THE KAHUNA, Versatile Masters of Old Hawaii,
by L. R. McBride



In ancient Hawaii the kahuna were far more than the priests of a religious order. They were experts, trained in a variety of skills and occupations, the learned and professional men and women of their time. On them rested the responsibility of preserving and advancing knowledge within their specific discipline. They arrived at their positions only after more than two decades of training. 

L. R. Mcbride collected information about the kahuna for many years through extensive research in 19th century writings and interviews with Hawaiian people. In this fascinating account he gives an accurate and unsensational account of what the kahuna really meant in the Hawaiian culture of long ago. McBride includes fascinating legends and stories concerning individual kahuna. Illusrated with reproductions of historic prints, photographs and drawings by the author and others, The Kahuna presents a readable introduction to a fascinating aspect of ancient Hawaiian culture.

CHANGE WE MUST, by Nana Veary



Nana Veary was a true Hawaiian treasure.  She was the very embodiment of the Spirit of Aloha.  She was born in 1908 and reared by her Hawaiian elders in an environment where language, fishing, healing, building, and all aspects of life were firmly rooted in nature.  In an age of disconnectedness and alienation, Nana was a living reminder of the wisdom and power available to those who live in harmony with creation.  If you want to learn about Hawaiian spirituality from the source -- here it is!  I highly recommend this book.  It might change your outlook on life.

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POLYNESIAN RELIGION, by E. S. Craighill Handy


This is a reprint of Bulletin #34 of the Bishop Museum in Honolulu.  It's a very scholarly work by a world-renowned expert on Polynesia.   It's a little hard to read, but it's an excellent, comprehensive text on Polynesian religion (and the only one that I've found).

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THE HEART of HUNA, by Laura Kealoha Yardley


This is about the best book that I've found about Huna.   Laura Yardley is part Hawaiian, and she has worked with David Bray, Jr., the son of one of Hawaii's most well-known publicly practicing Kahunas. (Kahuna means "keeper of the secret." There were many kinds of Kahunas - there were not just religious Kahunas.  There were Kahunas of canoe building, medicine, divination, fishing, etc.)   Her book is relatively unique because she has divided it into three sections.   The first section focuses on the explanation of Huna principles as developed by Max Freedom Long in the 1930's.  His focus was on Huna as a scientific discipline grounded in psychological principals that had not yet been discovered by Western scientists.  This view is, of course, not the way that the Hawaiian culture traditionally views this information, but it was formulated before "new age" kinds of understanding of Eastern spiritual practices became mainstream.  It was understandable by the "Western" mind.
The second part of the book discusses Huna concepts from the perspective of a Hawaiian Kahuna, David Bray.  This section is much more esoteric from a Western viewpoint, but it definitely demonstrates the Hawaiian world-view and how it can differ from that of Western society (i.e. - ours).  In the third part, Laura integrates the first two sections and provides some comparisons with other spiritual systems.  This is a small book, but it's very well written and is an excellent introduction to Hawaiian concepts of spirituality.

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by David Kaonohiokala Bray


As far as I can tell, this is one of the few books actually written by someone who was the son of a practicing Kahuna who was himself an initiated priest of the "old ways.".  This fine little book is split into 2 very different parts, both of which  actually written by David Bray and then edited by Douglas Low (a published author).  The first part is a sweeping overview of the history of Hawaii from the a spiritual perspective.  It covers a lot of material that will sound familiar to anyone who has studied "huna," but there's a lot of new material from a definitely Hawaiian perspective.  The second half of the book is spiritual all of the way.  The subtitle of the second half is "The Foundation of Heaven; Principles of the Hawaiian Religion. Ho`omanamana, how to make reality of Divine Power."  Whew !!  Some of it is fairly esoteric and a little difficult to understand, but you know what - it feels like the "real thing."  Bray talks about the spiritual rules of the Universe, divine energy, guardian spirits, the laws of polarity, the four creations, the structure of the complete person, the healing arts, etc.  If you are serious about Huna, you need to read this one, several times!   It's also a good companion to the one above.

Kahuna Healing.jpg (5617 bytes) KAHUNA HEALING, by Serge King

This book is a good general introduction to some of the concepts of Hawaiian spirituality.  Mr. King discusses the history of the Hawaiian Islands from several unique perspectives, explaining how various religious orders of the Hawaiian priesthood (kahunas) developed.  He then discusses the major deities, spiritual concepts and beliefs of the Hawaiians, psychic practices, levels of awareness, psychic powers, etc.  He explains Max Freedom Long's concepts of the interconnected levels of consciousness, the 3 selves, aka cords, the 3 "bodies" complexes, etc.  and then discusses Hawaiian healing methods.  The book is written from a fairly "western" viewpoint, and does a good job of introducing the "western" mind to decidedly non-western concepts.  This is a "what is it" kind of book. One of his  other books (see below) is more of a "how to" text.   These two books are good starting points for studying "huna," but it's important to realize that most of the Hawaiian community recognizes them as not being particularly accurate.

Mastering.jpg (5030 bytes) MASTERING YOUR HIDDEN SELF, by Serge King

This is the "how to" book that followed the one above.   Mr. King discusses the rediscovery of Huna, reviews some of the basic concepts covered in "Kahuna Healing," and relates Huna principles to modern psychology.   He then covers the levels of the self in much greater depth and provides practical explanations and exercises in using the principles of "Huna" for self-development.   Concepts covered such things as getting to know your subconscious self,  clearing blockages, increasing your mana (energy) through various techniques,  contacting your superconscious self, using dreams, creative meditation, and many more practical techniques.

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KAHUNA POWER, by Timothy Green Beckley
(Authentic Chants, Prayers & Legends of the Mystical Hawaiians)



This is a STRANGE one !!  More than anything else, it's a kind of "streaming consciousness" collection of psychic impressions of Hawaii.   The author visited Hawaii with psychic Maria Carta in 1986, and the book is the result of their experiences and contacts during their trip.  It kind of bounces all over the place, managing to cover a little bit of everything, including the language, mana, spirits, gods, animals, chants and prayers, the menehune, Madame Pele, herbal remedies, etc.  Even though it's a hodgepodge of stuff, most of it is pretty interesting, especially the stories.  If you are interested in Huna, it should be in your library.

Spiritwalker.gif (10433 bytes) SPIRITWALKER, by Hank Wesselman

This is a fascinating book.  The problem is figuring out how to describe it to you!  Hank Wesselman is an anthropologist by profession who, in his "former life" could be described at least partially as a religious skeptic.   Then, around 1985, he began experiencing vivid altered states which put him in contact with a Hawaiian shaman living 5000 years in the future during a second "stone age" that has come about due to OUR technology. Nainoa and Dr. Wesselman are able to acknowledge each other's presence, establish contact and build a relationship that they both use to explore the age-old questions of "who are we" and "why are we here?"  Dr. Wesselamn resides on the Big Island on a part-time basis and teaches excellent courses in "core" shamanism.  Because if his personal ethics and professionalism, he does  NOT play the game of teaching you to "be Hawaiian" in his seminars.  Not only will you learn something about the Hawaiian culture from this book; you will also learn a great deal about our own perceptions of our world, and probably something about yourself as well.  It gets off to a slow start, but once it gets rolling, it's hard to put down.  I burned the midnight oil often reading this one; highly recommended!!

There is also a related cassette tape available, as well as a web site - Shared Wisdom.

medicinemaker.gif (13768 bytes) MEDICINEMAKER, by Hank Wesselman

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