Ok, so I am here in a Hawaii for a couple of weeks. Having my first proper vacation in years. I am suppose to be learning how to relax.
It is not really working.
The other day, fueled by my love of Goddesses, and recent inspiration to come home with gifts reflecting that view – I decided I wanted to find a figurine of the Hawaiian fire Goddess Pele. She represents awakening and coming alive and passion. That sort of yummy (in my books) stuff. I pre-supposed that it would be easy. I’m in Hawaii. She is kind of their best known Hawaiian Goddess. No brainer, right. Wrong. Dead wrong.
I started my search on the internet – where can I go in Maui to buy the Goddess Pele? Not only did I first get sent to the soccer player Pele, but even after that disheartening moment, all I got was eBay. EBAY!?!?! And even that section was a bit dicey (not that there were any toast Goddess Peles, but still).
So I changed it up – where can I go to FIND the Goddess Pele? At least now I get a few images, pictures. A volcano or two. A bit more information.
But here is the thing, I really do want a figurine, a statuette, and 3-D image of her – like you can get of Ganesh, and Shakti-Shiva. Carved in wood, or a metal casting. Something you can hold in your hands, can feel the weight of, and touch. And so I set out, on foot, in search of Pele (hmm, there’s is a title of a book in that, but for now let’s keep this focused).
So I push – figurine, figurine, figurine and Pele into the search bar. I look under images. Anything, everything in my desperate attempt. What do I get, the washed out, benign smile plastered on her face, half naked hula gal. THIS????!! This is meant to be somebody’s version of Pele – the powerful Goddess of awakening!??!? Ugh. The search must be expanded!
Now I am staying in Makawao – so there is not a lot of ground to cover. But still I commit to scour every inch of the place, go into every likely looking place. No store unturned so to speak. Around about 3/4s of the way through all the shops, getting discouraged (not to mention rather hot – which does nothing to improve my disposition, even on a good day – you know, a supposed relaxing day), I decide I need to ask for help (and yes that is something I could have done sooner, never mind – besides that is not what this story is about, oh Best Beloved). So while I am in store proudly displaying Ganesh, and a Buddha or two not to mention… yes, you know it… Kwan Bloody Yin (see my post of Bast why that gets under my skin) – strike up a conversation with the owner/shop gal.
“Yeah, you don’t really find a lot of those. Not that popular item.”
Me – “Why on earth not, she is a local goddess, she is powerful and beautiful. What’s not to love?”
Her – “Uhhh, well, that fire thing, you know. And she is a bit unpredictable, sometimes she is beautiful, but sometimes she is a bit, well, dangerous.”
Me (under my breath) – “Right, that. Not really an acceptable feminine trait, I suppose.”
I don’t quite storm out of there, but I do feel my ire rising. I cruise through the rest of the few shops in Makawao – a bit hopeful, a bit frustrated, and a bit despondent. By the time I have made it through all the stores, the frustration has won out. I am irritated, and yes, a bit volcanic in my annoyance. It could be said a bit unpredictable, a bit dangerous.
What is so freaking wrong with power, and passion, with anger and spontaneity. With awakening and aliveness. And yes, even with “a little bit dangerous” – I say that keeps us all on our toes and a life where we are lulled to sleep, with no stimulation, well that is no life at all. So I say BRING HER ON!!!
In their effort to avoid the fire of Pele, they have invoked the Pele in me. You can avoid that sort of stuff (natural reactions like frustrated, passionate, aliveness) by just pretending it isn’t there. In my experience that just fans the flames of the lava flowing underground – it just heats it up further and forces an explosion instead of a moderate, reasonable expression of it.
When will we ever learn to accept and appreciate the Goddess (and the feminine) in all her many forms?
And a more important and personal question – what part of Pele are you denying, avoiding, hiding – and how would it change your life if you expressed it/Her?