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January 1998


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Black Magic - White Magic

By Kihonua

There is a lot of confusion over the role of the ana ana or black magician in the Hawaiian culture. Typified in recent times as a truly dark character who dealt in the sending of death prayers it is well to remember that even in the late 1860's when Samuel Kamakua (Ka Poe Kahiko - The people of Old, Bishop Museum Press) was writing about the Hawaiian culture he remarked that if you were really ill you did not visit a kahuna lapa'au but you went instead to a kahuna ana ana as they were more adept at dealing with illness and disease. This hardly tallies with their dark reputation. In even earlier times the role of the ana ana was vitally important in the ho'oponopono process as a kahuna ana ana or "eater of filth" would be the one who if required exorcised any possessing spirits or who literally scavenged the thought forms within the family consciousness that had crystallised into separate entities. These entities would attach themselves to various family members and even move from one to another causing a great deal of emotional pain and distress. In the modern stories the ana ana is supposed to capture the spirits of the dead and then to send them to do his evil bidding and in olden times this was very much his role in part, the first part only that is! that of capturing any ghosts and helping them to return to Po. Thereby preventing them from harming the living.

In modern times Magick has been defined by the Aleister Crowley as "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will. ANY required Change may be effected by the application of the proper kind and degree of force in the proper manner through the proper medium to the proper object". In this definition every intentional act is a Magical Act, by which criterion we are all magicians to one degree or another. The problem arises with the question "what is your will?" Many people are so consumed by their passions that they will stop at nothing to achieve them. They desire power, fame, money, sex etc and they will let nothing stand in their way even to the point at which other people are harmed (even killed) just so they can have their way. What few people understand is that even our simple desires if fulfilled by the intelligent application of will can have unwelcome consequences, perhaps not for us but for others. The dilemma in this is that it is our conscious will that guides us in our efforts to create the life we want and in magical terms to be most effective we must align our conscious will with our 'true will'.

Crowley said that "the most common cause of failure in life is ignorance of one's own True Will, or of the means by which to fulfil that Will. A man may fancy himself a painter, and waste his life trying to become one; or he may be really a painter, and yet fail to understand and to measure the difficulties peculiar to that career" and "A man who is doing this True Will has the inertia of the Universe to assist him". That is not to say that you cannot manifest your conscious will but that in exerting your power over conditions you may cause great harm to others which will be instantly painful to any good magical practitioner in that they will ''feel' that harm deeply and immediately. Can you still continue along that path? Of course! because you do have free will. To obtain an understanding of one's true will required to use Crowley's words once more "obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of your Holy Guardian Angel", for guardian angel please feel free to substitute any other term you wish e.g. Higher Self, Soul, Buddha Nature or Superconscious mind.

The kahuna ana ana of old Hawaii were the true master magicians and sorcerers, those who sought deep inner communion, who profoundly understood the laws of nature and who could converse with and capture, ghosts or less individuated thought forms and so forth. The curing of disease was no mystery to them. Did some fail in their attempts to discover their true will, yes! It is inevitable! Did they use their powers indiscriminately yes! Did they ultimately suffer great penalties, absolutely! that too is a law! Yet that was only a small minority of the black magicians of old Hawaii The rest sought a much higher calling. Pau!

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