The following is a compilation of some e-mails and comments I have received from people who have taken lava and other items from the islands. It is by no means complete so do not assume that these are the only instances. I will add more as time goes by.
What Are LavaRocks?
The lava I am talking about is molten rock formed inside volcanos. The
lava cools and may be found as rocks and artifacts around the islands.
They may be smooth or rough, large or small, but generally black in color.
Lava is fairly light in weight due to imbedded air. Lava is the basis of
the Hawaiian Islands and some say has special properties.
Local customs says that Madame Pele is the creator of the islands and
lives within the active volcano currently erupting on the Big Island of
Hawaii. She both creates and destroys and can still be found on the Big
Island, spewing lava into the sea.
My story is somewhat long and involves pictures.
Please read it and then click the BACK button to return here.
Please click here to read my story.
Here are some stories from others who have visited my web site.
These people have taken a rock from the islands and written me about the experience, either in email of in my guestbook.
I have edited the messages slightly to eliminate real names and email addresses, since these people did not know that I might publish them.
They all sound as rational as I and most claim (like myself) NOT to
be superstitious. However, you will see a similar theme in the messages.
My Brother was born here in Hawaii, and yes, we'd heard all the superstitions but we didn't believe in any of them. We are not of Hawaiian heritage so we just listen to the legends and get scared but never really accepted them as scripture.
Years ago he was a tour escort based on Oahu. Our family bought a condo out in Kahaluu on Oahu. That side of the island of Oahu is called the Windward Side for good reason. We had one heck of a cross breeze upstairs between our bedrooms. He and I lived in it.
So while he was escorting a group of tourists to the Big Island, he decided that the lava rocks would make attractive, rustic, doorstops. Soon after he brought it home and we put it to good use, he lost his job. I think the company folded. He was unemployed for three months!
Finally my mother had had it and blamed his bad fortune on those two rocks.
She, my sister and I went on a weekender to the Big Island and my mom insisted that we bring those two lava rocks with us to return to the volcano. My sister and I thought she was nuts but we indulged her. At the Volcanoes National Park, she threw each into one of the craters apologizing to Madame Pele. Soon after my brother got a job as an assistant manager at Pioneer Chicken and then was promoted to manager.
After about a year he returned to the travel industry and is now a very successful sales manager in Leisure Sales for a large hotel chain and travels all over the U.S. and Canada and even has been to Europe to promote his company and Hawaii. My mom is of course even more convinced than ever that had he not taken those rocks he'd never had lost his job.
On the same trip that he "stole" those rocks from the volcano, a member of his tour group took a few small rocks too. When she returned to N.Y. she found out that her puppy died while she was visiting Hawaii. She mailed the rocks back to my brother and on a trip to the Big Island. He returned her lava rocks as well.
I don't know if it's true but at that time, (this was twenty years ago when people used to travel to Hawaii in groups) we were told that visitors who took lava rocks back home with them and then met with bad fortune, would return the rocks to their tour companies or the Hawaii Visitors Bureau and Hawaiian Airlines and probably Aloha Airlines as well would take the rocks back to Hilo several times a year and an employee would return the lava rocks to the Volcanoes National Park.
That's about all I know about lava rocks and the superstition of bad
luck befalling those who "cockaroach em" as we say over here.
My name is Scott. I was married in Hawaii in November of 1996. In 1998
we again went to Maui and Kauai. I did bring back some "rocks" and driftwood
and shells. My luck has also been very bad between 12/98 and the present.
I have hurt my back, sprained my ankle and gotten into a car accident.
Do you know if regular rocks and those other items I spoke of will also
bring bad luck??? I went to Allikai tattooing on my visit and could sent
the items back to him if I have to. PLEASE HELP. Thank You. These rocks
are unlike the ones on your page. They are mostly white with pitted holes
in them. One has a little brown in it.
Looking for address to send a lava rock back to black sand beach near
Hana, on the island of Maui. I have had no luck, but I heard that their
is a rock return on the big island. Please let me know if you have this
address or any to send this "Darn" rock back to.
An address for where to send my cursed lava rock would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure the curse even applies to me considering that the friend I went with gave me the lava on the plane ride back home. Nice friend, huh! I would love to get it off my hands, bad luck and college are two words that shouldn't be used together. I have a big test tomorrow and need all the luck I can get, speaking of which, it's 12:45 AM and I have lots of studying left.
[NOTE: I was unable to get her the information prior to her test]
What should I do for an offering if I'm not sure my rock got returned properly? I accidentally came home from Hawaii six years ago with a smooth lava rock from the black sand beach in my pocket. I immediately sent it back to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel with a note. I'm not sure if it even ever made it there, or what happened. But I have had horrible luck in my family since then. I am not that superstitious, but we are visiting Hawaii again Wednesday, and it would be a good chance for me to try to make amends to Pele, just in case that lava rock has anything to do with anything. Any ideas? Thank you.
[NOTE: I sent a message but it seems it got there AFTER she left on here trip. She took the rock back with her and issued an update]
Thank you for the info. We made our trip to the big island before I got your e-mail.
While resting in a hammock on the resort grounds with my sleeping daughter, I felt something on my leg. I opened my eyes and saw a little green gecko sitting on me. It sat there for a while, then moved to my other leg and stayed there a while before moving onto the tree. I read in a guidebook that gecko's are considered by some to be good luck. So I take that as a good sign from Pele that all is forgiven.
How To Return Rocks:
I spoke with a park ranger at Volcano National Park and they told me that many people mail their lava rocks to them or to the hotel where they stayed on the particular island. I know of no "official" rock return but will post that if I find it.
One suggestion is to send it to:
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
P.O. Box 52
Hawaii National Park, HI 96718-0052
It is also suggested that you make a offering/apology to Pele, the Goddess of Lava. How you do that is up to you. In my case, I placed a quarter under the rock as I laid it on the beach. Others wrap them in Ti plant leaves or pour a bottle of gin into the volcano as an offering.
I think the best way to set things right is to return the rock on a visit and do some good while you are on the island. I pick up pieces of trash as I walk along. Speading Aloha is another way to make amends. I created these pages as a way to do that. Hey, it can't hurt!
Another suggestion might be to find a worthy charity on the islands and make a small donation. I think that may be a way to double your chances of having Pele smile down on you. Suggestions might be the United Way, a local school, a shelter, whatever.
During the Sept 11th disaster, many Hawaiians gave generously to the mainland funds. Now their own local charities are hurting. If you feel the desire to make a small donation, you might consider one of the United Way (non-profit) organizations.
I know that United Way would be happy to receive a couple dollars from you :-)
United Way - Kona
P.O. Box 3318,
Kailua-Kona, HI 96745
United Way - Hilo
142 Kinoole Street,
Hilo, HI 96721-0745
You should include a short note letting the recipient know why you sent
the rock back or why the donation.
People take lava rocks for various reasons. Some people return them. I hope that this page has helped you understand the mystery of lava rocks.
I urge you not to take lava or any other natural item from the islands
if for no other reason that it mars the beauty of the islands. I leave
the worries of bad luck up to you..
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