Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The grand experiment

The calendar year wraps itself into close, 2016 ends in a few days. The Lunar Calendar and Chinese New Year of the Rooster begin January 28, 2017. There is a season and reason for everything and for me the grand experiment of writing blogs is over for me. Hundreds of blog posts and dozens of medicine stories have helped me sort life on this planet. Setting up the many different versions of my stories, and observations have been as much healing salve a any prescription and probably much more effective. Blogs have been a blank palette to fill in so many different ways. I am tired now.

Makua o'o and my other blogs will now be places to find archive posts, and links to other resources (found on the sidebars). Thank you for coming to read the meandering tales and observations of time and circumstances over the past years.

I have created a website Yvonne Mokihana Calizar where all the blogs and medicine stories collect in one place. The grand experiment with blogging is pau, but still the coral polp grows.

A hui hou,

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Merchant Seamen and the Moon

The Gemini Full Moon has woken me at midnight, drawing me out of a warm bed to be with her. The tides have been extreme with an afternoon tide of more than 12 feet and a late evening tide of minus 3 feet. Though we live in the woods and on the highest point on the south end of Whidbey Island at 300 feet, this is a narrow island and the draw of the Salish Sea is powerful, especially for two people like me and my husband who are water sun signs (Scorpio and Cancer). The two huge moon at dawn photos in today's posts are courtesy of my friend Terri Wise who lives on the northwest end of Whidbey. The Sun rise today (Wednesday) was minutes before 8 am. Moon set was 8:14 am. Yesterday (Tuesday) the Sun set at 4:16 pm, but the  Moon did not rise until 4:41 pm. There was a bit of a gap between the Sun's set and the Moon's appearance. When we were just learning to count the Hawaiian Moon phases, we listened and watched this January, 2008 presentation "Kaulana Mahina" by Kalei (Tsuha) Nu'uhiwa over and over again. We had so much to learn, and even more to forget before we could start to remember how to remember. Even as we were new to the practice I shared what I was learning. There were plenty of gaps in my knowledge, but the excitement to share even those first insights were such a precious way for me to feel connected to ancestral roots.

We are still learning to count on the moon, and thanks to our daily and nightly experiences of living in the woods in the same place for going on seven seasons, we become more familiar with what happens here by paying attention. Knowledge, the floating awareness of facts or theories only becomes knowing (a verb) when I live it, notice the stable repetitions and the changes in plants, bird habits and weather and record it to memory, or put it down somewhere to keep track. For the past eight years I've tried to keep track using blogs. The challenge for me is that I have kept more than one blog, and lose track. I'm working with this challenge of how to consolidate (?) all the writing I've done and put it on one website. I'm not done yet.

The photos Terri emailed me tickled a new understanding of my life as makua o'o. From the images I see what my ancestors meant when saying, naming the phases of the moon (or paying attention to what is happening) is a place-specific practice. What I see at midnight is not necessarily what you see at midnight if you are not where I am. To tie things together a little without creating a neat and conclusive bundle, learning to understand the relationship between the Moon's cycles and my own (or the Elemental effects on humans or other living beings) is a long term process of attending. Kalei Nu'uhiwa's kuleana (responsibility as knowledge holder and sharer) grows since her original work began. She talked about that journey in a very informative interview on And Still the Waters Rise entitled "Out of Thin Air." I listened with renewed interest in this Maui-born wahine born to a kanaka beach boy and New Jersey tourist who stayed. This ethnoscientist of Maui who moves me, and many others to become more practiced in paying attention. It was Kalei Nu'uhiwa who co-organized the 2015 'Aimalama Conference of Indigenous Pacific Peoples who use the Hawaiian Moon Calendar in their daily lives. In our practice as Hawaiian Moon Calendar students it was awesome to be able to connect through a live-streaming connection to that 2015 conference on O'ahu making the 2,500 mile separation seem not quite so far. It was our own form of huaka'i.

To live a practice of makua o'o 2, 500 miles from the piko away from Hawaii means we must have enough confidence and focus to see how the practice is done where we are. Applying the knowledge that floats across the cyberspace Internet connection I must be a skillful, and awake knowledge catcher. To say I am a surfer, I must demonstrate my skill in the watah. To say I am a practitioner of kilo (observation) I must observe. So, those photos that begin this post. In them a tug boat captained and navigated by instruments is still operating with merchant sea folk. The tug does not travel on its own, and those merchant mariners must not only know the theory of sailing that ship and that body of ocean they must know the specifics of what that water and what lives under and around the water are like.

