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Everybody’s heard of Hula, right? But have you ever heard of Kahili? 

Don’t feel bad if you have not. Even many Hawaiians have not. It is a fading, if not, a lost art. Yet Kahili (pronounced kah-HEE-lee) is one of the most beautiful old traditions of the Sandwich Isles (ancient name for Hawaii). throne-room-closeup-1

Kahili are feathered standards that look like torches used from ancient times by Hawaiian royalty. Similarly to how the nobility of Europe use banners with coats of arms and feathers in their hats, the Hawaiian nobility used kahili to show status, lineage, and family ties. 

iolani-palace-honolulu-hawaiiElizabeth and I learned that when we first visited the beautiful Iolani Palace in Honolulu over three years ago. And that’s not the only thing we learned. Check out this excerpt from my story Discovering Enchanted Oahu (May 2011):

“The Iolani palace was built in 1882 by Hawaii’s last king, David Kalakaua.  Its name means a royal or heavenly hawk.  Since King Kalakaua did not leave an heir, he was succeeded by his sister, Queen Liliuokalani.  The queen was deposed in 1893 in a coup d’etat led by American businessmen and backed by the bayonets of the U.S. Marines from USS Boston.  Thus ended the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Hawaii which was at the time recognized as an independent country by Britain, France, Germany… and yes, the United States, too.  The last Hawaiian Queen spent eight months as a prisoner in a single room in her own palace.Oahu5_25-7

One hundred years later, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 103-150, otherwise known as the Apology Resolution, signed by President Bill Clinton on Nov 23, 1993. The resolution apologized for the U.S. Government’s role in supporting the 1893 overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii.”

Ever since, boScreen Shot 2012-12-07 at 8.14.08 PMth Elizabeth and I have been trying to honor and preserve the ancient Hawaiian traditions, each in our own way.

Being an artist, she became at first interested in, and then a skilled practitioner of Hawaiian arts.  She started to practice Hula. She learned how to make exquisite Lauhala bracelets – from scratch, starting with the green leaves from a neighbor’s tree.


And then she learned that most difficult, and thus most treasured ancient art – making a royal Kahili. You can see some of her art creations in the above shot. And this morning (Aug 14), I took some more pictures of her Kahili’s in our Rainbow Shower home.

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Just to give you an idea how difficult they are to make, the four foot Kahili’s you are looking at are mave of over 1,500 feathers. And each of them has to be individually glued and woven into a desired pattern. I remember back in 2012, when Elizabeth created these, feathers were literally flying all over the Rainbow Shower for months. 🙂

As a result, you can imagine that they are quite rare, and thus very expensive. (Elizabeth did sell some of them for a 12-21-12 spiritual conference on the Big Island).

As for Signs 049my contribution toward the preservation of the HSigns 002awaiian culture and traditions, I did create some of the art objects, such as those two black and red Pele/Fire Goddess sculptures around Elizabeth’s black and red Kahili.  And these bamboo and coconut creations from our first year at the Rainbow Shower.  

Shaman’s Art: Co-creating with Nature

More importantly, guided and helped by the Spirits, included Hawaiian spiritual deities like Pele, Namaka, Kanehoalani, etc., I set out to turn the seven acres of the Rainbow Shower into a Hawaiian-style Garden of Eden in Paradise on Earth (Maui).

Acting as a mere caretaker, or a Steward of the Earth, if you prefer, I realized early on that the only way that something like that can be achieved is by working with Mother Earth and Father Sun as co-creators.  

This week, for example, I was moved to transplant four Dwarf Green T-plants from the Upper Rainbow Shower to the Anahata-Huaca-Ahu (AHA), the sacred place in the center of the Triangle of Light and the Heart Chakra of Mother Earth.  IMG_2113


Because they looked like Kahili’s to me. And I visualized them as royal IMG_2099standards or torches that grace the three corners of a triangle that comprises the AHA sacred place.

As I was digging the holes for them yesterday, sweat pouring down my entire body as the ground has become quite hard with no rain since Hurricane Iselle bypassed us, then watering the roots to give our new Green T-Kahili’s a loving start, I kept thinking about awful we, the white society, the “Haole’s,” have been toward the Native Hawaiians. In my mind, I poured my love for them along with water into the roots of the new Kahili’s. And then I asked Pele and other Hawaiian deities to bless them and nurture them to health and prosperity.Passion Merged-filtered

This morning, I drew my Spirit guidance card for the day. And it was Passion of Pele. 🙂

I just smiled. I knew why she showed up to me for the first time since Feb 21 of this year. It was time to share our co-creation with you.

So I grabbed my iPhone (camera), and my first cup of morning coffee, and headed down in the gulch. Won’t you join me for a walk and inspection of our new Kahili’s?

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Afterward, Elizabeth and I talked over breakfast how tomorrow is the 55th anniversary of Hawaiian statehood. IMG_2115For many native Hawaiians, this will be a reminder of an unjust conquest rather than a joyful celebration.  

For that reason, and out of respect for their ancient culture, the Rainbow Shower now flies the old Hawaiian royal flag 24/7 under the Rainbow Shower tree, right next to the Portal of Infinite Wisdom.


I am getting a guidance right now, probably from Pele, that I should also transplant another Green T-plant Kahili next to it. Maybe tomorrow – for the Statehood Day.

Meanwhile, here’s the tonight’s sunset as seen from the Rainbow Shower lanai. I am wearing a new rainbow headband that Elizabeth made for me this evening. 🙂

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UPDATE AUG 15, 2014


Today is Hawaii Statehood Day. I just drew my Spirit guidance for the day. It was Pele again, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes. Yesterday, I published a piece about the Kahili’s/ Pele had not showed up in four months, and now she is here for two days in a row! Thank you, Pele. 

  Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 7.47.29 AMIMG_1900 IMG_1939 To Pele with Love 2

Here’s an original musical score, “To Pele with Love,” that originally came to me in November 2012 at Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island (for the full story, see Healing Ceremonies at Kilauea, South Point (, Nov 24, 2012).

* * *


Just got back from the gulch where I went to give our new Green T-Kahili’s their morning drink. I decided to look in and also water our “Iselle Plumeria,” which I planted just before the Hurricane Iselle to visit the islands (on Aug 5 – “Iselle to Come for Breakfast…“). And I was thrilled to see that Iselle is already blooming, only 10 days after being transplanted! What a wonderful offering for Hawaii State Day!




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