During my time on Big Island, I had the unforgettable experience of witnessing not one...but two simultaneous volcano eruptions!
Kīlauea erupted first, and staying erupting on and off, followed by Mauna Loa erupting as an ending symphony of my time there. It was a beautiful sight to behold, driving down the highway toward Kona and looking to our left-hand side only to see lava creeping ever-so-slowly toward us. Tourists flocked to the island after it was made clear that Mauna Loa was not presently plotting to take over any residences.
Big Island is known for being the "root chakra" island... and after living there for some years, it is clear as to why. The entire island is alive, constantly shifting, and unsettled. It is a challenging feat to feel grounded on an island with active lava flows, where the powerful catalyst shifts are literally felt in the atmosphere.
This is the work of Pele, the Goddess archetype I became acquainted with on Big Island... she teaches you to serve on the foundation you build within. Madam Pele takes away any foundation that is rooted in falsehood. On my Founder Story, I spoke briefly about Madam Pele and how she aided me in the discovery of my metaphorical sword sheathed in my spine. Living on Big Island instilled me with great wisdom, helped me regain my boundaries and voice, and awakened some healthy levels of anger within me. My inner Woman, the one who refuses to be messed with, emerged.
I lived in a rainforest cabin during my time there, surrounding by Ohia trees at the base of Pele's home in Kilauea. Despite the seemingly cozy environment, the constant rain pattering on my tin roof, and the 9-acres of pure isolation (besides the company of a multicellular of cats that regularly found me), I continuously felt unsettled... like I was in the hands of an island whose only promise was that things were going to shift, really fast... at any time.
And shift they did! I experienced cataclysmic shift after shift, with things never as they were appearing to me, and my heart took these shifts over and over again... stab after stab after stab. My entire reality shifted, over and over again, and I was gaslit into thinking that reality wasn't real, over and over again.
Yet, throughout it all, Madam Pele was there... steadily watching me from within her fire, burning peacefully. Nature creates... and nature destroys. The destruction of my reality was very much on par with creation. She watched me, and sent me terrible dreams for a full year, until one day I made a decision that served me. The dreams immediately stopped... and I discovered that my wild woman (all my recent anger outbursts) had always been simply trying to protect me. It was righteous to be angry when you have been deeply infringed upon.
My entire nervous system settled at the end of my stay there. I knew it was time to move on. I had reacquainted myself with Pele's fire... and, even if the flows stopped, it would continue on within me.
Without further ado... in honor of my art print collection, with many pieces focused on this deity...
Let's Learn About Madam Pele:
Pele is the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes. She is revered by many as the embodiment of the power and majesty of nature, and her legend has inspired countless stories and myths throughout Hawaiian history.
According to legend, Pele was born on the island of Tahiti, but was banished from her homeland due to her fiery temper and destructive nature. She and her siblings then embarked on a journey across the Pacific Ocean in search of a new home. As they traveled, Pele's fiery eruptions created new islands, and her siblings took on different forms, becoming the various gods and goddesses that populate Hawaiian mythology.
When Pele finally reached Hawaii, she descended into the caldera of Kilauea volcano on the Big Island and made it her home. There, she continued to shape the landscape with her eruptions and molten lava, often clashing with other deities who were protective of the land and its inhabitants.
Pele is said to be a passionate and temperamental goddess, often depicted as fiercely protective of her territory and her followers. She is known to take revenge on those who disrespect her or her sacred places, and her wrath can be felt in the eruptions and earthquakes that shake the islands.
Despite her fiery nature, Pele is also revered for her creativity and her role in shaping the land. Her volcanic eruptions have created some of the most stunning and fertile landscapes in Hawaii, and many believe that she continues to shape and reshape the islands to this day.
One of the most famous legends associated with Pele tells of her rivalry with the goddess of the sea, Namakaokaha'i. According to the story, Pele and her brother Kamapua'a, the god of the land and vegetation, fell in love. Namakaokaha'i, who was jealous of their relationship, sent a series of waves and floods to destroy Pele's home and drive her away.
Undeterred, Pele continued to fight back with her fiery eruptions, and the two goddesses engaged in a fierce battle that lasted for centuries. In some versions of the story, Pele eventually emerges victorious and establishes herself as the dominant deity on the Big Island.
Pele is also associated with a number of sacred sites throughout Hawaii, including the Halema'uma'u Crater at the summit of Kilauea, which is considered her home and the site of her most powerful eruptions. Many Hawaiians still perform rituals and offerings to honor Pele and ask for her protection and guidance.
Despite her fearsome reputation, Pele is also viewed as a benevolent deity who offers healing and transformation to those who seek her help. She is often invoked in traditional Hawaiian healing practices, and many believe that her energy can be channeled to bring about spiritual and emotional healing.
In recent years, Pele has become a symbol of resilience and strength for many Hawaiians, particularly in the face of natural disasters such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. Her legend continues to inspire and captivate people around the world, and her power and majesty remain a testament to the awe-inspiring forces of nature.
Whether viewed as a fearsome deity or a benevolent force for healing and transformation, Pele's legacy is a testament to the enduring power and beauty of the natural world.