In this 2012 video "Kanaloa: Men of the Sea" two Hawaiian water men spoke of their lives on the sea. Leighton Tseu's stories stirred such common roots for me. Though I am far from being a mariner, this man is two years younger than I and went to the same high school I did. He spoke of being mentored by a high school counselor who was one of my favorite high school teachers, one of the few Native Hawaiian faculty in 1965. That was, and is a connection. Ah. The two men who talkedstory with the audience in "Kanaloa: Men of the Sea" rendered the details and mentorships that molded their careers as ocean going merchant marines. Their experiences feed a passion today to recruit young Hawaiian boys and girls into the work of water people who have within them the salt water of the ocean.

In the final minutes of Tseu's story he weaves the spiritual inseparability of being 'in the flow' when he was asked to take Hawaiian practitioners including Aunty Pualani Kanahele and Kalei Nu'uhiwa and others from Hawaii to Mokumanamana for Winter Solstice in 2009. The voyage would necessitate skill on all levels and a focus and attentiveness for every one involved to make that rough water venture possible. The timing for that December 2009 sailing approaches again. It was the anahulu (the 10 days/nights) of calm before the Winter Solstice Leighton Tseu speaks of in "Kanaloa: Men of the Sea". It is that focused and combined energy of intention that perpetuates the seamen and the moon's ageless and specific connectivity. When theory is pulled down into the na'au the gut and memory is applied to specific action, the practice endures. Their story feeds me. I watch it via cyberspace, feel how the Full Moon pulls it in me, awakening my understanding. Ah, application. The imagery incites a riot in my gut.

My life on this island surrounded by the water named "Salish Sea" extends and connects with the deepest ocean. That merchant mariner moves on a tide at full flood, a high tide while I can feel even as I finally sleep in my cozy futon at 300 foot elevation. The Moon, Mahina dressed in her full illumination affects me she awakens my guts and I become the app. I become the living and attentive makua o'o noticing. And then I come to the keys, piece together some story and put it down. Whoa. Mahalo Na Akua. Whew.

And you, what do you notice?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Full Moon in Gemini, December 13, 2016

The sky cleared at midnight, and Mahina in her full length bright moonlight holoku has been breaking through. I looked up to see her from the corner of the golden wagon. Conifer needles dangle from the edge of the curved roof, the heavy canvas curtain still. The wind is somewhere else tonight.

Rain drops dangle from Hemlock at the very tips of her fingers. Tiny jewels in a moonlit night, I am awake and relish in being alive to see the kin.

Glass jars of spring water Pete filled last week getting a Gemini Moon bath. We'll be drinking this moon-infused water, giving thanks to Kane for the life-giving water and Mahina for her part in this of course. The Gemini Full Moon falls in my 6th House of Health. How about you? Follow the link for Elsa P.'s thoughts about this moon.

E Ola (to life)
E Mahina nui (to the moon in her abundance)

"Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts." Wendell Berry

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lono Season and Makahi Begins

Kalei Nuuhiwa posted the following mana'o on the Hui 'Aimalama FB page (a closed group) last night. I am reposting Kalei's message in its entirety. Mahalo nui loa e Kalei.

 With Kalei's message still fresh in my na'au I dressed warmly and headed to the muliwai where I knew there would be a tide that allowed me

 to walk the shore and be with the new Lono Season ... ho'olono causing me to hear what I was meant to hear.
 The high tides are extreme with the SuperMoon, I chose to walk quietly along the water's edge where the indications of the powerful movement were present as I gave thanks to the Akua, and huli that the new season promises.
 The sun creates clear shades and I notice 'pay attention'. Light and dark in the middle of the day. It was not quite noon when I walked.

The remaining mana'o is Kalei Nu'uhiwa's: 

1. ʻO ke au i kahuli wela ka honua
2. ʻO ke au i kahuli lole ka lani
3. ʻO ke au i kuka'iaka ka lā.
4. E ho'omālamalama i ka malama
5. ʻO ke au o Makali'i ka pō
6. ʻO ka walewale ho'okumu honua ia...

These are the first 6 lines of the Kumulipo and Iʻve spent some goodly amount of years just studying these six lines. There's so many ways that one could interpret them too. There's imagery of what some describe as the big bang, there's imagery of what some describe is the formation of the solar system. Some see a lunar eclipse, others see a solar eclipse, while others see the description of the development of a fetus upon the moment of conception. Some see chaos, some see a hulihia, some see a reorganization of time or of politics. All are correct interpretations. None are better interpretations than the other. It is part of the Hawaiian epistemology of allowing others to connect to the chant and acknowledging that there are multiple realities for each individual.
I will use this pule hoʻolaʻa aliʻi to describe the auspicious evening that we will all be experiencing tonight because the six lines of the Kumulipo can also be utilized to describe what is going to be happening today.

