Learning to live by the Maramataka: Whiringa-ā-rangi

As we enter the third phase of summer, the pōhutukawa are flowering and mullet are leaping. Want to know more? Check out the maramataka for November.

Hopefully you picked fun activities from last month’s column and maybe even started your veggie garden. For those who did and planted on the maramataka dates your garden should be growing well, not ready to eat yet but thriving into the next two months.

We are now moving from Matiti Hana to Matiti Muramura, the third phase of summer. There are seven summer phases in total and each has their own tohu, different depending on location. The phases in order are Matiti Kura, Matiti Hana, Matiti Muramura, Matiti Kaiwai, Matiti Raurehu, Matiti Rautapata and Matiti Rauangina. Each phase is identified by tohu and patterns such as flowering trees, ripening berries, the arrival of migratory birds, and the movement of fish and animals. These tohu help inform us of current and future seasons and the best activities to do.

Tohu in Whiringā-ā-rangi

Tohu o te whenua (signs on land): Matiti Muramura is a beautiful time with flowering pōhutukawa and northern rātā. Most pōhutukawa trees should be in flower by mid-December. Some people depending which coastal area use the colour and size of the pōhutukawa flower as an indicator of when certain seafood are ready for catch, such as the kina (sea urchin).

Tohu o te rangi (signs in the sky): The rising star in November is Whitikaupeka (Spica). Whitikaupeka is set to be visible around early November.

Tohu o te moana (signs in the water): The tohu o te moana is ‘ngā tama korowhiti a Tangaroa’. Ngā Tama Korowhiti a Tangaroa means ‘the leaping of the mullet’. Mullet fish (kanae) were once plentiful in the Kaipara harbour. In our great grandparents day people caught thousands of mullets in the Kaipara. Now there are not near as many. Kaumatua tell us that kanae leap into the air after they have laid their eggs. Keep an eye out for the “leaping mullet” if you’re on the coast this month.

Click to learn more about maramataka and how to use the Maramataka Dial. Supplied by Ayla Hoeta and Rereata Makiha.

Key maramataka dates (West Coast)

29, 30 and 1 November – Tangaroa a mua, Tangaroa a roto and Tangaroa kiokio: Great fishing and planting days. People are more positive and energetic on these days. You are more likely to gain positive outcomes in decision making processes. Book your hui on one of these days whanau.

3, 4 and 5 November – Orongonui, Omauri and Mutuwhenua: This time is suitable to plant many types of food; watery crops, root crops and salads.

6 November – Whiro: This is the lowest energy day of the month and the darkest night when the moon is not visible. This is the perfect time to rest and plan. It is also a time of fasting. On low energy and calm activity days, we do not need as much food and we are at a stage of cleansing the body.

11, 12, 13 and 14 November – Tamatea a ngana, Tamatea a hotu, Tamatea a io and Tamatea kai ariki: The winds can be very unpredictable on these dates. If you are out on the water take extra caution. The energy level is moderate so take it easy, not high activity just moderate. My observation in the last few months  is the weather changes quickly from rain, to sun, to strong winds. See what you notice.

21, 22 and 23 November – Oturu, Rakaunui and Rakau ma tohi: The highest energy days of the month around the full moon. This is opposite to Whiro. We love the energy the full moon brings. We are more productive, get more work done and planting is great. Rakaunui is a great time for everything – high activity, action, events and sports to name a few.

26, 27, 28, 29 November – Korekore te whiawhia, Korekore te rawea and Korekore piri ki ngā tangaroa: These are low energy days like Whiro. They are not suitable for high activity. This is the time to reflect, think and plan. I love these days for mindfulness, and calmer activities like yoga. Anything to do with intellectual stimulation is great for these days.

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Want to know more? Check out the maramataka Cheat Sheet and download your own maramataka dial here.

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