My name is Ke’oni Hanalei. I come from a lineage which spans 1,017 generations. Much of what i share, today, remains honest to the founder of my lineage.
The founding of Pōhala is far older than I am. Pōhala is much older than my tūtū, Kau'ikeonalani, who passed this ‘ike (knowledge) down to me. Pōhala is even older than the culture of Ancient Hawai'i, and reaches mysteriously further beyond Tahitian contact to what can be described as "pre-polynesian." Beyond this is what my archaic Polynesian ancestors have called 'ʻē," or "before," "elsewhere," "a time of Mū", and what many have named, "Lemuria." Over 10,000 years ago our planet made a monumental shift towards the Culture we live in today. To a large extent excess, exploitation, escapism, and crisis are the vibrations which define our modern world. What happened? How have human beings become so disconnected from Source (God) that we choose unconsciousness to simply bare the pressure of existing? Thankfully, the ancient peoples of the pacific have preserved a map back into Source, back into the Nucleus of the Spiral.
My Maui grandmother (tūtū), Kau'ikeonalani, with whom I spent a majority of my first 5 years with, was a very powerful medicine woman. She was not the first. Her mother and her mother-in-law were also medicine holders, or what we Hawaiians call "Kahuna." I can recall tūtū in her backyard tending meticulously to her plants. Sometimes I would snap twigs and rip leaves off of her ferns. "Ha'alele loa!" she'd yell "such defilement!" and then she would tell me the significance, the power, the essence. It was in these formable years of my young life did I hazily wander through her medicine, nourishing me at times of great challenge, and exerting me in my moments of wonder. "Ka nani pūlama" she'd say as she twirled the laua'e fern with her finger, "Cherish the beauty," and this is how she'd teach me what each plant meant, and what each plant held as their power, or their essence, their Principle: for the laua'e fern is the personification of Divine Beauty.
For many native people around the world, plants and the natural world are the uncorrupted resonance of God, or god energy. This is the esoteric component of indigenous medicine. The biological health benefits of plant material are widely recognized in all cultures and all social systems. For the Ancient Hawaiians, botanicals have retained their sacred codes offered to them at conception, and unlike human beings, they have not forgotten how to interact with these codes, or its essence. The human being is made up of countless emotional experiences; this is an interplay of reception and reaction. The ancient people knew that recognition and understanding of Mans emotions are supreme in living a balanced, harmonious life full of Aloha. The spores of endemic and indigenous Hawaiian Ferns, Pua’aehuehu, hold such codes which correlate to specific human emotions, traits, and virtues, which I refer to as The Principles of Aloha. Aloha, or love, truly is the highest possible vibration in this reality. This is Pōhala.
When I was 5 my parents moved my brother, Rio, and I to Kaua'i and later to Ka'ū on the Big Island. I proceeded into adolescence and young adulthood without recognition of the potency of what she taught me. By the time I was 10 tūtū was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and it became difficult to re-connect. tūtū also forgot how to speak English and only spoke Hawaiian which caused a great disconnect with my family being that close to none of us spoke our native language fluently. In 2000, tūtū finally hala (transcended) and a million questions of mine would remain unanswered.
This is where my journey with Pōhala begins. The potency of Fern Medicine has been considered kapu or "forbidden" until recently when, in 2013, on the 13th anniversary of tūtū's hala, the kapu was lifted and all that was huna, or "secret," can now be disclosed. I have taken on this kuleana (responsibility) with great ha'aheo (pride). This has become the purpose of my life, and the resolution of my ancestors. I remain in gratitude for the life-force of my people before me, and of pure nature, and the uncorrupted memory of Source. Mahalo!
Medicinal oils have been made using a 2 or 5 litre steam distiller, via maceration, enfleurage, solvent extraction, and in ceremony. Virtually all plant matter comes from the wilderness of Great Maui and Grandmother Kaua'i. Each Fern or plant holds power in the houses of moon phases, and therefore their harvest and their distillation or extraction is performed on those sacred times. Harmony with nature is key in our journey back into the Nucleus of the Great Spiral (Source). Approach with reverence, and always choose your thoughts wisely. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me for personal consultations on Fern/Botanical Medicine and their role in your very own hala.
Me ke aloha pumehana!