Hawaiian Soul-Journ part VI: Spirit Elder & Whale

I headed out the next day to camp at the most sacred place in the world to me: Polihale. This place dredges something up in even the stoniest heart; it literally feels like the end of the world. In fact, in Hawaiian legend, this is the place where the spirits of the dead leave the island. Since I came here in 1998 and 1999, I have retreated here in my heart and mind; I have visualized this place when going on shamanic journeys to the lower world; I have met many spirit guides here when I have soul traveled. To me, this is one of the Earth’s power centers and I intended to do ceremony here for the solstice and the full lunar eclipse, something I had been planning for months.

My first night was sublime. The nearly full moon illuminated the beach in shades of platinum and the rumble of the waves was deep resonant backdrop to the more than majestic mountains that framed the beach. I slept peacefully feeling embraced by the cliffs behind me and the ocean in front of me, warm and dry. I awoke before dawn and strolled the length of the shoreline all the way to the base of the pali’s where the sea, the lava rocks and the mountains all merge. I sat down to meditate, feeling overcome by the slenderness of the veil between worlds.

I was distracted by a young man I had just passed on way to this spot; he wore his long dark hair in a topknot and was clearly also doing ceremony only a few hundred yards from where I was. He was a beautiful person, not simply on a physical plane; his energy exuded outward in peaceful waves and I wondered if he was a Kahuna. I have been wanting so much to connect with a Kahuna to help me heal, that I was sure he was someone I needed to meet, however I was far too overcome to approach him so I asked my guides to tell him if I was someone he needed to speak to, then I let go.

I could feel that he knew I wanted to talk to him, but that the time was not yet right, so again I attempted to quiet my mind and meditate. This time I slipped right over to the other realm, so thin was the curtain that separated the lower and middle kingdoms. Immediately I became aware of the Council of Elders, a group of wizened, ascended shamans that always seem to be gathered here at the Spirit-plane Polihale. I asked for guidance and felt the immediate presence of my main guide: one I call simply “Grandfather.”

“Grandfather” seemed rather disinterested in my questions, my confusion and my desire for guidance and enlightenment. Every time I asked him for advice, I’d hear in my head “Relax.” I was really in my head, trying to understand my lessons, release what I needed to let go of and to figure out how best to proceed on my path of personal healing. Intellectually, I knew I had to let go of trying to mentally process it, and was amused by the irony of that. ARGH! 

At that moment, I felt Grandfather tap me on one shoulder from behind and the he pointed out to the ocean over my other shoulder. “Open your eyes,” he said. “Look.” Obediently, I did as instructed and saw two boats near where he had directed my gaze. “Two boats,” I said. “One is coming in, the other is going out. What does that mean?” “Shh. Keep looking.” At that moment a whale breached completely out of the water and came down with a huge splash right where he had indicated. I leapt to my feet, shouting and cheering!!

I was so thrilled, I couldn’t contain myself; Whale Spirit had been a big part of my last shamanic journey by taking me to my guides. Seeing this whale as it had been pointed out to me by my Spirit Guide validated to me that I really am in contact with something outside of myself, that is to say if anything really is outside ourselves… that includes all of us and all of everything. What a great sign! My inner child came out and I really understood that I could really relax and play, not try to figure it all out.

As I made my way back toward my campsite, I felt elated, but my turmoil still existed beneath it all. I had to walk past the young Kahuna who was now facing inland toward the cliffs, deep in prayer. I didn’t want him to feel my sticky energy, so I opened my heart to love and grace as widely as I could, knowing that some shadows remained. As I approached his field, I felt a beautiful reverence, innocence and joy vibrating all around him. It added to my whale-happy feelings of bliss and I simply began to run, not like a racer, nor a therapeutic jog; I ran like a 10 year old: for fun without a reason. Just because.


  1. Oh, how beautiful Lisl! I'm so sad we missed meeting each other on this trip. I had an amazing whale communication as well, during the 3 hour puja at my spiritual retreat. We chanted for 3 hours while each individual received puja from Ram Dass, and I had many many intense experiences during that time. One of them I all of a sudden felt this tremendous presence (my eyes closed), and I was staring into the largest eye I had ever seen, lost in its depth of soul. Timeless. I very clearly felt its presence out in the ocean near us, it sensed our energy and we touched for a bit. I felt the cool skin slipping through the water. I could feel a profound sense of connection to all, to the one. Sigh...so many incredible things about the islands, and my trip. Mahalo :)