Monday, August 08, 2005

Goddess - Pele (revisited)

I found more information about Pele after I wrote yesterday’s post, so I am going to continue the post from yesterday.

Pelehonuamea, Pele’s full name, does her work in other places as well Hawaii; Volcanoes are found in few different places in the world. Therefore Pele is also known as Mahuea in New Zealand. I have tried to find names of other volcano goddesses, but had no luck. One book I have says that another name for Pele is Hina-Ai-Malama (Hina who devours the moon), but I have seen others say that this is the name of her mother (see Genealogy of Pele’s Family). So Pele is referenced as a mother goddess, a goddess of volcanoes and fire, a moon goddess, and goddess of destruction.

Pele is said to have been born in Tahiti, but was chased away by her family because of her violent temper and unpredictability. She took her brother’s canoe and left Tahiti and settled into the great volcano, Mount Kilauea. She is also the goddess of hula magic and sorcery. Altars were erected to her beside lava streams.

She is said to appear even today, only to disappear soon after people pick her up in their cars or after she lights a cigarette. I have seen a reference to a white dog that travels with her.


I Am A Witch article on Pele
Pele Myth
More Pele Myths
Hawaiian Mythology


Gods and Goddesses by Elizabeth Hallam
Goddess: Myths of the Female Devine by David Leeming and Jake Page
Encyclopedia of Gods by Michael Jordan


Paul said...

I've noticed lots of things being published in the area of alternative belief systems. Don't happen to know anyone who's picked up on this.

I guess one basic question I've had in the back of my mind: Assuming that most people doing this would be leaving behind a traditional belief system, why the switch to another system?

Atheists and agnostics, for example, find traditional belief systems impossible to believe. If that's why people go to alternative belief systems, what makes them seem more plausible? But maybe that's not why people make this change...?

Sojourner said...

Those are good questions. I will try to answer as best I can from what I have read, as I am not Pagan myself. (If you are interested in finding out why I am doing this blog, please check out my first post.)

Online and in a lot of pagan books, many people seem to mention that when they first read about Paganism as a religion that there is a feeling of "Ahh! That is similar to what I believe! I didn't know it had a name!" That is a reaction common whether or not the person was involved in a religions previously.

I read a psych article somewhere (wishing now I had saved it) that stated that it takes a long period of time to "lose your religion." The article continued by saying that even though it took a while to let go of the religion that you had practiced, it didn't take very long before you find one again that you think suits you.
There have been studies by psychologists that suggest that the need for religion is hard wired into the human brain. In other words, we humans need something to believe in.

Maybe, some that are switching were never satisfied with the religion they were brought up in, some were not raised within any particular religion and found that an "alternative" religion fits them best or even that there are things they the dislike about their church which fuels the desire to leave.

I am sure that there are as many different reasons as there are people.

Thanks for the qustions, paul.

Please, if you are pagan, and wouldn't mind answering these questions based on your experiences, I would also like to see your comments.

Andy said...

Re: lack of info on volcano Goddesses... You may be running into what I hit in researching the Celtic myths. Oral traditions that were destroyed with the arrival of the Europeans. Kinda sad to think about.

Paud does have a good question. I went from athiest/agnostic to Pagan because I entered a twelve step program that told me I needed a Higher Power. Over time various things happened in my life and I came to believe that there was a Power greater than myself.