Integration Strategy Firewalk – January 5th, 2013

Organize and focus the coming year behind a single powerful strategy for your small business, consulting or coaching practice.

Live an integrated life. Make it all work. Your entire life, health, finance, relationships AND career.

Without prioritizing or sacrifice in any one area. Create momentum that will propel you towards success [right out of the gate].

Do you find yourself spending too much time, money, and energy building your business while not getting the results you want?

Do you continuously undermine other areas of your life such as health, family, hobbies, or travel to achieve success in your business?

Make a bigger impact in 2013 without finding yourself pulled in multiple directions on how to get there. Prioritize ideas, both your own and the ones presented to you.

If you are like most people, you go into January with high hopes for the future, and will likely be disappointed by what you actually accomplish.

Take a stand. This will be your year for aggressive business growth. Choose the right approaches for you. Live a lifestyle that actually coincides with the hopes that led to the creation of your own business.

During 2013 Integration Strategy event you will:

  • Move beyond the failures and build on your achievements of 2012.
  • Create an integrated growth strategy for the new year.
  • Develop clear and achievable goals with the help of peers.
  • Achieve momentum that will carry your plans through to fruition.
  • Retain the confidence to know now where you will be in one year’s time.

There will be a firewalk at the conclusion of the event where you will bring together all your strategies and aspirations for the year and fuse them as one when you walk on the coals.

2013 Integration Strategy

Date: January 5th, 2013
Time: 3:00-7:30 p.m.
Location: Marina Village Conference Center (Mission Bay)

Fee: $125
Discounted: $95 extended until Jan 3rd, 2013

You will have a profound “wow” experience that you will remember forever.

Register Here

Firewalk Experience:

Firewalking has been an integral part of many cultures for many centuries. Typically communities Firewalk together as a group to experience oneness and unity as a group.

Firewalking creates an environment of immediacy. It fuses the mind, body, and spirit together into one focus. Creating powerful breakthroughs and new energy. Removing artificial limitations. Releasing the pent-up desire to move forward and achieve success.

The firewalk portion of the 2013 Integration Strategy event will drive home the lessons and make real the promise of the event.


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The First Huna Firewalking

by William Tufts Brigham
as Transcribed by
Max Freedom Long
and originally published in
Recovering the Ancient Magic


     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 he made friends of a number of them. He posed as a haole, 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 fire-kahuna 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 fire-walking 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 easy-chair beside a ponderous oak table which stands in the center of a long low room.

      “When the flow started,” related Dr. Brigham, “I was in South Kona, at Napoopoo. 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 Napoopoo so we could go to the flow and try the fire-walking.

      “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 sulfur 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 bed rock.

      “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 colorless 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 discolorations 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 over hot lava with bare callused 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.”


      There you have Dr. Brigham’s story. You will now doubtless be interested to know how a scientist tried to figure out the reason for his being able to do what he had done.

      “It’s magic,” he assured me. “It’s a part of the bulk of magic done by the kahunas 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 magic possible. And even after I was dead-sure it was 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 burn a finger again before I was satisfied. No, there is no mistake. The kahunas use magic in their firewalking 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.”

      In this case we have an instance in which the magical control of heat was of such a nature that it did not protect the leather in Dr. Brigham’s heavy boots, but did protect his feet.

      This feature of the case is interesting when we remember that the soles of the author MacQuarrie’s shoes were undamaged in his firewalking. All in all, it would appear that fire magic works in strange ways which are little related to the “laws” of Science.

      I affirm that I have proved that the case for Magic is properly grounded on such facts as anyone so desiring may investigate.

      Instead of investigating Magic, Science has chosen to scoff at it, and either try to explain it away or deny its existence. I further affirm that the child of Science—the Scientific Attitude-is guilty of a grave offense against the layman.

      This offense is grave in that it is utterly unjustified and in that it has fostered a misconception so deep-seated that it is now all but impossible for the average layman to bring his conscious mind to bear on Magic because of the prejudicing complex in his subconscious mind.

      Max Freedom Long

Initiation Into na Po`e Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki

(Initiation Into the Body of Firewalk Priests)


by Ho`anoiWahinenuiho`aLani


   The: "Are you an idiot?" Test

 The body of the course of initiation I took seems to have been based on two major activities a day, nearly all of which are terrors. And unlike Disneyland thrills, the dangers were all too real.

I’m going to describe to you some of the things we did, but in doing so I am deliberately leaving out major and utterly essential material, without which a person trying these tests will be hurt or harmed or mutilated or killed in an awful way. Why?

Because that’s what would probably happen to you anyway if you tried these things on your own. If you want to do the things done in the initiation of a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, then find one to initiate you! Or tlak to the Mo`i of the Hunians about that Path.

So to be redundant: Don’t try to do these things without the spiritual guidance of someone who can already do them, and is willing to initiate you.

If you do try it without a spiritual master to guide you, then you ARE an idiot. Don’t bother writing to me from your hospital bed, if you should survive, I will be unsympathetic.



 "Paranoia strikes deep" the old hippie song says, and you know, reality is so complicated that you just can’t but wonder if something isn’t going on sometimes.

I say things sometimes which make me wonder about myself. One can always resort to the idea of e ho’oulu ia, your Aumakua or Divine Nature whispering things into your unsuspecting ear. But even that begs the question.

The Poe Aumakua of Huna exist. They have existed since the last three Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki prayed to them to find someone to carry on their lineage.

They found Dr. William Tufts Brigham and tricked him into coming to the islands where he eventually walked on the fire of a recent lava overflow.. Then when Dr. Brigham was about to check out, they found Max Freedom Long and tricked him to coming to the islands, where Dr. Brigham eventually initiated and adopted him into his sacred lineage.

Then when Max was about ready to pop the cork, Dolly Ware, and E. Otha Wingo and I were pulled in and Max adopted us, although we didn’t know each other. There are others too, William Glover being one who could make that same assertion of adoption even if he might be in the  Dreamworld now, and be sustained.

But the plans of the mighty often go astray. Same for the Po`e Aumakua who are our guardians. Dr. Brigham dropped the ball. He passed on the stories of his initiation, but not the Firewalk itself. He had let our fire die out, and no one had the courage to approach the sentient fire again whilst he lived.

Kahuna Nui Max felt the loss of the sentient fire like an itch from an unknown place in his mind. Like the fear that you can’t find your car keys, even though you are holding them in your trembling hands.

Then the Po`e Aumakua was antsy and frustrated. In all of Polynesia the sacred fires went out one by one, and there was nothing they could do about it.

Then by 1949 there were only two Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki left in all of Polynesia, none of them Hawaiian. So Te–nui Arii–peu, one of the two remaining, came from the Society Islands to make a Firewalk to try to raise money for passage to get his stranded Island folks home. Another trick and trap by the Po`e Aumakua?

This was to be a series of Umu style Firewalks. Which means they are done on white hot rocks instead of glowing embers. Which means that they invalidate David Willey’s thesis about fire not burning because of low conductivity. Many HRA (Huna Research Associates) came for it. One of our members, Charlie Kenn was chosen by Te–nui Arii–peu to be initiated into the lineage, and a good start was made, but the Kahuna died before it could be finished. And Charlie never walked on fire again as far as anyone knows.

I pretty much knew from the get–go that I had been called to return the sentient fire to Huna, but I could never see how to do that. Never dared to dream that I would actually pull it off.

The major thing which blocked me was the fear of what would happen to those who followed me into the fire. Afraid of their pain, their loss of respect for me and therefore my ultimate disservice to Huna itself.

Then a Methodist Minister friend of mine, Rev. Larry Olson talked to me about it. While I was scared for my own self, I was far more scared for the others. I had Charlie’s book, I had been named after the goddess of the Firewalk, I knew my intention—but saw no way to proceed. I didn’t, and don’t yet know how to protect anyone from being burned.

Larry asked me if I could build the fire, do the chants, and get myself to walk. I said that I could do those things. Then he asked me what part I intended for God to play in the whole thing?

And the only answer is that after a certain point you have to give up and let yourself fall into the arms of your Aumakua or Divine Nature or allow yourself to be hurt or even die. But if you are sustained than you actually know what anyone else can only speculate on. Although many will tell that they "know" about the religious or spiritual, these are only speculations for the most part.

That opened the Path for me to enter into the sentient fire as a priest of it. To search out, finally, a kumu to initiate me into the Firewalking.

Now it seems so far away; I sat listening to my kumu while he played a videotape by the number–one leading debunker of the Firewalk. On the screen is a photograph of the 1949 Firewalk in Honolulu, and led by Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki ,Te-nui Arii-peu! That’s pretty damn strange, don’t you think? The camera which took that photo was being held by a member of my religion. That photograph was copied from an obscure publication published by my religion, and created by Max Freedom Long. With whom I sat and talked over matters with in 1968.

In my lap was the Firewalk Handbook my kumu made up for us. In it, and not for that reason, is a photograph of the founder of my religion—Huna—Kahuna Nui William Tufts Brigham.

Surrounding the photograph is an article written by my kumu Max Freedom Long himself on the Firewalk!

Makes me feel strange or as if I am caught up in a drama far greater than yourself. Like going into a stranger’s home, and knowing everything that is in his refrigerator without looking, since it is the same as yours. You don’t say anything, of course. If he didn’t believe you, you’d lose respect in his eyes. And if he DID believe you, he would have to be awfully gullible.

So I sit there in class and gripe about David Willey improperly using that photograph, but don’t mention the impact of having all these Huna icons surrounding me. Like a crazy man, I am seeing Huna vectors everywhere I look now. How did I end up being the temporary focus of something beyond me? I just wanted to be a Chiropractor. Or am I just Paranoid with delusions of grandeur? Lala-land for sure for the Lanimeister.

But this story and all continues anyway…

Well I got back from the Firewalk Initiation. I returned well, as does Kahuna Keonaona who accompanied me. She is such a trooper. I present her with such unusual vacation opportunities.

There are lingering effects. Some kind of secret cognitive dissonance going on in my mind. Mostly I notice it when I am falling to sleep listening to the TV news. I sort of jar awake over and over as the subject turns (in my mind alone) into Fire walking. Then I say suddenly, for example, "what does the trouble in Palestine have to do with the Firewalk?" then I turn over and slip into the arms of Morphius once again.

There is far too much to try to remember.


Closure # 1

 You have to understand about dogs. Each breed is made for a specific purpose.

The most ancient lineage of the Dog beings are the Lhasa Apsos of Tibet. They were bred to be sacred. To do exorcisms on their own. To telepathically sense danger to their Lama from hidden bandits, etc.

They are fellow participants with humans in some Buddhist religious ceremonies.

It is they who decided to join the Huna Heiau. My little guardian and companion now is "Buxton", my little, shaggy, Lhasa Apso.

Our kumu, Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Michael McDermott, DD, told us about the only animal he had ever seen do a Firewalk.

A lady had been coming to several Firewalks he led or was at. She walked and was healed of her partial paralysis.

At one point, her little dog, quite independent of her, walked the glowing embers. No blisters, no rush, his hair which he dragged thorough the embers wasn’t even singed. That little dog was a type of Lhasa Apso, called a Shi-Tsu!

Of course …

That was the only time he ever saw or heard of an animal do a sacred Firewalk.

Kahuna Lani and Kahuna Michael McDermott

 Closure #2

 During the initiatory week we were shown David Willey’s video on Firewalking. In it he, the world’s leading "antichrist" of Firewalking or "debunker" starts off with showing a photo of a Firewalking event.

His assertion is that glowing embers have "low conductivity", hence, fire doesn’t burn. When I showed him photos of Firewalking burns, he just slid over the material.

In 1949 the Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Tu-nui Arii-peu came to Honolulu and put on several Firewalks. This was attended with many HRAs (Huna Research Associates).

This wasn’t an "American" style Firewalk, but an "Umu" style Firewalk. Done on large stones heated until they are white hot. The stones are very heat conductive. If there is an Umu style Firewalk, then David Willey’s thesis is blown to pieces, and remains where it started. It is a lie. Designed to prevent people from experiencing this sacred, and frequently life-transforming event.

Now, one of the HRA was chosen to return the sentient Fire to Huna, and started to be initiated, but the Kahuna died before he could complete the training.

He put together a little book on the Firewalk and put in it eight photos from the Firewalk he had taken.

Now bear in mind that David Willey’s thesis depends on the idea that no one walks on hot stones. When I put this in an e-mail to him, he denied that it was possible. I didn’t pursue it. After all I didn’t know. HRA Charlie Kenn’s little book was published by my religion, the Huna Press in 1949. It was never reprinted. It is a little obscure publication produced by a little religion many years ago. But in it are photographs which disprove the entire "Scientific debunking" of the Firewalk.

Can you imagine my befuddlement when upon starting the David Willey video, he starts off with one of the photographs from that very same book!?

Then the slime and spin starts. There is no attribution or credits given to the source of that photograph, which is us. It is never described nor explained. David Willey merely ignores it. Ignores a photograph which discounts all of what follows!

How bizarre, unwholesome and arrogant. To spin your story to pretend that you are being confirmed by that which would in fact debunk YOU if the audience only knew the story behind the photograph!

So much for Science and its Scientists …

The Spirit Dancers

 It was the last Firewalk of our long week of experiences which seemed to place us all in some kind of borderland between mundane reality and sacred reality.

It was Kahuna Keonaona’s turn to make the fire bed. It was to be a big fire. The stack of firewood became smaller as each night’s Firewalk took its toll on it. But there was still a lot of wood there. More than we had ever burned before. Our kumu didn’t want to haul it back from the hideaway we were doing these things at, so he decided we would use all that was left.

I had wanted to blow a firebreath on the fire to start it, but when time ran out, we just used a Butane lighter.

Once it was started, Kahuna Keonaona made the Polynesian religious and ceremonial drug, `Awa, for us. I had created a simplified yet still formal ceremony to take it.

We drank the `Awa, and made the formal claps and oblations to the fire.

Keonaona and I chanted the "E Ho Mai" Chant.

