1. vt. To set on fire, burn, ignite, etc. (See ʻā 1. nvi. Fiery, burning; fire; to burn, blaze. Fig., to glitter or sparkle, as a gem; to burn, as with jealousy or anger.
Hōʻā is comprised of hō which is a causative and ʻā – burning/fiery. Put together and it means to set or cause a fire, or to burn. In modern terms, we use hōʻā for “turn on”, as a light or lamp. Hōʻā i ke kukui – turn on the light/lamp.
Hōʻā i ka lama – Ignite the torch.
On the surface, this is a shout out to everyone who loves our ʻāīna, who is concerned about climate change, who wants to conserve energy. During the mahina piha (full moon), it is a call to people to turn off all your lights and energy use in the evening (pō) and hōʻā i ka lama – ignite a torch or candle(s) and through this one act you not only conserve energy, but you cause a shift in how you operate on a nightly basis in all of your habits. This one simple act will help you to listen to others, listen to yourself, hear the sounds or kani from the environment rather than your tv or radio (btw-hōʻā i ka lama also means to put those devices down).
Beside the hōʻā i ka lama movement I am sharing hōʻā with you because a fire was set inside of me this weekend at the ʻAimalama Conference held at UH Mānoa. Mahalo to Kalei Nuʻuhiwa and all the other brilliant minds who conceptualized, planned and birthed this conference focused on the lunar calendar and climate change. This conference acknowledged and honored the ancestral knowledge we all hold. And if we don’t hold it, then we learned that we should seek it from whatever sources, including practitioners. But we can trust that which we know. And if we do know, then we need to teach others that didn’t learn it. In the words of Mac Poepoe, “If your father didn’t teach you, then I am going to teach you.”
Look to the past and adapt for the present and future. Change is happening on our earth. Observe and take action.
And because of this conference 300+ participants are going back to their homelands, spread throughout the moana Pākīpika, ignited with a desire to do more, be better and affect change. Ua hōʻā ʻia – [We] have been ignited.
More on my big takeaways this week. Stay tuned.
ʻAʻohe ʻike o ka puaʻa nona ka imu e hōʻā ʻia nei – The pig does not know that the imbue is being lighted for it (said of a person who is unaware that he is being victimized).
He manini ka iʻa mai hōʻā i ke ahi – The fish is just a panini, so do not light a fire (said to one who suffers defeat in a practice session: “This occasion is a mere panini, a small fish, so do not let your temper be kindled.”)
He moʻa no ka ʻai i ka pūlehu ʻia; he ahi nui aha ia e hōʻā ai? Food can be cooked in the embers; why should a big fire be lighted? (A small love affair will do; why assume the responsibilities of a permanent mastering? Said by those who prefer to love and leave.)