Haumea is the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth. She gave birth to many children, some after turning herself into a young woman to marry her children and grandchildren. Her legends say she first lived as a mortal woman named La’ila’ who gave birth to all the island chiefs. As a goddess she is a great creation deity and the ancestor of all indigenous Hawaiians who are descendants of the ancient civilization of Mu. Haumea is a crone archetype and is the elder in a trinity of Hawaiian goddesses that includes Hina and Pele. Haumea had the power to change her form as her nature was constantly renewing; although she grew old she was continually transformed into a young woman, representing the cycles of women’s lives.
Each of her children emerged from a different part of her body, symbolizing a profoundly nourishing source of life. Haumea also acts as a divine midwife to human mothers and taught women the mysteries of childbirth. Author Martha Beckworth, whose collection resides in a Hawaiian museum, suggests that the name Haumea actually comes from Hanaumea, which means “sacred birth.”
Haumea is thought to inhabit the Makalei tree, a Tree of Life on the island of Oahu, whose mystical branches and deep roots yield infinite amounts of food. Like a Cornucopia the tree symbolically provides many staples to the Hawaiian people such as coconut, bamboo, taro root, breadfruit and sugar cane. When the goddess shakes a sacred branch of the miraculous Makalei tree over water, she attracts abundant fish.
The Kumulipo is an epic creation poem, over two thousand lines in length that was recited from memory by Kahuna, Hawaiian high priests, during ceremonies. Humans are understood to be connected to the earth, the sky, and all creatures in a sacred web of life. In her introduction to the translation, Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani says, “The language in the poem relates to the stars and the gods.”
In September 2008 the International Astronomical Union (IAU), named the fifth dwarf planet in the Solar System after Haumea. David Rabinowitz of Yale University, one of the co-discoverers, chose her name. Among a variety of reasons the goddess is associated with the “element” of stone, and the dwarf planet appears to contain more rockymaterial than most Kuiper Belt Objects, which usually contain more ice. Haumea spins rapidly end-over-end at a rate of 3.9 Earth hours and has an orbital period of 285 Earth years, about forty years longer than Pluto. Haumea is a plutoid and orbits in the Kuiper Belt, in the same area of space as Pluto. Although she is estimated to be one-third of Pluto’s mass, she is elongated and therefore similar in length.
Haumea’s two moons were named after two of her daughters. Hi’iaka is said to have been born from Haumea’s mouth and was carried as an egg by her older sister Pele from their distant home to the Hawaiian Islands. Hi’iaka danced the first Hula on the shores of Puna and is the patron of hula dancers. The smaller moon, Namaka is named after the water spirit said to have been born from Haumea’s breasts. When fiery Pele spews her wrath, and sends her burning lava into the sea, Namaka cools it and creates new land.
There are intriguing connections between the myth of Haumea and the dwarf planet and its moons. Astronomers think Haumea may have crashed into another large object a long time ago, and it is possible that pieces left over from this collision came together to form Haumea’s moons. So the children did indeed spring forth from the body of their mother.The dwarf planet is connected to the Hawaiian goddess in yet another synchronous way as one of the groups directly involved with her discovery used telescopes in Hawaii to observe this distant body.
Astrologers are challenged to incorporate these new planetary bodies into their interpretation, but the likes of Haumea must be considered. If Pluto represents the principle of transformation, then Haumea embodies the idea of constant renewal through the re-creation of new forms. I believe she teaches us that through the power of intention, we can reshape our beliefs and mental patterns and give birth to new forms in our life. We always have a choice how use our powers of creation as we approach the time of maximum light.
Based on and excerpts from Goddesses for Every Day © 2010 by Julie Loar. Printed with permission of New World Library, Novato, CA www.newworldlibrary.com
About The Author: Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards. Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.co