1. ʻO ke au i kahuli wela ka honua
During the time when the seasons are changing upon this earth.
2. ʻO ke au i kahuli lole ka lani
At a time when the atmospheric cycles unfold.
3. ʻO ke au i kuka'iaka ka lā.
At the setting sun when the shadows lean,
4. E ho'omālamalama i ka malama
It is the time when the moon will be extremely lit,
5. ʻO ke au o Makali'i ka pō
During the time when Makaliʻi is rising in the evening
6. ʻO ka walewale ho'okumu honua ia...
Tempting the foundation to begin anew...
Tonight when the sun sets in Hawaiʻi the star constellation known as Makaliʻi will be rising in conjunction with the supermoon. Both Makaliʻi and the supermoon rising hails in the changing of the political season, the recalibration of the Hawaiian lunar calendar and the start of the makahiki ceremonies and rituals. These rituals lasted from 4 days to 1 anahulu (10 days) followed by games and respite from the stringent politics. It is a time to honor those that have passed, celebrate the new year, pay tribute to the government with things produced or harvested, and at the closing of the ceremonies to honor the rites of passage of the young women in the community.The makahiki was normally a time of peace and setting time aside to enjoy life collectively with your community.
Many people have asked me if there was a Hawaiian term for the supermoon and I have to confess that I do not know if they had a special term for this event. But what I do know is that they would have recorded their important observations in chants and prayer, hence my utilization of the Kumulipo to express the Hoʻomālamalama i ka malama, the great luminosity of the moon.
During the season of Lono we can expect rain, thunder, lightning, flooding, huge surf, the arrival of huge storms, several meteor showers, landslides, active volcanoes and earthquakes. So now you know what we can be expecting at the commencement of the rising of the supermoon and Makaliʻi at sunet, yes?
Makahiki is a time when nature demands attention and man sits back and allows the natural processes to carry on. For me it is a very invigorating time.
So, in the spirit of Makahiki during this auspicious arrival of the new season I bid you all great peace and prosperity for a great new year.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Jun Ken Po 2016

E remember jun ken po?

After November 8, 2016 we've come up with a new version to raise a commotion, update the motions and get a new notion. SOLIDARITY means:

Get the whole story here, and then, pass it on while you put a pin in place...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


I have written my response of grief in The Safety Pin Cafe.  It begins:
"Today we grieve. Tomorrow we fight. Art & activism matter more than ever. So does community. Stay strong."- Terri Windling
"Mars in Aquarius will PROTEST. I'm just not sure people will feel up to it.  They may very well detach in order to deal with their feelings of depression and doom.
Tomorrow the Moon in Pisces will conjunct Chiron in the sign. This is not going to help. Endless, un-healable wound.  Arrgh.
I wish I had something better to say. These next two days will be rough." - ElsaElsa Astrology Newsletter
"Yes, Terri. Today we grieve. In the dark hour of midnight here in the Salish Sea I was shocked to read, "He is president." No amount of Flower Nation Remedy would change that, but I dosed myself anyway. Then I picked up Aurora Levins Morales' book of essaysMedicine Stories..."

Read the whole response here.

Sunday, October 23, 2016


 We took a drive up the island yesterday and found these clouds lined up across the sky while we
 parked along the Western shore. The three above, were trailing along the three at the top.

Just a few minutes ago I received an email from our friend Eko who has newly moved from Whidbey to live in Portland. When she left, I sent along a safety pin attached to a simple and elegant silver button. "Common magic," I told her.
The message she left me today confirmed that the safety pin was doing what it was intended to do. She said the Japanese word for that was 'Omamori.' Omamori refers to Japanese amulets, talismans and charms commonly sold at shrines for good luck or protection.

This bit of communication was just the talisman of good luck and protection I needed today. My friend's message reminded me of a very special woman who was my source of good luck and protection when I was a little girl. Aunty Lily lived next door and among the many omamori she shared with me were these things: looking to notice and watch clouds (I have never stopped), and listening to her voice when she wrote me saying, "You are a good writer (I have never stopped).

The giant safety pin that dangles a paper Heron is our daily omamori. Common magic. Amulets, talismans and charms to keep life's challenges and struggles in balance. Sometimes we forget the simple and common role of such things.

