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Laka

I love to explore the Divine Feminine and write about Goddesses. For a list of those, click on the link: Goddesses. In order to become more balanced within ourselves and, through that, to bring greater balance and harmony to the world around us, we must find greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies within ourselves that each one of us possesses, regardless of physical gender or any other ways of self-identification.

Goddess of Hula & the Wild Forests

Laka is the Hawaiian Goddess of Hula. She is the dancers’ inspiration, representing what they think of while dancing, and that which causes the movement within the dance of the Hula dancers. The Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui explains the term hoʻoulu ʻia as a “surge of strength and control that gets a job finished. That turns an acceptable bit of work into a superior one.”

 

Hula was a serious business. The dance tells stories through the oli and mele, the chants and songs that accompany it and the different steps tell a story. This can go from the gods’ mythology to praising a certain chief’s prowess and fertility. As the Hawaiian knowledge was an oral tradition, their chants conveyed the wisdom and stories of thousands of years of Polynesian history and mythology. As a form of storytelling, the hula comments on or dramatizes the mele.

 

Dancers who were at the beginning of their training had to be placed under the protection of the Goddess Laka because a mistake could cause the benefits of the dance to be cancelled out and misfortune could befall the people. Therefore, it was of the utmost importance to negate these adverse effects through her divine intervention. When seasoned dancers made a mistake during a performance, it was considered to be an omen of bad luck.

 

The Teachings of Tradition

 

Dancers who were at the beginning of their training had to be placed under the protection of the Goddess Laka because a mistake could cause the benefits of the dance to be cancelled out and misfortune could befall the people. Therefore, it was of the utmost importance to negate these adverse effects through her divine intervention. When seasoned dancers made a mistake during a performance, it was considered to be an omen of bad luck.

 

Laka is not only the Goddess of Hula but also of forest growth, symbolising the reproductive energy that helps the forest to thrive and grow. She can be found in the shape of the following plants, her kinolau or form in which she appears, that are treated with the utmost respect: the lama tree, the maile vine, hala pepe, `ie`ie, ki, `ôhia lehua, `ôhelo, palai and the a’ali’i plant.

 

The purple orchid is possibly the most popular and worldwide best known flower from which the Lei garlands are fashioned. Traditionally, the maile vine is used for Leis in Hawaii. It is a sacred plant that has shiny leaves and when stripped of its bark, a lovely scent. It is used to communicate love, respect, blessing, enduring devotion, reverence, friendship, and a desire for peace.

 

Laka’s themes are tradition, heritage, weather and arts. Her symbols are dance, the lei flower and the colour yellow. She is the daughter of Kapo and sister of the Volcano Goddess Pele and, as a nature Goddess, can be invoked for rain. In traditional Hula schools, the hula halau, an altar or kuahu with a very specific order of plants is dedicated before each performance. Afterwards, the flowers are strewn into the water, either into the sea or a deep stream, to honour the Goddess further.

Respect, Commitment & Diligence

 

The name Laka means gentle, docile and to attract. The elements she is associated with are light and rain, connecting her to her husband Lono, the God of Fertility. Mythology tells us that he came down to earth on a rainbow to marry her. Before each performance, a Hula dancer prays to the Goddess Laka to hoʻoulu, or inspire their performance and become one with her in the dance.

 

It is noteworthy that, although Laka is prayed to in every hula dance, very few actually address her. In some Hawaiian traditions, it is said that a brother and sister, both named Laka brought the dance to Hawaii. This is representing the masculine and feminine creative energies being in balance through personifying both aspects individually.

 

As many stories connect Laka not only to fruitfulness and fertility, she is known as the Goddess of love. Being a Goddess of abundance, she is also addressed when wealth is desired.

 

The Goddess Laka teaches us many lessons, such as respect, commitment and diligence. Grace and elegance is what she brings dancers during their sacred dancing. She keeps the dancer connected to the divine, through her creative energy. A dancer is a creator in that he or she brings stories to life. And in an oral tradition where no written records were kept, the dance and chants also keep the knowledge and wisdom of the people alive that would otherwise be lost.

 

It is said that when an old person dies, a whole library dies with them. In an oral tradition that is dependent on the memory of people passing the stories on, an old person has learned many stories and was able to pass them on to the younger generation. When that old person is no longer, the source of knowledge, the proverbial library, is lost.

 

The Creative Force

 

When you meditate with the Goddess Laka, allow her energy to fill you with the divine creative force that guides your words, steps and actions in perfect alignment with the divine guidance. Use this energy to fill you and inspire you to do, whatever your task is, everything with the utmost care and precision. Do not allow yourself to be tempted by laziness to cut corners and do a cowboy job. Take pride in your work, actions and words.

 

As the Goddess Laka inspires you, so bring forth inspiration within you to inspire others. Let the Light of the Goddess shine and allow inspiration to meet on fertile soil in your mind, a breeding ground for the plants of wisdom, knowledge and divinely inspired tradition to develop firm roots and grow into healthy plants – or projects – within as without.

 

By bringing the divine energy of creativity and fertility into the physical realm, you will be able to manifest in alignment with your divine inner wisdom, allowing your intuition to light the path for you to take and to create paradise on earth, which is a metaphor for bringing pure divine energies to life undiluted and in perfect alignment. It means creation from God consciousness, (alternately referred to as Buddha or Christ consciousness and many other terms as well, depending on which tradition you choose from anywhere in the world).

 

As the world is moving into a higher vibration, 2022 being the year where you will notice that manifestations occur much more quickly – for good and bad alike -, Laka is a valuable energy to work with when learning to manifest not by happenstance but with controlled and focused effort. She will help you to become more focused, diligent and committed to your process of creation. As with all else, this is a skill that needs to be honed and Laka’s energy can assist in your endeavours of ever greater mastery of this.

 

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In my upcoming book Fromance, a romantic reverse harem novel set in Hawaii, the female MC, Charlene, is quite the nerd. Her passion is languages, linguistics and the Hawaiian language and history. Her two best friends, Train and Waltz, are a year above her in college. They are secretly both in love with Charlie, as they call her, and admire her for her diligence and commitment to learning and knowledge. Her attention to detail, both in her academic studies, as well as at her place of work in a student coffee shop, has impressed and inspired them both to take their own studies more seriously.

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