Havaiki i ruga
Havaiki i Taputapuatea
Havaiki i raro

The Vatican of Polynesian Religion

The following is an introduction to the marvelous science of the Polynesians. For two and a half centuries, the Europeans have sought to dominate these people in paradise. Yet, if they had taken the time to understand the mythology of paradise, the Europeans would have quickly understood the arrogance of their own mythologies. The principle theme of the Polynesians were the passages through three lands in paradise, one above, one below, and one in between, Havaiki i ruga, Havaiki i raro, and Havaiki i Taputapuatea.

The bottom land was identified in Rapa Nui by the Moai statues standing at the place where the sun begins its precessional rise. The methods for traversing the three lands was identified in the Mayan legend of Hanahpu. The destination of the journey toward a new beginning was identified at the sacred city of Teotihuacán. But it will be shown that the Polynesians were very skilled navigators of the heavens and the seas. Their knowledge of the stars and the oceans was unsurpassed. On relatively small double hulled crafts, they carried everything they needed to begin a new civilization. Most importantly, their Bible was written on the sky, and their great books could be read from any island or ship at sea. Thus, the burden of carrying many tomes of wisdom was lifted off their shoulders. All they had to know was where the sun began to rise, and then go meet that rising sun.

From The Ancient Solar Observatories of Rapanui, the Archaeoastronomy of Easter Island, by William Liller, we learn that the Moai of Rapa Nui are designed to maintain the religious order of Raiatea in the Leeward Society Islands. There, the "Vatican" of Polynesian religion, Mara'e Taputapu-atea, faces the Moai in the sky. Although William Liller had yet to realize this truth of the Polynesian religion, his tome has revealed the essential piece to the puzzle.

The often misunderstood fact of ancient astronomy is that there were monumental records created to keep the wisdom of the heavens available to the chosen few. Because of the tendency to believe that all ancient people were ignorant and superstitious, modern scientists discount the wisdom of the "chosen few" who were adept at the ancient sciences. These "chosen ones" had access to holistic, jack of all trades, skills of the ancestors. We do not know for sure when the monumental records were initiated, however, artifacts are available which go back over 30,000 years that suggest records were being created. The most important record for any age is the location of the seasons of the sun. In our modern age, we are not sensitive to the fact that our calendar systems have been adapted to account for the precession of the equinoxes as their first measure of time. With the knowledge of the number of years in the precessional cycle, we scaled the calender with the Julian and Gregorian leap years. As a result, our seasons stay with the months of the year, and we do not have to watch the stars to determine the seasons.

Science declares that the number of the years of the precession was first calculated "scientifically" by Hipparchus around 150 BC, when he discovered a uniform error in calculations that were over a century old when he received them. With this information, science became privy to the most sacred knowledge of the ancient religions of all cultures. When the knowledge became scientifically common knowledge, the sacred aspects of the precession began to fall from the consciousness of mankind. That is precisely why the door to ancient cultures is opened by the knowledge of the precession.

We measure the years and seasons by a numerical process which allows for nearly exact calculations of the positions of the stars and the corresponding seasons. To the ancient cultures, this knowledge was so important, that many rituals were created to assure that the information would not be lost, for they did not have the mathematical references, nor the symbols for recording. Within their rituals and their folklore were hidden the essential information. These legends and folklore told stories about the stars and constellations which could be used to determine locations of sacred sites and the changes due to the precession of the equinoxes. The most easily definable object in the heavens is the Milky Way. Since it is the "Horus of Two Horizons," a position reference within the Milky Way will define a sacred site with regards to its position from the poles or the equator.

Milky Way Angles

In the chart above, the apparent movement of the Milky Way results in varying angles of its visible plane from approximately 83.7 degrees to approximately 36.7 degrees from the equator. The complement of these angles are 6.3 degrees and 53.3 degrees from the poles. Simple celestial observations required for navigation and migration would have given the relative angle between these celestial coordinate references and the galaxy. Like quantum mechanics, or nuclear fission, today, this knowledge was special knowledge for which most people had no direct use. However, the culture needed this information in order to survive. That is why the legends and myths were created to carry the information as sacred wisdom.