Then the "spirit dancers" came. I was the first one to see them. I asked another haumana there, Ed, who had walked about two or three dozen times if he had ever seen such a thing. But he had not, and was full of wonder too.

Our kumu has done many hundreds of Firewalks in the last decade and more. But he had never seen anything like it before either. Never heard of it in all his travels with other Firewalk leaders.

It was a big bonfire. There was little smoke, but what there was would collect at the edge of the bonfire and go downhill to the earth.

Arriving at the earth, it would collect and rise as a pillar of smoke, bending and dancing all around the fire. Mostly one at a time, but sometimes two or three.

They would circle around the fire. It was beautiful. Keonaona tried to get a photo of them, but I don’t think those kinds of things photograph. If they come out, I’ll post them.

Then Keonaona raked out the coal bed. Man what a job that is! And this was by far the largest and hottest fire we had had.

It was viciously hot. It was the second deepest bed of glowing heat, about six inches deep. About four feet wide and about fifteen feet long.

It was shaped sort of like a Kidney bean (which is sort of shaped like a Kidney, I suppose).

It was scary. Really scary. When I looked at the shimmering glow, there was a face clearly to be seen looking at me. When I reached my mind into the fire, I could feel the same challenge I had faced all week, it seemed to say, "Try to pet me if you can. See if I love you and accept you, or tear you to pieces. Maybe I’ll protect you from harm. Maybe I won’t. You have to be a man here. It isn’t safe."

Our kumu announced that to honor the fire, this was to be a nude Firewalk, for those who decided to go without any pretense of artificial protection. Most of the haumana got nude, I wasn’t so disposed. My loss. But I just don’t feel that I’m that decorative in the buff.

I walked through the fire. It was my only walk that night. I was accepted, but the fire also bit me several times in a playful way. I’m not sure now, I might have walked twice. After a time of fright, day after day, they all begin to concatenate.

There was the supernatural protection, and the blisters were completely healed by morning, and no residual tenderness remained.

One of the nude haumana ladies slowed down on her walk, then simply stopped and stood in the fire. She walked three times that night and there were no symptoms. In fact on that night, I was the only one whom the fire had kissed (other people may remember things with small differences).

One of the major sources of peace, Ed, a nude Firewalker that night, slowed his walking until it looked like he was in slow motion. No symptoms.

Our kumu stood in the fire too. The fire accepted him for a minute, then got tired of the game and bit him a little on his left foot only, to get him off the firebed.

One of the finest things was that every night he faced the sentient fire he was scared. Boy did I feel at home with that!

Whatever else you may hear about it, don’t ever take it for granted! It isn’t safe! People who are scared stiff usually do just fine. Those who believe that fire doesn’t burn, the fire enjoys teaching them something new.

It isn’t safe. But it is sacred, and many if not most enjoy the acceptance and supernatural protection of the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani, through their own Aumakua.

What is a "Firewalk"?

The word "Firewalk" is an idiom. That is, it is defined as really a phrase meaning something else than what appears on the surface. A Firewalk is anything which requires the sacred fireimmunity to be present to accomplish the task without undue injury.

Normally and usually when Firewalks are presented to the public they are done on fire made sentient. But this is only a small example of the protective miracle of Fireimmunity. Unfortunately for me, just about all Firewalks require you to actually endanger your life to see if "God" or your Aumakua or the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani or Jesus or Allah or Krishna or Miriam or the Saints Constantine and Helen in the Christian tradition of the Firewalk, etc. will save you.

It isn’t a game, although it can and should be approached with a cheerful heart. It is a serious thing. It is dangerous. If your God doesn’t do something to save you, you will really be harmed.

But if you pass through the test you will actually know yourself what you could only have guessed before. You are known to the Universe, or however you conceive of God. And you are precious and if approached in the PROPER way, it will respond to your cry. BUT if you are arrogant or do not approach it correctly, the sentient fire will hurt you and injury will become your teacher. It doesn’t seem to make any real difference to the sentient fire. It doesn’t seem to get coarse or cross with us. If our soul is on the mark, it saves us from harm. We are arrogant or distracted, it burns us. No problem.

 Why Firewalk?

Oh, that’s easy for me. But you’ll have to find your own need. For me it is the ONLY way to actually prove the nature and character of Reality all around us.

I have spent my life doing religious healings and exorcisms, but they all require you to be sick in body or mind or spirit for you to actually feel the Grace or mana of Io. If you were well, this knowledge was beyond your grasp. Now it is here. The Truth stands before you, if you have the courage to grasp it. Otherwise your fear will lead you away from it.

The Fire walk has been said by some that it is a metaphor for life. It isn’t. Life is a metaphor for the Firewalk.

I stood at the edge of the Firewalking pit. My body shaking in the fear. I melt my mind into the fire and it challenges me to love it, and take what consequences I may have to live with. It may hurt me greatly, for REAL!, or it may love me and hold me harmless (as it usually does for the Firewalkers). But my fear isn’t a joke. Isn’t a metaphor for anything else. It is real. And has perfectly sensible reasons for its existence. My "normal" life isn’t this clean cut. My reality not so quick and personal and very real. A few people have to be hospitalized after a Firewalk in which they didn’t listen to their own heart. A few people die in the sentient fires each year (usually not in the USA).

No. If I am afraid to ask my boss for a raise, if he denies it, he won’t also cut off my feet. If anything, life is a metaphor for the Firewalk. I am beginning to see now why some tribes worship the fire. I never really saw faces in the fire before…

The only common denominator is the fact that we allow our fears to block us. And here the fear is very real. We stand at the edge of the raging inferno. Our fear blocks us from passage. Suddenly someone we know overcomes their fear and calmly walks across the fire. We are encouraged. We slowly overcome our fear, and wonder of wonders, we are sustained.

What it looks like on the outside isn’t what it looks like on the inside. On the inside, you can’t really think too much. You’re trying to remember the mental steps to take. You remember that you have to surrender something. But what?

You feel a sudden wind which no one else can feel. It comes for you alone. You have to actually STOP your body from walking into the fire if you listen to your fear. You have to actually stop yourself from your arising fear, to not prevent your body from walking. Your body will carry you over the fire harmlessly if and only if you have already gotten your duckies in a row, then give up completely in faith.

There is the fire before you. There is a feeling of a spiritual wind. You hammer your fear for a second. Then the fire is behind you.

And I'm wondering, how did it get behind me? People are congratulating me. Why? What happened? Did I miss something. Are my feet OK? Am I hurting anywhere?

Others now who were behind me have found their courage. They too face their fears. They seek to overcome their fear. To master their own lives, oddly, by submitting them to their God; in whatever name or guise it has for them. Sometimes the fire will nip at them to teach them they are a little off. Or throwing up some arrogance or distraction or thinking that the fire doesn’t burn.

My kumu calls these bites, "symptoms". That is so much more friendly than "burn" isn’t it?

Upon no occasion are all of us "kissed" by the fire or have any symptoms on the same night. On almost no occasion are not at least one of us bitten in playfulness and instruction by the fire.

But even then there is the sacred and disturbing fireimmunity. The blisters disappear later that night. In the morning, normally, nothing remains of the hurt.

I have never in my life before had a blister disappear on me. In the sentient fire, it happens all the time, to all of us. I wonder why I find this also disturbing. Again I feel the mental sand and floor of my reality shifting. It sort of numbs my mind. Each morning when the night before I had symptoms, now there is nothing on my feet to give testimony. There is no soreness left in them.

The Firewalk of the Arrow

All my Firewalks scared me. I can overcome my fear usually about them. But the fear never goes away. In my ignorance beforehand I had imagined how things would be. They didn’t turn out that way. What a surprise.

I had thought it might be a hunting arrow. But it isn’t. The only others I’ve used are target arrows, but this isn’t one either. The metal point is shaped like a metal leaf. It stands off from the shaft a little.

Something in-between a hunting arrow and a target arrow. It is new and obviously a common commercial arrow.

I had imagined that there would be a slow pressure. I would never have thought that it would demand speed. I thought there would be some warning if the fireimmunity failed and so one could stop the process. I was wrong.

Usually the nock of the arrow is braced against a wall. The point of the arrow is placed in the small of the neck, right there just below the Adams apple. In that little "v" shape on the lower front of the neck. The fireimmunity state achieved. And then a quick thrust of the whole body into the arrow.

If it is a scientific thrust, your neck will be punctured, your throat pierced. If you don’t die from asphyxia or blood flow into your lungs, you might survive the trip to the hospital. but Martial Arts students will recognize that spot as the most lethal part of one’s body.

Nothing can save you but your God. It is simple. Your God protects you or you die or are badly wounded.

Our kumu, Michael McDermott decides he wants to be looking at us during this, so that he can do the best he knows how to open us to our deity’s miraculous protection.

I can’t really believe this is happening. I recognize the danger. Nothing here is faked. There are no tricks. It is real. Too real.

He holds a board up to him. I place the nock end of the arrow on the board. The point I place on my neck. Then apply a little pressure to hold the arrow in place, and let my hands drop down to my side.

Michael is talking to me, I’m trying to follow what he is saying, but I really can’t, the sudden fear is too great. I feel a sudden wind at my back. I don’t make my body move forward, but I don’t prevent it. I feel my body’s motion. There is a loud report. I’m looking down at the pieces of my arrow now on the floor. People are congratulating me. Why? I don’t really know what happened. It all seemed to happen so fast.

I am really beginning to feel sorry for Keonaona. What have I gotten her into now? An odd vacation opportunity I have presented her with.

The Firewalk of the Broken Board

When in the Fireimmunity state, one can’t be broken, so one can break other things. One of these "other" things are boards, roofing tiles and rocks.

Michael had some boards, and so he decided that that would be just a nifty thing to do that afternoon.

I’m just like everyone else, until I actually experience a thing, I conjecture about it. And when I actually experience it, it is quite different from what I imagined.

I didn’t like the idea of breaking boards. I imagined that the boards would break if you just gave then a harsh look. Boy was I wrong.

If you think that breaking a board is so simple, go outside right now and try to do it. but your hand is more likely to break, or your wrist before the board does.

Our Kumu got up to demonstrate it for us first. The sound of the collision on his hand against the board echoed off the walls of the large classroom we were in.

But the board remained whole. Time after time he did the same thing, only to have the same result. He thought that he was "failing" in front of us. But that wasn’t the case. Not even close. It took a lot to convince me that boards didn’t just fall apart!

Another lady tried her hand at it, and she too failed several times. This was also very instructive to me.

Then it was my turn. Getting my mental duckies in a row. Setting my body. Then giving up into the Fireimmunity. There was a "pop" and the board was lying in pieces on the floor.

Everyone broke their boards, but for some, it took them more than one try. They weren’t in state deep enough.

Why did Michael fail to break his board until about his seventh time? It remains a mystery. All I know for sure is that it was only because of that that I became convinced of the verity of the experiences.

The Firewalk on Broken Glass


I had been worried about this test since I had first heard about it about six months before the actual event took place.

There are two reasons why it held so much emotion, other than the fact that it is just rational not to walk on broken glass shards if at all possible.

There was a series of films that I saw after my graduation from high School. They were all called the "Mondo Kani" films, or something like that.

In one of them, there was a vignette about a small medieval city in Italy. Here on Easter morning, the local Catholic older boys wake up early and leave their homes. They have prepared wooden disks with pieces of broken glass. The movie showed close-ups of these brave boys tapping the glass pads onto the soles of their feet. Their flesh shreds. Their blood flows. They run through the village up to each home’s door, then from there to the town’s Cathedral. When the folks leave for Church that morning, they see footsteps in blood going from their door to the Church. Symbolizing Jesus’ walk to the crucifixion.

While I appreciate them. It still makes me shiver to see them tapping the glass shards into their feet.

Another time I was still living at home. My beloved sister Sharon had married and moved out. My brother-in-law was a glazer and came over one night to replace some cracked window glass we had. He did his job and left. I went outside, barefoot, to see what he had done. It was night. He couldn’t have known about the pistol shaped and sized piece of glass in the grass.

I stepped on it and it completely penetrated my foot except for the upper layer of skin. It was stuck in there, and I had to grab it by its handle and tug it out.

But everything seemed to be OK. Mom went to bed, and a little later I went into the kitchen to graze on whatever I could find.

As I stood with the refrigerator door open, I felt some stickiness on the floor. This annoyed me. I looked down and I was standing in a deep puddle of my own blood.

Boy did I freak out. My shout woke up mom, and she came in a panic to see what was wrong. Standing on the wound had simply opened it up.

I still shudder at that one too.

So my poor little Unihipili has been traumatized by images of bloody feet.

In some of my dreams of the last six months, I see myself and others leaving bloody footprints after the Fire walk on Broken Glass.


 Glass Shard I walked on

 Now it was time to go from those metaphors into the reality of it. The pit of broken glass was before me, and the other haumana there.

Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, Michael McDermott, DD (which Keonaona says stands fro Dare Devil!), has made a pit from a sheet of plywood about 4 feet x 8 feet by about 4 inches deep. This has all been lined with sheet metal. He pours broken glass shards from a 50 gallon drum he has to save the glass in.

He starts to talk to us. He always seems to be our combination loving older brother and Prison Guard. The more he talks the more I want him to talk. So long as he talks, I don’t have to walk on it! I still see flashes of bloody footprints. There is a part of me that wants him to stop talking. This is the part of me which wants it all over with. No matter what the outcome, just get it over with!

There seems no part of me that is enjoying this or is really, Then he slowly really happy about it all. No part which is excited.

Then he slowly walks across it. He had the Fireimmunity and is unharmed. Then a lady haumana goes for it. I am ashamed that I was a little relieved that she took the initiative.

She did a perfect job. Even started to dance in the glass at the end. She was unharmed. I don’t remember now if Keonaona went in front of me, or behind me.

I "saw" Wahinenuiho`alani throw a beige blanket over the glass to protect me. This was a thing that happened. For some infantile part of me, it seemed to be of no comfort.

