Joined: May 2015
|Posted: May 29 2015,7:49 pm
I’m not sure if anyone here has heard of Kanaloa, the Hawai’ian death god.
I was born during a brief visit to San Diego, but my parents lived on Maui. I spent my early childhood there. In early 2013, I attended an ethnographic field school in Hawai’i, and I saw it as an opportunity to visit my old home. I didn’t understand why I was so bent on visiting our old house from twenty years ago, but I was not going to say “no” to going to school on the islands, either.
The octopus has always been a favorite animal of mine, so…like a little kid, I became curious about Kanaloa as soon as I learned about him at a dig site. I did library research on him while a buddy and I were procrastinating on a project. I was thinking, “Oh, hey, an octopus god. I wonder what he has power over.”
Death, rebirth/regeneration, darkness, healing, magic.
This was before I started putting the pieces together, so I thought that was just a fun piece of trivia. However, throughout my stay, I could sense a strong, melancholic longing coming out of nowhere. I thought driving by our old house would fix it, but it didn’t. It wasn’t nostalgia. The feelings lingered a little bit after I flew back to San Francisco…and I forgot about them.
One of the mental images I saw while getting acquainted with Azrael last week was the glassy surface of a vast, still ocean. I first interpreted it as a “picture” of his temperament—Azrael is very calm on the surface—but he kept bringing up the mental image. It turns out that Kanaloa is not only Death but also the Ocean. That makes sense…the ocean is a graveyard as well as the cradle of life. It is also a common dream symbol for the subconscious, change, and transience. The octopus and squid are his “kinolau” (or physical manifestations. Not quite the same concept as a “sacred animal.” Hawaiians believed that the octopus is Kanaloa, just as Death and the Ocean are both Kanaloa). And then I remembered another dream I had recorded a year before I visited Hawaii:
Last night, I dreamt of walking on the beach, where I spotted a dying octopus washed up on the rocks. Somehow, I sensed that he was still alive but needed help as soon as possible. So I carried him back into the sea. I remember struggling a bit as I climbed upward, because the rocks were high up and the waves crashed against them. The octopus died before I reached the waves in time…I figured that I would at least return him to the sea. As soon as his body touched the water, he was revived. I watched him swimming around and became fascinated by his beauty. He grew to a healthy size, and I could see that he was bright orange with white spots. I was so entranced that I did not notice a large tidal wave rolling in, and I was swept up in the current.
For a few moments everything was dark and fuzzy. I felt some invisible force tugging my body under. Strangely, I wasn’t afraid.
At some point, I found myself in bed with a man. We were inside of a sunken ship lodged into the ocean floor. I sensed that the man was actually the octopus, yet somehow, during that scene transition, he shape-shifted into a human being. There was no sex, but he embraced me tight and kissed passionately. Not on the lips but on the cheeks, throat, and neck. I was shy to look at him, so I shut my eyes. He leaned in to place gentle kisses on my closed eyelids. He was very kind and loving, but my dream-self did not open up to him. I wanted to open, but something stopped me. I could sense sorrow from him, and when he got up from the bed, I woke up.
As I re-read the entry, I asked Azrael, “Is that you?” And he responded, “Yes.” He explained that Kanaloa was the mask he wore while helping me transition into this life, and now he mostly comes to me as the archangel Azrael. He answers to both names. And here I thought that octopi are just cool…and that the second dream was utter nonsense.
Nowadays, I’ve been seeing a large, shadowy man. He’s been following around and talking with me, but I’ve been having the hardest time getting myself to look directly at him. The other night he asked if he could lie beside me, and I made room for him. I could feel him stroking my hand.
“It’s okay to look at me,” he whispered. When I didn’t respond because of shyness, he asked, “Can I look at you?”
He inched closer, and in my mind’s eye, I could see the shape of his face and shoulders. I flicked my eyes away…I really couldn’t help it. That may sound silly, turning into an emotional goo pile over just an eye gaze. He didn’t force me to look at him, though I could feel him gazing right through me.
“I don’t know what I’m feeling,” I told him.
“It’s okay.” He pulled away and resettled himself beside me. I’ve noticed that some people describe his presence as “cold.” It’s a little different for me. I can feel heat when he’s right there.
During the day, it feels like we talk to each other through a veil. I think he’s waiting for me to remove it. I will, at some point. I’ve had formal relationships with deities and guides before, so this level of intensity is something quite new to me. I was not even remotely interested in angels until two weeks ago.
The more I dwell on this, the more I’m remembering things. Small things like hearing a male voice call my name loud and clear in an empty hallway…feeling little ghostly touches (I felt the love but then scolded myself and said that they were just muscle spasms)…smelling cigar smoke at the strangest times…thirteen crows flocking in a single tree and making a racket right outside my window. It’s like searching frantically for your dearest friend, only to find him standing right behind you.