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A Mystical Experience - My Vision


I am the Morning Star. Like many of the prophets of the past, I experienced the divine ‘call’ as something heard and as something seen—in the form of a vision and a voice. I do not come from an established priesthood or hierarchy but I, as well as my wife, have been passed on the lineages and traditions of various indigenous spiritual and religious practices from around the world.


My vision occurred on the Big Island of Hawaii in October of 1993. My wife, Sherry, myself and a native Hawaiian healer friend were leading a group of our students to various sacred sites to experience the spiritual knowledge of the Hawaiians and the magic and power of the land and the sea. This was not the first time or the first group that we had brought to the Big Island. But this time we wanted to honor the land and the Hawaiian ancestors by conducting a very sacred ceremony called a ‘burning’ or ‘feeding the spirits.’ Mom and Vince Stogan, Coast Salish British Columbia elders and shamans, passed on to us the power and authority to conduct this ceremonial work after an intense apprenticeship.

A burning is a timeless ceremony that actually involves cooking food and then burning the food so that the substance and energy of it is taken into the Otherworld. This type of ceremony honoring the gods, goddesses, and ancestors by a burnt offering is ancient in form and can be traced as far back as the ancient Egyptians. In fact, our friend told us that this ceremonial way was part of the Hawaiian spiritual tradition of centuries past, but was a lost art.

Hawaii is a group of eight islands known for its mystical magic-users and healers called kahuna, meaning ‘guardian of the secret.’ It was rumored that the kahuna were some of the most powerful wizards[i] known throughout the world. Their healing and magical arts were known to be able to mend broken bones as well as influence the actions of sea creatures, the wind and the waves.

Sherry and I had first voyaged to these islands many years past, only to return again and again, ever seeking more knowledge and power. Even though we had apprenticed with Vince and Mom Stogan of British Columbia, we still had a restless and adventurous nature. This drove us to seek out and to explore the power and the knowledge of other cultures’ shamans. We felt the need to discover the ‘first knowledge’ or the ancient root knowledge that had been forgotten, or even worse, that had been suppressed, manipulated and/or changed. 

I had arrived early on the Big Island two days ahead of my son, Jamie, and five days ahead of Sherry, our daughter Jessie, and our students. As I breathed deeply of the salt air, I was ecstatic that I had returned to the islands of Hawaii especially to the Big Island, the isle of the volcano goddess—Pele. I’ve always felt a close connection with Pele—her power and energy. It is the power of destruction, but yet again, the power of creation—of new growth. It is the power that each of us has within us but usually deny. Hers is the anger that may destroy. But on the other hand, it is the anger that may right the wrongs of the world—an anger that is needed more than ever before in today’s unjust world.

The previous year we had been drawn to this island of fire and water after having spent much time in the past on the rainbow isle (Maui) and the valley isle (Kauai). Each island of Hawaii is different, energetically and emotionally. Some say that each isle is linked to a chakra—a name used for an energy vortex in the body.

Once again I felt that I had returned home. These islands have always felt as if they were a part of my essence: fire, water and wind, all elements that make my heart smile. It is a land that I love; a paradise permeated throughout with beauty, mystery and power.

Shortly after I had arrived, I conducted what these islanders call ho-okupu. This is a ritual of gifting and honoring. I included prayers honoring the land, the people, the ‘aumākua and the akua[ii] as well as asking for permission to do my spirit work, guidance and protection for myself, my family, the seekers and my friend. My gifting was a flower. Ho-okupu means ‘to cause growth’ as well as ‘ceremonial gift-giving.’  The gift can be a flower (something organic) or as simple as a prayer with the intent of giving something unconditionally back to the land and to the unseen and seen sacred ones. 

Arriving early meant that I would be able to spend some time with my friend, who was also the ‘keeper of the sacred healing pools.’ We had experienced many adventures together the preceding year. My wife, my friend and I had taken a group of seekers to witness the volcano goddess giving birth (erupting) that year. It was a moment in time that words could never really describe. To be able to witness the power of the creation of new earth as it merged with the sea is a memory that will stay with us and impact us for the totality of our existence. Moved to tears, Sherry turned to me and said, “This is baby earth.” 

For the next two days, my friend and I traded stories and teachings while spending the majority of our time at the place known as the Refuge. Its formal name is Pu'uhonua o Honaunau. As a refuge it provided a place where a person would be given a second-chance at life. This place of forgiveness is located on the ocean and contains the healing pools that are part of my friend’s spiritual medicine. The power of the ocean and its salt water are a continuous source of healing medicine for these islanders.

After my son arrived, the three of us began an adventure that preceded the arrival of our group. Our first destination was the ‘white sand beach’ before we headed to an ancient, and no longer populated, fishing village.

Stress is a silent killer in our society. People do not know how to relax. So my friend was going to show us a method of stress reduction. It was an old-time healing method using the heat of the sand as well as energy and body work.

When we arrived at the beach, the white sand had been bathed in the sun’s fiery embrace for hours. It was one of those beautiful days that draw people to these islands with a splendor that lovingly vibrates to the depths of one’s soul.

Settled in the shade we spent time looking, listening and mimicking my friend’s actions and knowledge. This is one of the key philosophies of the kahunaNānā ka maka, ho’olohe, pa’a ka waha, ho’opili: observe, listen, and keep mouth shut, mimic, mimic and mimic. After a few hours, including time in the surf, we headed for the fishing village.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

[i] I use this term to underscore the power of the kahuna as sorcerer, magician, priest and healer.

[ii] Deities  

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