Observations placeholder

Kahuna - Hector MacQuarrie fire walks

Identifier

003093

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

There is environemntal influence because a law of the universe is being negated - that of gravity, but there is aslo inter composer communication going on in order to protect those unable to negate the law themselves

 

A description of the experience

Hector MacQuarrie – Tahiti Days [1920]

Six men, all clad in white, led by an older native, came to give the performance.   A pit four feet deep, four feet wide and twelve feet long was used, the logs being laid over as well as under the stones and allowed to burn down to coals.

By the afternoon the fire had burned low and the rocks were white-hot. The ashes and coals were raked down and the eight- to ten-inch stones levelled.  This done, the chief magician marched his six men to the beginning of the fire-walk. All wore white handkerchiefs bound about their heads, their white trousers came to their ankles, and on the fronts of their thin coats were two cloth stars, one over the right and one over the left breast.  In their hands they carried long stalks of the ti plant, each topped with a tuft of long sword-like leaves.

The old man made a prayer in the native tongue and then led a march several times around the trench. More prayers were made, and the chief magician beat his feet with his ti leaves and then beat the first of the stones. The beating and prayers over, he walked quietly down " the white-hot pathway." At the other end he made another prayer, then returned to his men along the same way.

Each of the men raised his feet in turn for a brushing with the leaves. Two of them were evidently nervous. All feet being brushed, the old man led the group seven times up and down the length of the stones. At times he paused to beat the feet of the two nervous men.  …….

After the group and the old leader had finished, the crowd was invited to walk under the protection of the magic. This invitation was promptly accepted by an old woman, and much less promptly by others assembled to witness the performance.

The old woman " muttered the most blood-curdling prayers " as she plodded down the trench. When she had finished, a queue was formed and most of the audience walked one after another across the still very hot rocks.

I [Mr. MacQuarrie] also took my turn, but kept on my rubber-soled canvas shoes. The stones I walked over were burning hot, but not white-hot when I walked (as they had been exposed to the air by then nearly a half-hour). This I am willing to swear by-anything: I felt the heat on my legs, on my face - fierce, intolerable.  Yet the soles of my canvas shoes were unharmed. . . . I tried to discover the true significance of the ceremony, but no suitable explanation was forthcoming.

  

The source of the experience

Kahuna

Concepts, symbols and science items

Symbols

Fire walking

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Singing spells

Commonsteps

References