Also, note that the precession cycle is not a fixed number of years. We often approximate it, scientifically as 25,780 years per great year, or astrologically as 25,920 with twelve periods of 2160 years each. The astrological approximation was derived to coincide with an approximation of 72 years per degree of precession. However, it is important to realize that the numerical methods are only approximate. The period of the precessional year decreases by 11 years every century. Since the Ancients probably did not convert celestial angles into time coordinates, these conversion factors were not relevant. Their primary concern was traveling from shore to shore, or between migration locations. Thus, the concept of "as above, so below," was a direct conversion of relative position. It was shown in the August 1975 Scientific American magazine that birds navigate from pole to pole using the stars as starting and position indicators. Thus, it is not at all unusual to believe that the adepts of ancient cultures used the stars in the same manner The simplest asterism in the heavens is the Milky Way, with it alone, an individual who knew the relative positions of the galaxy and the poles could navigate the globe, just like the birds.

Craftsmen, like birds, work in position coordinates when creating works of art or monumental structures. This was the character of the Ancient adept. They were craftsmen. Time was not of significant consequence, compared to position. If it took three weeks or five months to sail from one island to another, position was the only essential information required. They could take several moons to make a journey. In today's rapid response society, time has become equal to wealth, and position is less relevant. During the Gulf War with Iraq in 1991, the whole world knew about the initiation of bombing activities in Baghdad within minutes, but few people had any true comprehension of the distance between themselves and Iraq.

In keeping with the well documented knowledge regarding celestial navigation, it is clear why the Polynesians placed the monument Mara'e Taputapu-ate in Rai'atea on the top of its list of sacred sites. At Rai'atea the position of the Milky Way was recorded at the moment which best represented the scientific navigational information which it could contain. Look again at the skies of Teotihuacán rotated from 15.5 degrees east of north to 6.3 degrees east of north and see that all people of the ancient world worshiped the same Cosmic Being, but at Rai'atea, an adept could determine how far the stars had moved from their closest polar alignment. All that was required was to obtain a fix on the horizons of the galactic plane when the galaxy was directly overhead.

Bottom of galaxy, 6.3 deg south of east.

The bottom of the galaxy is located 6.3 degrees right of east when the galaxy is directly overhead in 8455 AD. We use this date, because modern astronomy software seems to conclude that star knowledge prior to 3000-4000 BC is not important. The positions of the stars in the plane of the Milky Way relative to the celestial equator is the important information, from a point of view which seeks to understand the orientation of Mara'e Taputapu-atea. The year of the correspondence is of minor importance, but it can be estimated using the red dashed line in the previous precession graph to be approximately 18,500 BC. This is the smallest angle the galactic disk makes with the polar axis of the Earth.

In the mythologies of the ancient world, this was as close as humans ever came to being aligned with the heavens. The celestial north pole was in the edge of the Milky Way at the house of the king, Cepheus. The celestial south pole was at the gunwales of the great celestial ship, Argo Navis. The disk of the galaxy, representing spirituality, the disk of the ecliptic, representing rationality, and the equatorial disk of the earth, representing materiality, all met at the equinoxes. A person, representing carnality, standing anywhere on the equator of the earth could be perfectly aligned with the creation for a brief moment every day. This divine moment is the one most cherished by the cultures of the world before the fall of Atlantis, over 13,000 years ago. It is the place where the measure of time, the tabernacle of the sun, the northern vernal equinox, begins to ascend into the heavens above. Precessional movement of the equinox would be toward Virgo and above the galactic plane.

For the Polynesians, Egyptians, Mayas, Teotihuacáns, and Incas, the section of the sky 6.3 degrees south of east at Mara'e Taputapu-atea was the underworld, and the "House of God." The heroic legends of Osiris, Hanahpu, Wiracoqa, and many more, are derived from this view of the heavens. On Easter Island, the Moai statues represent the constellation at the bottom of the galaxy, which we call Sculptor. They are metaphors in stone of the Polynesian ancestors who went on a journey to find the rising sun. As Easter Island aligns with the bottom of the galaxy, the northern vernal equinox begins to rise up to the galactic disk. The pukao on the heads of some of the Moai statues represent the cosmic alignment and the "meeting of the rising sun" at the "navel of the world."

