Monday, August 18, 2008
A Journey Through Time
While visiting Hawai'i, we went to two sites which feature extensive examples of petroglyhps (and I would suggest spirit mapping).
The first site we visited was at Puako, north of the Kona airport and located on the grounds of the Mauna Lani resort. During a walk through a beautiful forest of gnarled kiawe trees, we passed small examples of lone petroglyhps, including the one pictured above. I was struck by the expression of the figure and what seems to be the yonic symbology between her/his(?) legs.
This next image was also one of the ones along the route to the site's main viewing platform. I got the impression that this was one of "the ancient Mysterious Ones" of Hawai'i - this is what I heard from the spirit of the place and Pele. When viewing other petroglyhps on the island and doing some reading upon returning home in "Spirit of Place: Petroglyhps of Hawi'i" by Georgia Leee and Edward Stasack, I realized there are a number of representations of composite beings - those who appear as combinations of human and animal. I (and researchers) take these to mean that they are representations of shamans, priestesses, Mysterious Ones, spirits, etc. - something related to mystery.
Of course, the turtle is prominent among the petroglyhps, and it's no wonder. These lovely creatures are everywhere around the island, and in the petroglyhps, there are examples of the composite images I mention above - a melding of turtle and human. (Interestingly, while dancing one morning on the beach, I met what I realized was a Queer Mysterious One who was part turtle and part human. Most lovely...) However, Lee and Stasack note that turtle petroglyhps aren't a common element in Hawaiian rock art - still, I saw them with some regularity - perhaps it was just the spots I visited.
At the end of the path is a very large slab of lava with carvings all over it. Taking pictures of this area was not only impossible but seemed rude somehow, given the power emanating from the spot. I experienced lots of visions going on in this place and incredible ancestral power bumps here. I got the impression that there was a gret deal of spirit mapping happening on this spot - the life of a people writ in the remnants of an ancient eruption. Lee and Stasack suggest that many of the figures are dancing here, and many are strongly female, with carved vulvas being very clear.
The second site we visited was Pu'uoloa in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, and it features over 20,000 petroglyphs. Looking at these images, I couldn't help but remember the spirit mapping work I've done with Donald Engstrom-Reese and how we've often discussed tha this type of expression can be found where-ever humans dwell. For me, this site reflected some of the maps I've done with various groups - people overlapping and adding to each other's images.
Most prominent at this site are small concave shapes dug into the rock. It is believed that at least some of these were used (and are still used) by Hawaiians to place their babies' umbilical cords in.
This image is one that I was particularly struck by. There really seems to be a story here of some sort.
I felt great ancestral power in this place, and as with much of the island (and on Maui last year), I had the impression from the spirit peoples of this land that there is a longing for Queer Priestesses of all stripes to return to their traditional roles. We have various vital functions that are going unfulfilled at this time, and of all times, the planet could really use it now. (See an interview with Malidoma Some for one idea about all this.)
That's it for today. More about the Ocean Mother and the glorious beaches of Hawai'i coming soon!