This week last year I was on Moku O Keawe (Big Island), in Puna, preparing the way for the start of the Cultural Immersion Retreat. How different the landscape is 12 months on.
I have had numerous significant, momentous, impactful and ‘chicken skin’ moments during my many Hawaiian sojourns. Those involving the Goddess Pele being particularly profound.
Presenting protocols and offering ho’okupu of Hula and Oli with Kumu Neaulani Kuamo’o- Peck at Kalapana and the crater at Halema’uma’u (Pele’s home), standing on the very rim with Kumu Kanoelani Davis delivering ho’okupu of oli written by her. There are many others, however these stay powerfully preserved in my visual and kinaesthetic memories.
🌋There are many perspectives on the currant events with Pele.
You will often hear the Kanaka Maoli speak of ‘Pele is dancing’. There are lineages who are believed to be direct descendants. They know Na Akua, the Gods and Goddesses, are ancestors who inspire; who live in and are extensions of them, who take many kinolau (forms) and present as various elements. They honour and respect all life very deeply.
Known by various names: Ka Wahine Ai Honua, “the woman who devours the land” and Pelehonuamea, “She who shapes the sacred land”, she is an everpresent energy on Moku O Keawe. She is renowned for her passionate and fiery temperament. She is both destroyer and creator. She transforms.
Again, perception and perspective are important. Her destruction can be seen as negative and fear-based or it can be viewed that her upheaval is clearing the way for something new and better to be created.
(Let me be clear, I am in no way diminishing the physical, emotional and life-changing ramifications her movement has had on people. That is incredibly profound and devastating to many.)
Many believe Pele is offended when we disrespect the earth and/or Hawaiian culture. If we look at some of the currant concerns on Big Island, perhaps things can be viewed a little differently with eyes of a deeper perspective and perception.
For example :
🌋 The sacred ohia tree and its lehua blossoms have deep roots in Hawaiian culture. There is deep symbology shared through mo’olelo as well as it’s importance in maintaining ecosystem of flora and fauna. These forests have been decimated by Rapid Ohia Death (ROD) via a virulent fungus. However the hardy native ohia lehua is one of the first plants to recolonize otherwise barren lands blanketed in lava. It will grow afresh now without the fungus.
🌋There has been much controversy about the Geothermal Plant – is Pele saying ‘enough!’
🌋 Is she also re-locating those who are in fear and not honouring the stewardship of the land?
🌋 Are things that are not healthy being removed?
🌋 Is she looking for Ai La’au as some mo’olelo suggest, or as others suggest Ai Lau’au is facing off with Pele?
The truth is I’m not sure there is any human who can answer that for sure. Perhaps it’s all of the above and so much more.
I would however encourage everyone to take this opportunity to deepen their knowledge both form a current event standpoint as well as Kanaka Maoli sacred and spiritual belief understanding.
This radio interview with Kekuhi Keliʻikanakaʻole certainly assists in deepening layers of understanding. http://hawaiipublicradio.org/post/kekuhi-keli-ikanaka-ole-pele-today
Over the years I have heard many people flippantly ‘bandy about’ the name of Pele in assorted situations. Very often these are used completely inappropriately with lack of respect, knowledge and with ignorance or arrogance. (Such as the person who was teaching lomilomi students to invoke Pele during EVERY massage session. Yes, this was my face 😳 along with a deep intake of HA. I explained to the person who shared that with me, why it was not pono and that there were tens of thousands of other Goddesses that may be appropriate and wanting to present themselves!)
If you are going to ‘invoke’ Pele, be very, very mindful and aware of potential consequences and ramifications.
If we look at the symbology of Pele and what she represents: action, movement, upheaval, clearing the path, death, birth, renewal, transformation, is timely perhaps to utilise the analogy of that within our own lives and ask :
🔥 Are you fuelling your passion?
🔥 How is your landscape? Are there old beliefs, emotions, ways of thinking, objects, items, people, places or situations that are impacting the wellness and harmony of your landscape?
🔥 Are there actions it would be pono to take or that you have been avoiding.
When we are not choosing to take the steps to kala (release), oki (cut, finish, end) and move forward ourselves, a major upheaval will likely present itself to ensure we address those beliefs and behaviours.
Pele’s appearance can occur when it’s time to change course, time to take action, to move forward, time to IMUA. Her presence signals signs to change…… which of course you can choose to ignore or resist…..😳😁
I had written most of this blog when I went to Zumba and for coffee to clear my mana’o and clear the way for any more input from Nā Kūpuna, when I bumped into and old work colleague. I do so love the way the ancestors orchestrate these ‘set-ups’. He is someone I worked with over 30 years ago and he shared with me a little of his 30 year journey of destruction with drugs, heavy drugs. Action was taken to change that and he is now journeying a fresh path. He acknowledges with gratitude the blessings of his journey and what is unfolding for him now. Perception and perspective. Such a reflection of the aspects of Pele : upheaval, action, transformation, clearing the path, death of the old and new growth.
Ke Akua Wahine O Ka Pōhaku ‘Ena ‘Ena, ‘Eli ‘Eli Kau Mai!
Oh Goddess of the Burning Stones, may wonder and awe possess me!