Pele Sightings: Hawaiian Goddess

Offering to Pele, Hawaiian Hula DancerOffering to Pele


Pele is known for her violent temper, but also for her regular visits among mortals. She is often depicted as a wanderer, constantly traveling her domain. Sightings of Pele have been reported all over the islands of Hawaii for hundreds of years, but especially near craters and her home, Mount Kilauea. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth.

Appearing as either as a tall, beautiful young woman or as a very old, ugly and frail woman. She is often accompanied by a white dog and typically tests an individuals character.

Myths are told of Pele wandering up to people, asking them if they have any food or drink to spare. Sometimes she’s been know to ask for a ride. If you accept to giving her a ride, don’t worry if she disappears, for you have passed her test.

Those who help or share with her are rewarded and spared. Those who are greedy and unkind to her are punished by having their homes or crops destroyed. Her punishment is twofold for now, they themselves, would have to rely on the kindness of others.

So, if you ever run into a long haired beauty or a wizened old woman, always greet them with aloha and ask if they need any help.

Don’t take anything from the Islands!

Pele’s most notorious legend is the curse she puts on anyone disturbing or stealing from her home. Items include lava rocks, sand, shells, and more. It could even be things like jewelry or statues made from these items.

Some people say that this myth was made up by a park ranger on the Big Island, trying to keep tourists from taking souvenirs from the sacred island sites. Still, each year thousands of pieces of lava rock are mailed back to Hawaii. People from all over the world claim to have had horrible misfortunes since taking the rocks and other items from Pele’s home. They return the items and ask for her forgiveness in the hopes of removing the curse they have fallen under.

If you are someone that is having bad luck since taking an item from Pele, a great service and ceremony are provided to return the items to their rightful home. — Check out Lava Rock Return to Hawaii and see the photos & stories of previously returned items.

Pele ~ by Warren Rapozo

Pele by Warren Rapozo


  1. Jaguar Thunderwolf

    Madame Pele truely exists. I have not visited Hawaii myself but I respect the forces of nature. Tutu Pele is an enormous force of nature and she should always be respected. I am a man who walks in balance.

  2. I made a grave mistake. I took a small lava rock from Haleakalā in 2011 and have been paying the price. I put the stone in the center of my medicine wheel so the lost soles the ranger spoke of had a portal to find their way to a higher place and not be lost. I covered the stone with a porcelain cup/bowl to protect the soles from the weather. When I found out about the Pele legend and went to get the stone to return I found that ants had swirled the stone into powder in the cup. Confused and unable to grasp a stone I left the cup. Finally thinking to return the cup with the ornate design the ants made but found the cup empty. I have friends going to Maui soon and I will ask them to make an offering of forgiveness to Pele. I hope the gift/offering I send will honor Pele enough that she will forgive me.

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