The AP reports:

For 33 years, Maridjan spoke to Mount Merapi, believing he could appease its unpredictable spirits by throwing offerings of rice, clothes and chickens into the volcano’s gaping crater.

Maridjan was believed by many to have the ability to speak directly to the mountain and led ceremonies every year to hold back its lava flows by throwing rice, clothes and chickens into its dome.

(emphasis added.)

Well, duh. Of course he could speak to the volcano. Anyone can talk to a mountain, or a river, or dead ancestors. To quote Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I:

Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?

The real question is, does anything happen as a result of talking to a mountain?