Arigato Eko-san, you have brought balance to my day,

Monday, October 17, 2016


The three storms of the Full Moon in Aries passed through the Pacific Northwest and have shaken things up for us. The golden wagon, and the little light on the porch feels like home. A subtle and powerful shift has taken place. I've written more about that here.

An update: I'm thoroughly enjoying this feeling of being home. Just a few minutes ago Pete said 'This moon (cycle) has been really good."

I agreed, "New Moon in Libra committing to relationships here, between us, with this community. Believing we can do this!" Mahina is visible in the morning sky a La'au Pau moon. If you would like to read some beautifully written thoughts about home folklorist and fantasist Terri Windling's post "More thoughts on home" is a great read. I've just finished rereading the essay, and for at least the dozenth time finished rereading Windling's Wood Wife for reconnecting with 'home', magic, myth, Ancestors, edges, love.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pray and Tether Protocol

"We cross borders without regard, ignorant or arrogant of the protocol native to the transitional spaces that take us from this place to that place. Traditions remembered and practiced would maintain and pass along the right things to do, at the right time, and in the right frame of mind. Have we all become wanderers with passports unstamped with the memory of teachings from the Ancestors and Nature? There are rituals to remember and common magic to induce respect and reverence for the beings and places that share this planet." - The Safety Pin Cafe

We have tethered our golden wagon of a vardo, cleared and prepared ourselves for the predicted storms that are moving through most of the western shores of the continental United States. A full moon in Aries approaches, and it makes sense to take precautions and be the balancing act as Satori suggests.

While Pete has applied his practical magic, once again, pushing the wheel barrel filled with potential flying debris, lashed our home and stocked up on batteries and bolts to secure the physical, I applied the other side, the balance to what I am calling the Pray and Tether Protocol. The traditions remembered and practiced, the rituals to remember and common magic to induce respect and reverence for the beings and places that share this planet.

Last year at around this time I began writing a medicine story called Pine Needle Dancers. While we still lived parked in the growing thicket of wild Huckleberries and Wild Blueberries, Salal and the Tall Stands of White Pine, Hemlock, Cedar and Fir the winds and the wet of a Salish Sea sent me more than rain as messenger. 

Last year for the first time in five seasons I noticed and paid heed to the pine needles. There was and is a story of medicine to balance the protocol of practices. When Pete left for a morning of visiting with an old friend I read the weather predictions of storm coming; I did the work of acknowledgement, and began reading aloud (and recording) Pine Needle Dancers so the Pine could hear my voice, and the story written for him.

The medicine story Pine Needle Dancers begins here for you to read. I put it here, press the Publish key, and send love all around. Read it aloud, read it to yourself, or in the company of those who matter most to you. 


(If you like the story, I am working on creating a c.d. of this alive recording of Pine Needle Dancers along with a bit of written magic in an envelope to sell. It's a new venture of magic making and practical application rolled into one.)  

Monday, October 10, 2016

Tool Box, or Boxing Gloves?

Temporary tool: a step stool 

The old steps we walked for six years

Astrologically Elsa P. describes this week with these opening lines:

"Mercury in Libra will conjoin Jupiter all week. Expect people to blurt, preach their truth and think they are smarter than they are.
This situation will be exacerbated as our collective big (Jupiter) mouths (Mercury) will be fueled and intensified by the square to Mars and Pluto in Capricorn.
Now if you want to mix it up, fine. But be prepared to lose (Pluto) your social connections (Libra) and status (Capricorn) if you fail to control yourself and hit someone’s sore spot..."
Elsa continues her blog post with suggestions, and directives to her astrological workshops (many of which I have taken). I highly recommend those workshops if you have a few dollars.

Along those same lines, periodically I update the content on the page "What is Makua o'o?" 
I'm doing that now making notes using the 9 Tools of the Makua o'o to reevaluate how this recent move out of the forest and onto the gravel parking lot utilizes those tools.

"The nest of a home we built has been moved, transplanted from the wooded surroundings onto the gravel parking lot just a few yards ... just here to there. I am writing about the small and potent move turning the experiences into art, using the tools of the 21st century to explain while almost unconsciously applying the 9 tools Aunty Betty shared with me. Those tools of  kupuna in the making fit anytime, if I pause to recognize that.
  1. Keep a keen sense of observation … NOTICE . Everything starts here. Noticing is not limited to what the eyes see though I am very grateful to be able to see the world with the aid of prescription lens. Sometimes, I don't put on my glasses, or forget where I left them. And then the next tool helps." (click here to read what other notes I've left on 'What is Makua o'o?')
 If you are new to this blog, the basic tools of an elder in training might be useful. A new tool instead of the boxing gloves might be a better choice. I admit, I've used the gloves as often as a tool. But at this age, my husband reminds me as he attempts to set us up with stairs to and from our golden wagon, "We can't afford to fall." The small hard plastic step stool with narrow steps and no rail has been a temporary tool, and solution as we make adjustments. Today Pete is working with his tools to reattach a version of our old wooden steps.

