Learning to live by the maramataka: Paengawhāwhā

We finally reach the last summer phase ‘Matiti Rauangina’, when the Paengawhāwhā constellation appears in the sky and the leaves fall from the tress.

Learn more about the maramataka, the Māori lunar calendar, here.

Nau mai ki te marama a Paengawhāwhā.

April/Paengawhāwhā is here and we look forward to a productive cycle ahead. Add the dates below to align your calendar with the maramataka and natural energies.

Similar to last month, Paengawhāwhā is a time for preserving kai. Our grandparents often prepare pickles, chutney and jams. Paengawhāwhā is also for whānau activities. A whānau goal in our whare is to plant something every full moon. This keeps us accountable, gets us outside checking the garden and the moon and adds fresh kai to our pātaka.

Tip: Plant on the full moon

Other activities this month could include a whānau day or morning exercise at the beach on a Tangaroa day. On a low energy day it could be reading, study, goal planning, or Netflix/movies. Anything chill on a low energy day is ideal.

Tohu in Paengawhāwhā 

Tohu o te rangi (signs in the sky)

Paengawhāwhā, also known as the Pegasus constellation, is the tohu this month. Paengawhāwhā appears with another star known as Kaipō or Whetūkaupō (the Deneb star). Whetūkaupō/Deneb is one of the brightest stars in the Milky Way. Depending on your location in Aotearoa, you would use the star that is visible from your region as the tohu (marker) for the start of this period.

Download the Skyview app or other stargazing apps – point your camera to the sky to find stars, constellations and more.

Tohu o te whenua (signs on land)

We finally reach the last summer phase ‘Matiti Rauangina’. This is the harvest phase when temperatures cool and leaves swing and fall to the ground. As leaves fall from the tree we call this ‘te angina’ (free fall) which is how we get the name of this phase ‘Matiti Rauangina’.

Key maramataka dates (Auckland, Manukau Harbour, West Coast)

2, 3 and 4 April: The lowest energy days – Mutuwhenua, Whiro and Tirea. Perfect for rest, organising and preparation

8, 9 10 and 11 April: Unpredictable, changing weather and energy. Tamatea a ngana, Tamatea a hotu, Tamatea a io and Tamatea kai ariki

18, 19 and 20 April: Super high energy days – Oturu, Rakaunui and Rakau ma tohi. We love these days!

23 24 and 25 April: Low energy days – Korekore te whiawhia, Korekore te rawea and Korekore piri ki ngā tangaro. Great relaxing and reflecting days

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26, 27 and 28 April: Fruitful, productive energy – Tangaroa a mua, Tangaroa a roto and Tangaroa kiokio. Great time to be near the water

12, 22 and 29 April: Reciprocity days – Huna, Oike and Otane. These days are spread across the moon cycle and you can see where they fall in the dial here:

Please note: This is intended as a guide to help you learn to about key dates in the maramataka and read the tohu (signs). Tohu will change from area to area and therefore while the dates above might be accurate for Auckland Manukau Harbour area, dates may vary slightly for those in other rohe.


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