When the galaxy is in the position shown above, the bottom axis is exactly "6.3 degrees right of east" (96.3 degrees from north). Directly on the east horizon stands a man with a staff of wisdom. This man is the source, from which the Moai of Rapa Nui are conceived. This firmly connects the culture of Easter Island with the Polynesians. It also connects them to the Incas, the Mayas, the Teotihuacáns, and the Egyptians, and even the Mithraic Mysteries, the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon. It did not matter where in the world a culture resided, they all witnessed the coming ashore of the man at the navel of the world. But the ahu on Raiatea in the Leeward Society Islands, known today as the "Vatican" of Polynesian religion, Mara'e Taputapu-atea, points directly toward the heavenly Moai, conclusively demonstrating the origins of the Rapa Nui culture, as well as our own. Although much work is still to be done, it would not be unlike the Polynesians to record many "special moments" my variations in the alignments of the ahu (altars) on Easter Island, as a "source" location for the hidden manna from heaven. 

Most cultures of the world hold in highest esteem, the moment when conscious "under-standing" rises above the dark emotional sea into the "land above." The abyss is non-rational, and the "land above" is rational. But the transition between is reality. Life is lived on the plane of truth in the "land between", which is also the galactic disk. Views from reality often appear to be non-rational to the mind that conceives no land down under to stand upon. That is why the staff of wisdom was placed at the location of the land under the land. Wisdom is wisdom when understanding leads to consciousness of reality, otherwise, it is arrogance. It was lack of understanding , and greed for gold, that guided the Europeans to smear the culture of the Polynesians with a brush colored by superstition. Now it is being revealed that the superstition was born in Europe, not in the Pacific. Modern descendants of the European traditions have lost their bearings, for they believe that the stars are not relevant to the events on earth. By killing the messages from the stars, Europeans have fallen into a land where there is "nothing but snakes." When the snakes in the two heavens are properly reconnected, all the conscious history of human existence returns to the land of the rising sun. 

A man loses his way at the bottom of the world.

At the reverse cosmic alignment, when the bottom of the galaxy is 6.3 degrees left of west (263.7 degrees from north), a man slips below the horizon, and only his legs can be seen by the living. In this scenario, the zenith stars show the twins falling through the galaxy into the underworld. This is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. At the southern end of the galactic plane, the great ship flounders, as it sails beyond the south horizon  up to its gunwales in the celestial sea. At the northern end of the galactic plane, a wife of a king looks back and turns into a pillar of salt.

This whole technique of seeing the spirits of the upper and lower heavens, while seeing the earth as the boundary of two spiritual realities was abandoned by the time the northern summer solstice entered the house of the twins two thousand years ago. Civilizations around the world stopped thinking of the creation as the works of a Cosmic Master, and therefore, the essential medium for the Master's message. The earth then became a place of salt. She, the heavenly spirit of cosmic motherhood, cried from below, as her children forgot where they came from. Lot went to sleep in a cave (Sculptor), where his sympathetic daughters visited him to bring forth a generation of people who never knew the celestial origins of their dreams. As we will see in the story of the founding of Hawaii, Lot's wife was known by her astral source to the Polynesians, as well.

Today the Jungian myth is that maturity comes as rational self identity. But the stars are still there which say that maturity comes with the return of the cosmic father from a pit of destruction. It is a vision that cannot be expressed in words and pictures, it can only be understood when both eyes are open to see the heavens and the earth at the same moment. If we become blind in the eye that sees two heavens, our pursuit of self identity results in an egocentric existence, as a prodigal son.

In spite of all the works of kings and paupers, no mortal created that great white way which conclusively proves that we owe everything to the stars and their Creator. That is why the Taputapu-atea Mara'e on Rai'atea in French Polynesia is the most sacred site in Paradise. Rai'atea means "clear sky." Recorded at this altar is a metaphorical moment when the skies became clear of the pit of snakes in a world of misunderstanding. That is what has been memorialized; the moment when the mortal soul expands to become the immortal soul. It is the moment of truth, the moment of the death of "self identity" and the return to "cosmic identity" as the sun begins to rise once more.


