by Graeme Kapono Urlich
I talk to many people who are holding off on making decisions because they are “waiting for a
sign from the universe” to tell them what they should do. Throughout history there are stories
of rulers consulting oracles. Even today in the world of finance traders consult their graphs looking
for patterns to guide their investments. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes they don’t.
The first principle of Huna is that the world is what you think it is and the basic
assumption is that we create all experience individually but at the same time in cooperation with
everyone and everything else. From this perspective any “sign” that we encounter is our own
creation from our own subconscious patterns and any interpretation we apply to it as well as any
emotional reaction we have to it also comes from within our own patterns.
By consciously paying attention to the kinds of things we notice most in the world, the things we
react to most and the way we react it can tell us a great deal about our beliefs and attitudes, what
makes us happy or sad and what we would change or enhance within ourselves.
Remembering that all that we see in the world is based on our internal patterns we can begin to
look for things that reflect qualities and skills that we would like to cultivate within us. We can
use strong trees as symbols for strength and security within our own being and we can use the changes
we see around us as a reminder that everything changes and become more comfortable with that flow.
People are often desperate to see physical signs in their environment and they are all around if we
know how to see them although part of my training included how not to see signs in everything as well.
Often people get their sign and then anguish over its meaning because it seems to be telling them not
to do the thing they really want to or vice versa.
Sometimes when we ask for a sign from the universe quite quickly something “out of the
ordinary” will happen. A friend of mine told me once he was on Kauai in a heiau and was
pleading for a sign and out of a clear blue sky about a bucket full of water showered him in the face.
Even with something that dramatic the task of interpreting it remains.
I often get asked to help people read signs and what things that have happened to them really mean.
The meaning of things that happen is always specific to the individual so my approach is to let my
intuition ask them questions about the events in order to help them find their own way to their
specific feelings and meanings.
In order to read the signs in our environment it is important to develop trust in the intuition we
all possess. Some simple tools we can use include I Ching, various oracle and angel cards,
pendulums and one I use a lot, casting stones. As you develop the skill of focussing and trusting the
physical tools become unnecessary.
For me the most reliable source of signs has become my own body, my own physical reactions, emotions
and behaviours. All of the divining tools mentioned above rely on feedback from our body in shuffling
cards into a meaningful order, micro movements to swing a pendulum or cast stones into meaningful
If I am feeling an ache or a pain I look into what might be behind it. I may be a little dehydrated,
I may need to adjust my diet a little or it may be some deeper issue that is being triggered by some
present moment event. If I am feeling fatigued or agitated in some way I may need to do something
about the ion balance in my physical environment or I may need to deal with a decision that I’ve been
procrastinating on. When I have a choice to make I can check in with my body through its tensing or
relaxing responses what I currently believe about the options I have.
With practice we can begin to use our own bodies as the finely tuned compasses they are to help
navigate our way through life. If we learn to listen and cooperate with it, with clear intent, we will
easily know the best foods for us to eat; we will find our way to the most helpful people and places
whether it be a career choice or which road to take on our way to fun and adventure. Make your own
body your best friend.
Once we have decided that we have our signs and have settled on a meaning it is time to take action in
Graeme Kapono Urlich (February 2013)
Aloha New Zealand - School of Huna and Hawaiian Shamanism