We call a spiritual message or vision a Tohu in Maori. I am not religious, Catholic nor follow any Monastic Creed or Da Vincian Code. But the Madonna or Mother Mary seemed to be coming into my life over the past few years. Well, I am not sure whether I have the right Mary. Is Mary the Mother or the Wife of Jesus? I dunno yet the Mother feels right to me. I do not claim to know what these mean nor make any extraordinary claims. They just happened to me here in New Zealand. A Maori Man and The Madonna
Tohu One – First Sign
In 2007, I was doing my own 24 hour vigil, no food, no water, no sleep inside a secluded forest space. About 10 paces long by 10 paces wide. I did not leave this space and stayed there for the whole 24 hour vigil. Just watching myself. Tracking my thoughts, feelings and movements over this time. Inside this space. I would place a stone into a hole for each hour passing. A lesson learnt. 24 stones in total. At around 2am in the darkness, I noticed a white light in the trees. It perplexed me. It looked like a hooded figure holding a child. I thought I was just imaging things. It stayed there so I looked away. Avoiding it. Rationalised that it was just starlight through the tree canopy. But I remembered crying and this feeling of compassion. Maybe I was feeling sorry for myself. Who knows. So I waited until 6.05am in morning and wrote down the following..
Here is a transcription of the note above:
“6.05am 21 Jan 07. It is now dawn and much lighter. Just remembering that white light. The outline looked like Mother Mary with robe over head looking down. Well it was the sky through the canopy. Yet why it appeared bright white when all the other spaces appeared black? I don’t know. Maybe Mother Mary is my guide. The lesson I got from the light was compassion. I know the eyes can play tricks when tired and in the dark. But I kept blinking my eyes and closing them to make it go away. It was starting to annoy me cause it was right in my face. I dunno but to give thanks. I am looking at the same space right now in the light of day. It just looks like a tree canopy with leaves and twigs. Maybe this was the vision. Lesson. Believe in Visions and Miracles of Life. Believe. 22 Stone: Belief – Believe it and It is.”
Tohu Two – Second Sign
Over a year later in September 2008, again out in the forest. I had dug a cave in the side of a bank to sleep in. It was getting dark and I had lit a candle inside to continue digging. I had just finished when I decided to pull a rock out of the back cave wall. The shadow cast on the wall from the candle onto the rock indention looked like the Mother Mary holding a baby. So I decided to wait until morning and have another look. It looked different in the daylight coming through the cave entrance. But I knew that there was an outline, an imprint on the wall. So I shaped the soft rock with my spade and made a small altar. I left the candle and some flowers. This black and white photo was taken when I left the cave. Ironically a little baby niece called Te Puea was born the same time I made this little altar. So I dedicated this little altar to her birth. She is now 8 years old (as at 2015).
Tohu Three – Third Sign.
In March 2012, I was visiting an eco-village Te Tihi near Turangi, Taupo here in New Zealand when I was talking to Maori man whose name was Kereopa. He seemed a spiritual man with moko tattooed on his face. For some reason, our conversation turned to the Madonna and I shared the above experiences.
He looks at me and says,
I have something to give you.
You must be the one I have give this taonga (talisman) to?
So he goes away and comes back with a green rosary bead with Mother Mary and a Crucifix. He had been given it by a priest or nun from some monastery in Europe I think. I could have this wrong. He was told that he would meet someone whose story would resonate and he was to give this rosary. He says a prayer and gives this to me.
I only tell you this because it must have some significance for me. This is part of my mythology. Part of my life story. My own book of mystical experiences. Yet Madonna does not really fit into my Maori spirituality as I know it. Papatuanuku, Hinenuitepo, Hinenuiteao, Hinemoana, Kokawhenua and the other many female Maori goddesses. Maybe it comes from my Gaelic lineage. I dunno. Maybe I need to let go my cultural preferences. Maybe this goes a lot deeper than my surface story here. A good friend said it was part of the Mother Earth, Gaia, Sophia energy coming through me. Papatuanuku as she is known here in Aotearoa. Hmmm it is what it is. Or whatever meaning we take from it.
You must track the spiritual signs or tohu that happen in your life. It is part of your own mythology. Your life story. Who knows what wonders may reveal themselves? The great mystery behind our world of man-made appearances.