Fiery Flower by Cheryl

Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, — where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.  (from Homeric Hymn 29)

Hestia, the Ultimate Domestic Goddess of Hearth & Home {and quite a lot more…}

I have this category on on my blog called Goddess of the Month and – it’s sadly mostly empty. It was a good thought that never quite panned out for me. But since I’ll be posting for four Fridays on this 30 Day Blogging Love Challenge I thought I would try my hand at Goddess Fridays instead. I always think of goddesses on Friday, as it’s a day ruled by lovely Freya and Venus. Today I want to share a few things about one of my favorites – Hestia. I adore her – she’s like a big warm hug! And also a vital protector of the things that matter most to us – home, community, warmth, spirituality, and food.

Hestia is from the Greek pantheon and is a sister to all of the big Gods there – Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, and Hades. But she isn’t really like them, though she has a very specific area of influence, she’s a bit of an outsider and yet also like the glue that holds it all together. She’s the Goddess of domesticity, the hearth, the hearth fire, family, cooking, and the spirit of home in each private residence. She invented the building of houses and so she’s the Goddess of architecture too. But her fires weren’t limited to the private sphere of life – she also ruled over the Hearth of the Gods and of that of each Greek state, city, and village. Greek political entities – like a city or town – each had an area called the prytaneium – a central hearth, a sacred fire. This is Hestia’s sanctuary. She didn’t have many temples, because she was basically honored wherever there was a hearth.

The importance of the prytaneium in Greek life always gives me a bit of a thrill because this sacred fire was never allowed to go out! And fire from here was carefully carried when a new area was settled to light the new hearth fires there. The fire was tended by the king (or the highest authority in the area) and his family. It was a meeting place, and the political and spiritual center of life. These shared hearths offered asylum, welcomed guests, and they represented the unity and vitality of the community. How delightful that is – a center that represents the unity and vitality of your community – your city or country. I want one! I have tried to think of a comparable institution in my world, but somehow the county courthouse just doesn’t seem the same!

One of the best things I’ve ever read about Hestia is that she is the giver of domestic blessings and happiness. Though she decided not to marry (and she was asked by both Poseidon and Apollo) and to stay “pure”, she was the Goddess you went to for harmony and delight in your home life. I often ask her for help when things get frazzled at home – she is the queen of domestic order, after all. I definitely can use her on my side! I picture her sitting by my fireplace, sometimes shaking her head at me, and lovingly offering her peace, purity, warmth, and blessings. (Below is a gluebook page I made for her.)

The energies of the Goddesses (and Gods) that were worshiped in other times and in other places are still here with us. Perhaps because they are truly aspects of ourselves personified and set apart – and in which we can still find ourselves. But also they can offer us things we think we don’t have – perhaps courage, or wisdom, or the ability to be blessed in our home and at unity with our community.

I’m adding this to my Goddess of the Month category – the rules are pretty loose, so I can do that! I hope you found something of value or interest here. If you have any questions or comments you can always contact me via email at cheryl@theintrepidgoddess.com.

Happy Freya Day all!!

Love,

Cheryl

Hestia gluebook page by Cheryl