In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

Testing The Volcano Goddess

While I was eating my lunch the other day, I came across a Christian blog post in which the author complains about something called Pele’s Curse. This is a belief among Hawaiians that anyone who steals any lava rocks from the volcanos of Hawaii will draw forth the wrath of Pele, the Polynesian volcano Goddess. Apparently, many tourists like to remove such rocks and take them back with them to the continental States as souvenirs. And sure enough, most of these people end up sending the rocks back to Hawaii, along with letters of apology that are often written to Pele Herself. In the letters, the tourists explain that they have had terrible luck since taking the lava rocks home, and I’m not just talking about missing keys here. We’re talking house fires, divorces, deaths in the family, that kind of stuff. Things so bad that even people who don’t really believe in Pele are willing to entertain the possibility and show Her some respect.

Of course, the author of this blog post – along with the people in the comments section – laments the fact that anyone would be so foolish as to believe in such “rubbish.” (The idea that a Polynesian Goddess might want Her rocks back is just completely nonsensical when compared to the idea of a carpenter rising from the dead and flying into the sky, isn’t it?) The thing is, experts do seem to think that the story of Pele’s Curse is a twentieth century innovation that only dates back to the 1940s (at the very latest). It possibly originates from a native park ranger who was really ticked off about tourists taking the rocks; but even if this is true, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any truth to the story. The ranger could have been a Pele worshiper; and even if he wasn’t, She could still have used him as a progeny for Her cause. I don’t know if Pele is really pissed off by people stealing Her lava rocks or not, but I’ll tell you this much: I certainly wouldn’t take them, and there are many other people who have but will never do so again.

It’s amazing to me that people can be so close-minded as to think others are ridiculous while failing to see how their own views can be equally so. If you’ll allow me to exhibit my own personal bias for a moment, this right here is just one more reason why I think polytheism is the most objective and intellectually honest form of theism there is. If I believe in something I can’t prove, I’m not going to ridicule others for believing in things they can’t prove either. I will, however, criticize them for talking down to people and treating them hypocritically. I think the author of the aforementioned blog post should go to Hawaii, take a lava rock, and see what happens. I think that would be very interesting to see.


8 responses to “Testing The Volcano Goddess

  1. Loki's Little Hippie Witch December 9, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Well, maybe if people would think to ask Pele or the local land spirits for a rock, they might be given one, sans bad luck! Would they want someone coming into their home and just taking stuff??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. caelesti December 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

    If this guy was Mr. Super-Logical Christian, like a Deist/process theology sort, maybe he could complain about attribution drift. I can see other Christians viewing this differently- as respecting their god’s creation/being good stewards (some liberal Christians see all gods as One) That guy, however is a climate change denier so I doubt he gives a rip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian December 10, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      You’re totally right. I bet this person thinks Donald Trump is really the bee’s knees, too. (Oh yes, I have more to say about that as well.) Most of the Christians I know would probably think the idea of Pele’s Curse is silly, but at least they wouldn’t be quite so vitriolic or demeaning about it.


  3. Aleph December 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    It’s funny, I once tried getting into worshipping Pele when I was about 12 (I liked volcanoes and jungles and I still have some attachment to those things), and I never entertained the idea of being “cursed” her just by taking some of her rocks. That said, I’ve never been to Hawaii. Perhaps I should visit some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian December 10, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      I’ve never been to Hawaii either. One of these days I’d love to go. I don’t know that much about Pele, or Polynesian folk religion in general for that matter, but this just gives me something new to read about. For some reason, whenever I think about Hawaii I always think about that old show, Magnum PI, which was pretty hot when I was a little kid. You know what we need? A detective show set in Hawaii like Magnum, but with Polynesian magic and folkore. Just add the cheesy 80s music and I’ll be happier than a pig in shit.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. johnkutensky December 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve always just personally liked Pele, but I hadn’t heard of her curse before. It’d be interesting to test how many tourists who are unaware of the curse feel they’ve started having significantly more bad luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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