I’ve been asked about symbolic volcano facts, and what volcanoes represent in the realm of philosophical symbolism.
Culturally, we can look to Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes and fire. As we would expect, her archetypal personality is a bit volcanic; she is honored for her wild, unpredictable, temperamental ways.
Interestingly, legend indicates Pele as a sort of character-builder for humans. She presents trials and challenges to the human race with the expectation of producing strength and development within those she tempts. A neat page I found on Pele can be viewed here.
Volcanoes themselves can be viewed as a sort of challenge symbol. Their formations are mountainous, and as such they represent the upward challenge our lives sometimes present. Protruding largely (and sometimes ominously) out from an otherwise unassuming landscape, volcanoes remind us of the goals we aspire to reach, the journey to get there, and the value of the climb to the top.
As an earth symbol, the symbolism of volcanoes reminds us to:
- Hold steady to our most dominant anchor
- Ground ourselves
- Remain rooted in our foundational beliefs
In this manner, volcanoes urge us to not be shaken by external ripples. Rather, sink deeply into the cool, rich strata that is the depth of our knowledge and remain there for solace, guidance and assurance that our foundations can serve as constant refuge.
As an air symbol, we see a cooling effect as well as the element of thought and communication. As we observe the life cycle of the volcano, we realize the element of air plays a symbolic role in asking us questions like:
- What kind of smoke signals am I sending out (am I communicating effectively)?
- What kind of effect are my thoughts having on my external events?
- Do my thoughts harden my experience, or heat things up allowing my proverbial magma to flow more freely?
When we recognize the symbolism of air as a method of communication or thought – we can clearly identify the symbolic smoke of our ruminations.
A symbol of water is found in the form of flowing lava in symbolic volcano fact & lore. Fluid, burgeoning, and resistent to limitations lava reminds us of these points:
- Am I going with the flow?
- How can I more easily move through resistance?
Water is an archetypal symbol of emotion, and as such, water asks us to take stock of our feelings. When water bears a message to us in the form of volcanic activity, it may indicate a need to enhance our calm. It may also indicate a need to identify some underlying rage and diffuse it.
Lastly as a fire symbol, volcanoes speak to us of passion, action, creativity and power. When the element of fire explodes onto our philosophical scene, we may ask ourselves questions like:
- How can I ride this wave of passionate inspiration for all its worth?
- How can I heat up other areas in my life that need a little spicing up?
- Am I being called to take action in a situation I’ve been avoiding?
Volcanic fire is complex in that it lurks beneath the surface for a period of time – mulling, brewing. After compiling tremendous pressure it explodes into stunning manifestations.
This is a key symbolic point of volcanoes. For those of us who are called to the symbolism of the volcano, it is imperative we keep a watchful inner eye on our subsurface fires. We who gravitate to volcanic energy tend to hold our firey passions a little too close, and a little too long. If this is the case, envision letting off a bit of steam every once in a while to avoid cataclysmic (and usually self-destructive) explosions.
However, when eruptions do come (and they will, it is the way of nature) remember regeneration, growth and renewal follow in its footsteps. The aftermath of volcanic explosions allow for a lush, richness of growth. Keep this in mind when passions run wild to the point of over-extension and ultimate release. In the wake of expression, recognize you’ve funneled a way to relief for yourself and others. You could even say trough a seemingly destructive act comes reconstruction and creation in its stead.
I hope you have enjoyed these thoughts on symbolic volcano facts, but don’t let this post be your only point of reference.
Take the time to meditate and contemplate all the complexities the volcano holds. Let Pele take you on a journey to her volcanic realms, and let the lava language of volcanoes roll through your psyche with all its revolutionary power.
If you enjoyed this post, you may find these other pages I’ve written interesting too: