Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Between Fire and Water
The Hawaiian islands are obviously marked with fire and water, and perhaps nowhere more actively so than on the Big Island.
When we went to Maui last year, I deepened my connection to a Mysterious One I call the Ocean Mother, and during this trip, she and I took it further.
Every morning, I would get up right around dawn and head out to the beach, walking in the surf as the sun came up, often singing a Southern Italian traditional devotional song to the sun. Blossoms scented the air and, often, I would see turtles either in the water or waking up from their nighttime slumber.
Large, black bees zoomed from flower to flower, birds chriped merrily away and crabs peeked out from their lava rock perches. I would then greet the Ocean Mother and bathe in her waters, making sure to get wet from head to toe. I came upon a great lava outcropping in the water where I would dance to the music of the waves while the they washed over my feet, rooted to the remnants of Pele's flowing eruptions.
Our spot at the Waikoloa Marriott was fairly calm compared to many of the glorious beaches elsewhere on the island. The Pololu Valley is one of many black sand beaches, but this one had flecks of gold in it. We hiked down a fairly precipitous, rocky path to the beach below where I did some spirit mapping spells for Queer Mystery with rocks and drawing in the sand, marveling at how the gold shone on the beach. (This is a photo of us on the way down to the site.)
Another favorite spot was on the southern side of the island, where the lava hadn't yet been pounded down to grains of sand. Here, the rock was irridescent with indigo, purples and reds reflecting in the sunlight. The waters shifted color, too, from deep blue to a brilliant turquoise as the waves pulled back and then crashed into the hardened lava, sending spray everywhere.
This magickal interplay between rock and water gave me the impression that Pele's lands are hotspots (no pun intended) of creation and opportunity. There's some major earth magick going on here that I don't quite understand yet, but hopefully, with repeated visits I'll get more of an idea. All I can verablize at this point is that major creation magick is taking place that is a model (and reminder?) of a balanced way of living for humans and other elements of our world. I've never so clearly felt just a part of the living fabric of the environment as I did in Hawai'i, partly because in the face of a volcano and crashing waves, it's hard to forget that we're just as delicate a part of the ecosystem as any other creature.
I also think that Pele (and the Ocean Mother, too) is all about non-attachment. People on the islands can build up their lives and villages, but with an eruption, a lava flow, an earthquake, a tsunami (which has twice destroyed the town of Hilo), all is gone and things must start anew. When tromping over rocky lava cliffs, I saw Ohi'a Lehua plants staking their claim on a seemingly inhospitable environment, demonstrating the rich opportunity provided by Pele. Constant newness and fecundity abounds.
This is the smoke pouring out of the Halema'uma'u Crater, which is part of the larger active caldera of Kilauea, Pele's longtime home. On the rim of Kilauea, people still leave floral offerings to the goddess of the islands, who is everywhere in art, ranger talks and even the names of dishes at restaurants.
To the left is a photo of the vent at Kilauea Iki, one of the side craters of the main caldera. I can't describe how large this vent is, but the part in the small mountain that looks like it's caved in is actually a large vent that spewed enormous amounts of lava in the mid-20th century - so much so that it created (from what I recall from the pamphlet) a 400-foot deep lake of lava in this sub-crater. Amazing! We did a hike across this crater, which had cracks in the lava from which steam poured, and olivine crystals (the beginnings of peridot) glittered from the black surface despite a mist and rain the pounded down on us the entire time.
Visiting the home of Pele and hanging out with the Ocean Mother were some of the highlight experiences of my life so far. I am so grateful to both of these amazing Mysterious Ones for sharing their magick with me.
Tomorrow, I'm off to Tuscany for a week-long workshop on the sacred dances, songs and goddess worship of Southern Italy with Alessanda Belloni. Here's a link to the villa I'm staying at.
I hope everyone has a great week and I'll blog about my Italian adventures when I return.
May our every gesture,
May our every movement,
May our every step,
May our every action,
May our every word,
May our every thought,
Be ones of