I let it be like standing before the sentient fire. I just stood there before the glass shards. In time I felt a spirit wind blow my soul across the broken glass. My fear arose to suppress by body from following, I suppressed my fear. But I didn’t try to walk or not walk. My body was on the other side of the broken glass, but I don’t really remember doing it.

I just remember starting to take a step where a tiny tower of glass found the ball of my foot. I became aware, but surrendered. All my weight came down on that knife, and my skin remained intact.


The Firewalk of Body Piercing


I don’t know why the Fire walk of Body Piercing should have the effect it does on me. Perhaps that, unlike the others, it is devoid of all possibility of deceit or mistake. And, of course, it is ugly.

Anyway it is very simple: your kumu hands you a 5 inch needle. You talk to your body to let it know that this isn’t a punishment of any find. You enter into the fireimmunity relationship. You push the needle through your hand. There is no pain nor blood.


 My Firewalk needle, a little bent from use


 Actual size, more or less

Simple. I sort of failed it though. The fireimmunity was only partial, and there was pain, VERY much pain when I was coming out from the inside of the palm of my left hand.

Our kumu then had the pin remain where it was for about ¾ of an hour. My hand fills up all golden like, all warm and tingling with joy and deep pleasure. I would love to have my whole body feel that wonderful, but it would require so many needles piercing me at once…er, forget it!

Then he had us pull it all the way through. I don’t know why he wanted it to come out in that direction, instead of being pulled out. But anyway, there no pain in it.

When he read this, he sent me this:

"Thanks for reminding me. I meant to tell you the following story in class, but I forgot to. I learned the body pierce from Steve Bisyak.

 "The only place I ever saw Steven pierce his hand was the one place we pierced in the class.

"I started pushing beyond my own limits by piercing my face, ears, lips, nose, tongue, arm, etc. and Steven found that pretty freaky & bizarre – i think it scared him.

"Steven explained his viewpoint to me and his logic was as follows: because the end of the needle is so much wider than the point, it's not possible (that's what i remember him saying!) to pull it all the way through.

"I wanted to experience a complete "passing of the metal" all the way through flesh, not just put it in and then pull it out. Also, if it was not "possible" i wanted to know for sure by my own experience

"When I was able to run the needle completely through my hand instead of just put it in and pull it back out, this experience created an additional feeling of legitimacy in the experience for me personally. It just felt more valid to me as a "mind over matter" exercise."

It was grim to look around the room and see all these flashes of long steel hanging out of everyone’s hands.

But there was a few moments of pain for me in it. So I took the needle home with me. I'll have to do it until I am competent in establishing the sacred Fireimmunity.

And for practice, it is a LOT easier than a Firewalk on fire, or even a broken arrow.

Oh yeah, there was no blood. And except for that one moment, no pain. But there is a sensation to it.

The Firewalk with the Rebar

I wasn’t scared of this test, maybe that’s why it almost did me in.

You’re seen rebar, it is those iron/steel large rods sticking up out of concrete constructions. Indeed that what its name, "rebar" stands for: "reinforcement bar".

The length is cut into thirds, each length is about 6 feet long.

It’s easy. You stand at one end of it, your bud stands at the other end. You both place the ends into your "v" at your neck. You both lean forward a little to trap it in pressure than let go and put your hands down. There’s a little patch of clean cut sweat sock between the end of it and your soft neck. It just helps protect your neck from the sharpness of any metal pieces.

When you see your bud go into Fireimmunity and you feel yourself do likewise, you both walk forward towards each other. One of two things happens. If there is supernatural protection, you both keep walking until the ends of the rebar are bent into a hoop and you hug each other—or the rebar collapses your windpipe (Trachea) and you die of asphyxiation, or you might be fast enough to back off to relieve the pressure before you are clearly damaged.

It starts. Suddenly my fear pops up and stops my walking. Fireimmunity fails. The rebar is choking me. I quickly pull back. Choking and coughing. Keonaona is watching me. Worried.

I recover. My breath returns and I’m game again. I didn’t invest all this fear to get nothing in return. This time everything works as advertised, and I get to hug and get hugged by my kumu Michael.

You can imagine just how happy I was to "demonstrate" to Keonaona there, just how good I was to do it first!

Now it is Keonaona’s turn. She and her bud do it correctly on the first try! I’m so proud of her.

Opening night—Our First Firewalk


I’m writing this backwards in time for some reason.

In the main, I have been recounting the terrors for your amusement. There was a lot that wasn’t terrifying. Although I think that this is because Michael just couldn’t think up BOTH how to make it fearful and still actually do it.

This is one such thing which we did that wasn’t life-threatening:

How to Unshrivel a Raisin

God has killed every animal that has ever lived. I ran into a militant vegetarian in my Firewalk initiation last week. He asked Keonaona if her compassion went down to the animals. She said yes. He then asked her how she could eat meat. She asked him if his compassion extended to Carrots? He went ballistic and blew up.

During the initiation we had a meditation of transformation involving our relationship with a raison. We each had to put a single raison in our mouth for half an hour and pay attention to it. We could do anything with it that we wanted to but swallow it.

First it was all wrinkly and tough. Then it began to expand into an almost grape sized mass. Then when I bit on it, it filled my mouth with grape juice!

During the quiet of the half hour, my mind saw an image of a dinosaur chomping on a bunch of vegetation of some sort. The voluntary sacrifice of the vegetation's life to sustain a higher life struck me. And how it goes all the way up to us, layer after layer of clean and honorable souls sacrificing their temporary bodies so that others might live. Libido (The Good) all the way down.

And our Doctrine of EVO-CON, and how this chain of sacrifice leads up to us. And McDonald's fast food restaurants. The many twists and perturbations of our lives. And how one reaches out to the souls of the bodies—both animal and vegetable—which were sacrificed to sustain us.

A Hunian "Grace":

"I humbly bless and recognize and appreciate every being who has given it's life to sustain me and everything else throughout all time."


Opening Night—Our First Firewalk cont’d


Well, now that I’m almost at the end of this series, I’ll start from the beginning of our trip. We had flown up for this to the State of Washington, next to Microsoft, in Redmond. It was late at night. We really had no idea of where we were going. And we were hungry. We started to pass a Denny’s restaurant, and stopped for dinner.

I asked Keonaona if she had brought her cell phone. I wanted to call our kumu and let him know we were late but still coming. She had brought it, but it was WAY out of its useful territory, she said. A different phone company entirely. She can make and receive calls only from California and Nevada unless she makes a special arrangement.

I felt more antsy, so I asked her to call him on it anyway. Our kumu Michael McDermott answered immediately. She was nonplused, it shouldn’t have worked. Michael drove down to lead us back to the hideaway camp where we would be for the week’s initiation.

The next morning is a blank to me. That night our kumu put on our first Firewalk. I had walked on fire before under the auspices of Tony Robbins. She had never walked on fire before.

He prepped us as well as he could.

I stood at the edge of the firepit. I was barely in control of myself. Odd. I thought I would be more in control of my mind.

There was a full moon, it was directly behind the end of the firepit. It looked as if the moon was pulling me forward. Wahinenuiho`alani was pulling me into the fire. I could feel the spiritual wind, and I didn’t stop myself. I walked across the fire. The sentient fire lovingly accepted me. The coals were glowing red hot, and the hot heat on my face, but the embers felt cold. Everyone else walked too. I walked a second time. This time the embers were warm. I walked a third time, and the heat nipped at me. Lightly hurting me. I decided that the fire had decided that I had walked enough for that night.

Another haumana, a lady, also walked three times that night. Her experience was the exact opposite of mine. Her first walk had been hot, the second warm, and the third, which almost burned me, was cold.

On another night, which one I no longer remember, our kumu wanted to have a very deep layer of embers. So he made it about 6-8 inches deep.

It was the first time when the hot coals rolled over the tops of my feet, they felt very hot. At the end of the Firewalk, I accidentally walked into a Bramble Patch and the tops of my feet were badly scratched.

Later on that night when we were all in a hot tub, The soles of my feet began to hurt. I reached down and felt a thorn in my sole. Keonaona got it out. In doing so, she discovered the blisters on my feet. I had been unaware of them, there was no pain.

There were two young men who showed up for that Firewalk that night with some others. One was David and the other, Mark. David was tall and lanky and Mark was a little shorter and more muscular. Both were handsome with good clean spirits.

During the night, I felt the need to smoke my pipe, and wandered off a little to do that in contemplation. David saw me, and came after me, asked if he could stand with me. I said sure. He was some kind of computer system administrator, but he wanted to go into massage. He was asking me about the Hawaiian "Lomilomi" Massage. Wanted to know its history. I told him a lot about it. I told him about the style of Lomilomi I practice. He couldn’t imagine how you massage someone without denting their skin. So I took his arm and put some Lomilomi into it. He was impressed, and we returned to the fire.

This happened towards the end of that evening’s Firewalk. Everyone had walked by him. He had walked on fire about six weeks before, but now his fear had arisen for him, and he had returned to the sentient fire to face it one again. For a long time, he just stood at the edge of the firebed, and couldn’t walk it.

Then turning away, he asked our kumu, Michael, if he could break a board like he did last time. He needed to experience to focus his intention to overcome his fear.

Michael obliged and got the 1 inch plank and held it in front of him. David went into Fireimmunity and the board shattered like it was window glass. A chunk of the flying board struck Michael in the face, even setting his glasses askew.

I watched as an instant later Mark was at his side, appearing to adjust Michael’s glasses, but I saw Mark surreptitiously checking his fingers for blood. Michael was a little stunned at the force used to dissolve the board, and probably didn’t even notice Mark’s checking him for wounds. But he had already shown us, inadvertently, his Service commitment earlier that evening, when Keonaona faced the sentient fire for the first time.

She had been afraid, this was her first Firewalk, and she didn’t know what to expect, but knew that fire burned. And that the slightest touch of the fire would bring her pain and damage.

She had kept asking Michael where he was going to stand, etc.

Finally he understood that she was asking him to save her when she burned, and Michael, brought her into Malamaka`opuahiki or Enlightenment by saying to her, "This isn’t about your relationship to me, but about your relationship to the fire." Keonaona became enlightened for a moment and could face the sentient fire, really for the first time. Now the Way was open for her to walk, but she still had a lot of residual fear that she didn’t need. I saw Mark come up to her and reassure her, and tell her that if anything happened, he’d jump into the fire to save her.

With that, she strode harmless across the fire.

Mark had been serious, and even before I could get to her, Mark was there hugging her. Mark hadn’t walked yet. not that night, not on any other. He knew it was a dangerous thing to do to, but he didn’t know if he would make it. But he knew through instinct, as I knew through tradition, that he was taking the station of a sacred Firetender. This meant that if he jumped into the fire, there would be no Fireimmunity for him. If he jumped into the fire to save someone, he would sustain bad burns on the soles of his feet. We both understood that.

That’s what I meant that he had a clean spirit. He had never met us before. Never been to a Firewalk before. Would take pain for Keonaona if he had to, to assist her to attempt to walk the firebed.

But that was earlier. Now we had come to the end. And all, including Mark, had walked on the fire, all but David. He stood transfixed at the edge of the firebed for twenty minutes to a half hour. That was a long time for us just to stand and watch him stand there. Finally people started to really want to leave, but didn’t want to abandon David either. When I sensed this, I spoke to David and told him that if he continued to want to brave the fire, that I’d stay with him all night or until the fire went out. But that if he had decided not to walk, then we should go now. I told him that in no case should he walk if his soul was telling him not to. That there would be other Firewalks for him if he didn’t walk that night.

David just stood there silently staring with, it seemed to me, horror reflected in his eyes. I was afraid that my presence was a possible distraction to him, so I turned my back to the fire, so he couldn’t see me watching.

Then he walked. Perfectly and straight! I hugged him, we all did.

He did was all a great service that night. We might have also been in his shoes any night like that. He took that burden upon himself so that we didn’t have to be the one who was stuck in his fear. Many times during the initiation I was to take that onus, as well as everyone else too.

David performed that service for us that night.

In her first Firewalk, Kahuna Keonaona had received a small symptom, so had our kumu.

At 3:00 am she suddenly awoke from her sleep because the pain had suddenly ceased. Reaching down, and then later by light, there was no trace of the blister.

She had not received it in the Firewalk itself. The moment you finish, the fireimmunity fades. If there is a "Clingon" or spark clinging onto your foot, it will burn you at that point. She had had a small clingon. She had still had a little fading fireimmunity, so it didn’t hurt her as badly as a burn normally would.

Now I had my first symptoms. I could now feel the water-filled domes. In the morning there was no trace of them; neither visually, nor by sensation.

Umu and The Sweat Lodge

We arrived on a Friday night. Saturday the initiation started and that night was the first of many Firewalks, implements during the day, and on fire at night.

Sunday was very different. Michael had decided that we should be as pure of spirit as possible for the remaining time we would be there. He decided to have a "Sweat".

This was done in his home, because it had the Sweat Lodge, and it wasn’t portable. This was my first Sweat.

Because of the frailty, we had decided that I would just participate in the first two "rounds". There are four rounds to a regular Sweat, and each one gets hotter as more red hot rocks are brought in.

Some of the rocks were small, about the size of a double fist. But most were a little larger than a football and a little smaller than a basketball.

Once inside the Lodge, the door is closed and you are in complete darkness.

The second round was way more intense. Now we could see all the rocks glowing red with their heat.

I knew that in Honolulu in 1949 the rocks, about the same size had been white hot, and the earlier Firewalk by Kahuna Nui Brigham was on a self-luminous lava overflow. I couldn’t believe that anyone could walk on such rocks. I’m not sure, but they looked even more menacing to me than the firebed I had walked through three times the night before.

Michael told me I could walk on those rocks right then and there. I decided not to.

I asked him if he had ever walked Umu style (over glowing rocks), like the ones I saw in front of me.

He told me that he had. That he had arranged it himself. I asked him if he had had any symptoms? But he had not, nor anyone else who had walked that night. "But", he said, it was very challenging.