Just any old kind of stairs doesn't work for my highly sensitized body ... wet wood grows mold, my body collapses under mold. The old steps and rail have been washed of mold, and have been drying for the past week. It frustrates Pete to be stopped in his game; his drill is out and primed. I know it's a hard game to play this highly sensitive partnership. He blew when I mentioned the steps might not work.

He came in to apologize for his one-two punch of frustration. "I know honey," I said looking from these keys to his truly sad face. He and I have been at these cross-road so many times before. Without some tools, same tools, new tools, adjusted tools we would have split the sheets long ago.

As it is, we use the o'o (the digging sticks) or recognize the makua o'o is a maturing adult ripening over time; Pete works, I write. He rescues me, I rescue him.

If Elsa's right, refining the use of tools that work for you, for me, for us could be good medicine.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Spider Season, this season

"[M]edicinal" histories seek to re-establish the connections between peoples and their histories; to reveal the mechanisms of power, the steps by which their current condition of oppression was achieved, through a series of decisions made by real people in order to dispossess them; but also to reveal the multiplicity, creativity and persistence of resistance among the oppressed." - Aurora Levins Morales

The fragments and fractures reflect in the window of the small golden wagon. The effort and deliberation of moving, transplanting ourselves is being recorded into "medicinal history" as Aurora Levins Morales describes. Without knowing Aurora Levins Morales was alive on the planet, doing what she does, being who she is, I have been writing Medicine Stories of my own to do just what she speaks of reconnecting myself to the history of my past with the struggles, and the joy, of life now.

Now that we know of her, we conjoin, hold hands, and reevaluate. The Medicine Stories are the place of potency right now. The potency is over there.

Auhea oe, Spider? A speck, almost invisible she is a dot on the wall on the golden wagon, inches from the dangling brass bell. Potent, reserving her energy for the pounce.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Slow mo

Here's a peek at the golden wagon, Vardo for Two, our home in the woods of Langley in the late morning today. Click here for a nighttime view of the progress Pete has made moving her.

New Moon in Libra: Relationship Matters

Later this evening (in the US) the moon and sun will be conjunct (in the same place at the same time) both in the sign of Libra. Relationships and relating is highlighted. For most the summer I have been away from Makua o'o writing about moving elsewhere.  

So many possibilities, so many discoveries especially about how I relate one on one; how Pete and I together relate with the community we live with; how we present ourselves to a potential new community.

Later today Pete and I will begin moving our golden wagon inch-by-inch using a come along to position our home just yards away. After weeks of negotiating big and long distance moves, our goal today: to move out from under the trees (as safety for us) without cutting (the trees).

Elsa P. wrote about today's astrological community. She ends with this advice:

" I thought I’d pass this on because it’s so textbook as far as the astrology goes.
Jupiter is conjunct the Sun and Moon. Mars in Capricorn squares the triple conjunction.
Get out there and strive to generous and forgiving. It can’t hurt and it may help more than you might imagine."
She also posted a link on her ElsaElsa (the first astrology blog ever) site demonstrating that signature of generosity she's suggesting for her readers. It's a link to a resource of 10,000 blog posts she's written over the decade. I started reading Elsa when Pete and I were building our vardo, the golden wagon on wheels. She inspired me to expand my perceptions (thinking) using astrology and has consistently aided me; alerting me to the potential and the ramifications of acting or not acting.

If you're new to astrology, the link will be an incredible education, self-paced. If you're a student of astrology over time your depth of knowledge and application will be fleshed out in unexpected ways.

Oh, if you're wondering how the crab above relates to the New Moon in Libra I live with two crabs (Cancer sun signs). One of 'em will be hitching up my home to a chain. The other crab lives just across the orchard, and we pass her rent to live here. With the astrology of the day and weekend in mind the message  "Land crab on the defense" made a lot of sense to me. Good to know not to piss off crabs on the defense, even for a Scorpio with a stinger.

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Season of Lono

We pitched the tent and raised the banner as the season of Ku shifted to the season of Lono, and announced the arrival of The Safety Pin Cafe. A wonderful late September day opened up for us as we filled the air with story.

