Dancing in the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple
Because I have so many dead people in my life story, and have explored how to hold onto those relationships, people often ask me if I’ve ever experienced a “spirit.” This morning I’m remembering one very clear experience.
I was in Hawaii. This was my second trip, this one alone, after I had won a trip to HI a year or so earlier. (Also a delightful story) I’ve dearly loved Hawaii, felt at home as if I’ve lived here before. I was on the island of Kauai, the farthest out of the main islands and one less populated (so far) by Westerners. I’d read that the ruins of an ancient temple were on a cliff somewhere near this beach. I walked the long length of the beach to the end and found myself at the foot of a high wooded hill; a small path up began nearby. I started the steep climb and eventually found myself at an open place, clearly the old temple ruins. Three tiers of earth/sand each marked into a rectangle by stones, and all looking out over the shining blue ocean, with trees on either side giving privacy to the view. Where I stood at the end of the path, a circle of stones was full of small tokens people had left.
I walked quietly and slowly out into the sandy area of the former temple. Then I felt a happy urge to dance here. I’d been taking lessons in Hawaiian dancing; I wasn’t particularly good at it but I did love it and had kind of mastered one dance. So I began to do it there, facing out towards the ocean, feeling the wind and sun on my body as I flowed in this hula story.
At one point I faltered a little: I always messed up in that place in the dance. I went on and finished. When I was done, I felt a presence. It felt masculine, somewhat large and old, and it said to me, “DO IT AGAIN.” So I did it once more, feeling now that I was being watched. I faltered again at the same place. When I finished, I felt the presence loving me somewhat as a child is loved, like ‘Okay, you tried,’ but the voice told me that “One should not make mistakes; one should dance perfectly in the temple.”
I promised I would practice the dance and come back and do it perfectly.
As of today, I have not done this. I’m not sure I could remember the dance now and even less sure I could walk the length of the beach and climb the hill! Goddess willing, perhaps I could remember the dance and do it at home here.
Yes, I have experienced a spirit. And – discovered that I was being watched by one! I felt that he lived there still, as if time stood still for him, and that anyone who entered this historical area should honor and be aware of him. Dancing in a temple is a prayer and a communal experience; one should do it with proper reverence and – perfection!
I’ll add another small Kauai experience. As I flew off on a small plane back to the island of Oahu, I held in my hand a short smooth stick I’d picked up to carry home as a souvenir. As my plane rose and I looked out the window, I felt the anger of the island coming at me strongly for taking the stick! So now not only do I owe a perfect dance to a Hawaiian ancient one but I have a small stick I must somehow keep separate from all my other earthy collections and return one day to its land.
3 Replies to “Dancing in the ruins of an ancient Hawaiian temple”
When I traveled with nephew and niece to Germany, I had two experiences. I was very aware that we were there on holiday, that the weather was absolutely perfect. Always, however, I was also aware of the suffering that had been inflicted on many in Germany. My nephew was driving us down an autobahn, when suddenly I…got the heeby jeebies…. Shortly we passed the highway sign pointing the way to Auschwitz. I felt the pain, the sorrow, the suffering of the Holocaust still hanging over the land. I have always felt other people's pain, so this experience was on that same spectrum of life experiences. It's just that I felt the pain but the people whose pain it was were gone.
Another day, another experience: Again my nephew was driving. This time we were on a small mountain road. Suddenly we came around a bend and below was a walled city on an island between two rivers. We drove closer; we passed fields full of crops that I had never seen growing in this life, but I also recognized them. My heart lifted in recognition. I recognized this city. In some other life, I lived near that city, probably helped raise those crops; I was home.
I don't know if those two experiences come from two different earlier lives, or one. I don't know if I was rounded up from that little city and shipped to Auschwitz to die. I don't know if I lived and died in the little city, and in another life died in Auschwitz. All I know for sure is that little city had been near my home, and I was happy to see it once more.
How interesting! We know things like this without knowing how. It takes courage to trust these knowings.
I want to add, Mariellen, that I believe your instincts were right on about the little island and a past life. No need to question that. Auschwitz is a different issue: the land itself probably holds memory and emotions from that big event, perhaps even some of the spirits of the dead stay around. When I was in Brazil people said we should avoid a certain city because a hundred years ago there was a slave uprising that failed and was horrible; sensitive people are aware of many angry spirits still around that city.