I looked at the glowing stones, and wondered at the career choice I had made

The First Huna Firewalk since 1949

There is a fine Huna Practitioner, Steven Varro who has held Firewalks at some Huna (HRI) conferences. He even tried to get Otha’s wife to walk on fire, she refused.

When I talked to him about it, it was clear that it wasn’t a Huna or Polynesian style, but a sort of Tony Robbins style of a Psychological presentation. Not anything to do with Huna, apparently. But he is really a fine gentleman.

One of our members of the Huna Heiau, Lamaku Schmall drove all the way up from the San Francisco area to offer service to us in the Firewalk I was scheduled to lead, scheduled by our kumu.

Kahuna Keonaona and I spent the morning of the initiation by giving a seminar on Huna. She led in the afternoon a process of "Conscious Dreaming", a technology she is proficient at.

We built the fire, and set it. We all went back inside, and the three of us put on a formal `Awa Ceremony. I did the chief part, Keonaona made the `Awa. Our kumu was gifted with an `Apu`awa (a cocoanut shell cup especially made for `awa), and Lamaku served it.

The type of `Awa was the "Mokihana" which was picked out for us by the farmers who supply the `Awa used in our Huna Heiau Church, John and Rebecca Fowler at Nuka Hiwa Farms in Hawaii. It served us well.

After everyone had had the `Awa, we all went out to the Firewalk — the fire now sentient.

Two of the haumana did the actual raking out of the glowing embers. As my health is irregular, they chose to help me. They helped me so much that they ended up doing it all!

Keonaona and Lamaku and I chanted into the fire.

Several other people had showed up for the Firewalk. I handled this is the same as all the Firewalks I put on. I will make no effort to get the public there, but if someone comes, they will be welcome and I won’t charge them or turn them away. (Or maybe some also showed up for the first Firewalk, I’m not sure now.)

I tried to set their minds into lokahi with Wahinenuiho`alani, and their Aumakuas.

This was the first time I was to lead it and be the first to cross it. If all went well, I’d tell the others how the fire had responded to me.

It went well. It welcomed me with great love and kindness.

It the first of the truly sweet fires.

It was wonderful.

No one had any symptoms from it. It wasn’t rambunctious at all.

When you walk to the other side of the sentient fire, you will have found something which no one else who has not traveled that path can ever know.

The plans of Io are advanced both in peace and in war. When it is time to party-down and have fun, and when it is time to be the courageous one. In the Light and in the Darkness,

Io abides.

-Kahuna Lani


 How To Do Your Own Firewalk:


 How To Do the Trick

"There must be a rational explanation!" I know, I’ve heard it all my life. What this really means is: "There isn’t any real magic or God left in the world. This meaning must be a mistake!"

But it isn’t. There is a Priest of the Sentient Fire, a Kahuna I Ke Umu KI. What or who is that? A person, usually trained for it, who can elicit the awareness of God in the fire. Turn it from a Scientific fire into a Religious Fire. And while usually trained and ordained and called to that purpose, anyone who can do it is a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, even if they have never heard of anything like that before.

By some means or other, actually respect and intent whilst making the firebed. Respect and aloha for it when it is made, invokes a goddess which Kahuna Nui Max Freedom Long calls an "externalizing lesser manifestation" of Io. The goddess named in the Huna religion as Wahinenuiho`alani (or to simplify it: Wahine [woman] nui [great] ho`a [sets fire to] lani [the sky] wahine-nui-ho`a-lani).

It can happen that a Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki, or by any other name hasn’t had the grueling and very dangerous initiation we’ve had, and still do it.

Once the Kahuna I Ke Umu Ki has created the sentient fire, he or she then helps the haumana who will walk, to get their physical and mental duckies in a row.

When all this is done, there is one final instruction, and the haumana is left alone with his fear. That final instruction? "Give up to your God your protection. Nothing else suffices."

Then the sentient fire will look into your heart and judge you of your purity. And if the Kingdom inside you is secure, you will feel what I call a "spirit wind" pushing you into the fire. You will walk on wings if you walk then. But also in that moment, your fear will arise and try to stop you from the Firewalk.

It is then that Io is testing your courage.

The whole of Malamaka`opuahiki is founded on koa or courage.

But it is not the fearless one who has courage, he is simply insane or underchallenged. No, to have courage means to experience fear and do what you intend to do anyway.

I used to resent the Psychological presentation of the Firewalk in the New Age movements. Now that I have actually experienced it, I can see what they are talking about. They reduce the religious implications to make more bucks and haumana, which is silly; but it isn’t silly at all to focus on the overcoming of fear. In many ways, fear is the fulcrum of the experience.

And at the grossest level, that you are saved from the burns with the overcoming of your fear is the teaching. That there is "something" (Io) out there, which, if approached with intention and faith, will save you, supports you in the strangest of ways.

Some of my Christian friends I’ve talked to about the Firewalk, use the idea in their Bible to say that they must not test God. But this is pure sophistry on their part. It isn’t God who is being tested, it is them.

But if the judgments of your God, Aumakua or Io or the goddess Wahinenuiho`alani, or anything else, are so strict that only a very few can make the cut, then the fear and backing away would be more understandable.

But the aloha of Io is bountiful. When approached correctly, everyone gets across the sentient fire unharmed. Those who do the Firewalk many times, will be reminded that the fire burns if it is not respected, but unless a person is way out of integrity, or startled out of Malamaka`opuahiki, they will walk in safety, hand in hand with their god?

And what do they really learn? What do they really know then which everyone else can only speculate and have "faith" in?

They know what any others can only guess at, that if they reach out in the fire, they will find a hand to hold. They will literally walk with their god. It isn’t a trick. It is a reality.

When they get to the other side of the sentient fire, they will find that their god walked them, and like me, they will wonder how the fire got behind them.

Firewalking: The Psychology of Physical Immunity

By Jonathan Sternfield

Firewalking Picture Gallery



Seattle fire walker Dan McHale tests his immunity to burning in a variety of ways, among them, firewalking across red-hot firebeds on his hands. Repeatedly, he has been able to make such passages without any injury whatsoever, and, in the process, has challenged the skeptics’ theory that the fire walking can be safely performed only because the feet are tough and callused.

Manawanui: I met Dan McHale before I ever knew about firewalking. I was looking for a backpack for long distance hiking. He owned company 3 blocks from where I went to college making the sturdiest and most comfortable packs I had ever tried. A little heavier than I wanted. I didn’t find out about some of the things he did to push the envelop in the firewalking movement until later.

Firewalking: The Psychology of Physical Immunity

By Jonathan Sternfield

Taking a Stand In the Fire

I had the feeling that I had pushed to the brink of the world; what was of burning interest to me was null and void for others, and even a cause for dread. . . . After all, there was nothing preposterous or world-shaking in the idea that there might be events which overstepped the limited categories of space, time, and causality.
Carl Jung

To assess further the phenomenon of firewalking, we should carefully examine any evidence that brings into question conventional physical explanations. Without resorting to a whole battery of new experiments, we might scrutinize the claims of scientists that short contact with the coals is the reason why most of us can safely walk across a glowing firebed. Besides the low thermal capacity and conductivity of wood coals — a fact which is not open to question but whose effects seem in some dispute — the short contact theory is the most popular scientific explanation of how the firewalk is possible. Yet repeatedly, both my own experience and that of others strongly suggests there is something else going on.

If there were any reliable reports of long contact, they might at once dispel both the short contact and the low thermal capacity and conductivity theories. For few would deny that if a firewalker simply stood on glowing, red-hot coals, he or she should normally suffer serious burns within a matter of seconds at most.

Zusne and Warren emphasize this in their exploration of anomalistic psychophysiology: “One of the factors not stressed in reports on fire walking is that fire walking is walking, not standing still on embers or stones. There is no recorded instance of anyone’s ever having attempted to just stand on red hot stones or glowing embers for any length of time.”1


Herewith, let us record several such instances. We already have my own account of standing on a bed of glowing hot coals for several seconds, though I did receive a small blister. We also have Michael Sky’s report about his standing in the fire — and his witnessing others not only standing in fire but lying down on the coals without singeing skin, hair or clothes. Equally impressive is the experience of Joe Nuzum, a former foundry worker from western Pennsylvania who spent years working around incredibly hot fires and molten metals. Now he spends his time giving demonstrations of what he calls “Ninja Magick” and teaching martial arts. Among the rituals he teaches his students is the firewalk.

Nuzum says he first firewalked in 1975, when he was 16. Before he firewalked, though, he experimented extensively. Having heard about firewalking Tibetan monks, he began by holding his hand over a candle flame. “Once I realized the different states of mind I could enter into,,, he told me, “I found a way where I wouldn’t get burned. I went from getting burned almost instantly to being able to hold my hand in the flame for close to 45 seconds.”2

Nuzum says he also practiced holding his hands in the flames of burning papers, then eventually progressed to firewalking and from there to standing on red hot coals. “And that I’ve done for maybe 45 seconds,” he said.3

I have not witnessed this, but I have seen videotapes of Nuzum holding flaming coals in his hands for a period of 40 seconds. I have also read reports about him and discussed him with a psychiatrist who has both examined him and written about him. 4  In conventional physical terms, Nuzum’s performances are amazing and inexplicable. Nuzum attributes his fire immunity to “the protective qualities of the chi,” the field of bioenergy around the body that Eastern mystics tell us can be controlled by the mind. “There’s been a lot of fascinating things done with the chi,” says Nuzum. “It’s mind blowing.”5


Perhaps it is also time science confronted the activities of another amazing firewalker, a Washington state resident named Steve Bisyak. Bisyak is a Tolly Burkan-trained firewalking instructor who runs his own human potential seminars, Challenges Unlimited. And he is undoubtedly one of the most experienced firewalkers in the world. “I’ve firewalked over a thousand times now,” he said when I spoke with him in early 1991. “I’ve walked on a red-hot metal plate, red-hot coals and red-hot briquettes.

In Kansas City, in front of 300 people, I pretty much gave my whole lecture from the center of the fire. I was on a red-hot fire for minutes“6

Bisyak first saw firewalking on the “You Asked For It” TV show when he was nine. Fifteen years later, in 1984, he learned firewalking from Tolly Burkan. Even since then, he says, he has continued to “push the limits.” Today he holds the record for the world’s longest firewalk (120 feet) and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the hottest firebed ever walked on.

For the longest walk, he used 10 cords of wood with the highest BTU factors he could find (cherry, madrono and oak) stacked in a pile 126 feet long. For the hottest fire, he and 10 other walkers braved a coalbed 15 feet long, 12 inches deep, with three inches of flame on top. Its average temperature was measured at 1,546 degrees F. After his walk, not even the hairs on Bisyak’s toes were singed.

Bisyak has also done some tests with the firewalk — tests that lead him to conclude that the ability to walk safely over hot coals is all a state of mind. For example, in August 1990, he and three other volunteers were fitted with EEGs, blindfolded and, one by one, paraded around a grassy area. Then, unannounced, each was led onto a bed of red-hot coals. All four were badly burned.

“If you take the mind away from the situation, it’s guaranteed burn,” Bisyak said. “If you step on fire by accident, you get cooked. Other people who were there and in the right state of mind walked across that fire with no problem.”7

Moreover, the EEG, said Bisyak, indicated a common brain wave pattern for those who burned and another pattern for those who did not burn. “Alpha and beta [brain waves] are extremely wide; theta is fairly narrow; the very bottom of delta is pegged out wide. And without delta being pegged out wide, it was hot — meaning that if you were very peaceful and calm and relaxed, you got burned!8

After all his semi-scientific investigation, Bisyak has come up with a folksy formula for figuring a person’s burn possibilities prior to any firewalk. “One hundred, minus the percentage of attention,” he says, “equals the number of blisters — meaning if you’re 98 percent, you probably got two blisters; if you’re 75 percent, you got 25 blisters; if you’re 50 percent, you got cooked!”

Bisyak has also done what he calls the “nylon stocking test,” walking on hot coals wearing nylon stockings. “They don’t bum,” he says. “You can put the nylon on the coal bed, and it doesn’t last; it disintegrates — you can’t put it out! That’s what brings me to the conclusion that it’s a bioelectric field that protects us, something like the human aura.”9

Bisyak says he’s convinced that this field is activated by a combination of fear and faith. He’s also convinced that if it could be isolated, the same energy or chemical that prevents burns could also be used to treat serious burn victims. “Two out the three serious burns that I’ve had — and I mean where the whole bottom of the foot comes off — healed almost spontaneously. I was able to go out and play tennis the next day after walking on hot coals. There was no sign of damage at all.” 10

Bisyak’s testimony is also revealing in regard to the skeptics’ argument that a firewalker’s immunity can be attributed to the way in which the feet are placed on the coals. If we examine Bisyak’s experience and that of many other firewalkers, we must admit that hot coals are not only underfoot but also to the sides of the foot and on top of it as well. Bisyak at one point described his feet as “submerged” in glowing hot coals. Similarly, when I stood in the fire myself, my feet were buried in orange coals, and the surface coals covering the tops of my feet were in no way less radiant than when I entered the fire.

