Guest Writer, Andrea Plavi–Writer’s Salon

Standing at a place that seems to embody the beginning and the end of the Earth, for it was from a great fire within the Earth that the land was born, is born, and it will be the great fire that takes it all away.

The lava lake at Halema’uma’u Crater has fallen since we visited the night before, but the sulfurous breath of Pele, the Goddess of Fire, still billows out in roiling and toiling clouds, a plume. This plume that gets pushed out to sea and North by the Kona winds obscures the vibrancy of the island, the ocean, and the sky. Pele is guarding her island from all who visit but do not belong. Orange fills the night sky over the crater, reflecting back the molten pool of new Earth within. The orange of the sky is both frightening and awe inspiring.

I stand here at the edge of Kilauea Overlook with my coven of medicine women each of us having tapped our truth this day with the generous, loving, motherliness of Goddess Pele. The morning started with a chant, a Hawaiian pule (prayer) announcing ourselves within her embrace.

Oli Komo (Welcome Chant)

Liuliu wale ka uka o Koholalele

(Ready and waiting are the uplands of Koholalele)

Mauka, Makai o Kapapala e

(Up to the hills and seaward of Kapapala)

E komo, E komo aku hoi au ma loko

(Enter, I shall enter in)

Ina ka pu’u nui o waho nei la e

(For here outside stands a prominent hill)

He anu e, He anu e, He ko’eko’e wale no

(So cold, so cold, oh so chilly)

‘Ae . . . ‘Ae

(Yes, Yes)

She was excited for us to be there, truly. She had called us all back to her.  We, the spirits of kane (men), wahine (women), keiki (children), ali’i (royalty), huaka’i po (night marchers), that had served her in the past. I am certain as I stand at the edge of the caldera in the darkness that I have been here before in another life. I move my body closer to the edge, and I put my faith into a post, to be my third leg, to support me on the journey we are about to take.

I have braided ti leaves of green and black for Pele, a ho’okupu, which literally translated means “to cause growth,” but as with most Hawaiian words, more than one meaning is present. It also means to give the best of yourself, appreciation, abundance, and a desire to strengthen relationship. The ti leaves were carefully braided with Aloha, my feelings of love and appreciation. The braided ti lei was long enough to be stretched out between us all. We all held it, in both hands, linked together like an umbilical cord to our puka, the sacred belly button of none other than our Goddess Creator Pele.

This day was marked with intense emotion, great feminine emotion. The expressed pain and joy of the mothers, grandmothers, and even the daughters. We are reminded of the preciousness of this life. We are reminded that we are all “spirit beings on a human journey.” We at some point in the great universe called out, “Me next!  I’m going in!  I have a purpose in arriving there right now!!” Then we walk in. We walk into the world, into our parents, and into our families all by choice. We had a mission and a purpose which is locked deeply and safely within out heart and being. We must be fearless in unlocking that purpose; we can be fearless, as daughter goddesses of Pele.

Another beautiful chant is offered to the Goddess as we open our thanksgiving ceremony this evening.

Inspiration Prayer

By Edith Kanaka’ole

E ho mai ka ike mai luna mai e

(Grant us knowledge from above)

O na mea huna no’eau ona ele e

(Things of knowledge hidden in words of song)

E ho mai, e ho mai, e ho mai

(Grant us, grant us, grant us these things)

A prayer calling the North, South, East and West is shared invoking the winged animals:  condor, eagle, hawk, and owl. Beautiful words of our ancestors tumbling forth as ho’okupu into the crater. We present our offerings, and the drumming begins.

A slow and steady boom, pause, boom, pause, boom bellows forth from the buffalo drum.

Yes, I think, I really have been here before. We had chanted and we had ipu (Hawaiian gord hula drum) drums. 

Boom, pause, boom, pause, boom.

Our powerful drumming woman invites us to journey, as we all stand at the end of the Earth and watch Pele dance within her sulfurous, orange lit plume of smoke and vapor.

Boom, pause, boom, pause, boom. 

