January 29, 2013

Hina: The Hawaiian Butterfly Goddess

Posted in Goddess Project, Goddess Things tagged , , at 9:01 am by Babs

Near the mountains of Hilo, and appearing each one closer to the ocean, are three extinct craters in the shape of hollow hills.  They are called Halai, Opeapea and Puuhonu.  The soil on these hills were especially rich and the area was blessed with abundant rain.  The Goddess Hina, Mother of Maui, gave Halai to her daughter, Hina Keahi, mistress of fire.  She gave Puuhonu to her daughter, Hina Kuluua, mistress of rain.  The women settled on their bountiful lands and their people prospered for a long, long time.

Uli was a kahuna who could see into the future.  Her powers were legendary throughout the islands and she refused Hakalanileo’s request, for she foretold tragedy in their union.  The chief was relentless, standing unmoving in the face of Uli’s arguments, willing to accept any fate for the chance to be with Hina.  Finally, Uli relented and Hina and Hakalanileo were married.  However, it was not without warning.  Uli impressed upon the young chief that he must guard Hina well, for the light of his life would soon be stolen and the winds of change would not bring happiness.  She told him to beware when the night winds blow across the sea from the northern islands.

Several blissful years passed as Hina bore two sons.  The land was peaceful and Hakalanileo became content as his people and his family prospered.  Eventually, Uli’s warning became a faint memory that drifted from his mind.

There lived on the distant island of Moloka’i, a legendary chief, ferocious in battle and handsome in form.  It was said that he killed hundreds of men with his bare hands and piled the bodies high on the alter to Moa’ali’i, the shark god of Moloka’i.  Some say that he swallowed whole, the left eye of these sacrifices.  His name was Kaupe’epe’e and he was the king of Moloka’i.

Songs praising the beauty of Hina, Hilo’s queen, swept through the islands and reached the ears of Kaupe’epe’e.  He became intrigued and sought her out during a secret visit to Hilo.  There, he saw that the poet’s words were true and found himself mesmerized by Hina.  He approached the situation with reckless abandon and formulated a plan to take Hina, risking his life and his kingdom for his new-found love.

It was on an evening when a cool wind blew from the north, Hina and her attendants were bathing in the ocean as they always did, when a canoe slid among them under the cover of darkness.  Hina was lifted into the canoe which slipped soundless away and over the reef before anyone knew anything was amiss.

The canoe landed on Moloka’i where Kaupe’epe’e was waiting.  He carried Hina up the rocky cliffs to his legendary fortress, Ha’upu.  There he kept her prisoner, offering her all she could want save her freedom, for as long as his heart was her captive, he could not let her go.

Hina demanded to be released and shouted hateful words at the handsome chief, but his temper did not flare and he returned to speak with her often during her years of captivity.

Having expected Kaupe’epe’e to be forceful and frightening, Hina was amazed at how kind and gentle he was.  She began to look forward to his visits and a bond grew between them.

As the years passed, Hina’s sons grew to be tall and handsome warriors and jointed their father’s unrelenting search to find their mother.  They were, however, unsuccessful as no clues were left on the night of Hina’s disappearance.  Finally, Hina’s sons went to see Uli, who consulted the signs of prophecy and was granted permission by the spirits to repeat the warning she had given Hakalanileo so many years before.

“Beware when night winds blow across the sea from the northern islands.”  The island north of Hawaii was Moloka’i.  Hina’s sons decided that their mother must be a prisoner in Ha’upu, the impenetrable fortress, and they resolved to go on an impossible mission to rescue her.  Chiefs from the other Hawaiian islands agreed to join in on the attack to finally bring the fearsome Kaupe’epe’e down.

Over one thousand red war canoes made their way to Moloka’i with Hina’s husband, sons and mother leading the way.  Warriors paddled hard and chanted while war drums pounded a steady beat.

One canoe was dispatched ahead bearing the promise that the fortress would be left untouched if Hina was released.  Kaupe’epe’e would not comply, answering instead that Hina lead a happy life and that he would rather die than give her up.

Kauppe’epe’e’s forces stood ready.  Each movement of the enemy was observed and planned for.  The great fortress was filled with warriors ready to give their lives for their chief.  Kauppe’epe’e looked upon his men with sadness in his eyes, for he knew that he could not guarantee their survival.  He granted pardon to anyone who wanted to leave, but none did.

When darkness fell, the army from Hilo began swarming up the rocky cliffs.  Kaupe’epe’e had planned for this and unleashed a wall of rock that had been prepared earlier.  Boulders rushed down the gorge where the men were climbing and screams of death echoed shrilly throughout the darkness.  Blood washed down over crushed bodies and the first battle was decided.

The Hilo force, however, had been very resourceful and while Kaupe’epe’e had been occupied with the frontal assault, warriors had begun a rear assault as well.  Trees had been cut down and lashed together to make a monstrous shield which could be moved forward while protecting those behind it from spears, rocks, and arrows.  Every night, the shield was moved forward and every day the army from Hilo came closer to the fortress that was once considered invincible.

One day, heavy storm clouds moved in turning day to night.  The wind whipped in all directions and rain fell as though the land was pointed by a waterfall.  Kaupe’epe’e posted a few guards and brought his men in the fortress to keep dry.  This proved to be a mistake, for the men from Hilo pushed their mighty shield right up to the fortress walls in the cover of darkness and began swarming over the walls.  The guards’ warnings were swallowed up in the downpour and the wind and the army of Hilo swept  through the fortress, cornering and killing Kaupe’epe’e’s warriors.  Kaupe’epe’e was pierced through the breast with a spear wielded by one of Hina’s sons.

“For her sake, you live as I die.  Honor your queen mother.”  Kaupe’epe’e’s last words escaped his lips as his body fell lifeless onto the blood-soaked floor.

Hina was found unharmed deep within the temple and she was returned to Hilo.  The once formidable fortress, Ha’upu, was torn apart so that not one single stone remained in place.  The body of Kaupe’epe’e was recovered and honored with a royal burial.  His bones were hidden on his beloved Moloka’i.

Hina lived the rest of her days with her sons and husband as the graceful queen of Hilo.  However, she would often go alone to the ocean where she would watch the tossing waves.  There crept into her eyes a wistful joy whenever the winds from the north blew through her hair and across her face.

Hina is the champion of words and ideas.  She is a butterfly goddess representing meaningful communication between women and facilitator of sharing the truth between women and men.

Suggested Mantra: Communication

Suggested Affirmations:

  • I share truth
  • I feel release through communication
  • It is easy to articulate my feelings
  • I release my anger, I embrace joy
  • I connect with my needs, and let them be known
  • My insecurity is replaced with wisdom


  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Aquamarine
  • Turquoise
  • Light Blue Stones

More about Hina:

Hina is a Butterfly Goddess of the Pacific Islanders.  She is known as the first woman hence the Hawaiian word for woman: wahine.  She lives in the moon, having traveled there on a rainbow path via the sun.

She represents meaningful communication and the sharing of truth between women and men.  Her message is to forgive past transgressions and give up negative attitudes that prevent you from growing as a person.  In short, she helps you make the choice to be more heartfelt with others and fly free from the cocoon that binds you.

As a communicator, her inspiring speeches and ideas give birth to new ways of thinking.  She is a messenger, a carrier of news and creator of ideas.  Whipping her followers into fervor of idealism, her speeches vibrate with inspirational energy.

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