It seems equally clear that short contact with the fire cannot explain many firewalking in which the participants stand, dance or linger on the coals. “You have to be committed,” says Bisyak. “That’s the difference between what the physicists are saying and what the firewalkers are saying. If you’re not committed, you get burned.”11


Another committed man who is equally adept with fire is Dutch-born American Jack Schwarz. In his early teens in Holland, Schwarz began increasingly to realize voluntary controls over many of his normally automatic physiological functions. He concentrated on the control of pain. frequently pushing an unsterilized knitting needle through his arm to test himself, but soon he could also control bleeding and burning. By the time he arrived for testing at the laboratory of Drs. Elmer and Alyce Green of the Menninger Institute in Topeka, Kansas in 1971, Schwarz was regularly sleeping only two or three hours a night, eating only several small meals a week and had demonstrated fire immunity to himself and to his friends. 12

In the late 1970s, Schwarz got an opportunity to demonstrate his controlled fire immunity to a convocation of 55 doctors. At a meeting of the Los Angeles County Medical Association, psychiatrist Kurt Fantl introduced Schwarz, announcing that he would demonstrate a variety of astonishing, self-regulatory controls. The most startling among these was immunity to fire. First, Schwarz allowed the physicians to examine his hands, which they found to be normal and untreated in any way. Next, two medical students wearing asbestos gloves carried a burning brazier into the conference, and from the container Schwarz scooped out a double handful of red-hot coals. Walking calmly among the doctors, Schwarz showed them the fire in his hands, allowing them to feel the heat and observe his immunity to burning. Finally, he laid the coals to rest on a newspaper, which immediately burst into flames. When his hands were examined once more, they again appeared to be perfectly normal, with no signs of their lengthy contact with red-hot coals.13

When tested in the Green’s laboratory at Menninger in 1971, Schwarz again demonstrated his immunity to fire, as well as his control of bleeding and pain. Fire immunity, Schwarz found, was not automatic; in certain states, he could still be burned, in other states, his immunity seemed complete and absolute. To him, the critical factors appeared to be intention and need. And when intention and need are strong enough, he says, they activate “the power of the radiance of our body,” which he says can protect us not only from fire but also from other noxious stimuli. Schwarz also maintains that this body radiance creates “a living Faraday cage — a high voltage, low amperage energy field” that can even prevent one’s hair and clothes from burning.14

Jack Schwarz believes that his remarkable abilities are not so remarkable, and he repeats over and over again that his performances are potentials we all have. “At a laboratory once,” he said, “they told me, ‘Now we are going to test some normal people.’ I said: ‘I beg your pardon; I am the only one whom you have ever tested who was normal. I follow the principles which are normal principles for firewalking; the other ones have not bothered to, so they are still operating in a subnormal way.” Schwarz seemed especially adamant about this last point. “I make that statement not just to you,” he said, “but in every lecture I give: ‘Now, look, people, don’t sit there in admiration, and don’t tell me, “Yeah, but you were born that way.” You forgot: you were born that way, too.”15

FOOTNOTES- Chapter 7

1. Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones, Anomalistic Psychology. A Study of Extraordinary Phenomena of Behavior and Experience (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Eribaum, 1982), 64.

2. Joe Nuzum, personal communication.

3. Ibid.

4. Joe Nuzum, “Joe Nuzum – Ninja Magick,” a videotape; Dr. Berthold Schwarz, “K: A Presumed Case of Telekinesis,” International journal of Psychosomatics, 32:1, 1985, 3-21; Dr. Berthold Schwarz, personal communication.

5. Joe Nuzum, personal communication.

6. Steve Bisyak, personal communication.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Elmer and Alyce Green, Beyond Biofeedback, (New York: Delacorte Press, 1977), 235-6; Jack Schwarz, personal communication.

13. Ibid.

14. Ibid.

15. Jack Schwarz, personal communication.

Firewalking From the Inside




Ordained and Initiate Firewalker

A report on four firewalking performances in Honolulu, and a critical study of them from the point of view of the initiate firewalker instead of that of the onlooker.

Review by Max Freedom Long

APPRECIATION OF THE FIRE-WALKING investigation and the report in the booklet, has been expressed in letters arriving at the "Study". As we all know, this appreciation is highly deserved. HRA Charles Kenn (944 Twentieth Ave., Kaimuki 16, Honolulu, Hawaii) is another who is performing a great and valuable labor of love. He is sparing neither time nor expense in his expert delving into Huna matters. He now ranks as the foremost expert on firewalking, and is a recognized authority on things having to do with the Hawaii of yesterday. Drop him a line of comment and thanks. He'll love it.

Most of you have by now had a copy of FIREWALKING FROM THE INSIDE and have read it, so what I now say about it will be more to the point.

Mr. Kenn, because of the limited space for his comments and explanations in his report, could only touch on some very significant things that he has unearthed from his studies of old manuscripts and books. Many points of contact seem to have been possible in ancient times between the kahunas and peoples of Egypt, Central America, India and elsewhere. Hidden behind a symbol one may find similar beliefs and practices.

On page 34 of the report Mr. Kenn tells us of the university composed of two colleges in early Polynesia. One was symbolized as the "Upper Jaw" and one the "Lower Jaw". This would seem very strange and meaningless did we not also know the terms applied to describe the two classes of student. One almost has to know Huna in order to understand when told ABOUT Huna by these old symbols and records which are often hidden in names.

The central and secret concept of the "WORD" and of "The LIGHT" seem to have appeared first in Huna as symbols, later being embodied with other ideas in the mixed religions found around the world.

The tongue was the secret symbol of the LIGHT. It was the "Flaming Sword" of the "Revelation" accredited to John the Divine – this work having all the earmarks of an initiatory drama filled with secret symbolic material covering certain teachings.

The mouth is the home of the tongue and is formed by the upper and lower JAWS, the upper symbolizing the higher level of being and the lower the lower or earthy level. Mr. Kenn tells us that students of the Lower Jaw College were called hau-mana, meaning, "occult-power-inspired". The implication in the words is that these students were trained in the use of the rituals calling into action the High Mana of the High Selves. The Lower Jaw students were, mana-ai, "occult-power-food", which points clearly and directly to the work with the low mana on the earthy level of the Aunihipili or subconscious self. The high and low magic are thus indicated, and the work of instant healing with the High Mana and the help of the Aumakua, as well as the slower healing by the manipulation of the low mana when transferred from healer to patient or in implanting thought-forms as "suggestions".

I keep stressing the indications, whenever found, that add to the proof that we have rightly understand the ancient SECRET of the kahunas. I do this for the reason that IF we can be sure we have HUNA correctly understood on the main points, we can continue with full confidence in our efforts to work out the practical methods of using those basics for healing of body, purse or circumstances.

The "WORD" is the thing that comes from the mouth, and as it is the symbolic product of the action of the intelligent part of the triple man or Triple God. This action involves the use of the mana in its turn, and of the men or sacred aka or etheric basic substance which assumes a reality in terms of time and space when put to use.

The concept of "word" is still to be traced definitely in the Polynesian dialects, and may be hidden in terms not meaning "word" in modern usage. The actual spoken word did not set the creative work into motion, On the contrary, it was the cluster of thought forms, of which a word is but a sound-symbol, that formed the core of the created structure. This structure, we presently decide, is first invisible and built of the aka substance, being part of the future. It incubates in a way rather beyond our understanding, and, in due time, appears as a reality (be it a state, thing or set of circumstances) as the future becomes the present – always entering at the same moment the confines of space,

Knowing this much of our Huna, tentatively, we can look with greater understanding on the puzzling opening verses of the book of John in the New Testament. Let me quote them as given in the

Ferrar Fenton translation (a copy of which has just recently come to me as a greatly appreciated gift of an HRA and member of the newly formed and very active Portland, Oregon HRA group.) (This is a translation done with the greatest care taken to give the exact meaning of the earliest versions – often with surprising light thrown on meanings, especially since we have found Huna.)

(Note: This translation is given with the following comment: "There is ample reason to believe the Gospel of John was written at an earlier date than those of the other three Evangelists." In any event it seems to have its Huna traditional beliefs more perfectly preserved.)

"The WORD existed in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the WORD was God. He was present with God at the beginning. All came into existence by means of Him; and nothing came into existence apart from Him. What originated in Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of Mankind. That Light shines in the darkness; but the darkness did not absorb it.

"A man came, sent from God; his name was John. He came for witness, in order that he might give evidence concerning the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not himself the Light; his mission was to give evidence concerning that Light. The real Light was that which enlightens every man coming into the world."

(The account then goes on to tell how the Light, as a personality, incarnated in the human form of Jesus – which, of course, was a matter coming at least 500 years after Huna was in full flower in the lands near Egypt, and certainly before the Polynesians left for far places.)

Jesus, emerging in the accounts as the Christ, becomes the symbolic incarnation of the WORD as well as of the LIGHT (Rev. 19: 13). And, turning to another revealed writing, OAHSPE, we read (128:1) "God foresaw that the knowledge of one generation could be handed down to the next. And though all these things are false in fact, as a written word is not a word, but an image of an idea which hath been spoken, so by symbols conveyed God the living truth."

Viewed from the Huna angle, the "Word of God" is no more nor less than the collection of thought-forms which were first made and then caused to be cast into the molds as earthly realities. The element of intelligence embodied in this Creative level of Consciousness, higher than ours, and which we call "God" and cannot really understand, is symbolized by the LIGHT. The Light uses the element of force (a higher mana) and the Universe is supposed to result. All we know to a certainty is that there is a Universe, and that at this time it is probable, as propounded in Huna, that the "food" or low mana of the "Lower Jaw" symbol is provided by us on the Aunihipili level of being to empower the Aumakua (standing with us as an individualized or incarnated unit of the Light) (as was Christ, if we can rely on the dusty accounts).

"Mr. Kenn passes on to us on page 43 the kahuna belief that,  "…the life of the kahuna is the Aumakua, and the life of the Aumakua is the kahuna."

If anything in Huna is important, it is the teaching that this relation of interdependence exists between us and our na Aumakua. We feed them with the low mana and they bless us with that same mana changed to the higher voltage or vibratory form and used for mutual good. All sacrifice is a feeding of the "gods", and all that the gods can accept and absorb from us is the low mana. Here is the "Pearl of Great Price" of the kahunas. No mana: no blessing.

"The Lost Word of Power" of the Cabalists, which great students searched for in the time of the German, Reuchlin, and the Italian, Pico Della Mirandola, appears to have been no secret name of God, no combination of sounds. We begin to see it as the combined action of mind-mana-thought.

It is also apparent that those who once knew this secret were at great pains to prevent the outsiders from learning it. They went to no end of trouble to pull the wool over the eyes of the curious. What was easier than to say that a certain secret name had only to be uttered to set miraculous power into action? In the Old Testament (Ex. vi. 3) the wool pulling may be seen. God was said to have revealed Himself to Moses and to have divulged His name; but later we find the name Jehovah warped into many forms to try to make it an instrument of magic. (Check "Logos" in the Greek, and "Vach" in the Sanskrit if you are interested in this line of thought.)

I have spoken of Central America and the traces of Huna to be found in the religions of yesterday in that region. Most of us are familiar with the pictures of the great feathered serpents carved in stone on the temples. Endless learned articles have been written to try to throw light on their significance, but when we know Huna, the mystery begins to fade. The serpent has been, the world around, a symbol of the mana of the level of the Aunihipili. The wise men of India expanded the symbol to get two serpents, and had them move upward in crossing spirals about the spinal centers until they reached the top of the head and went from there to a symbolic higher level. Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness as a symbol. Our Red Indians have rites performed with serpents, Only the kahunas were without these, oddly enough, and we must conclude that the symbol was discarded by them in a snakeless land in late centuries, or that, as they, knew the mana was the serpent, they felt no need of the shield for their secret.

The ancient stone serpents were not too hard to understand in terms of "serpent power", but the feathers had all the savants stumped, not that they ever admitted it. It is very simple in terms of Huna.; When a snake is given feathers,, that means wings and flight. The_ flight of the serpent power or low mana is to one place only in. religious practice, and that is to the Aumakua- call it by the name of any god or set of gods. All the kahuna prayers ended formally, and often as we end ours in the TMHG work - our prayer takes flight (that is, the mania flow is released to carry to the Aumakuas the thought-forms which we have created with care to be used as the molds or "seeds" to be used in making the conditions that will be the answer to the prayer,) let the rain of blessing fall(the return flow of life-giving high mana,) (Lele is the word used, and it means "to fly".)

The low mana that is food for the gods or the Aumakuas and that is provided by the "Lower Jaw" symbolically is the serpent. But, when the serpent has grown feathers and taken flight, it becomes the symbolic EAGLE. Feathers were worn and used ceremonially the world over, and are today in many parts. They are basically the symbol of the low mana changed to the magical HIGH MANA by the Aumakua who will manipulate the great power at the request of the devotee. From all sides we continue to find verifications of the fact that there was a secret belief and that we have rediscovered its symbolic meanings, We turn back the clock in order to turn it forward. MFL.

Firewalking From the Inside




Ordained and Initiate Firewalker

A report on four firewalking performances in Honolulu, and a critical study of them from the point of view of the initiate firewalker instead of that of the onlooker.

Tradition and Initiation

Having stated the conclusions reached at the end of these tests, the next step is to move on to the far more important business of trying to learn something of the possible nature of the psychological or other factors which upset the usual "law of physics" and give fire-immunity. The rite of firewalking did not form a part of the older Polynesian culture. It was introduced about a hundred years ago from Fiji, and spread to many of the South Sea Islands.

It appeared in Huahine, the Chief's island, around 1850, and at about the same time began to be reported from Taha's and Raiatea, the Cook Islands, Fiji and New Zealand. The ritual in various forms was already known in Japan, Malay lands, China, Tibet, India and elsewhere. Fire-immunity was also known in the Americas.

While the firewalk was often made across burning coals in other lands, it was made across heated stones in the South Seas. This was natural because it was the native practice to cook food in underground ovens, the cooking heat being supplied by rocks heated in advance in pits. Such rocks furnished a simple firewalking surface at any time a feast was to be prepared, and could have been used for the rite before being placed in the ground oven or imu to cook the food.

In Hawaii, in the neighborhood of the active volcanoes, firewalking was done on lava overflows when they had hardened sufficiently to bear a man's weight. The records of this type of firewalk are scattered and it can only be supposed that the date of 1850 may apply to Hawaii's introduction to the rite as it does in a general way to other parts of Polynesia.

One thing is clearly seen, and that is that the native priests or na kahuna of Polynesia must have been so well grounded in matters of psychological magic that they accepted with ease the variations found in firewalking.

