Mana’o is the Hawaiian word for understanding. It is the sharing ones philosophy, belief and intuition. This is where the vulnerability and truth of ourselves gains strength. This is also where we let go of our defenses and allow our fears to surface so we may appreciate our humanity. This is where we may safely learn, with gratitude, the beauty that our fears were designed to protect.

My Mom is Kahuna Wahine Kalei’iliahi Ka’ili kapu o Lono. She left her body August 16, 2020. Even though she was anchored by Pele and the Big Island, she is of the stars and Amakua (ancestors). She continues to guide higher frequency thoughts and the details within them. My Dad is Donald Raymond Bourque, multi-award winning chemistry professor who touched uncountable lives. He is grounded in science and joy. He is my connection to the earth, feelings, intellect and discovery.

I am Matheu Etien Hototo Leilehua Bourque, Kahuna ka’ili kapu o Lono, mea malama i ka na’auao. Priest of Lono and Apache Tlish Dyan Medicine, keeper of wisdom. I am the 77th Kahuna in the ancient line of Lono, the Hawaiian god of peace, growth and sexuality. What is real for me, what I perceive as common, is generally something perceived as “Mystical” to non indigenous western culture. There is nothing mystical about it at all. Spirituality is but one of many languages used to interpret and experience life and it can be spoken of in as many different languages as there are thoughts. It is a perspective or approach not unlike art, philosophy, psychology, mathematics and the sciences, each with its own strengths and limitations.

Before my Mom passed it was made clear to me that I was to take her place as Kahuna. It was not, however, made clear how… Nice. So let me try describing it like this:

You know that part of you that has something to say and spends a lifetime trying different ways to say it? That is the part I actually understand best. I can feel it in all things, living and nonliving, like the current driving matter. When I am present in this space I can see and feel the very real energy fields emitted from our bodies, thoughts and feelings. I can see, speak and be present with people regardless of their geographic location. I can feel the burden of cultural shame that has been inflicted over generations. Beneath that I feel the strength beneath the pain spoken by generations of ancestors. This is not something I control but something I am present to. It does not mean I have the answers, but it does enable me to naturally facilitate powerful experiences both in ceremony and every day conversations. It opens a space that we may discover, empower and inspire each other to be who we are. It is not about me, my titles or abilities. It is about us and what we do together.