Respect Pele’s Legend
Hawaii is one of my favorite places I’ve ever visited. It’s beautiful, warm, friendly, but most of all it’s mystical. The island beliefs are fascinating.
One of the religions is Pele, the Goddess of volcanoes and fire and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands. Pele is the Goddess most spoke of and she is perhaps the most visible of all the ancient Hawaiian Gods and Goddesses. With the most popular Goddess, Pele has many legends on the island. Goddess Pele has many different stories.
One tale was the Goddess Pele was murdered by her sister and threw into the volcano, Kilauea. Goddess Pele’s body became part of the volcano and the lava rocks. Anytime the Volcano Kilauea erupts, or start to “act-up” the islanders say that Pele is upset. Now that you know the history of “Pele” you will hear the story of the lava rock.
We were excited to be visiting Hawaii, my dream vacation ever since I was little. I was always poor when I was little, going to Hawaii seemed like a dream come true. I saw how my family turned out with no dreams of anything but surviving, I didn’t want to just survive, I wanted to make something of myself, I wanted to be like the people I saw on TV going places and making a difference.
I worked hard, went to school, got a great job, met a wonderful man, married, had children, and became successful in life. Most people I know that have had it rough as a child and become wealthy forget “Where they came from”, but that’s one thing I’ll never forget, I’ve been there and never want to go back and believe in treating people how I want to be treated. I also have this fear of Karma. I feel if you treat people good, do right by others, and help when you can, then good things will happen to you.
We arrived in Hawaii and was treated with beautiful Leis and the most beautiful genuine smiles I’ve ever seen, not just at the airport, but everywhere we went. It was our second day there and with our travel package, we were to travel to one of the most popular volcanoes on the island. I was so excited to see a “real” volcano. When we arrived, there were dozens of islanders placing flowers, lei’s, gifts at the base of it. I asked our tour guide why they were doing that, and he said Pele was unhappy and has been smoking and starting to rumble for a while and they were trying to appease her. We were only allowed to go so far when it was blocked off for safety of the tourists. We were close enough to see the wondrous beauty of God’s creation and I couldn’t stop staring and thinking how lucky I was to be here.
I saw two guards coming up the hill with crates on a dolly. I watched as they approached and went by the blockade and on up the hill. As the guards passed the islanders, they all bowed their heads and was saying a prayer of some sort. My tour guide explained what was in the crates. When tourists come to the island they are intrigued by volcanoes and take souvenirs of lava rock, and other pieces from the volcano. Within months, sometimes weeks the rocks are mailed to be returned to Pele with letters attached.
The legend is its bad luck to take a piece of lava/rock from Pele because when she was murdered and pushed into the volcano, her body became part of every piece of the volcano. The lava, rocks, ashes all were part of Pele and any that leaves will bring bad luck to ones who took them. Each year thousands of rocks are returned with letters stating that ill fortune of some sort has come to them from illness, bankruptcy, divorce, loss of their jobs, death of a pet, and even death of a loved one.
When we got to the bottom of the volcano our guide took us to a large wood sign that states it could be dangerous to remove rocks, lava, ashes, and other particles from the volcano, but if you feel you must please mail back to the below address when misfortune falls upon you. With thousands of pieces of Pele mailed back each year, it seems tourists would abide by the warnings. Within minutes of the guards dumping the pieces of Pele along with the letters, Pele stopped rumbling and the smoke started to slow down. Myth? Legend? Superstitious? Reality? I should say there is some truth to the Myth or why would so many pieces be mailed back?!?