From such writings as are available touching the rituals in question, 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 firewalked to fulfill a vow when prayers had been answered. It was supposed to cure sterility. In Japan it was used as a healing ritual for various forms of sickness. In Polynesia it was used more or less for the same purposes, but as an additional rite and not to replace older rites already in use. The Polynesian was and is most adaptable. He accepted western civilization in a generation. Everything is grist in his mill, and his flexible mind quickly grasps and puts to use new ideas. 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.

In this process of adopting the new beliefs and practices, slight changes are made. Words are changed, invocations made over into the more familiar tongue, and the names of the foreign gods replaced by the Polynesian counterparts.

While some parts of the transition are missing, the picture as a whole is fairly clear, providing one understands the culture of the Polynesians which forms the background for the picture. 

It seems to have been a simple matter for the firewalking rite to become a part of the old Polynesian beliefs. The people of each locality were united in one set of beliefs. They were of the same blood, had the same cultural background, and were conditioned to the same general pattern of behavior. When those whose duty it was to act as priests saw fit to accept firewalking, all accepted it as a matter of course.

The priests (called na kahuna in Hawaii, but with variations in the pronunciation of the word in the other Polynesian dialects) all belonged to the priestly families, as the chiefs did to ruling families. It was natural, therefore, that the priests who took up the new rite should count it as more or less a family possession, and should guard its secrets with the other secrets of their religious beliefs. In a short time the new rite was being handed down from parent to child in the same way as other rites.

Firewalking was handed down to the eldest son, or lacking a son, to one consecrated as a blood son(hoolaa) for that purpose.

In the case of Tu-nui Arii-peu, he is a descendant of the original firewalker in his part of Polynesia, a priest whose name was Mae-haa, who passed on the prayers and secrets to his son, Ma-oa, and who in turn consecrated his son, Papa-Ita, from whom it was passed on to Afaitaata, then to Arii-peu, the present firewalker. There is now only one other Tahitian firewalker, Arii-pao who resides in Raiatea. Arii-peu is the fifth generation in his family, and is able to fire walk, offer immunity to those whom he permits to follow him, and to pass on the secret to his successor, who then becomes the sixth generation.

From this it will be seen, that it was no easy matter for me to approach Tu-nui Arii-peu with my questions. He had come to Honolulu on a business errand, not a social one. He wished to perform his self-appointed task of raising money by giving firewalking performances in order to send home stranded young Tahitians, and then to return home himself. He had no slightest desire to make converts to the contrary. In fact, although he had retained the ancient lore of his people to a large extent, he had more or less accepted Protestantism, and in deference to a real or fancied command derived from that religion, he no longer performed the firewalk at night–only by day. (Although night performances were urged by those who pointed out the fact that more people could come out in the evening, and that the fire pit would then show red, he steadfastly held to his refusal.)

The advertising of the firewalking, and of the native Tahitian dancing on the program, was poor. The attendance was also poor. This gave me an opportunity to press my offers of assistance, without remuneration, in such matters. I wrote articles for the papers and, helped in various ways with the publicity. The chief quickly lost his suspicion of me as a pressing stranger, and accepted me as a friend. But to be a friend, even a very close friend, was one thing. To be told the secrets surrounding the firewalking rites was something else again. My every effort to learn of the ritual and the prayers was met with polite but firm silence. My help and my friendship were most appreciated. I was warmly assured of that, but to let me into the secrets of

the firewalking cult was out of the question. In the first place I was not a son, not even a blood relative. In the second place, if I, a stranger, were to be given the secrets, there was no telling what disasters might be visited on the islands to the south as a consequence.

For a time it appeared that I would have to make the usual tests for temperature of the stones, write the usual impotent report, and content myself by standing on the pier and waving when the Chief sailed for home.

As luck would have it, however, in searching through a very considerable amount of accumulated and uncatalogued material on matters dealing with early beliefs and customs in Polynesia, I was able to unearth a rare article in an old copy of the JOURNAL OF THE POLYNESIAN SOCIETY, and in this article find a translation of the prayers used in the firewalking ritual. An early missionary who had lived in Tahitian parts had managed to get the material. He had set it down in the native tongue. It had later been translated by a Miss Teuira Henry, and her translation had been checked by J. L. Young. (All credit to all of them.)

The Hawaiian and the Tahitian dialects of the Polynesian tongue are much alike, and in a few hours I was able to memorize parts of the prayers so that I could recite them fairly well. I had also found some information as to the origin and nature of the rites, which I will sketch briefly.

The ancient gods of Polynesia, Tu and Hina the universal god-parents of all the Polynesians–have long since replaced foreign gods of the firewalk, and are appealed to through four invocations which have been handed down from Mae-haa, who, according to tradition, received them directly from the deities themselves. (Traditional history takes the place of written history in such matters, and in this case no mention is made of borrowing invocations or rites from non-Polynesian sources.)

In other lands greenery of different kinds plays a part very often in rituals of firewalking, but in Polynesia, where the ti-plant had been used for centuries in religious observances, it was very natural that it should be selected for use in the new ritual. This plant grows profusely throughout the South Seas and for use in rituals there are selected stalks having two crowns, one to represent Tu, and one Hina.

Whatever foreign names may have been given to the ritual, it became known in short order as the "Ceremony of the Ti Root Oven" (Te Umu Ti). The roots of the ti-plant were baked in ground ovens on occasion, especially when other food was scarce, and because the cooking took much time, many heated rocks had to be made ready to place in the pits. It is not difficult to understand the transition from hot coals to hot stones in the rite.

The ti-plant, the leaves of which are called la'i in Hawaii, is known botanically as Taetsia fruticosa,and is a member of the lily family, as the structure of its flowers would indicate. Certain varieties had a fragrant scent, and the leaves turn yellow or "ripen" after a while. The flower is made up of closely-set white buds tinged with pale purple. Because of this scent, Hina is said to make known her presence by exuding a fragrant odor, by which she is called Hina-nui-i-te-aara (Great-Hina-in-the-fragrance). The firewalker uses the "doubleheaded" branch of the ti-plant like a wand, or brush, and ties strips of the individual leaves around his head and neck, as well as around his waist like a belt. The leaves were used to expel or ward off evil spirits. The la'i is an important item in the firewalk.

The wood used is that of the hau (pariti tiliacium), and is a member of the mallow (hibiscus) family. Like the ti, the hau was an important commodity in ancient Polynesian life. The word hau means "breath of life, spirit of life'," and therefore, is most important in religious practices.

Niau, or coconut leaves, are also important in the ancient life, of the Polynesians. They were used as a medium through which the spirits of deities might be transmitted to certain objects, thus consecrating them. The husk was made into twine for various uses, some of them significantly religious.

In one of the invocations given, Hina is called upon to "lie upon the hot stones." Traditionally, she radiates "cold heat," especially at night (as she represents the moon), and, originally, this was a night ceremony in Polynesia for this reason. (Not generally so in other lands.)

Stones for the rite come from, dried river beds and rounded ones are selected. They need to be smooth and of good weight. As they are similar

to those used in the ground ovens, they are called umu stones. (In Hawaii hot lava was used, and worked equally well. The rough and clinkery lava which would have had the greatest porosity was not walked upon-only the lava which was of a close texture like glass.)

I have been able to piece together an account of the training taken by the beginner to become an initiate priest of the Ti Oven Cult a master of the firewalking ritual.

The selection of a candidate for the firewalking priesthood is a momentous matter. As explained before, the eldest son is the most appropriate person for that honor, as it is a Polynesian custom that he should continue the family line. However, lacking an elder son or sons, it was not uncommon to go outside the family. Originally, however, only nephews were chosen, but as time went on, total strangers to the family were consecrated. The Polynesians had a university of two colleges in which selected youths had to study. At an early age, a man child of the gentry, or priestly family, was either dedicated to Tu or to Romo. If to Tu, then he became a student under the Tu papa kahuna (class of experts), and entered the Auwae Runa College (pertaining to things celestial); if to Rono, he was passed into the Auwae Raro College (pertaining to things terrestrial). The literal meanings of these terms were "Upper Jaw" and "Lower Jaw." The student was known as the hau-mana ("occult-power-inspired"), or as the mana-ai ("occult-power-food") of the expert under whom he was placed.

The training was extremely strenuous. The student had to undergo hardships and suffer privations. He had to learn the invocations, the proper methods of caring for, installing, or empowering the deities. He learned through a process of "mental absorption" observation, close contact with the spiritual forces, and strict adherence to rules and regulations. The Hawaiians have a saying, "He ale iki ko ke kahuna, aole hiki ke hookolo ia." This embodies the Polynesian theory that through constant invocations, using the same words and tone of voice, eventually the deities become accustomed(hoomau) to the calls, and will respond readily, willingly, and promptly. But, to neglect them by not calling upon them frequently, will cause them to "die" (desert the kahuna).

Furthermore, it was the belief of the na kahuna that as the invocations were handed down, the laterna kahuna became more and more powerful. This was because they have a longer line of direct ancestors, all of whom have acquired mana (power) in great amounts, which is, in turn, passed on down the line.

Having accumulated such pertinent bits of information, and armed with the prayers I had memorized, I began a new attack on the wall of secrecy. I eventually found the opportunity to recite a little of the material to the Chief, and, having made myself a counterpart of the fabled camel who was allowed to get his head inside the Arab's tent, I was soon all the way in. If one is in, he cannot be kept out. 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.

Gratefully, and in all humility, may I state that he 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 fir ewalk 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 firewalkers in Polynesia.

As a candidate for initiation as a firewalking 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 forego 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.

Firewalking From the Inside




Ordained and Initiate Firewalker

A report on four firewalking performances in Honolulu, and a critical study of them from the point of view of the initiate firewalker instead of that of the onlooker.

Logistics and Experiments

The tests took place in Honolulu, beginning in the month of January, 1949. Tu-nui Arii-peu, a high priest and high chief of the firewalk (Te Umu Ti cult) visited Honolulu from the island of Huahine in the Society Islands. He was accompanied by four young men and two young women. They staged four demonstrations in the amphitheater of the University of Hawaii in Manoa Valley, Honolulu, and one demonstration in Wailuku, Maui. More than, six hundred people attended each of the Honolulu demonstrations and, in all, some 567 people firewalked.

For the demonstrations, a rectangular pit six feet wide, fifteen feet long, and four and one-half feet deep in the center, was dug in such a way as to create a gentle slope on, all sides running towards the center. The pit was supplied with the following materials 

  1. Small pebbles were strewn on the bottom.
  2. Dried coconut leaves were piled on top to a height of over two feet.
  3. Four and one-half cords of green hau (native hibiscus) wood were then piled over this heap extending above the surface of the ground for three feet at the highest point.
  4. Two heavy truck loads of large basaltic stones obtained from a dried-up river bed (called imustones) were then piled over this heap, covering the hau wood. The stones weighed from 10 to 60 pounds each.

Long poles were placed at each corner and one on each side at the middle of the pit to provide sufficient draft, and to hold up the materials.

ti-leaf stalk was planted at each corner of the pit.

The fire was lighted at 10 a.m. as the ceremony was to start at 10 a.m. That gave five hours' time for the wood to burn and the stones to become very hot.

After all the wood had been burned, the stones were leveled and made firm with long poles to provide a good surface across which to fire walk. All stones were turned over so that the hottest side would be uppermost. Many split upon contact with the cooler air.

During the fourth Honolulu demonstration which took place February 19, 1949, the following tests were made: The temperature of the heated stones was measured accurately, as we had the co-operation of the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association, in providing the use of a thermo-electric pyrometer equipped with two thermo-couples. Also the valued assistance of Mr. Henry Iwata of the Association staff.

Mr. Moses Ome of Honolulu kindly loaned his stop watch with which the time of each step of the controls could be secured, as well as the length of time it took to firewalk through the pit.

After the firewalking, four pieces of steak were broiled on the stones and their cooking timed. Pieces of newspaper were allowed to catch fire as well as small pieces of wood, and timed.

Mr. P. C. Hu, an expert photographer, took hundreds of pictures, some of which illustrate this report.

Cine-Pic Hawaii made a 16 mm. colored moving picture of the demonstration.

The temperature of the firewalking pit was taken shortly before the firewalking began, and was found to be 920 degrees Centigrade. The heat of the stones averaged 610 degrees Centigrade; however, the heat of the first stone on which every firewalker had to step was only 210 degrees Centigrade at the start of the firewalk. But it was more than twice as hot as boiling water, and the stones farther from the edge of the pit, and which made up the firewalk proper, averaged over six times the boiling temperature. It may be noted that cotton cloth scorches at about 120 degrees, and a comparison may be drawn between the familiar heat of an electric iron being used on clothing and the temperature of the stones in the pit. The ends of the thermo-couples were left on the first stone throughout the demonstration which took 17 minutes, and during which a total of 167 people firewalked. The stone lost 35 degrees of heat during that time, which shows fairly well that its porous nature did not prevent its sending out heat a supposedly non-conducting characteristic offered to explain away fire-immunity.

The chief firewalker was the first to step into the firewalking pit. He stood with both feet resting flatly upon the first stone for 1 1/2 seconds, slapping the stones ahead with his wand of ti-leaves, and at the same time invoking the deities of the fir ewalk. He then walked deliberately but slowly across the pit in 8 seconds and nine steps. He was closely followed by his assistant. Their feet were examined before they entered the pit and after they emerged from it. They were not blistered nor burned. The next two firewalkers took 5 1/2 seconds and eight steps, each foot coming in contact with the stones for 3/4second. They were young men 20-22 years old, both Caucasian. Neither had firewalked before. There was no sign of a blister or burn on the soles of their feet; as a matter of fact, their soles were cool to the touch.

At each crossing, those who were lined up waiting to fire walk closed in and followed the chief across. There was sufficient time between repetitions for about forty to cross. Some crossed more than once.

Tu-nui Arii-peu did not say that he would protect anyone. All were warned that they must walk at their own risk, but it was understood that it would be almost safe to cross. Immunity was provided for most, but failed for a few.