Raiatea, the sacred island, is locally considered to be the original Windward Islands. According to tradition Raiatea is the "cradle of the Earth". The political and religious influence of Raiatea has always been sound. It seems the existence of the grand "Marae" of Opoa on the island affirms Raiatea's dominant regional role. Raiatea, or "clear sky", was once known as Havai'i - the name of the mythical land where the Maohis ancestors left to meet the rising sun.

Taputapuatea Marae to Oro (God of War), 143' court,Raiatea 1995 Johnson Photo

Taputapuatea Marae, Ahu & Human Sacrifice Stone, Raiatea 1995 Johnson Photo

Taputapuatea Marae, Part of Altar Area in Front of Enclosed Chamber, Raiatea 1995 Johnson Photo

To fully understand why Taputapu-atea Mara'e on Raiatea is the "holiest site" in Polynesia, we must learn about the land above and the land below. These two mythical lands are identified by the ahu itself. When the Milky Way aligns with the ahu, the east side of the altar is Havaiki i raro, for everything east of the ahu is below the galaxy. The west side of the altar is Havaiki i ruga, for everything west of the altar is above the galaxy. The altar itself is Havaiki i Taputapuatea, the Havaiki of reality. This magical alignment only occurs when the angle between the galaxy and the north-south meridian is 6.3 degrees and the constellation Sculptor is on the eastern horizon.

Many of the stories and legends of the Polynesians can be traced to these views of the skies showing the galaxy as a post or pillar, or as in Rapa Nui, as a disk running around the horizon. The following story illustrates the celestial basis of the legend of Havaiki. As you read the story, "watch" Virgo become disenchanted with Ophiuchus and follow Orion (Oroi) into the underworld as Cassiopeia and Cepheus, before jumping from a "lover's leap" as Andromeda and Sculptor. Listen and "see" Perseus attempt to perform a radical surgery on Andromeda to bring her child to life. Then hear and "see" the woman give birth to a child (Antinous) with the help of the life giving waters of Aquarius.

From: Havaiki: The Land Under The Land

This is a poem from Fakarava island in the western Tuamotus:

Havaiki i ruga, Havaiki i raro, Havaiki i Taputapuatea,
Havaiki above, Havaiki below, Havaiki at Taputapuatea,

This poem talks about a magical land called Havaiki. The old Tuamotuans believed in a land above the land named Havaiki-ki-ruga (Havaiki-Above) and in a land under the land named Havaiki-ki-raro. When someone died, the old Tuamotuans would say: 'Ua hoki oia i Havaiki' (He has returned to Havaiki).

There was also a Havaiki that was on this earth. In this poem it is referred to as Havaiki-i-Taputapuatea, or Havaiki at Taputapuatea. This refers to a marae (worship ground) on Fakarava island that was named Taputapuatea. The old name for Fakarava was Havaiki.

There was a man and a woman that lived together on Fakarava. One time this woman had an argument with her husband and she went out of the house and walked along the beach as she thought about the argument. She met another man that she had never met before. This was a strange thing because she knew everyone that lived on the island and he was a stranger. He told her to follow him and she did. They walked along the beach for a ways and they came to a place where they could look down onto the waves crashing onto the beach. He told her to jump in but she declined. She said that if he jumped in first then she would follow. So he jumped in and as soon as he was in the water he disappeared. She jumped in, and she disappeared also.

They went down to a land that is under the land. That land is called Havaiki-i-Raro (Havaiki Below) and they lived together for awhile. At first the other people there did not like this woman because she was a stranger.

She made friends with them and this is how.

After she lived with the man who had brought her to Havaiki-i-Raro she became pregnant and after about nine months she was going to deliver. The people of this land came to her with a knife and they told her that they would cut her open to deliver the baby. The people of this land were ignorant of the real way babies are born and that is why they did things like this. The custom was to open the womb of the mother. The baby would live and the mother would die.

This woman told the people to not worry about helping her deliver her baby because she would show them the proper way to deliver babies. So she did and after they learned how to do it they were all very pleased and they liked this woman for showing them such a wonderful thing.