Click here to see a few photos of the event.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


In Hawaii, the Autumnal Equinox is called Ka Piko O Wakea. It happens today. The message we received the other day, from Kalei Nuuhiwa, was a wish for all that is unbalanced in and around you to come into balance today. She asked for an 'Amama. An Amen. And many of us did just that.

Happy Ka Piko O Wakea!! Like Kalei said, and 'Amama.

Here's a link to a post we put up here, a year ago. We'll be going to the muliwai again tonight.

We're all connected in one big hei (net) 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Take a stand

Calvin Hoe playing the ohe hano ihu Hawaiian nose flute

When I was newly separated from my son's father in the early 90's I remember attending an ipu (gourd) making workshop in Tacoma, Washington. The workshop was at a Hawaiian couple's home and the man teaching was Calvin Hoe. At that point in my life first-hand connections with my Hawaiian roots were gasping for life. The divorce and this workshop were two events that would slowly solder those disintegrated linkages. It was a time of fire-making for sure, painful yet necessary to the journey of becoming makua o'o.

I remember seeing island-style snacks, see moi (preserved dried fruit) and Saloon Pilot Crackers and Jersey Cremes on the dining room table. I first met hula kumu Iwalani Christansen in that workshop as well as the very active Hawaiian Club members of the Tacoma area. But it was Calvin Hoe's hybrid style of speaking very heavy pidgin with unexpectedly slick school English that really stuck with me. Even then I realized that Hawaiian would not be contained. He is a storyteller, and proud to be one.

Today my son Christopher Kawika sent me the latest Hui Mauli Ola podcast. "Uncle Calvin Hoe" was the subject in the email. I immediately slid into homebase remembering Calvin, the Hawaiian who would not be contained. In the podcast that follows the musician, instrument maker, teacher, kalo farmer, father and activist speaks of his journey, his mo'olelo his story flavored as Calvin Hoe can. He talks about the 'small guy standing up to save da wata' and all that jazz, including story that folds in the lessons of learning, like coral learning how and where to grow ... that from the Kumulipo (the Hawaiian story of creation).

Click here: LEO KUPA: Podcast - Uncle Calvin Hoe 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Pluto's long transit through the 12th House

The sun rose, peeking through the trees. I stepped from the porch of the vardo, looked at the newly birthed light, stopped to chant E A LA E, welcoming Ka La. Another day. My voice crackled, I was congested and surprised with the halting sound I was making. Though by the calendar fall begins in eight sunrises, the kilo (observations) says "It's fall now." Autumn is beautiful, the sun is not as strong as summer's rays. Most of the Alder leaves are on the forest floor. We shiver outside when we leave the comfort of the covers.

Orange organic Vog Mask 
Hover over the image for Vog Mask's Mission
Vog Mask on Utah mom and babe

This is an update, to a post I wrote in 2013 about the planet Pluto's long transit through the houses of an astrological chart. Thanks to you, my readers, I saw that the old post was being read often. I reread it myself. Part of what I wrote was:
"I woke from sleep shivering. Yes, it's cold outside but the cold was coming from inside. Coming from the deep sadness. So often, these captive feelings find their way into the fiction I write, the myth converts the unthinkable into truth. The story transforms. And, it will probably go there into the mythic page, but for now the dream wants me to put it down as chronicle. Like my astrologer, Elsa P. I have the planet Pluto transiting my 12th House. The transit began just about now, 5 years ago. December, 2008. Pete and I were living in the basement "Kitchenette". The years of digging deep, hiding when appropriate and surviving [and believing] we could thrive again had begun..."  
Now, I see that the Pluto transit through my 12th House began not 5 years earlier in December 2008, but did instead start in early 2004, when I sold my family home. What does that have to do with anything? Well, at this time Pluto is retrograde, giving all of us a final look at what secrets and systems need to 'die' be let go. Pluto is still in my 12th House where digging deep, discovering secrets, and hiding when appropriate to thrive another day are all still the orders of the day. The planet has progressed, and the work of the deep sadness and learning from these captive feelings has found its way into the fiction I write. The story does transform. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, at the cave's opening. Like the look and feel of a Fall Sunrise, it's not summer but it is fall, and there is hope I survive ... different, no doubt, and thriving possibly.

Yesterday I was communicating with a trusted friend about writing, astrology, and our saga of moving.

