Mana translates to mean power, but the native Hawaiian concept of power doesn’t equate to material possessions, title or prestige. In Hawaiian culture, mana is a form of spiritual energy and healing power, which can exist in places, objects and persons. Hawaiians know all things have mana and that mana may be manifested externally and/or internally. The aina (land), pohaku (rocks), plants, people, gods and goddesses all possess mana in varying degrees.

The Hawaiians believed anything associated with the gods had mana (supernatural power). They believed kapu (rules) were made by the gods and interpreted by the ali’i and the kahuna. The ali’i were descendents of the gods and, as a result, had much mana. There were strict kapus placed on all personal items of the ali’i. No one was allowed to touch clothing or anything else that the ali’i had touched as it was believed that a loss of mana would occur.

Mana is often possessed or gained through pono (balance) that exists in the world and humanity’s responsibility toward maintaining that balance. In traditional Hawaii, there were two paths to mana–through sexual means or through violence. Hawaiians acknowledge that nature has a dualistic relationship and that everything in the world has a counterpart. There was a balance between the Gods, Ku and Lono, and through them are the two paths to mana. Ku, the Hawaiian God of war and politics, offers mana through violence, and this is how Kamehameha the Great gained his mana. Lono, the Hawaiian God of peace and fertility, offers mana through sexual relationships.

Perhaps one of the best examples of mana can be seen in the late Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s life and career. The beloved Inouye was often described as soft-spoken, modest, and a man of integrity, and his mana led him to be the second longest-serving senator in U.S. history. His last word was “aloha.”

Mana defines that all power is coming from you. Some of the beliefs are that:

Nothing will happen unless you define it.
Everything that has happened, you created and attracted.
You are the only one who can define your experience.
Others have no power over you unless you give it to them.
Your energy is channeled and focused through your beliefs and emotions.
No one else can make you sad or hurt you – you can only do this by yourself.