Wisdom is a powerful thing

Ever feel like you need a little guidance? Or do you sometimes look for an uplifting message to help you in the direction you want to go? Sure, we all do! Sometimes there are moments in all of our lives when a concern just seems too small or too personal to talk to someone about and that’s where many of us turn to inspirational books/cards that are in our bedside tables.

“Mana Cards: The Power of Hawaiian Wisdom,” by author Catherine Becker (a professor of communication at UH Hilo) and artist Doya Nardin, is one of those helpful tools! This 194-page book, along with its 44 cards, is an excellent way to infuse greatly respected principles of the Hawaiian culture in to a form that one can use for that needed guidance, using 44 names and concepts from Hawaiian culture as the template for what they represent. For instance: Lamaku (Torch) = Victory; Aloha = Love; Huna (Hidden) = Secrets; Poli’ahu (Ice Goddess) = Caress.

Each of these 44 messages contains a chant in both Hawaiian and English, a history about the name/concept, and an interpretation of what it may mean to you, assisting with a few different meanings.

The cards are divinely illustrated with vivid colors that seem to easily evoke the intent of the messages they convey. What’s fun is that one can also either choose at random and see what message appears, or even try different suggested message layouts that the book details, such as “Heiau ‘Anu’u Ola (The Tower of Life), Ka La’a Lima (The Sacred Eye), and several others.

As a bonus, the book also provides a guide to pronouncing Hawaiian words and an addendum of illustrated symbols, with endnotes and references, explaining the various parts of Hawaiian mythology/culture, all as an entertaining read!


Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.


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