By Pamela Murphy, For centuries, the Hawaiian culture has sculpted their lives using the celestial maps for survival. They crossed the oceans using the stars to navigate their path. They created a lunar calendar, which had 12 or 13 months with 30 days. Each of these days had a moon phase and each phase a different name that was important to daily life. The names reflected typical weather conditions, or the effects certain phases had with plants or animals (including fish). All the fishing and farming was done in accordance with the 30 phases of the moon. This helped to build a society that could be sustained, living on the islands year round. It was a society that lived in full respect to the land, Aina.
This was their way of conserving supplies by following the phases of the moon. Certain fish reserves had a moon phase as well as certain crops. Many of the Hawaiian flowers were harvested during moon phases for ceremonies and lei making. Over the years the influence of western society has changed these practices.
However, much of the Hawaiian culture continues using the moon calendar to determine the best times for fishing and farming. They believe that certain phases of the moon is optimum for catching fish, other days that are not. There are also certain phases of the moon that are best to plant seeds and other phases for the harvest of Hawaiian plants.
In Western culture, the moon was seen in four phase, in ancient American Indian cultures, each tribe had names for the moon, which related their ways of life and the seasons. While our lives are constantly changing, one thing is consistent with modern life; we have lost touch with the ancient wisdom and the influences of the stars and planets. We have also lost the sensitivity to the subtle changes that are happening on the earth. We forget that many of the important “days to celebrate” were also all based on the placement of the stars and planets. It is certainly possible to re learn these ways; it is just a matter of interest. If you would like to read or learn more about fishing in Hawaii click HERE or farming with the phases of the moon click HERE