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Plant seedlings on the Mahuru full moon (Sept 14) and your garden will thrive.
Plant seedlings on the Mahuru full moon (Sept 14) and your garden will thrive.

ĀteaSeptember 9, 2019

Learning to live by the maramataka: Mahuru

Plant seedlings on the Mahuru full moon (Sept 14) and your garden will thrive.
Plant seedlings on the Mahuru full moon (Sept 14) and your garden will thrive.

Mahuru (September) is a time of regrowth and rebirth and triggers matiti kura, the first phase of summer.

It is Mahuru (September) and many of us are excited about warmer days! The name Mahuru is a shortened version of the name ‘Te ahunga o uruao’ which means the new generation of whitebait. This name aligns with ngā tohu o te moana (signs in water). Our old Māori names capture the activity for each part of the year.

Key dates

2 – 5 September – Tamatea a ngana, Tamatea a hotu, Tamatea a io and Tamatea kai ariki: These are days to take extra caution as energy can be unpredictable. Not low or high, but moderate to unpredictable energy.

12 – 14 September – Oturu, Rakaunui and Rakau ma tohi: The highest energy days of the month on the fuller moon. This is a great time for high activity, action, events, sports, planting and most things that require high energy. This is when you get things done!

17 – 19 September – Korekore te whiawhia, Korekore te rawea and Korekore piri ngā tangaroa: These are low energy days and similar to Whiro. They are not suitable for high activity but for resting, reflecting and planning.

20 – 22 September – Tangaroa a mua, Tangaroa a roto and Tangaroa kiokio: The great fishing and planting days, I like to call these fruitful days. This is a great time to work with people, meetings, events, gatherings, work, to-do lists and all-round productive energy.

27 September – Whiro: This is the lowest energy day of the month. Best time to reflect, rest and plan.

What to do in Mahuru

Mahuru is a time of regrowth, rebirth and renewal and triggers matiti kura, the first phase of summer. We can align this whakaro with reciprocity days in the maramataka to replenish the garden, visit the awa and ngahere and set our intentions to honour the natural elements around us. We have four reciprocity days each dedicated to a different natural element. The reciprocity days are Ouenuku, Oike, Otane and Huna.

Reciprocity days (utunga)

6 September, Huna (give back to the ocean): A day to give back to Tangaroa. A way to give back could be cleaning the waterways, picking up rubbish along the shores, saving water, supporting a cause to protect sea life.

16 September, Oike (give back to land): This is a time to give back to Papatūānuku (mother earth). A way to honour this could be giving to the women and mothers in our lives.

23 September, Otane (give back to the ngahere): A day to give back to the inland forest, this can be the ngahere (bush), whenua (land), birds or animals.

30 September, Ouenuku (give back to Ranginui, sky/heavens): This day is dedicated to giving back to Ranginui (sky father). It’s also the name for a rainbow. We can give back by elevating our thoughts to the heavens. Reciprocity goes beyond whānau, to community and wider. At the heart of this, the intention is to whakamana (enhance mana of) relationships.

Tohu in Mahuru

Tohu o te rangi (signs in the sky)

Te Kakau (Regulus star) is due to rise on the eastern side. The stars Whakaahu Kerekere and Whakaahu Rangi (Castor and Pollux) remain in the eastern sky.

Tohu o te moana (signs in the water)

Whitebait are running. This is a tohu which indicates the change in season and the transition from Takurua (winter) to Matiti (summer).

Tohu o te whenua (signs on land)

This is the time to plant! I’m not kidding if you get your green seedlings in on this full moon your garden will absolutely thrive. Try kale, lettuce or silver beet, super easy to grow. Other tohu are pipiwharauroa (shining cuckoo) and ripening red berries.


If you live on the west coast, set your dial to Rakaunui the day before the full moon. If you live on the east coast, set your dial to Rakaunui the day of the full moon. Reset your dial each new moon cycle.

Have a great month everyone! Mauri ora.

Please note: This is intended as a guide to help you learn 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 for those in other rohe.

Keep going!