Order: Passeriformes – perching birds. Family: Meliphagidae – honey eaters
Essence: A love and commitment to explore life in its totality. Liberating expression.
Use: when there is a loss of duende, an essential quality of life force. When feeling defeated and over-ridden by another. For when there is an inability to communicate what is important. For those constantly on the alert and unable to settle.
Description: The plumage of the tui has colours of iridescent green with purplish-blue and black feathers. Around its neck are white shafted filamentous feathers that curl around the back. The tui has a white tuff of curled feathers at its throat. It has an extraordinary voice that covers a wide frequency range, with bell notes and raucous coughs and somehow brings forward a melodious song from a variety of sounds. They can mimic cell phones or backing vehicles and they can also mimic the human voice. Tui play an important part in the ecology of the forest, by pollinating plants and disseminating seeds. At communal feeding areas such as kowhai trees, hierarchies are common, one bird defending a flowering tree or food source against all other birds.
Tui eat nectar, fruit and insects, particularly cicadas and stick insects.
Meaning: This essence wakes us up, it opens up the chest so that you want to breathe and take in life. There is a cheeky awareness, a curiosity about what is happening in the world. When I take this essence I experience an aliveness and a joy and do not get caught up with how others might perceive me or influence me with their projections. I am a warrior.
I see the tui’s love for combat, their feathers flying, wings and beak in the midst of that encounter, an encounter is head on, is faced brilliantly. A bright light.
When I made this essence, there was an old tui in the orchard, there was a presence and there was no missing the cue. The cue to allow that presence, the quintessence of its strength, its acuteness to merge with the water.
Key words: love of life, clarity of action – meeting head on, desire and creativity, the joy of communication and expression.