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Plant Profile: No 63 Karamu

No 63 Karamu

Coprosma robusta


First Light® No 63 Karamu is the Manifestation essence. Karamu will help bring focused intent and concentration to manifest what is needed into the life. It helps you begin a task and be present in the moment, knowing you have everything you need to achieve your desire and objective.

Karamu is a shrub that grows to around 5m in height and has sharp-pointed leathery leaves and pale brown bark. The green flowers grow in dense heads and turn into small orange, bitter fruit that birds love. It is found all over New Zealand and is a tough plant that often grows in windy or cold conditions and in poor soil.

Karamu have both male and female plants, which must grow near each other in order to produce berries and seeds.

Highly revered by Maori, the karamu was widely used as a magical plant by the Tohunga who oversaw the many rites of day to day life in pre-European Maori society. Among other ritual and spiritual uses, the Tohunga used the Karamu for the following purposes:

  • Healing from physical illness – a twig of karamu was placed in front of the person suffering from the illness while incantations were performed to cure the disease
  • An apron of karamu and kawakawa twigs was worn by the Tohunga as they performed incantations to bring sight to the blind
  • The Tohi rite was performed to bless a newborn child. During this rite, the Atua to whom the child was dedicated was chosen and the Tohunga used their magical karamu branch to sprinkle the baby with water while invoking the qualities of the chosen Atua.
  • The Tohi-taua (baptism of war) rite was performed by the Tohunga on warriors about to enter into battle. The sacred karamu branch was dipped into the stream and used to tap each kneeling warrior on the shoulder while reciting a Karakia. If the branch broke, that warrior would not survive the battle and was kept behind to protect the rest of the group and to preserve his life.

The theme of each of these rites is based on focused intent, conservation and wise use of energy and alignment to one’s personal unique journey and destiny. Karamu is truly a magical plant essence that can assist to bring these qualities into your daily life. With Karamu you too can manifest your desires and objectives in alignment with your destiny.

Karamu Deva’s Blessing

I offer you the mantle of magical focus and direction. Through me you discover the power of personal self-expression – will in motion through the act of personal alignment.

Negative Condition:

Feels ill-equipped to deal with a situation or task or does not feel up to the task at hand. Has a ‘woe is me’ attitude. Is unaware of one’s unique individual gifts. Has no energy to rise to the many demands of the situation. Can feel inferior to others with more magnetic or powerful personalities.

Positive Potential:

Staying totally in the moment and manifesting what is needed in the life. Making a decision to be all that one can be and refusing to settle for less. Focusing attention to bring about an objective. Increased personal charisma, vitality and magnetism.

Photo credit: Phil Bendle

This article contains extracts from The Sacred Plant Medicine of Aotearoa Volume 1 by Franchelle Ofsoské-Wyber.