The Legend of Lava

The Goddess Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes. She makes her home at Mount Kilauea on the island of Hawaii, one of the most active volcanoes on earth. Madame Pele is the embodiment of the volcano; fiery, passionate, quick to anger and prone to jealousy. Both modern tales and ancient legends tell of how she sometimes appears to mortals, either as a young maiden or an old woman, sparing those who are kind and punishing the arrogant.

The most persistant modern legend of Pele’s wrath was invented by the late Russ Apple, a park ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Discouraged by the number of visitors who were damaging the park by removing rocks and artifacts, he put Pele’s reputation for anger and vindictiveness to good use. He let it be known that Pele would curse any visitors who return to their homeland with rocks stolen from the volcano. This urban legend has been so effective that Hawaii’s hotels and parks still receive hundreds of packages each year containing returned lava and letters of apology. (Just in case you’re worried… the lava rocks that are used for these plants have been harvested responsibly and are blessed by a Kahuna, or Hawaiian healer. From our experience, Madame Pele seems content with the arrangement.)

Apart from all of the tales of Pele bringing lava, fire and destruction to those who anger her, Madame Pele is also “She-Who-Shapes-The-Sacred-Land”. Each day she pours her lava into the sea, creating new aina (land). And beneath the sea, Pele is giving birth to Lo’ihi, the newest volcano in the Hawaiian island chain. Hawaii’s inhabitants have much to be thankful for. Hawaii’s fertile soil, the stone we build with, the land we live on, our black sand beaches and rugged mountains… all are gifts from Madame Pele.

To this day, Madame Pele is both honored and revered by the kamaaina (the people of the land), and those who have adopted their culture. We feel that the Hawaiian tradition of respecting the aina… respecting the land and its peoples… is essential to the earth’s survival.

These Lava Rock Plants have been created as a way to honor Madame Pele and share her gifts with you. These volcanic rocks were created by Madame Pele on the Big Island of Hawaii and have been blessed by a Kahuna to bring joy and prosperity to those who possess them. Each rock is hand selected and provides an excellent habitat for growing exotic plants. By pairing one of Pele’s magnificent creations with a live and growing tropical plant we hope to inspire you to remember your own connection to the earth. May you enjoy and nurture your own piece of the Hawaiian aina, cultivated by the people of the Hawaiian Island, and may it spread the spirit of Aloha to your friends and family.


Enjoying watching my plumerias grow and bloom! Love it! — Teresa D., Sheridan, WY