The Power of Hawaiian Wisdom
by Catherine Kalama Becker, PH.D. and Doya Nardin
This very special set of cards comes directly from Hawaii, bringing with it the ancient wisdom of Hawaiian spirituality, the lush beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, and the gifted insight of author Catherine Kalama Becker. Named Mana, for the "spiritual power that flows through the universe," these cards share with us a resonating sense of the sacred and the blessing of pure spirit.
The Mana Cards incorporate Hawaiian cultural symbols, language, religious chants and prayers, and divination techniques inspired by spiritual customs. Titles on the forty-four cards are in Hawaiian. English translations for card names are given with card descriptions in the guidebook, and a pronunciation key is provided for ease in reading the cards, as well as for using the chants in ritual divination work or meditation. Each card description in the guidebook includes Hawaiian and English titles, a Chant, the Teaching (which explains Hawaiian wisdom and the background behind the card), and Interpretation. There are eight useful and interesting spreads. The book is fully footnoted, and includes an appendix of symbols and their meanings, as well.
Each of the cards has a light coral pink background. Card images portray people in traditional Hawaiian dress, birds, fish and sea animals, many flowers and green plants, lizards and other animals, icons, drums, and significant symbols. They are each colorful and beautifully done. Human figures dance, drum, and divine. They swim, speak, and share love. Some of the cards are quite mysterious, like the card titled "Iwi," which means "bones," and refers to true respect, as bones were considered to be a sacred place where the spirit of the deceased dwelled. Others are quite straightforward, such as the card of "Naupaka," which shows two lovers sitting unhappily, back to back. The card points to separation, as is very clearly depicted. Still others are sweet - the card called "Aloha" is an image of an adult hand, gently holding the hand of a small child. Through this card we learn that the familiar greeting of Hawaii actually means, "love."
Despite the fact that these cards are so lovely and often portray positive human emotions and experience, they do also share with us the shadow sides of creation, and of ourselves, and five of the cards have reversals, which point to darker qualities. All of the cards look gorgeous in layouts, and their meanings are directly presented through the skilled artwork and symbolism.
The guidebook is wise and direct, and effectively assists us in discovering what lies at the core of our personal issues. With an approach that is more psychological than it is esoteric, the Mana Cards bring us true understanding and the power to make positive change and enlightened decisions. The reflections experienced through these cards are meaningful and real. This is a set to keep handy, by your bedside or at your desk, reminding you to regularly take the time to stop and look within.
Although the cards can be purchased separately, I highly recommend buying the complete set. The book and cards come packaged in a wonderfully designed box, that keeps both book and cards safe and secure.
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Card artwork by Doya Nardin
All writing and photography © N Levine - Illumination Tarot, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2021