This woman lived in Havaiki-i-Raro for awhile longer until the day that she wanted to come back onto the land. The place that she came out on the land was on the island of Hawaii. For that reason that island is called Hawaii after Havaiki-i-Raro and Havaiki-i-Taputapuatea in the Tuamotus.

When she came to Hawaii, she brought with her the red panadanus that she had brought from Fakarava. The red panadanus still grows on Hawaii island.

This beautiful story about the birth of Havaiki i Taputapuatea as the island of Hawaii, can be read from Rapa Nui when the Moai in the sky is directly over head. The unhappy wife is Andromeda, and the man she met on the beach is Sculptor. Their feet can be seen standing on the Havaiki i Taputapuatea of the galaxy as the twins, Gemini, on the eastern shore of Havaiki  i raro. The tradition of sacrificing the mother to receive her child is shown as Perseus takes away the child to leave the mother, Andromeda, bound to a tree. The woman from the land above, broke the wretched tradition of Havaiki i raro by the act of a natural birth of the child Antinous. Aquarius is shown performing the saving act of bringing life giving waters to the woman from Havaiki i ruga that fell to the depths of Havaiki i raro. These messages say that to understand that we owe everything to the stars, we must give up the bondage of self identity, and sacrifice the human perspective for the sake of cosmic perspective. Like the woman from Havaiki i ruga, the passage through the underworld of non-rational truth can be accomplished if the self learns to "let it be," and believe in the coming of the rising sun in a land of enchanted enlightenment.

Moai in the sky.

This edification of the underside of the galaxy, Havaiki i raro, represents a marked difference from the edification of the upper side of the galaxy, Havaiki i ruga, by the story of Adam and Eve. Nevertheless, both stories divide the light from the dark, as the land above is lost to the perils of the land below. Other legends from the Pacific Islands, and the opposite perspective of the galactic pillar in the second star chart above, indicate that the creator god raised the heavens with his feet, clearly indicating that the islanders understood that they lived "down under," in Havaiki i raro. This legend has its origins in the asterisms of the constellations of Sculptor and Hercules. Sculptor lies upon the land under the land. Hercules stands upon the circle of the north polar axis.

The Polynesian perception of down under is illustrated in the story of the unhappy wife. It is also illustrated by the orientation of the Mara'e Taputapu-atea to the galaxy. The following two star charts demonstrate the alignment relationship of 6.3 degrees from the polar axis.

North Pole Variation of 6.3 Degrees

This star chart shows the man (Cepheus) and the woman (Cassiopeia) at their "lover's leap" on top of the cosmic pillar. He is also shown under the cosmic pillar in the first star chart above as Sculptor. She is shown here as Andromeda falling after him.

Note the legs of Hercules on the north polar circle beyond the swan song (Cygnus & Lyra) of the king and the queen, illustrating that the north polar axis precesses in a counterclockwise direction, and the Hercules "holds up" the norther sky with his feet. The story at the "cosmic pillar" says that the king and queen of the heavens lived at Havaiki i Taputapuatea. This place is known around the world as reality. But there are few realities that compare to the reality of the paradise of the Pacific Islands, particularly Hawaii.

Thus, north was up to the pacific islanders, and they lived down under the sea, with the hope of one day returning to the land above. If we go to the south pole, we can again confirm that north is up and south is down.

Havaiki i ruga

For the south pole to be up, the legends of the pacific would require the great ocean going vessel, Argo Navis, to sail with its keel up! But there does appear to be a peculiarity about the direction the great ship is sailing. If it were a European galley, we would expect the bow to be pointed, not the stern. On the other hand the sail is more Polynesian than European, and it is billowing toward the bow. A landlubber may not realize it, but all sailing ships have their sails billowing in the direction of travel. Motor boats often have flags billowing toward the stern, for they make their own wind.

It might help to realize that the south pole location moves in a clockwise manner when viewed from the earth. The direction of polar axis movement is shown by the dove, Columba, flying aft of the ship. There was a raven, Corvus, near the ship, but it appears to have become entangled with a water snake off the bow. Maybe that is why the Raven never returned to the ark with a branch from the "tree of life."

