Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Hina





Since this series is all about women, and women and the moon go hand in hand, a genuine Moon Goddess had to be included in the line-up. This is Hina, a Hawaiian goddess commonly associated with the moon. Hawaiian mythology is incredibly rich and also pretty complicated to get into for newcomers I found. This is because all the Gods and Goddesses have many different forms, and thus many different stories about them. In Hawaiian these forms are called kino lau (many bodies).

Hina is one of the eldest and most important goddesses around and is known all over the Pacific. Essentially, she represents female energy. In many stories she is closely associated with the moon, the ocean, as well as healing. In one of the more common stories describing her as the moon goddess she flees earth and her worthless family to escape to the moon. 

Hina, although a goddess, had come down to live on earth because she loved the Hawaiian islands so much. But her husband beat her, her children didn't appreciate her, and life was just generally not good for Hina down on Earth. Exhausted and fed up, she decided to leave. She casts a rainbow to the sun, thinking she would take up shelter there, but had to abandon her journey as she becomes increasingly exhausted and thirsty on her way there. The next morning she woke up early, gathered some provisions, and quietly exited the house. Her husband caught on to her though and quickly gave chase. Hina cast a rainbow at the first object she saw in the night sky; it was the setting Moon on the western horizon. She struggled to step up onto the rainbow, but pushed herself, knowing that her husband could catch her at any moment.

At the point, the Gods saw the danger that Hina was facing and moved the Moon closer to Her. Now Hina realized that she was receiving assistance from above and breathed a sigh of relief…. knowing that now her husband could not catch her; he could not climb the rainbow. But, just when she thought she was safe, she lost her footing, fell, and began sliding back down the rainbow. Her husband caught her foot and began pulling on her.

Hina, in a desperate attempt to survive, flipped over on her back and kicked her husband in the face…and then she cast a thunder clap which was so long and loud that her husband had no choice but to let her go so he could cover his ears. Once free of his grasp, Hina regained her footing and eventually made it to the Moon safely. Once there, she began to forget about her dreadful earthly family as she sat up a new, happier home for herself. And from time to time, she would send thunder and lightening down to the Earth…for her own amusement.


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