" I write these issues into the medicine stories, and call it mythic memoir and with Pluto still retrograde in my 12th House the truth of that is so deep. The blows have been so many and continue. I had to take a full time out yesterday, called my old therapist and as she suggested "allowed myself to feel the pain" rather than attempt one more solution, or another plan just yet.
My remedy for this long Pluto transit through the 12th has been to write my way through. Blog after blog since 2008 with the transit in the 12th starting in 2004 when I sold my family home. With Virgo's transit into Libra the attempts at moving and finding a new home are difficult, painful realizations for pirates like myself and Pete, who live outlaw lives because I am sick with an illness society would rather deny and the vardo we built is illegal according to code (as is homelessness inthis country) because it does not contribute to the economic machine."

My friend wrote: "That Pluto transit is so long, and the 12th house for sure is not for sissies.  You are one of the bravest Warriors I know, for you're not afraid to take a stand on our disintegrating society.  Or perhaps it's more that you are simply not constitutionally able to avoid doing that." Reading her message was an affirming moment, she had asked how life was with me/us and I rambled on about it warning her upfront in my email to stop there if you wasn't ready for 'Moki's Inferno." She proceeded, read the entire diatribe, and held my crazy as witness with no platitudes. I appreciate this very much! 

While Pluto hovers (now) over the final degrees of Capricorn in the 12th House (the ASCendent or horizon) in my astrological chart I take my friend's observations to heart and talk it through with Pete. We reconnoiter and consider our next steps. Do I take a stand because I am a warrior, or is it that I am simply not constitutionally (or astrologically) able to avoid doing that? It may be one of the final secrets to dig up and expose to the light of a fall and winter sun. Pluto will finally emerge from my 12th House in mid-January, 2017. I wonder what my stories will be like then, and, will I trade in my I Can Breathe Mask for a Vog Mask as I take a stand?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Doing the work of an elder in training

Fall is the season of harvest, time to pick and put-up the beans, shuck the ears of corn, eat the rest of the tomatoes, juice the apples, store the keeper apples through the winter, pick the winter squash and make delicious orange colored-spiced soups. All the yummy things that started with seed have ripened.

Pete and I have been busy harvesting our life that began when we built Vardo For Two eight years ago. The harvest and the work at this point is big, worthy of makua o'o who are seasoned with experience yet humble in knowing there is always the mystery and the mystery is not a pray-and-go easy payment plant. It's a "Pray to Allah. Tether your camel" kind of approach.

I'm writing about this season of harvest and readjustments on The Safety Pin Cafe. It's the place where the issues and reality of living with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and the laws in this country (America) regarding legal definitions of "housing" can be thrashed out. I thrash through the issues as Pete and I clean up the physical surroundings and prepare to hitch-up. We built our sleeping hut on wheels with faith in a power greater than ourselves. Na Akua, our gods are good. But we have our part to do, too.

We're tying the camel, and doing the work. The makua o'o uses those Nine Tools again and again and like Pete reminds me choosing the right tool for the job is more than half the job.

The Informant Is the latest post on The Safety Pin Cafe, and connects a recently released documentary "Karl Marx City" with two Washington state news articles/posts dealing with laws about housing and homelessness. This all started with a dream I wasn't sure I could wake from.

The tools of the Makua o'o used: all nine

Venus enters Libra is one of those post I write with astrology framing a broadly applied picture. I had a dream that woke me up.

The tools of the Makua o'o used: In particular, #1. Notice and #4 Soften the ground of your being

Spider Bite was a way to acknowledge the guardian getting my attention.

Which tool or tools was/were used or using me you think?

There is some evidence of ripening 
This was a ramble of words and experiences that I specifically likened to Spider pulling silk to make her web. Pete and I had just been through a second negotiation for a safe place to be for the fall and winter. The prairie and the community were not the place. We thought they were not ready for us. But, perhaps we were not ready for them?

The tools of the Makua o'o used: All Nine

There are other posts on The Safety Pin Cafe chronicling our Fall of doing the work ... if you are curious about the ongoing, and seasonal work of an elder in training please take a look, I'll be there.

Aloha kakou,

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rap and Ramble

While Pete and I clean up and prepare ourselves to move from the woods, I'm writing Rap, and Rambling on over at The Safety Pin Cafe.

Updated 8/17/2016
For a while I'll probably be writing at The Safety Pin Cafe about the unfoldings and walking through the fog, 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Po 'ole (the 'Ole phase, the quarter moon phase): kicking back

We've been busy  and needed some re-tuning from the temptation to get stressed out. Today and tonight is a  Po 'Ole, an 'Ole Moon phase (Mahalo nui to Kalei Nu'uhiwa for correcting my Hawaiian) in the Hawaiian Lunar Calendar. A good time to kick back, re-tune, re-assess and kilo (observe) the little things that make for a happy feeling of being in the flow. Small bits of joy, like this Mo'o (lizard) riding an open G.

