Kina are fat and juicy in Whiringa-ā-rangi. (Image: Getty)

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

It’s Whiringa-ā-rangi/November, and Matiti Muramura, the third summer phase. Pōhutukawa blossom and kina are juicy and fat! Fish movement increases and tākeke (baby piper fish) come ashore again.

The tākeke arrive in this Muramura phase, on the turning tide during Rakaunui. Based on observations last year, the timing would be around Rakaunui in December rather than November. Engari, we would have to observe for ourselves.

In the words of Rangi Matamua: ‘To study a culture is a culture dying, but to practise a culture, is a culture living.” Our challenge is to take the maramataka learning we have and put it into action. This could be observing the tohu around us and being aware.

There is a natural energy flow in the environment if we take the time to be present. Being conscious with the environment is what being in tune with the maramataka is about.

The seven summer phases

  1. Matiti Kura – small red berries in the bush
  2. Matiti Hana – puawānanga / puareinga flowers (clematis) turn brilliant white
  3. Matiti Muramura – northern rātā and the pōhutukawa flower – the canopy turns from white (hana) to red (muramura)
  4. Matiti Kaiwai – the middle of summer when the ground is dry
  5. Matiti Raurehu – most difficult to detect, usually occurs in early February. White dust-like substances on the lawn resembles frost.
  6. Matiti Rautapata – when the seed pods burst and seeds fall (tapata) onto the dry leaf bed
  7. Matiti Rauangina – when leaves swing as they fall. “Te angina” – free fall

Key dates 

🌕  Oturu, Rakaunui and Rakau matohi: October 31 – November 2

In the phase of the full moon, we had a double dose of energy with two incoming tides. Water content in the earth and in our bodies was at its highest. A time to plant, double up on exercising, social and physical activity, and getting the to-do list done!

🌙  Korekore te whiwhia, Korekore te rawea and Korekore piri ngā tangaroa: November 5-7

The low days are a time to rest and focus more on planning and reflecting – low activity, exercise and movement.

Tangaroa a mua, Tangaroa a roto and Tangaroa kiokio: November 8-10

Energy is fruitful, fertile and productive; absolutely love this time of the month! Get your plants in.

🌔 Mutuwhenua, Whiro and Tirea: November 14-16

This again is the time to rest and wind down. It is not ideal for high social and physical activity. Check in on whānau and friends at this time, give them a call to see how they are.

🌓  Tamatea a ngana, Tamatea a hotu, Tamatea a io and Tamatea kai ariki: November 20-23

It’s an unpredictable time in the environment in terms of the changing weather and people are also unpredictable. Kia tūpato, be extra prepared.

Click here to learn how to use our maramataka dial and to download your own.

Utunga (reciprocity days)

4 November Oike: Give back to Papatūānuku and caring for mother earth.

11 November Otane: Give back to trees, forest, plants and birds.

18 November Ouenuku: Give back to Ranginui, the skies – look after your mental wellbeing.

24 November Huna: Give back to the ocean and waterways.

Tohu in Whiringa-ā-rangi

Tohu o te whenua (signs on land)

In Matiti Muramura the tohu on land are pōhutukawa and northern rātā. The colour and size of the pōhutukawa flower indicate when kina (sea urchin) are ready for the big dive. When the local pōhutukawa are bright red, the kina are big and juicy.

Tohu o te rangi (signs in the sky)

The whetu star is Whitikaupeka (Spica) which is the brightest star in the Virgo constellation. Its rising follows the star of Whiringa-ā-nuku, Te Kakau (Regulus).

Tohu o te moana (signs in the water)

Tākeke are a significant tohu and without it other big fish group would be limited. What’s so cool about the maramataka is it tells us exactly when the tākeke are due to come ashore and nest their eggs.




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