The chief and his assistant firewalked four times, after which their feet were again examined. Although the feet of neither were burned nor blistered, the soles of the chief firewalker appeared yellowish along the edge after his four trips. They were cool to the touch, and the Chief stated that they did not feel hot or even warm. He suffered no ill-effects. His assistant likewise escaped injury.

However, the next two firewalkers did not do so well, for by this time, both had tiny blisters along the insteps, and on each toe of both feet. They stated that they felt as if many tiny needles were being jabbed into their feet.

Among the amateur firewalkers, Mr. John F.G. Stokes, retired curator of the Bernice Pauahi Museum, reached about three-fourths of the walk, when he began to wobble and had to be helped out of the pit. The ball of his right foot was severely burned. The skin was peeled off in three long strips and the entire ball was left raw and exposed, but not bleeding. Mr. Stokes kept repeating to himself, "It didn't work with me, I wonder why?"1

1     A week later, Mr. and Mrs. Stokes called at my home. Although Mr. Stokes had his right foot bandaged with a white stocking over it, he was driving his car. And, he did not walk with crutches. He could not remember exactly what took place that day, and still wondered why it was that he was burned. He said that he believed that the prayers used by the chief firewalker would have a psychological effect on the minds of the people, and that the materials used in the pit could have the same effect, especially upon the minds of the natives (Hawaiians) . He stated that his feet felt the heat the moment he stepped into the pit. Mr. Stokes remembers interviewing Papa-Ita, a firewalker who visited Honolulu in 1901, and who would not allow any one to follow him.

Mrs. Stokes thought that her husband's age (he is seventy-three) could have had something to do with his being burned, as it tended to make him unsteady, and he was not accustomed to going barefooted even on the ground, to say nothing of over hot stones! As the tops of his toes were also burned, he must have slipped on the hot stones.

The element of a psychological hazard may have entered in, for Dr. Stokes had firewalked against the express wishes of his wife. He had decided to chance the walk, as it seemed comparatively safe and as he relied on his well-known love and sympathy for the Hawaiians. 

At the end of the ceremony, the test with steak broiling was made. The results:

  1. One side browned in 2 1/2 minutes.
  2. Two sides browned in 6 minutes.
  3. One side cooked in 3 minutes.
  4. Two sides cooked in 7 minutes.

One piece of newspaper burst into flames instantly when put in contact with a large stone that had just previously been walked upon.

Another piece of newspaper turned black in 2 minutes on a smaller stone, and caught fire in 3 1/2 minutes.

A small piece of wood turned black in 5 minutes. Another flamed in 7 minutes. 

Remember, these tests were made immediately after the firewalk

On interviewing the amateur firewalkers, I found the majority agreed that upon stepping down into the pit they felt no sensation of heat in the soles of their feet, but that on their faces and hands they felt the heat greatly. As reported in the Kuda Bux tests, soles felt cooler to the touch after the firewalk than before it a strange phenomenon allowed to pass as lacking significance by the London investigators, even though they based their denial of any magic on the fact that feet must become cumulatively, hotter with each additional step, and that four steps were, therefore, the limit-two for each foot. 

Another experience found to be fairly common was that of a prickling sensation in the soles of the feet during the walk. This sometimes amounted to a painful "needling" or increased to the sharp pain of a burn, if a burn resulted. The average sensation was close to that felt when the circulation is cut off and the foot "goes to sleep." This is a peculiar matter and remains unexplained. Tests with materials aside from the firewalk give no such sensations. The burning sensation alone is felt, and after some time of testing and near-burning, only soreness results.

After watching and testing three of the demonstrations, being fully convinced of the genuineness of the demonstration, I crossed the hot stones myself on the fourth firewalk. Here is my report as I wrote it down the day after the walk:

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 firewalkers 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. Rev. N. Vanora Wattson, a visitor from San Francisco, and a Huna Research Associate, had the misfortune to slip and fall when she stepped on a sharp fragment which the heat had caused to crack off the end of a rock which was being walked upon. She stated that she had felt no heat on her soles until the sharp point pierced her foot and she fell in her effort to leave the pit. As she fell she sensed a mental change, and burns were suffered on parts touching the stones before she could rise.

In an attempt to give her conclusions afterwards, she said, "It seems to me that the secret lies in not consciously keeping the mind centered on the protection of the leader, but in allowing a mental state of a rather definite sort, to withdraw the consciousness from the self, and that when something happens unexpectedly to bring this self-consciousness back into function, the fire-immunity momentarily or permanently fails."

The weight of the person doing the firewalk seems to count very little. In the London tests much was made of the fact that the successful English amateur who outdid Hussain in the firewalk, weighed many pounds more than Hussain or Kuda Bux who walked earlier. In the Honolulu tests the walk was repeatedly made without burns by individuals weighing up to two hundred fifty pounds. On the other hand, there is no apparent reason to conclude that a heavier pressure of foot on stone or coal is of some advantage. The "steadiness" of stride and the "confidence" given in London as the only necessities for successful firewalking had to do with the mental attitude rather than with the steady placing of feet, the weight or the usual mental condition of "confidence." One may be permitted to guess that the Englishman who bested Hussain at his own game made use of the special state of mind even though not familiar with it as such. One might even guess that he found favor in some way with the ancient gods whom Hussain had invoked with no great success, in so far as he was personally concerned that day.

The time limit of contact with a very hot surface was given by the London testers as about a half second and not more than three-quarters. The Chief, at the beginning of the walk stepped down on the first rock in the pit and remained with both feet flat on it for a timed period of one and a half seconds while he brushed the stone with his ti-leaf wand before making the crossing.

Out of the 567 people who firewalked in the four performances, about 50 suffered burns ranging from the slightest blisters to burns of a serious nature. At least three individuals required hospitalization, and a half dozen were treated by emergency stations and sent to their personal physicians.

The stones of the walk were hot enough to burn. They burned some who crossed at a running pace, but not the majority who crossed much more slowly. The conclusion that seems impossible to avoid is that some psychological element set in action some unidentified force which prevented the firewalkers from being burned except in certain circumstances.

Firewalking From the Inside





Ordained and Initiate Firewalker

A report on four firewalking performances in Honolulu, and a critical study of them from the point of view of the initiate firewalker instead of that of the onlooker.

These tests and critical studies of fire-immunity were made in conjunction with similar studies and investigations being conducted by HUNA RESEARCH ASSOCIATES.

For further information address,

c/o Max Freedom Long
P. O. Box 2867
Hollywood Station
Los Angeles 28, Calif.


The publication of this report by Charles W. Kenn, marks the first really important step taken in years in the direction of understanding firewalking and related phenomena. 

His findings and conclusions are of such a nature that they open once more the entire question of fire immunity which was partly closed in the past decade by tests and reports which now appear much less than valid. 

Despite the reluctance of "science" to accept evidence of the verity of the materials of psychic science and its various branches, progress is being made toward fuller understanding.

On the part of the Huna Research Associates, I wish to congratulate Mr. Kenn on his outstanding work. For the first time, here is set before the public a full and careful report on firewalking from the point of view of the firewalker himself.




Fig. 1.

The master firewalker, Tu-nui Arii-peu and his young assistant, both from Huahini, with Charles W. Kenn.


Fig. 2.

Turning the hot stones over and leveling and firming them just before the firewalking.



Fig. 3.

Tur-nui Arii-peu leads the procession across the very hot stones. Insert shows him at the time of a later test, in native costume, pausing to recite an invocation after crossing the pit. He carries ti-plant wand on shoulder.

Charles_Kenn Firewalking on hot stone

Fig. 4.

The author of the report firewalks.

Charles_Kenn Firewalking

Fig. 5.

The firewalkers' contemplative expression may be seen here. Nearly all experienced a peculiar mental state during the walk.

Firewalker Firewalk on hot firewalking pit

Fig. 6.

Note the wrapt expression on the face of the lady just finishing her successful firewalk. Assistants stand anxiously by lest there be another accident or fall on the hot stones. 

Firewalking with locals

Fig. 7.

The successful firewalkers did not hurry. With short steps on the uneven surface and with an expression akin to that of sleep-walkers, they made the crossing. Heat was felt on hands and face, but not on the feet. Prickling was the only sensation in the feet unless something broke the spell and sharp pain was felt. Soles were cool to the touch after contact with the hot stones. Crossings took from 5 1/2 seconds to 8 seconds. The Chief took 9 seconds for his crossings.

Charles_Kenn Firewalking experience


Fig. 8.

After the firewalking. Child finds stone hot enough to burn fingers. Below her hand a wad of paper is beginning to char. At the far corner a stick is beginning to smoke as a young man watches. In heating the stones the green wood first covered the stones with soot. The stones later became red-hot and the soot was burned away. Some stones split when their hotter sides were turned up to the air before the performance. Immediately before a firewalk, a cracked stone, later walked on, registered a surface temperature of 620 degrees Centigrade on the hotter upturned side, and 598 degrees at the bottom of the crack.

Firewalking pit tempareture



Up to this time we have had the results of firewalking tests placed before us by men of science and by travelers, but have never been given the firewalker's side of the story.

As the reports thus far available give no valid explanation of the phenomenon of fire-immunity in its several forms, it is apparent that it is high time for the persons who are able to do such things as firewalking, to be given their say in the matter.

The scientists are not entirely to blame: for the omission of acceptable information as to (1) the training of the firewalkers, (2) their beliefs and educational backgrounds, and (3) the rituals used as a preparation for the firewalk. The scientists failed to give needed information on these points, either because it seemed too unimportant to stress, or because they could not obtain it from the firewalkers such information often being held both sacred and secret, as in Polynesia.

The University of London Council for Psychical Investigation, when reporting on the tests made of Kuda Bux, wrote, "He (Kuda Bux) stated that any impurity in the fire (of wood and charcoal) such as cow dung, would inevitably burn him. He also offered to walk on red-hot stones, if we wished. …Kuda Bux stated that his immunity from burns was due to `faith'; that he had to ask a 'higher power' in India whether he might perform the feat. He also claimed that he could convey his immunity from burns to another person and take him over the fire without injury. …Before … the first walk, he stood in the end of the trench (filled with glowing coals ) on a wooden platform that had been placed there for that purpose, and, with left hand upraised, muttered a prayer from the Koran. He then carefully brushed away the ash from the embers, with his hand. He said he sometimes uses a fan. He then stepped on the fire, taking four steps, each foot being in contact with the embers twice … There was no sign of blistering … paper tossed on the fire blazed almost instantly."

The conclusion of the report was not greatly enlightening. It was, in part, "… it is possible … with chemically unprepared feet (not calloused) to take four rapid steps on (burning) charcoal at (a surface temperature of) 430 degrees Centigrade, without injury to feet." 

Later reports made on similar tests with Hussain, gave no additional information, but it was decided at that time that anyone could firewalk if he only had the courage, and walked steadily across the coals. This conclusion was reached after an Englishman who had these qualifications, performed a short firewalk better than Hussain. The flaw in the conclusion seemed to be that not everyone was able to qualify. However, the world was told to dismiss the idea that there might be an element of magic or of the supernatural in the firewalk.

An inspection of the mass of information available on the externals of other kinds of fire-immunity makes it clear to the layman that the famous reports in question are wanting in many respects, and that the conclusions reached are not at all final. In his book, THE SECRET SCIENCE BEHIND MIRACLES, Max Freedom Long has assembled evidence of a very striking nature which. bears on this point. Performers have, several times a day, held red-hot iron bars gripped tightly between their teeth while bending them up and down at the free ends. The enamel, of the teeth showed no cracking, but such heat applied as a test to newly extracted teeth cracked the enamel instantly. A blow-torch used for cutting steel was allowed to play on the throat of the same performer. He repeatedly chewed up live coals a half inch in diameter, and he drank boiling water so hot that it bubbled violently in the cup. In the records of spiritualistic phenomena, fire has been handled in similar ways, and D.D. Home held his bushy head in the flames in a fireplace without being scorched, also doing the same with flowers and fine fabric. He presented a blazing log to a woman observer and she held it in her arms with no injury to skin or clothing.

It is evident to the student who is looking for the answer to the secret of fire-immunity not simply for a negation of the phenomenon that the shortness of the time in which feet contact heated substances in the firewalk, is NOT THE COMPLETE EXPLANATI0N.

In making the tests about to be described; and while keeping in mind the findings and opinions of the scientists and their friends, my attention was directed primarily to the psychological side of the matter. Tests of temperature and of the length of time for feet to contact stones were secondary.

However, it is necessary to describe the externals first, to prove the genuineness of the demonstrations.

Firewalking and Firewalkers of the South Seas

May 1953


Wilmon Menard

Raiatea_Umuki Firewalker

The huge rocks of the firewalking pit glowed bright-red in the faint light of the South Pacific dawn. Now and then between me and the oven the coconut- oil smeared bodies of the fire-tenders passed briefly as they raked out the last of the log cinders and levelled the hot rocks. It was a tableau not unlike a scene in Dante’s Inferno. Little did I know then that I was to be one of the persons to cross that fiery expanse.

Word had reached me in Tahiti that an Umuti (Umu Ki or firewalk) was to be held on the Island of Raiatea, 135 miles distant, so I lost no time in boarding an interisland trading schooner to be on hand for the ceremony. I had arrived in time to observe every phase of the imminent firewalk. I had watched the digging of the firewalking pit, 30 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 4 feet deep; the gathering of the fagots and logs for the fuel; the rolling of the stones into a high mound, and the day-long heating. Now the actual fire ritual in this sacred coconut grove behind the village of Tevaitoa was about to start.

My interest in man’s strange experiments in fiery tortures was aroused several years ago when the late Robert Ripley, of "Believe it or not” fame, sponsored a firewalking Hindu-mystic, Kuda Bux by name, who strolled barefooted across two separate firewalking pits in a parking lot in Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center. It is a matter of official record that three cords of oak and 500 pounds of charcoal burned for eight hours before Kuda Bux made the walk across the two separate ovens that a pyrometer registered at 1,220 F. Attending physicians peered and smelled at the soles of the firewalker’s feet, but found only one small burn, where a coal had stuck to his instep. Their nostrils detected no odor of burned flesh. I was one of the astounded spectators, and I was deeply impressed by the feat.

