Volcanoes are a formidable force of Mother Earth. They have commanded the respect of humans since time immemorial. Climbing to the rim of an active volcano is a hair-raising adventure. I recall a tourist bus in El Salvador taking foreigners on a tour of an active volcano. The volcano started shooting hot rocks into the air which rained down on the unsuspecting visitors and punching holes in the roof of their bus. Mayhem quickly ensued.
Sacrifices to volcanoes have occurred in the past and still do today. Young children were sacrificed by the ancient Maya in Central America, the region we know today as Guatemala. The child was fattened up because that is how the volcano likes his children. Central Polynesia also sacrificed humans to volcanoes. Today the offerings are much less dramatic. Indonesia’s Mount Bromo is placated with offerings of fruit, vegetables, money, and even animals.
A shaman once told me that lava is the blood of Mother Earth and spiritual forces travel through the underground lava, as well as underground waterways.
Today while viewing a National Geographic video, “Kill to Survive”, a group of hunters on the Island of Tana in the South Pacific decided to visit Mount Yasur, a cone-shaped active island volcano. They needed to get power from the volcano to aid them in their hunting of wild pigs. They climbed up to the rim of the volcano and looked down into the bubbling cauldron. It was a breathtaking scene straight out of the annals of time. The volcano began spitting hot rocks and lava higher into the air. It belched out a huge plume of gas, smoke, and ash. It seemed like this damn volcano was waking from slumber. Two of the islanders had their fill and started to exit until they saw their compadres standing fast on the rim. The group stood there observing and soaking up the power of the volcano.