Hidden Meanings Behind the "Moana" Movie
Reviewed by Joy Ramos Davis

Synopsis: When the demigod Maui stole the heart stone from island goddess Te Fiti, it caused a great darkness that affected the island of Motunui's food supply.  Based on a prophecy, someone will sail beyond the island's reefs and force the trickster Maui to return the heart stone.  The ocean chose Moana, the chieftan's daughter, who was forbidden by her father to leave the island.  She discovered outrigger canoes hidden away as evidence that her people were once wayfarers.  It was time for her to venture out to sea and fulfill her destiny.

Warning: Contains Spoilers

Welcome to "Conscious Movie Reviews."  I'm your host Joy Davis and here to review the animation and adventure film, "Moana."

Trouble began when the demigod Maui stole the heart stone of island goddess, Te Fiti.  He took away her divine ability to create life.  Maui just  wanted to gift humans with that power.  His thievery left the Lava demon enraged, throwing the heart stone together with Maui's magical fishhook into the ocean, then banished him to be alone on a small island.

Maui's good intentions were similar to Prometheus in Greek Mythology for stealing fire from Mount Olympus to benefit humanity.  He eternally suffered when Zeus chained him to a mountain rock for an eagle to eat his liver daily, only to be regenerated by night, due to his immortality.

According to Mystic Healer Sonja Grace, she teaches that "a demigod is a much larger being.  They come from all over the Universe.  They are star beings.  Their development is beyond human understanding.  They can appear and take form or not, and their benevolent vibration allows them the ability to shape and mold the human race.  The human form is young and underdeveloped.  We have always been guided by demigods."

Water Has Memory & Intelligence

On the Polynesian island of Motunui, the people passed on an ancient prophecy about someone who will travel beyond their reef to restore Te Fiti's heart.  It would cast away the darkness that continually drains their island's Life Force, threatening their food supply.  

The chosen one was Moana, the chieftain's daughter. 

As a toddler, Moana was playfully coerced by the ocean to receive the heart stone.  It was witnessed by her Grandmother who fully understood Moana's destiny. 

The ocean's ability to creatively express itself is an example of water being alive with memory and intelligence.  This was proven by Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto in 1994.  He would collect water samples from around the world, subjecting them to prayer, different kinds of music, and pictures.  Afterwards, he would freeze the waters.  They formed distinct ice crystal patterns, expressing back what the liquids were exposed to.  

The results were groundbreaking.  Emoto's experiment is a reminder that our human bodies are made up of 50 - 60 percent water.  The thoughts and feelings we hold about ourselves can be imprinted throughout our body's fluids to encourage health or disease.

Following Your Destiny

Without the heart stone in Te Fiti's care, a darkness drained the island's Life Force, threatening their food supply.  Moana suggested that their people fish beyond the reef.  Her father, Chief Tui, warned that it was forbidden.  No one goes beyond the island.  He insisted that she take her rightful place as the next chieftain.  This went against her strong desire to heed the call of the ocean.

As part of a pre-birth agreement, we hold the knowledge of our destiny within the heart.  Life can give you outer confirmations that you're on a direct path to fulfilling it.

Encouraging Moana was her grandmother, Tala.  By taking her to a secret cave behind the waterfalls, she marveled at the outrigger canoes that revealed their cultural past as great wayfarers. 

By necessity, Moana was urged to take the heart stone and make the demigod, Maui, return it to the island goddess, Te Fiti, because the ocean chose her.  

Pius "Mau" Piailug was one of the most widely known wayfarers, earning the esteemed title of master navigator from Micronesia.  He followed the ancient practice of navigating the seas without any instruments - no compass or sextant.  This was demonstrated in his famous voyage of sailing 3,000 miles from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976, just using his wayfaring skills.  His feat proved that the Polynesian navigators were masterful in sailing against strong currents and winds, dispelling the scientific notion that their ancestors migrated from South America to the Pacific islands by drifting with the currents, as theorized by Thor Heyerdahl of the Kon-Tiki expedition. 

Trained since the age of 4 or 5, Mau was well versed in reading the clouds, feeling distinct swells, following the stars, and other knowledge gained through traditional songs, stories, and dance.

Manta Ray Spirit Animal

Before passing away, Grandma Tala instructed Moana to set sail.  She reincarnated as a glowing Manta Ray to follow Moana's maiden sea voyage.

The Manta Ray as spirit animal provides effortless poise and a sense of direction.  Its message is about having trust in what you believe in as a guide towards your rightful path.

Meeting the Great Maui

Moana journeyed past the reefs to follow the fishhook constellation that would lead her to Maui.  Going along for the ride as a stowaway was Heihei, her pet rooster.

