my fellowship, now and to come, in that room with me. They are holding their wrists towards Kahuna max, showing him that I would succeed. He never knew…

Later that night, I take the Hunian members who had Firewalked successfully, and who had had ho`ailona`aku sunk into their skin to honor their kumu, and I honored them at a special Hiwa Ceremony. (Hiwa=the warm, embracing darkness=Shamanic).

I wondered if the ho`ailona`aku of the Malamaka`opuahiki remained in the Dreamworld section of Po, so I could show the beauty to my bud, Donl and my mom when I join them (die). And that night I had a dream, and in the dream I looked at my left wrist, and there it was. It had followed me even into Po! I'm so happy.

I imagine that you want to know what happens in the Hiwa Ceremony. But what goes on there is the deepest mysteries of Huna which I have explored. And it must remain a mystery to all who have not undergone it.

The next Makahiki approaches, and another Firewalk is prepared, and other things, the Aha`aina (Ritual Feast), The Makahiki Games. The `Awa Ceremony prepared. Many things. The pono of Huna abides!

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