Pele was born of the spirit Haumea in what is now know as Tahiti. She was a wanderer and set out with her little sister Hi’iaka, (in the form of an egg) under her arm in a canoe to what is now Hawaii. The story is she was pursued by Na-maka-o-kaha’i, her sister, the Goddess of the Seas because Pele had seduced Na-maka-o-kaha’i, husband. Pele, the legend tells, landed first on Kauai, but her sister flooded her fire pits, so she continued on until she found a place high on the top of Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. She lives there still.
The Hawaiians have many stories of Pele and her antics. Pele, according to legend was quite a lover, but a difficult one. The lava fields around Mauna Loa are filled with lava pillars – the remains of lovers that displeased her. There is a lesson here about fury and a woman scorned.
She, like many goddesses fell in love with a mortal. Her love was Lohi’au. She met him when she was dream walking. When she had to leave him to return to her sleeping body, she had her little sister go to where he lived on Kauai and convince him to come to her. Unfortunately, when she arrived she found he had died of grief. She brought him back to life, but took so long returning to Hawaii that Pele became suspicious of them, and sent lava into her sisters beautiful grove of trees killing her lover. When Hi’iaka discovered this she threw herself into the arms of Pele’s lover, Lohi’au. Pele, true to form sent lava down on them killing Lohi’au. Fortunately Lohi’au’s spirit was found by his brother and returned to his body. Lohi’au seems to have had a rough life.
Pele, the Goddess of Fire has a temper to match. She is to be respected. Even today visitors to Hawaii are warned to be careful not to anger her. The spirit of Pele lives a bit in everyone. To keep your temper in check, recognize the signs that “light your fire” and find a way to calm down. Use lava rock and obsidian to show respect to the Fire Goddess. A few pieces placed near your fireplace will show her you honor her gift of fire and appreciate the benefits it brings.