Saturday, December 14, 2013


There are three main cycles that control the ebb and flow of life as we know it. We observe them all and have divided these cycles into segments and given them names relevant to us and our purpose... anei...

First is the daily cycle of planet Earth. The 24 hour repeating cycle of day to day life. Thus we use cycle markers to help us control and define the rise and fall of daily life... like Waenganui Po, Te Ata Hapara, Te Atatu, Poututerangi, Te Ahiahi and Te Rakato... which basically registered the position of the sun, the fall of the shadows or strength of light.

Second is the monthly cycle of the moon. A 30 day rotation from new moon to full moon and back. We name each day... Te Rakaunui, Te Rakaumatohi and Whiro. In turn each day has an associated tide time... thus every Te Rakaunui has the same tide time (for us in Muriwai it's midday). We also have groups of days like the Tangaroa set and the Tamatea set which have early morning tide times and are favored for fishing. Yet they too are different in that the Tangaroa tides are linked to a moon getting smaller... while the Tamatea tides are linked to a moon getting bigger. Our tipuna observed and defined that cycle to give us a better understanding of that monthly cycle.

Third is the yearly cycle of the sun. The procession of stars that measure a single cycle of our sun based system. We divided the year into 12 monthly cycles... 3 per season and linked each moon to a star that helped define our seasons. We understood the relevance of the summer and winter solstice and had a clear idea about the spring and autumn equinox. Stars like Matariki, Takurua, Atutahi, Whanui and Rehua helped us define the seasons and provide an important narrative to guide us through the yearly growing cycle. 

Our ancestors knew each cycle intimately and understood how the sun moon and earth are all linked by these three independent yet inter-locking cycles. After 600 years of observation in Muriwai... we have a very good knowledge of where, why and how these cycles influence our being. We also have an affinity with the land, the sea, the moon, the stars and the sun... We are the people... we are the Ahikaroa (long burning fires)... MAURIORA...

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