“Inward Journey” by Gilbert Williams

“Papa’s themes are providence, thankfulness, abundance, earth, fertility, weather, grounding, the harvest and the moon. Her symbols are the moon, harvested foods, rainwater and rocks.  Polynesians summon Papa to help in all earthly matters. She is, in fact, the Earth Mother who gave birth to all things by making love to the sky. To this day, the earth and sky remain lovers, the sky giving its beloved rain for fertilization. Papa is sometimes known by the alternative title Papa Raharaha, ‘supporting rock’, through which She provides foundations and sustenance for our body, mind, and spirit.

Harvest moon festivals take place during the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. The full moon here represents the earth (Papa) in all its abundance and the crop’s maturity. If it’s raining today, skip an umbrella for a moment and enjoy a little of the sky’s love for Papa. Gather a little of the water and drink it to encourage more self-love.

Carry any crystal or stone with you today to manifest Papa’s firm foundations in all your endeavors. And definitely integrate harvested foods into your menu. Some that have lunar affiliations include cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, and turnips. Thank Papa for Her providence before you eat, then ingest whatever lunar qualities you need for that day or for the rest of the year.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Papahanaumoku (literally, broad place who gives birth to islands), or Pāpā, is the name of the Kanaka Maoli creator Goddess in Hawaiian mythology. Together with Her husband Wākea (sky father) Pāpā is the ancestor of all people and Kalo, and mother of islands as the Kanaka Maoli manifestation of Mother Earth.” [1]

“Papa & Wakea” by Linda Rowell Stevens

Patricia Monaghan writes: “The word we use for father was used by the Polynesians to summon mother earth, who existed from the beginning in perpetual intercourse with Her lover, the say god Rangi.  They left no room between them, creating darkness everywhere, which stifled the gods that resulted from the divine union.  Finally, the young gods decided to separate their parents.  Although apart, the pair remained lovers still; the earth’s damp heat rose lustfully to the sky, and the rain fell from heaven to fertilize beloved Papa” (p. 248).

Kalo, also known as the taro plant.

“There are many legends surrounding Papa…According to [one] legend, Papahanaumoku was born in Halawa Valley, Oʻahu and spent Her early childhood there. She travelled throughout the islands, and eventually wed Wakea. Together they had a daughter, Hoʻohokukalani (literally, one who creates the stars of heaven). As the girl grew, Wakea fell in love with his daughter and began to have an intimate relationship with her. He tricked Papa (in some versions of the story, the institution of the kapu system was part of his scheme) in order to keep Her away, so that he could seduce Hoʻohokukalani. When Papa discovered the truth, She was furious. However, when Hoʻohokukalani gave birth to a stillborn baby, it was Papa who named the child Haloa and buried him in the soft earth; from that place sprung the first kalo. Hoʻohokukalani again mated with her father Wakea, and had a living child, who was also named Haloa. This child became the ancestor to all Kanaka Maoli, or all humans (depending upon interpretation). [2]

“Papahanaumoku is worshipped by Native Hawaiians, especially by women, as a primordial force of creation who has the power to give life and to heal. A women’s temple, called Hale o Papa, is the primary religious structure associated with Her worship. Hale o Papa are often built in connection with Luakini, or men’s temples (places of ‘official’ ceremony, which are primarily dedicated to the gods  and Lono), although it is believed by many practitioners that they may also exist independently.

Widespread destruction of religious structures by the forces of Kahekili II and by the Christian-converted kahuna, Hewahewa have made archaeological proof of many known sites difficult. Some also question the possibility of regular ‘covering up’ and/or ‘minimizing’ of archaeological and historical data, due to the impact of this data on development interests and other economically powerful factors.” [3]

“In the Aloha ʻAina movement, Papa is often a central figure, as Her spirit is that of the life-giving, loving, forgiving earth who nurtures human life, and who is being abused by the misdeeds of mankind, especially in regard to the abuse of nature.

Papahānaumokuākea MNM approximate boundary outlined

In 2008, Papahanaumoku and Wakea’s names inspired the newly inaugurated Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.” [4]





Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Papa”.

Wikipedia, “Papahanaumoku“.



Suggested Links:

Donch.com, “Heiau: Native Hawaiian Temples“.

Hawaiialive.org, “Moku‘ula“.

Powersthatbe.com, “Goddess Papa“.

Sacred-texts.com, “Papa and Wakea“.

Wikipedia, “Rangi and Papa