Hina, as goddess of the moon, is closely linked with feminine energy. In many stories, closely associated with the moon, the ocean, and female activities like cooking and crafts as well as healing.
Hina is known all over the Pacific as Hina, Sina, or 'Ina. Essentially, she represents female energy, and a variant of her name, hine, is used as a word ending to mean female or feminine (Wahine).
The story of Hina is that she was once a mortal women, beautiful and intelligent, growing tried of the noises and business of the world she sought refuge in the sky, first she tried the sun, but it was too hot. So instead she made her home in the moon, guiding sailors and weaving cloth, she found peace and become the goddess of the Moon.
Another intriguing story of Hina is that she once sought to find the love of her life, and she asked the creatures of the ocean to help her find a man. When they failed to do this (I’m not sure if they couldn’t find a good enough man, or perhaps none at all – sea creatures are not famed for their matchmaking abilities) Hina was furious; she squashed the flounder flat and split the whale’s tale with a coconut. She went off to the moon and stayed there, never to return to earth.
I find this tale particularly interesting because at this point, you may be recognising some similar themes between the goddesses – they are all powerful, and all have tempers. Certainly none are to be messed with. This of course, reminds us that the goddesses have similarities as well as differences. They have more likenesses that bind them together than differences just like us as women. A useful reminder when we find ourselves battling with other women, for whatever reason; this woman, whoever she is in your life, has more in common with you than differences. So perhaps seek a common ground? And from there a peace?
Fight or Flight
Look at these two tales of Hina, notice anything interesting? To me, they represent our reaction to stress ‘fight or flight’ as human we react to stressful situation in one of two ways – we get riled up, snapping at loved ones or shouting to that car that just cut us up…or we flee, we fantasise about running away, or even take a day or two off work (not always a bad thing) but what is important here is you recognise your response to stress; and explore what is causing it. So next time you snap at someone, or dream of a holiday round the world – pause and reflect, is something stressing you out? Take some time to meditate and approach the issue objectively – can you solve or remove yourself from this stressful situation? (for example if you have taken on too much work, or have a toxic friendship) Or do you need to schedule more regular stress relief activities (sometimes, for example in the case of a stressful job, its not always possible for us to leave, or we don’t want to least despite the stress – like nurses, doctors, surgeons, stress is part of the job, in this case regular stress management is useful – exercise, yoga, mediation, singing, dancing,)
Messages from Hina
Hina, perhaps above all others (literally and figuratively!) speaks to my need to retreat and find quiet in a busy world.
There are times when all of us seek solitude, or at least retreat with our loved ones. This is perfectly normal – when we are stressed or troubled – our fight or flight response leaps into action, and depending on a variety of factors we can find ourselves snapping at colleagues (adrenaline and aggression boosted for ‘fight’ response) or dreaming of escape, of just leaving it all and running away (flight response) of course, we cannot always escape our problems – so I suggest first, a stress relieving activity that works for you: yoga, running, gardening. Calming meditation and then look objectively at the ‘issue’ can it be solved? Can it be improved, can you leave?
A prime example here is a job that you find very stressful – it may be that it is both very stressful and very rewarding, and you find yourself so regularly stressed because you care very much about the work. In this example the best solution may be regular stress relief activities, and a strict work day cut of at 6pm so you can spend the evening unwinding. Now, if you love your job but the 3 hour commute has you pulling your hair out – this is an opportunity to solve a problem – perhaps you can work from home, or relocate to a different office nearer to home. Then, if the job is stressful and you dislike it, or the ethos of the company, can you leave? (the answer, despite challenged that might occur, is always yes) perhaps you start by exploring other jobs, or possible positions within the same company that would suit you better. Other examples are so well known they have become something of a cliché – a friend that is so negative that they leave you feeling drained, an abusive bully boss, these are opportunities to make like Hina and LEAVE. Finding a sanctuary of your own – it won’t be the moon, but a supportive friendship and new job are both very much within our reach.
The important points here are that stress relieving activities such as mediation allow us to focus of positive action of how to solve or sit with a stressful situation.
Hina Ritual: take a ‘moon day’
Plan a day to retreat from the business of everyday life; unplug the phone, computer and ipad. Take a walk in the country in the early morning before the world has woken up, read, paint and practice yoga. Take a bath or nap. Like me, you might need to plan your day – so you are not tempted to start mindlessly scrolling though Instagram. Or you may just want to pack a lunch, put on your walking boots and head out for the day with no destination.
During the peaceful day – get out a pen and paper, or (felt tips and paints if you want to be creative!) and make a list of everything in your life that causes you stress. Working through the list – make a note beside each one, can it be improved? Can you leave the situation? Can stress relieving activities help? What would they be?
As the day draws to a close perhaps light some candles and meditate or read a book that makes your heart sing, perhaps play some gentle music. Allow yourself to drift into evening and to bed whenever you feel tired, regardless of the time. The lights of our tvs, phones, and screens can throw off our circadian rhythms – so enjoy feeling restful and sleepy as darkness falls and the moon rises.
As I am writing this – its 9:30pm and dark outside – and here I am in front of the glow of my laptop…ok Hina, I hear you, I’m going to light a candle and read a book now. See you soon goddesses.