On the return trip Hi’iaka felt a growing sense of foreboding that Pele had broken her pledge. As our heroine gained a vantage point close to home, her eyes sadly confirmed the destruction of her sacred lehuas and of her dear friend, Hopoe. Hi’iaka’s journey had taken two months to complete. During that time Pele had become increasingly jealous and suspicious that Hi’iaka had succumbed to Lohiau and was perhaps not even going to deliver him at all. In a fit of rage and out of a desire for revenge, Pele had performed these destructive and heartless acts.
Until this point in the story Hi’iaka had demonstrated a strong commitment to family, to tradition, to social mores and social etiquette, dealing harshly with those who displayed any lack of respect for the gods, especially for her sister, Pele. Yet the Fool’s energy is never inherently conventional; far from it. As Hamaker-Zondag (1998) puts it, “The Fool may think it advisable to send you on some escapade that lands you in trouble; but, through this experience, you reach the point of departure for further progress.”
And so it was with Hi’iaka. She was completely – and justifiably – devastated and enraged by Pele’s actions. She immediately resolved to take Lohiau as her lover, but to do so right in front of Pele’s eyes, despite the perils associated with such a course of action. As the couple reached the crest of Pele’s crater, Hi’iaka drew Lohiau to her in a passionate embrace. Of course Pele’s wrath was instantly unleashed and knew no bounds. Lohiau was lost under a torrent of molten lava. Hi’iaka, however, remained physically untouched (either because her deity status prevented it, or because it was Lohiau whom Pele blamed for the couple’s seeming indiscretion).
Of Hi’iaka’s reaction to Lohiau’s demise, it is said that “a swarm of emotions buzzed in the chambers of her mind – of love, of self-destruction, of revenge. In an agony of indecision she strode this way and that, wringing her hands and wailing in a strictly human fashion”. Then she knew she just had to find him! Accessing divine power, she began to tear up the strata of the land. When she reached the tenth stratum, she intended to break it up also “and thus open the flood-gates of the great deep and submerge Pele and her whole domain in a flood of waters.” (Emerson, 1915). This would have been the ruin of all things.
Hi’iaka had already acted too hastily perhaps on one occasion, and this had led to the loss of her beloved. Now, at this crucial point in the story, she could well have fallen still further into the negative side of the Fool archetype – which occurs when our desire to act or react in the moment is just too rash and will inevitably have far-reaching negative implications not only for ourselves but for others. It was then that the voice of Wahine-oma-o came to her, delivering the words of Kane who now felt he must intervene. Wahine-oma-o pleaded with Hi’aka to go with her before Pele and try there to gain some restitution. Fortunately Hi’iaka opted to contain her ‘foolish’ urges. She reluctantly, though proudly, agreed to meet with Pele.
Pele learnt that Hi’iaka had never in fact broken her pledge to Pele until after the elder sister had broken hers to Hi’iaka. Yet the volcano goddess seemed to lack any real sense of remorse for the physical and emotional devastation she had wreaked on both land and people, let alone on her supposedly favourite little sister. In fact Pele was somewhat disinterested in the whole discussion, for she was now preoccupied with a new dalliance, a handsome new would-be lover.
What followed exemplifies Hamaker-Zondag’s observations of the Fool archetype, as not being concerned “with the question of whether or not this development fits in with our culture or society” but only with making things occur “that will benefit our psychic development and produce a feeling of wholeness” (1998). Hi’iaka’s sense of outrage towards her sister and ruler, Pele, touched every fibre of her being and stirred such indignation that the younger sibling knew she could never again take her former place as a member of Pele’s court. She realised that Hawaii, the largest island of the group, was not big enough to hold them both. She would have to leave this island, Pele’s realm, forever. Of all the islands, Kauai was the one farthest away; and it was also the land of her beloved Lohiau’s birth. So once again Hi’iaka set forth on a journey to Kauai, though this time under very different circumstances.
In the meantime – and unbeknown to Hi’iaka – Kane-milo-hai, an older brother of the quarrelling sisters, managed to capture the distracted spirit of Lohiau. He returned it to its stony body and then used his magical power to restore the body and reintroduce Lohiau’s soul into it.
Many moons later, and seemingly by chance – though surely thanks to the intervention of the God of Destiny – Hi’iaka and the twice physically reborn Lohiau again beheld each other, this time across a crowded room. They fell into an embrace touched with both passion and relief. One may reasonably assume that, re-united at last, the couple continued the journey together to Kauai where Lohiau, with his partner, Hi’iaka, was warmly welcomed back to his chiefdom, there to live ‘happily ever after’.
When the Fool occurs in a Tarot spread, “its position shows where far-reaching developments can occur; sometimes it means the imminent start of a whole new life” (Hamaker-Zondag, 1998). For all of us, once we leap into the void and take the Fool’s journey, one thing can lead to another; one journey leading on to another. Hopefully, on each new Fool’s journey “innocence and emptiness (are) united with wisdom” (Pollack, 1980) gained on the previous quest. And so it was for our heroine, who had been inwardly transformed by her first testing outer journey. She was still pure of spirit, brave and fearless; but now not so naïve and with greater knowledge and understanding about herself, about others and about life in general.
Hi’iaka’s ultimate union with her beloved Lohiau can be viewed as a metaphor for the inner balance and union, the sacred marriage, she had achieved between her own masculine and feminine parts. She had become a wiser, more mature and more whole individual – which, in the final analysis, is the purpose of the Fool’s journey.