Something to enjoy! Mahalo ckb.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Kakou mind

Kakou. We (plural, inclusive)
Kakou mind. to think in terms of we/us

Just received the latest Podcast of Leo Kupa, E Ho'olono mai from our son Kawika and Hui Mauli Ola. This one features Keola Souza who talks about Mākau Kino- returning to kanaka ʻōiwi ways of learning to restore mana and maintain pono.

The thing that continues to inspire and recharge me is the exuberance and timely messages that my husband and I receive from these teachings. Open to receive and learn everyday is super important. To keep open channels from the young(er) than we are with a new spin on Ancestral Wisdom, that is a great experience. 

The Kakou Lessons Keola shares was just the bait this old tuna(ahi) needed. Listen closely as this young Kanaka teacher shares one of his favorite 'Olelo No'eau late in the podcast. 

Mahalo nui loa hiapo and hui.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thank you

"We cross borders without regard, ignorant or arrogant of the protocol native to the transitional spaces that take us from this place to that place. Traditions remembered and practiced would maintain and pass along the right things to do, at the right time, and in the right frame of mind. Have we all become wanderers with passports unstamped with the memory of teachings from the Ancestors and Nature? There are rituals to remember and common magic to induce respect and reverence for the beings and places that share this planet."
 - The 'Introduction' to the medicine story The Safety Pin Cafe

So, as Pete and I dig into the corners to dust and shuffle through the gathered this-and-that's of our lives, tossing the rubble and packing the precious, and make room for our next beautiful place and welcoming communities on Haumea we remember the rituals and the protocol ... we give thanks for what we have, what we have had, and those seen and invisibles who have made it possible. These pictures don't identify you all, but know we aloha all of you. Pardon us if we forgot and left anyone out.

Hover over the pictures for descriptions.

Mahalo nui loa kakou,
Mokihana and Pete

P.S. Just because it makes me smile to see this dimple face bruddah. Let's play with the Ukulele, in this post for giving mahalo nui. "Mastering Difficult Chords" I need this lesson!!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Moon (in Leo) Road Trip

We tapped into the sun-rich energy of a Leo New Moon, packed up our faithful Subaru "Scout" and headed for the dry country tides of Sisters, Oregon. After six beautiful years of rooting and building community in South Whidbey Island, we are spurred to find a new place to continue our Safety Pin Cafe Lifestyle. We have just unpacked from a four day road trip and are reassured that there is indeed more to being on this beautiful planet.

The photos here show where we have been: "Dry Country Tideland." We were welcomed to a beautiful place in the Sisters desert to visit a friend, and the Pack of four dogs who are the inspiration for the canine characters in Beatrix Blunt. At 3,000 feet elevation, the shift in environment is dramatic. Sparse vegetation, dry air, heat and canyon breezes teach me how to sense anew with reverence and respect for who and what is there. I introduce myself to the beings of this dry country and let them hear my voice. My lungs and sinuses clear, breath comes easier, differently, with the dry country tides. It is that ease in breathing I had come to experience.

Hover over the photos for a description.

Our route north, from Sisters took us through the beautiful big rolling hills and ancient spaces of this great 'aina, the land. When we were new to the vardo, our tiny home on wheels, we traveled this same route out of Bend, Oregon where we visited with our same friend and parked in a horse pasture for several weeks. We wished to be with that route again, and were blessed with a comfortable temperature, relatively empty roads, and awe inspiring kilo (observations) that have grown in perception and layered in knowledge. Thanks to many years of living with Mahina and her path of Kaulana (the Hawaiian Moon Calendar) our connection to natural moon cycles has fine-tuned our practice. We notice so much more. We are grateful. Mahalo Na Akua.

The new cycle of Mahina has begun. We are thankful for the experience of being able and willing to open up those safety pins long enough to re-pin them into a future of caring and service, and sharing The Safety Pin Cafe in its evolving nature. We have some new perspectives to fold into our reality. There's plenty to juggle and some of it's not solid. Satori wrote this about the astrology of this new day:

"Thursday morning the Moon hits Virgo, sextiling Juno in Scorpio then moving into conjunction with Mercury. Early on, find your emotional focus point and power up. Steady yourself but stay ready to shift to keep balance. It’s complicated by the Moon’s brief square to Mars in Sagittarius. Don’t bolt: settle. Settle your mood regardless of what needs doing... Read the rest
E Ola. Here's to life, and many thanks to our friends Leslie, Tony and the Pack for the hospitality!