I remember the day the earth
opened up for me,
breathing me into being
Through a long line of women
Just to create me.
Where red rivers ran free
carrying the dreams of a people
across oceans of rich history,
navigating space from the stars
through pacific seas.
I remember when stories
molded the thoughts of children,
spoken through seers and shaman
Healer in the form of woman.
We flow with the waters of life, river in the ocean, constantly expanding, mapping and seeking new horizons, just like the moon and her cyclical dance of both life, death and rebirth. Today I began to bleed. The sacred red ochre of cosmic star dust dwells within my womb, as I contract with omnipotent power I sit and honor this space of deep internal reflection. I melt into the rhythmic tides of existence, for I know this time of sacred communion is an offering to ceremony with both Hinateiwaiwa and my matriarchal elders. I respect the old ways of my Tupuna and put aside the world and its relentless demands to first honor myself. I was suppose to go to the gym this morning, package and send ten orders sitting on my dining room table, visit my koro on the other side of the city, then get my haircut. It’s been over a year since I tended my split ends. But as I woke from a deep sleep my whare tangata was already calling me to sit with her, be with her, honor her. So I dropped my boys to kura and made my way home to the valley and comfort of my bed to trace this sacred thread.
How often do women ignore their own needs, drowning themselves within a world that has lost track of its own sense of space, a society that prioritizes work and economy over holistic health and family. Tell me, how many wahine honor the blood cycle of their creation?Majority are raised to believe popping pills and injecting themselves is the only way to navigate birth control and ones sacred tides. Preventing the growth and release of an egg and changing the natural currents of ones awa moves against the innate connection of all that is, it cuts the cord of maternal wisdom from flowing through your womb, abandoning the transference of conscious matter. I have experienced first hand the side effects of such man made intervention in the years of my adolescence, and how it distorted the natural rhythms of my body, spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. I have felt the shame of blood stained jeans as a teenage girl and insecurities of hormonal imbalance when I moved into darker aspects of my shadow. I have indeed felt the wrath of the western world and its primitive views on women and menstruation and how completely ridiculous, outdated and insecure they are. I have never resonated with the western world, it’s a far cry and foreign to my worldviews as a Maori woman and mother of sons. I speak openly to my six year old about the tapu of ikura, he sits with me and my collected blood and we gift offerings of healing, respect and restoration to Papatūānuku. We smudge and we chant, we light candles and we sing. Oh, how i wish i was raised with such ritual in my kotiro days! I am however grateful to plant such sacred seeds within the minds of my son’s offering insight into the ways of a woman’s womb, perhaps then we will begin to see the brothers attune to the higher frequency of the divine feminine. Ko Papatūānuku te whaea o te whenua – from one mother to another each honoring ones spiritual connection to the kokowai of the earth and to oneself.
In times of old wahine Maori would retire from all chores, child rearing, gardening and curating while bleeding the tides of the Mareikura, the tane of the villages would step up to prepare kai and take care of daily rituals while our wahine would rest and wananga in her time of blood shed. This is a potent time to commune with ones elders in the spiritual realms, in this space between spaces we are likened to that of the Goddess, a divine, invisible thread of all that was, is and ever will be. Like the tides of Hine Moana, they ebb and flow with the celestial bodies and influence of Hinateiwaiwa, the woven tapestry of creation is birthed through us, from the primordial womb of Tangaroa to the whare tangata of wahine ma. We would gaher certain herbs and ingest them at certain phases of the lunar cycle to prevent conception, more so than often the seed of child was waited upon, and the more children the richer and more abundant you were as a whanau. And we can birth more than our children, right now I am in the process of birthing House of Hina which was many years in the making, she had been within the cosmological womb of incubation during a time of incredibly deep spiritual transformation. She was in fact conceived within my womb, the essence of her kakano was fertilized while in Hawaii in 2014 at Kukaniloko a wahi tapu of our kanaka relations, an ancient birthing site of Wahine Rangatira, a ceremonial space and living altar of both tangata and Atua, a celestial portal to access higher streams of consciousness. My Hawaiian mama (medicine woman and teacher) and a dear brother of learned uhi took me to lay offerings and as we arrived it began to shower with rain. I learned upon leaving when Ranginui cries tears for Papatūānuku while upon this wahi it is a tohu and blessing from the Gods. This is where the seed of Hina stirred my blood memory, this is where it all began…