boat logo

Teaching Hut Village Gate


The Huna of String Figures: A Secret Magic Revealed
by Lois Stokes

Now you see it - now you don't. Tap three times with the magic wand and it disappears. Say the magic words and it will reappear. The words and actions of magicians and tricksters have been with us since the story-telling days of the early shaman. The mythic hero Maui was a trickster known throughout Polynesia who used his powers to help the people by fishing up the islands and slowing down the sun. Today we have Star Wars and Harry Potter. "May the force be with you."

People have always been enraptured by mystery and of the unseen worlds. We have been intrigued with the hidden knowledge, the secret wisdom, the kahuna magic. The Hawaiian word Huna among other things has a literal meaning of hidden secret; hidden. Esoterically it is not a knowledge that was kept a secret from us but rather one that lies within and must become realized. Here too we find the element of magic that what has been hidden can be seen again. We just need to know the ritual of accessing that unseen energy.

What does this force, this energy mean to us and what can we do with it? There are many schools of knowledge and the world really is what we think it is. My journey into ancient wisdom has taken the path that explores a children's game whose underlying structure holds the secret of tapping into the current of energy which we can use to promote harmony, health and wellness.

If there are no limits and if thought is energy, then our prayers, our conscious or imagined thoughts directed to spirit, to our higher self, are also connected to our subconscious mind. As we strengthen the connections or kaula o - the spirit line - our prayers are answered through this flow of energy. What makes some prayers answered and others not may be the blockages in our memories that reduce the energy through our aka body and our connection to the flow.

The secret behind string figures is that this child's game is actually a tool that can be used to remove blockages and to actualize dreams by increasing our connection to the flow of energy and the wave of manifestation.

We have found that the making of knots and the untying of knots can be a powerful technique for removing the constriction in the flow of energy towards manifestation of your prayers and your dreams. On the First level they are a physical movement with an obvious feeling of energy release. On the Second level they are a telepathic connection between the conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the higher self. On the Third level they are symbolic of blockage and release of that blockage or of prayer and release of that prayer. On the Fourth level there is oneness between you and the string.

There is a string figure made on Hawaii called Hana Ka Uluna , or "Prepare The Pillow." This figure was used in a ritual of healing. A series of knots were made and prayers were offered. The knots represented the illness or constriction and the untying of the knots represented the release from that illness or blockage.

The following method of tying and untying of knots comes from this ancient Hawaiian healing ritual: A loop is made by turning the right hand part of the string on top of the left, then a part of the right hand string is pulled up through this loop, and by pulling slightly taut, a loop is made; then more of the right hand string is pulled up through this new loop and the hanging strings pulled tight and so on until a series of knots are made. Five is a healing number so we typically make and release five knots.

Serge King teaches how to use words, images, feelings and movements to impress the subconscious mind. The making of string figures is the movement part of this equation. When combined with words, images and feelings the force is with you and you feel the power that brings about the intended change.

Now comes the concept of duality and oneness. If knots can represent blockage they can also represent the opposite which in this case is the dream itself. There are always two sides of the coin. The Hawaiian people understood this expression of opposites. It is clearly seen in the word HUNA. One word that is composed of HU the active energy and NA the passive energy; the male and the female aspects of ourselves.

The wave of energy, the rhythm of the patterns, the duality and the oneness is seen in the ancient art of Hei or Hawaiian String Figures. In string figures as in hula there is symmetry; from above and from below; from the mountains and from the sea; from inside and out. What the right hand does is seen in the movement of the left.

The knot that represented the constriction also represents the dream. From this perspective the making of knots can also represent blessings, dreams and prayers; and the releasing of these knots can represent the release of those blessings and dreams into the universe and off to the higher spirit in the form of a prayer.

What is most important is the intent. If your intent is to release the blockages, then tie the knots as symbols of that intent. If your intent is to make blessings then imbed those knots with the intent of blessing.

I have been trained in the Huna Philosophy and the Shaman Traditions of Hawaii by Serge Kahili King. As an Alaka'i I have adapted and expand my kahu's teachings to reflect the living legacy that has come to me. I thank him for his teachings as I conclude this article with the Hu and Na of string figures:

Ike: A knot is a knot is not a knot. Be aware of the knots in your life. Are they constrictions or are they blessings?
Kala: We are all connected by the aka cord. We are all free to release or to make knots.
Makia: Energy flows along this cord and what you do with it is up to you.
Manawa: The tying or the weaving movement is in the present moment. What you do now has its affect on your future.
Aloha: Like the Hawaiian Lei (a string of flowers), the intent is love and harmony.
Mana: The power comes from within you as you weave, braid or strengthen the aka cord of communication between your three selves.
Pono: The wisdom of net making or constructing a new set of beliefs is a gift from our ancestors.

More information about string figures can be found at .

palm isle
[Top of page]

Copyright by Aloha International 2001
Contact Us