A big wave from a typhoon overturned the canoe, stranding them on a small, deserted island.  It was the very place that Maui was forced to stay for an entire millennia.  Upon meeting him, she grabbed Maui by the ear and charged him with stealing the heart stone from Te Fiti. 

Moana was unimpressed with the conceited demigod.  He boasted about his efforts to gift humanity when he lassooed the sun; took fires from hell; harnessed the breeze; and pulled islands from the sea.  It was all re-enacted by his tattoos that served as his animated storyteller and conscience.

Just like the science fiction story by Ray Bradbury called "The Illustrated Man," a wanderer's tattoos would magically come alive.  Anyone who stared at them can watch it move and change, predicting their future.

Maui was defiant.  He imprisoned Moana in a cave and sailed off without her in pursuit of his magical fishhook to be able to shapeshift again.  It was a bad idea, according to his tattoo.  Maui should get Moana.   

Moana, the Spiritual Warrior

Back at the cave, Moana managed to escape, and with help from an ocean wave, placed back onto the canoe.  Her dogged persistence made it hard for Maui to throw her overboard.  He stubbornly refused to return the heart stone. 

Maui feared that other dark creatures would be attracted to the stone's power.  His fears were confirmed when pygmy pirates in the form of warring coconuts chased after them. 

The power of creation they were seeking through the stone is already within their being.  Their attempt to steal it was an unconscious urge.  Whatever blessings you're given can never be taken away by anyone.  It was divinely given, just for you.

Maui steered the canoe to cause the massive ships to collide.  They narrowly escaped with the heart stone.

As a spiritual warrior, Moana was relentless, aligning her noble purpose and clear intent with rightful action to do what's necessary for the good of the whole.  The demigod Maui was just the opposite.  He lacked purity of intent.  It was muddied by self-deception and dishonesty with others, making him less effective in the world.

Get the Hook, Then Save the World

Maui made a conditional agreement with Moana by saying, "first we get my hook, then save the world." 

In order to retrieve Maui's magical fishing hook from a giant coconut crab named Tamatoa, they had to descend into a deep hole within the earth to get the magical fish hook from a giant crab named Tamatoa in the Realm of the Monsters. 

There is current evidence by scientists proving the Hollow Earth legend to be true with the discovery of huge openings at the North and South poles. 

Maui Tries Shapeshifting

By getting the giant crab to sing about his glamorous self, it was enough to distract him and retrieve the fish hook.

Back at the canoe, Maui was having difficulty shapeshifting.  He blamed it on the hook as being cursed instead of his rusty abilities.

Moana learned from him about his past.  He was born human with parents who threw him into the sea like he was nothing.  The gods found him and made him a demigod.  It was not enough that he provided humans with islands, fire or coconuts, so he stole Te Fiti's heart to be loved again.

By doing sacrificial deeds to gain outer approval, Maui gave his personal power away.  His self-esteem was tied in with doing, rather than being.  If he were to gift himself with love, acceptance and approval, he can be made whole again.   

Moana was given hands-on instruction in wayfaring.  When they arrived at Te Fiti island to return the heart stone, they were met by the wrath of the Lava demon that damaged the fish hook and repelled their boat out to sea. 

Feeling defeated, Maui cried out by saying, "Without my hook, I am nothing!"  He lacked faith to continue by being easily discouraged through setbacks.  Life's challenges are the very tests needed to grow in strength and resilience.  

Moana took it personally when he told her that the ocean chose the wrong person to save their people.  She threw the heart stone back into the ocean.  Suddenly, her grandmother appeared as a manta ray to offer her wise counsel and support. 

She was asked, Do you know who you are?  Moana beamed with pride to announce that she's an island girl who loves the sea that called to her.  The helpful reminder fueled Moana's inner fire to sail back and return the heart stone, with or without Maui's help.

Fulfulling Her Destiny

In a near-death battle, Moana was aided by Maui posing as a bird to distract the Lava demon.  She noticed from a mountain top that the spiral design on the demon's body was a match with the stone's symbol.  It was Te Fiti without a heart. 

As the Lava demon, Te Fiti embodied the Wounded Feminine archetype that is resentful, withdraws love, over-sensitive, and manipulative.   

By asking the ocean to part its waves, it allowed passage for Te Fiti to approach Moana for the heart stone, restoring the island goddess to her original form.  It was a return of her feminine energies to once again radiate nurturance, unconditional love and empathy.            

A Happy Island Ending

Out of gratitude, Te Fiti gifted Moana with a new canoe and a new hook for Maui before she took her place to rest at peace as the green mountains of the island.

Moana returned home as a master wayfarer, leading her people to sail the seas together in search for new islands.


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