A pueo (Hawaiian owl) flies directly over our coven; we all collectively gasp in awe and excitement.  We hear the pueo call, and it echos in the caldera. 

Boom-boom, pause, boom-boom, pause, boom-boom.

The drum beat has changed to match our heartbeats. Boom-boom, pause, boom-boom, pause, boom-boom.

Images continue to pour out of the Goddess, and I see Ku, the akua of “rain, fertility, sorcery, warfare, and business.” Ku representing also “the spiritual foundation upon which things can be established or built; associated primarily with this physical world.”  Ku is also the representation of the negative polarity of the world. I know Ku is present in strength right now. Ku’s energy is the energy that is putting the Great Earth Mother and all beings at the precipice of destruction or enlightenment. I have been here before, the akua (Hawaiian Gods) announce their names to me when I pass them – Ku, Lono, Kanaloa . . .

Boom-boom, pause, boom-boom, pause, boom-boom. 

I see flashes of light like someone taking pictures with a flash to my right, I turn to look, nothing. I think a shimmering light is standing on my left, as I turn my focus toward it, it disappears. 

Nene (Hawaiian geese), the Hawaiian state bird, are rustled from the North, the same direction from which the owl came. They are flying somewhere invisible to us; we can track their flight with our ears as they are honking the entire time. The piercing call of the owl slices the night air like a blade, telling us his path is back to the North. Stunned and awed. I close my eyes, and I see a billion tiny white dots in the vast blackness. It reminds me of gazing into the Milky Way from Mauna Kea or my backyard. Infinite and finite juxtaposed against each other, a reminder. I open my eyes and the drumming continues boom-boom, pause, boom-boom, pause, boom-boom. The song of our Grandmothers begins.

Grandmother Song

Credit: The Traveling Day Society of All Saints Episcopal Church

Vancouver, WA

By Judy Pryce

Gifted to us this day by Ann Hassler

I hear the sound of my Grandmother calling me.

I hear the sound of my Grandmother’s song.

She says, “Wake up! Wake up! Children, wake up! Listen! Listen!”

May the rivers all run wild,

May the mountains stay unspoiled,

May the green grass grow,

May the raindrops fall.

May there be love for every mother and child,

May there be love for every woman and man,

May there be love for every creature in the wild.

I hear the sound of my Grandmother calling me.

I hear the sound of my Grandmother’s song.

She says, “Stand in your power children; stand in your power! Listen, listen.”

May the rivers all run wild,

May the mountains stay unspoiled,

May the green grass grow,

May the raindrops fall.

May there be love for every mother and child,

May there be love for every woman and man,

May there be love for every creature in the wild.

One of our goddesses requests to recite a prayer for her sister who is in labor; a prayer of safe delivery, a delivery of gracefulness. She sings a beautiful song of mother and child reminding us that the journey doesn’t end, but it continues on an endless path, the figure eight of infinity. 

Here on the Earth

By José Sulla

From Pele’s Garden

Offered to Madrinha Rita

Here on the Earth I see so much beauty

My Mother she shows it to me

Forever I want, forever to be

With my mother next to me

This power, this force it flows like a river

Surrender and flow to the sea

Forever I want, forever to be

With my mother next to me

Rei Jagube e Mamae Rainha

From the forest across the sea

Forever I am and forever shall be

With my mother next to me

Our ceremony ends, but the stories do not.  We all leave from here moved and changed, reborn, birthed in a forest of Pele, into the arms of the mothers, grandmothers and daughters.

Mahalo me ke aloha la

(Gratitude with love)

 

Andrea Plavi is a recovering civil engineer slowly but surely finding her way back to her passions – art and writing.  She realized one day that she would die at her desk if she continued on the path she was following.  As a result of this vision, she and her husband gave up their life of “keeping up with the Jones’,” and resettled themselves on the Big Island of Hawaii.  Since then, Andrea has realized others continue to live the same pain and suffering she experienced, and she’s coming to see that maybe her purpose in this life is to free others from their fear of living life to the fullest.  She is the founder and CEO of Soar – Spirit and Being, a business she’s working to build to do just that – Soar.

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