Now as I stood in the greying dawn in this sacred grove of Raiatea I thought of man’s superstitious dread and awe of fire, coupled with his instinctive, practical usages, that have resulted in so many fantastic fire ordeals. The American Indians during certain rites danced in the live coals of their campfires; devotees of the Sinsyn Shinto sect of Japan firewalk barefooted over glowing coals. In Hawaii in the early days the priests and priestesses of the Fire Goddess Pele strode across the molten lava on the broad bosom of Kilauea volcano. In darkest Africa, newborn children are held briefly over a flame. In India, cremation of the corpse is supposed to be the soul’s only passport to their particular firewalking pit.

The Chief Leads

Now the firewalk of Polynesia was to be performed before my eyes. Chief Terii-Pao, the young and hereditary firewalker of Raiatea, had suddenly called an Umuti, primarily, of course, to pay sacred homage to the two great goddesses of ancient days—Hina-nui-te’a’ara (Great-Grey-Of-The-Scented-

Herbs), who was the Goddess of the Moon, and Te-Vahine-Nui-Tahu-ra’i e(The Great Woman-Who-Set-Fire-To-The-Sky)—but also to earn a few francs with which to buy a bottle of rum and a few yards of calico cloth for his woman.

Terii-Pao suddenly stepped from his nearby coconut palm marae (temple), and his attendants, similarly garbed in native pareu and sacred Ti-leaves, followed. I could feel the crackling excitement that swept the clearing upon his appearance. The laughter, singing, and loud talking ceased instantly. All eyes were fixed upon the handsome chief—a splendid figure standing at the head of his assistants. He turned, caught my eye and smiled. Once we had sailed aboard a trading schooner to the pearl-diving atoll of Anaa in the Dangerous Archipelago; I had gifted him with a case of foodstuffs, so we were friends.

The many tourists who had voyaged on the interisland schooner from Papeete, Tahiti, surrounded Terii-Pao, and began a careful inspection of his feet. He submitted indulgently, grinning broadly at their thorough examination. I saw one of the tourists turn suddenly, walk to the edge of the firewalking pit, and look full into the center of the firewalking pit for a few seconds. With a groan he clapped his hands over his face and backed away. I could see that his neck and face were badly seared; his glazed eyes were streaming tears. Another tourist, with the aid of a long stick, dropped a handkerchief upon the rocks and it turned almost instantly to a grey powder. The firewalking pit was certainly hot! The tourists withdrew from Teril with baffled expressions.

Chief Terii, with head held high and with eyes uplifted to the opalescent sky, walked toward the end of the oven, a branch of Ti-leaves held in his hand. There he stopped, striking the rocks three times with the Ti-wand. He began to chant in Tahitian the ancient firewalking prayer. I, knowing the language, listened closely.

These were the words:

"O Being (Spirit) who enchants the oven, let it die out for a while! O dark earthworms! O light earthworms! Fresh water and salt water, heat of the firewalking ground, darkening of the firewalking pit, hold up the footsteps of the walkers and fan the heat of the bed. O cold host, let us linger in the midst of the firewalking pit. O Vahine-nui-tahu-ra’i, hold the fan and let us go into the firewalking pit for a little while!”

Then followed a measured cant of the ten first steps to be made upon the fiery oven. Finally, Terii’s loud exultant shout of: "O Vahine-nui-tahu-ra’i-e! All is covered!”

I shall never forget the great sigh and then the hush that followed the Chief's first step upon the firewalking pit. He hesitated a moment as if to be sure that the stones would not shift under his weight, and then with head held high he walked onto the glowing firewalking bed of rocks. The tourists gave a gasp of dismay; the natives sat stiffly, unmoving, as if hypnotized. I watched incredulously. This was no sham. A human being was walking onto an firewalking pit of rocks sufficient to roast one! Terii crossed the pit and then turned and retraced his steps. Upon his return, his assistants fanned in a straight line behind him. Again Terii struck the edge of the glowing rocks with his Ti-wand; then he and his followers marched with firm steps across the Umu (oven). I could see the heat waves rippling above their heads, but there was no odor of seared flesh, as one might expect. I stared fixedly until they had traversed the oven, expecting every second for one of them to leap with a scream of agony from the line. But each one passed across safely. The last firewalker stepped from the oven, and Terii raised his Ti-leaves, took his place at the head of the column and led them back across the fiery expanse. This was repeated three times.

With the third crossing, Terii raised his Ti-leaves and cried "Aura! Enough!" Then, unexpectedly, he turned quickly and proceeded to crawl across the 30- foot oven of rocks on his stomach!

At the far side he stood up, grinned and beckoned to the tourists to make their inspection. His body, as one of the tourists loudly verified, was not even warmed. I moved forward to examine his feet. They were not even marked by the crossing of the fiery furnace. The examination over, we withdrew with amazed faces.

I Try It

Terii then turned to the assembled natives and exhorted those who were afflicted with any physical or mental taints, in need of spiritual purification, or who wished to test their courage with fire, to firewalk behind him over the hot rocks. Passing close to me, he caught my eye again, grinned, and stopped. "Perhaps you would like to walk behind me across the Umu. You have lived long in our islands and understand our customs and ceremonies. But if you are afraid, it would be dangerous to attempt the firewalk."

It was his last remark that compelled me to kick off my sneekers, remove my socks and cry: "Haere outou! Let's go!"

A loud chorus of "Maitai! Good!" rose from the native onlookers. A comic among the tourists yelled: "You're going to be sorry, chum!"

I stepped into the column of fire walkers forming behind the Chief. Now my bravado was on the ebb. I was experiencing the first symptoms of fright, and I cursed the impulse that had made me accept Terii's invitation to walk behind him over the Umu. There was the customary taut feeling in my throat, and my stomach felt as if it had suddenly been invaded with crazed butterflies. My heart started to pound violently; my head ached, and I wanted very much to step out of line. I have always had an uncommon fear of fire, since the day in my childhood when I fell into a burning bonfire, and now that memory was intensified. The stalwart Tahua (priest) behind me gave me a light push. Terii had started toward the firewalking pit!

I clamped my teeth hard, inhaled deeply, and gave a belly-depth groan. Mechanically I started to walk, and I felt not unlike a somnambulist proceeding toward a portentous fate. My legs felt numb and leaden; my heart was now thudding with jarring impacts against my ribs. Then my bare feet touched something uneven and elevated. This is it, I told myself; you'd better step out of line before it s too late! Another firm shove on my shoulders, and in the next instant countless tiny electric shocks pricked the bottom of my feet. It was not unlike the sudden jabbing of the skin with sharp needles. Smothering heat waves shimmered before my steadfast gaze, compelling me at last to half-close my eyes. It was not unlike the sudden blast of heat that explodes from the widely flung doors of a huge blast-furnace. The heat of the oven all but suffocated me. My lungs became filled with superheated air, and I felt I would collapse if I did not breathe pure cool air quickly. As if from a great distance, through a long windswept tunnel, I heard the murmuring of the spectators. And as I walked I felt that I must surely present an abject figure treading behind Terii, if my physical aspect matched my mental unrest.

Then, suddenly, the tingling sensation on the bottom of my feet ceased, and I knew that I had crossed the oven. I glanced down at my feet. They were untouched! I had half-expected to see burn-blisters erupting between the toes and the flesh bursting under intense roasting. Every pore of my body filtered rivulets of sweat, and I could see that Chief Terli's broad back was glistening with globules of body moisture. Terii abruptly lifted his wand of Ti leaves, a recognized signal that the last in line had passed over the Umu, and now everyone was to right-about-face for the return transit. I knew that I could not undergo another firewalk upon the hot stones, so I stepped quickly out of line. Terii grinned and gave me an understanding slap on my shoulders. Then he led his followers back across the oven.

Quickly I was surrounded by the tourists, who lifted my feet and wiped away the dirt to search for burn marks. There were none! The natives shook my hand, and gave complimentary shouts of "Maitai-roa! Very good!"

White Man Looks to Science

Several white men have firewalked barefooted across the firewalking pit of Polynesia, among them Dr. William Craig and his brother, former British resident agents of the Cook Islands; they made a safe crossing. Some, voicing flippant or skeptical remarks, were horribly burned during an Umuti, necessitating hospitalization; others, believing in the strange ceremonies of the islands, have made the walk unscathed. The reasons for the different experiences I cannot explain.

Some assayers of human immunity to fire-burn have made interesting observations. A writer-traveler in Japan, John Hyde, noticed that the priests, before firewalking over their herb-strewn firewalking pits, rubbed the soles of their feet with salt. He experimented similarly, and after a walk across an firewalking pit, he remarked: "My confidence was not misplaced. In my feet I felt only a sensation of gentle warmth, but my ankles, to which no salt was applied, were scorched."

Wemyss Reid, in his Memoirs and Correspondence of Lyon Playfair, tells how Playfair induced the Victorian Prince of Wales, in a faith-test in science, to stir a pot of molten metal with his bare hand (after he had cleansed the hand with ammonia to rid it of any grease), and to ladle out a measure. The Prince dipped out some boiling lead without sustaining any burns. Playfair then concluded his observations on the royal person's act by saying: "It is a well-known scientific fact that the human hand, if perfectly cleansed, may be placed uninjured in lead boiling at white heat, the moisture of the skin protecting it under these conditions from any injury."

Some years ago, the astute magician and escape-artist, Harry Houdini, an avid debunker of performances of the so-called supernatural, blasted demonstrations of fire-eaters and firewalkers in his book Miracle Mongers and Their Methods (E. P. Dutton, 1920). He took particular exception to a "roasting alive" act performed by a young man inside a heated glass enclosure garbed only in bathing trunks, with a steak dangling from his arm. The idea was for the exhibitionist to remain inside the booth, exposed to a high register of heat until the steak was thoroughly cooked. Houdini pointed out that the young man protected his hair with a bathing cap and had smeared clay over his eyebrows, so that the hair would not retain the heat longer than skin cells. Houdini maintained that this, with the tempering effect of excreting perspiration, was the solution to this heat-torture act. However, the magician explained, if the man had stayed in the overheated enclosure beyond a certain period of time, his body would have become dehydrated and serious heat prostration would have resulted. Precise timing was the explanation of this trick, according to Houdini.

U. S. Air Force Makes Tests

A more recent experiment in heat and its effects on the human body was conducted a short time ago at the University of California in Los Angeles, and was supervised by Dr. Craig Taylor, physiologist and engineer, at the request of the U. S. Army Air Force Command.

The Air Corps wanted to know one very important thing: what were the potentialities concerning a jet-plane pilot's being roasted alive in a friction-heated cockpit? These supersonic crafts, powered by jet propulsion, need refrigeration systems to keep the cockpits comfortable and bearable. What would happen to the pilot or pilots, if the cooling equipment failed while the jet planes were in flight? Would the pilot collapse at the controls? Would he succumb to heat prostration? Would he have to bail out in the stratosphere, or would he be literally baked alive in the cockpit? Could he stay at the controls, enduring the terrific heat, until he was able to slow down the plane?

This was a big order, but Professor Taylor was determined to find out what would happen to a human in a jet plane in flight if the cooling system conked out. He made with the help of his assistants a testing furnace out of a huge steel cylinder, and provided a strong fan to suck in dry air across an outside battery of white-hot electric grids. The first human guinea-pigs remained in the hot-box until the heat passed the boiling-point of water (212° F.). These student volunteers in the heat experiment came out a little groggy and florid faced, but quite "uncooked."

Professor Taylor reserved the final and decisive tests for himself. His hands, feet, and neck were protected before being wheeled into the cylinder, the temperature of which in this supreme experiment upon entrance read 230° F. He remained in this overheated atmosphere for 15¼ minutes, until the heat climbed to 262° F. While he was in there, an egg fried on a metal frying-pan in front of him. The only uncomfortable effects he suffered were that his face became fiery red when the hot blasts of air hit it, and his nasal membranes contracted, but apart from these discomforts he experienced no dire physical or mental agonies.

His answer was simple and to the point: the human body's resistance to heat is its own cooling system which nature has so advantageously provided — perspiration and mucous secretions. He proved that the moisture evaporating from the skin provides part of the body with a layer of cool air. A "desert waterbag" hanging on the outside of a car in traveling keeps the water cool from its own evaporation of moisture through the porous canvas.

While inside the hot-box, Professor Taylor learned that at one time when the register of heat was at 236° F, the air three quarters of an inch from his nose was 226° F. The skin of the nose itself registered a safe 119.5° F. Air drawn into the nostrils was cooled down to 100° F., which certainly could not injure the lungs. The general temperature of his body rose only a couple of degrees.

But what the Professor did emphasize as a danger to jet pilots in overheated cockpits was the raised temperature of the blood being conveyed to the brain cells. This would give pilots of jet planes the surest indication of approaching heat prostration should the cooling equipment break down. He also pointed out that man's fear of heat is chiefly a mental torture. Humans, no matter if they are pilots in friction heated cockpits of jet planes or unfortunate victims trapped in burning buildings or ships, can overcome high registers of heat by rational, well-organized attitudes of self-preservation. Fright or overexcitement can raise the temperature of the blood many degrees.

The firewalkers of Raiatea, Japan, Fiji, India, and Africa have had no indoctrination as to the scientific principles of heat, and, therefore, it is quite understandable that they would look to a psychic or supernatural source to explain their safe firewalks across firewalking pits. Certainly, the Umuti of Raiatea is a remarkable feat. One must bear in mind that hot rocks and not hot air come into contact with the flesh of the participants. I think Professor Taylor would have to admit that Chief Terii's ceremony is quite different from the one he conducted.

And I have to remind myself that no scientist has completely explained to my entire satisfaction how I crossed the fiery pit at Raiatea without so much as a blistered toe.