top of page

Goddess Pele of Hawaii

Dearest Pele,

Wild fiery daughter of Haumea, Mother of the Earth and Wakea, Father of the Sky. Pele is a most beloved Hawaiian deity. The legends of her are vast and would be impossible to capture in such a short post as this one. So I will tell just one story. A story of passion and pain.

Pele Reduction Print- The Coventina Press

Pele, goddess of volcanoes, fire and lightning was sent away from her home. She set off for an adventure in a canoe, carrying with her, her little sister, Hi'iaka in the shape of an egg. The ocean was so vast and the journey so long that when they finally arrived at the islands of Hawaii her little sister was already grown. Pele made the volcanoes and her sister danced among the flowers and groves and they were happy. Pele often traveled in spirit form to the many islands of Hawaii and on one visit met a mortal man called Lohiau and fell deeply in love with him. She spent as long as she could with him but eventually needed to return to her body and missing him desperately she begged her sister to travel to him and bring him to her. Pele, aware of her sisters beauty made her sister promise not to fall in love with him and to return within 40 days. Hi'iaka in return asked only that she care for her friend Hopoe and her groves.

Flickr/Ron Cogswell

Hi'iaka's journey to find Lohiau was a difficult one. Winds and rains lashed at her canoe and the journey took many weeks. When she finally arrived at the island, she found that Lohiau had died of a broken heart. Using all of her power Hi'iaka brought Lohiau back from death and asked if he would travel with her to Pele and he agreed. As they approached Hi'iaka realised that she had taken too long and 40 days had been and gone.

Pele all alone on the island had begun to rage, she believed her sister had betrayed her and had kept Lohiau for herself and in her fury she exploded with Lava. It flowed down through the beautiful groves, killing everything in its path, including Hi'iaka's best friend. Hi'iaka on her approach saw what Pele had done and sobbed in pain. Lohiau wrapped his arms around her to comfort her and Pele saw the pair and knew she had been forsaken. She sent all her might against the little boat, swirling it in the sea, surrounding it in a towering inferno but little Hi'iaka fought against her and the pair escaped to a different island. Eventually Lohiua and Hi'aka did fall in love and they spread their love of flowers and dance to all the islands in the tradition of Hula. Goddess Pele, passionate and impatient, stayed in her volcano, erupting every so often to remind the world of her power and her pain.

Tiare Wahine - Tom Pico

This is just one story of Pele and just one aspect of her personality but it is a great story to describe the element of fire and the fire archetypes within us. Passion is a powerful thing but a fire that burns too bright will consume you, and quite possibly everything you love as well.


bottom of page