Pele is the fiery Hawaiian volcano goddess. The daughter of the earth goddess Haimea, Pele came to Hawai’i on a boat. Killed in a fight with her sister, the ocean, she took refuge in the glowing cauldron of Mount Kilauea, where she receives the souls of the dead and regenerates them with fire. In tempestuous relationship with Kamapua’a, the ferocious pig god, she is portrayed as a jealous goddess, her rages manifesting as volcanic eruptions.
Revered by Hawaiians even today, she carries the force of the volcano, with its molten lava flow, which even in destruction creates new land. Pele stands for the molten, fierce aspect of life that is unable to do anything halfway. She reminds us that even in the midst of fiery eruption there is creation and new life.