They looked to the sky for answers. Astrology: the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world. As history has taught us, ancient cultures across the world have relied heavily on celestial observations; following the stars and phases of the moon to help them dictate their own behaviors. The Egyptians built magnificent pyramids based on exact calculations that were carefully aligned with specific points in the sky. Ancient explorers sailed the open sea using the twinkling lights above to guide their way.
The connection between our environment and our survival has always been apparent in the Hawaiian culture. There is respect for the land, the ocean, and even the moon. Known as Mahina in the Hawaiian language, the moon holds great significance to the Hawaiian people and was looked to as a way of managing their resources for centuries.
The moon can affect many things on earth. Depending on its position in the sky, timing of its rise, and distance from the earth, the Mahina (moon) can greatly affect tidal flow and marine activity. The Hawaiians took the lunar rhythms very seriously and used its phases as a guide to determine the best conditions for fishing, as well as planting. They understood the importance of scarcity and abundance; making sure to have balance and protect their resources.
The phases of the moon not only signaled the best time to fish, but also times of kapu, a forbidden period when no fishing or planting could take place. It was a management system that worked to keep their resources plentiful. By keeping an eye on the sky, the Hawaiian people understood that everything is connected and through careful observations, they could live harmoniously with nature.
For a full explanation of the Hawaiian Moon Phases including the names of each and their effect on the tides, visit http://www.wpcouncil.org/community/Indigenous_Display-1.pdf.