By following the dove, we will find the tree, from which the branch in the dove's mouth was taken, under a king and a queen. It is a long way to follow the dove to the tree, for its flight began at the first point of the Pillars of Hercules, when the ship lost its earthly bearings, and sailed against the flow of time in the up side down world of Hercules. The tree stands at a place called 2000 AD, some 13,000 trips around the sun by the planet, half a precessional year. After passing the Ben-Ben stone of Egypt and mount Ararat of Israel, on the opposite side of the south polar axis circle is that special place where the sun begins to rise. This is the place east of the Mara'e Taputapu of Raiatea, or "clear sky", once known as Havai'i - the name of the mythical land where the Maohis ancestors left to meet the rising sun. Look again at the eastern horizon of the first star chart above and notice that the bottom of the trunk of the "tree of life," or "cosmic pillar," rests squarely on the eastern horizon and on the celestial equator. This would seem to be a very good reason to build an altar, and no better place exist than on the island which is known as "clear skies" in the paradise between the two lands.

These star charts and legends are conclusive proof that the Moai statues of Rapa Nui tell the story of the ancestors coming ashore when the northern vernal equinox begins to be associated with the "rising sun." The accuracy of the legend has been proven precisely when the tabernacle of the sun was in conjunction with the moment of its first rising. Is Rapa Nui called Easter Island as an appellation defining the moment of the European discovery, or did the Moai call it the land of the resurrected sun, where a man ascends to the heavens above and truth is rediscovered?

The paradise of the South Pacific still lives on. Havaiki i ruga and Havaiki i raro are places where ancestors can be seen running along the beaches, sailing through the seas, or sleeping under a tree. But the best of the sacred sites is Havaiki i Taputapuatea, because that is the place where the myths of the heavens come up and down to earth. It is the Milky Way and everything within its boundaries. All that has changed since these stories were first witnessed, as graffiti on the cosmic blackboard, is an increase in awareness that these stories are unique to human civilizations on a planet circling a moderately sized star within one of several hundred billion galaxies. The star which is our home can be identified by the house of bread above, and the man with the staff below. These are the tow land, one of wheat, one of a tree or vineyard. It is a unique place, which no other star can claim. If it were possible to fly from star to star, we would recognize our home star as the one under the house of bread. In the whole galaxy, our sun is the only star that can truly be called the Star of Bethlehem.

We have come to know that the universe is far bigger than the Creation we once imagined. Today we conjure up "Big Bang Theories" that are motivated with one essential purpose. That purpose is the inflation of the human mind to a greater expanse than the universe in which it finds itself. In this way, we are more powerful than the Cosmic Creator of our ancestors.  The urge to become greater than the Creator comes to us from the Source itself, for this Being caused the sun to have a place of falling, and a place of rising again for our searching. We will not get lost, if we stay around the axis that defines the land above, the land below, and most importantly, the land in between. 

The Polynesian story is continued in greater detail in the Red Pandanus of Hawaii. The following links will enhance the stories of the Pacific Islanders. As you browse through them, return to the Rapa Nui graphics page, and to this Polynesian Vatican page, to establish the source of the stories and the reason why they are so long lived. Were it not for the galactic home identified by the Polynesians as Havaiki i Taputapuatea, we would be lost below the land down under.

                                                    Stories from the Pacific Islands. 
Easter Island The Rival Chiefs    This is a story illustrating the battle between Orion and Ophiuchus.
Tahiti The Turtle-Boy                 This is a story of the birth of a king as a turtle, until his shell is shed.
Fiji "Nothing But Snakes"           This is a story with Sagittarius and Ophiuchus as the principles.

HISTORY:                                   The Early Polynesians

Raiatea                                         Virtual Reality Panoramas of the Island of Raiatea, French Polynesia

Tonga on the Net                          The web page for the country of Tonga.

Easter Island Home Page               General purpose site with links and browsing materials.

Go to the Maya story

Go to the Easter Island Story 

Go to the Siloam.Net Timeline 


© Copyright 1998, SU International, all rights reserved.

November 16, 1998