hestia

MagickalArts

November, 2018

The Hall of the Goddess Hestia

Light fills the Hall as you step through the doorway and Hestia stands centrally awaiting you. Gentle and loving eyes look upon you and although youthful in appearance, you feel the aeons of time that she has stood watch in the hearth spaces of home and community. She is radiant and filled with Light and Life and it is within her Hall that you will see the hearth flame that glows within……

Who is Hestia?

My hearth fires burn
And keep safe those
Blessed by my hand.

Food lovingly prepared
And family’s joining as one
These are my gifts
These are my boons.

This Goddess of the hearth fires and home was known as Hestia in the Greek Mythos, with Latin/Roman name of Vesta. She was considered a virgin Goddess, whose priestesses were known as the Vestals or Vestal Virgins in Ancient Rome. Hers is the domain and sanctuary found in the kitchen. The preparing of food for those loved and the warmth of sitting close together as the hearth burns in the long winter nights.

The primary focus of Hestia was that of keeping the sacred fires burning. In ancient times, this continued flame ensured fire for warmth, protection, light, cooking and more. She was Goddess of the sacrificial flame and as such received an offering share of every sacrifice to the Gods.

Hestia oversaw the cooking of every meal both in private home and communal gatherings. Her blessing was sought that the meal would nourish and sustain as well as forging the connections of sharing the meal with others.

In Myth, Hestia was the first-born of Kronos, God/Titan of Time and the Ages and Rhea, the Great Mother of the most powerful of the Gods, the Titans. She was fertility and Motherhood. Kronos, fearful that his children would depose him as he had done to his Father, Ouranus, ate each of the children as they born. Hestia, being the first-born was also the first to be consumed and the last to be disgorged when Zeus, (who had escaped the devouring of his Father, being hidden away by his mother Rhea), forced Kronos to release his swallowed siblings. I find this to be a very interesting story surrounding Hestia and the nature of her energy as Goddess of family, home and fires.

In an other tale, Hestia was pursued for marriage by Poseidon and Apollon, both of whom she refused and then asked Zeus to allow her to remain unmarried, an eternal virgin. Zeus agreed and she took her place at his Sacred Hearth.

So, how do we honor Hestia within our Hall? These are some of the thoughts and feelings I have regarding this Goddess. Consider her parentage, daughter of the Great God of time. Time is something we all wish to have more of with dear friends and families. Time is filled with joy and abundance when we spend some of that time, preparing a meal together and/or sharing the bounties of a hearth well-tended. Hestia’s mother, Rhea, was mother of the Gods, fertile and fierce in her protective nature. Motherly care speaks to the nourishment of those children tended, not only in the form of food, but also in the sustenance of mind, heart and encouragement to achieve their best possible selves. We do this for friends and all those we love as well. At times, being the Mother and at others allowing the expression of care to be given as we receive it with the innocence of the child who knows only this way of receipt.

Hestia’s sacrifice of refusing the offer of Marriage, thus parceling herself to another, speaks to the passion of choice in giving what we wish of ourselves and holding some intact for ourselves so we may focus on what is needed from others. This may seem as an odd comment, but keeping those fires burning brightly, to light the way for those who are wandering in the dark, to welcome another to the table for a feast lovingly prepared or to become the flame itself as source of inspiration requires at times an attitude of self-focus and being unfettered by another’s demands.

Hestia chose to remain the eternal virgin. In ancient Rome and Greece the term “Virgin” meant not married, not belonging to a man. This was a woman who was “one-in-herself.” The word is derived from a Latin root meaning “strength, force, skill”; and was later applied to men as the term “virile”. To provide for others requires that you must be strong within yourself. To offer up the bounty of food and relationship, you must know the wisdom of yourself singularly and what it is you have to offer in contribution to what is more than yourself.

Hestia maintains the inner flame that burns within each of us and the magick that we exercise is crafting the precise recipe that will produce the transformation of wheat to life-giving bread is successful to the degree that we acknowledge her presence in all of our working. Every word we speak, every action we take, every emotion expressed and every idea we share is blessed by the potential of taking a new form that will sustain, warm, and light the way for others.

This month is a wonderful time to come to know this Goddess. We have celebrated the First Harvest (Northern Hemisphere) or the First Sowing and Planting of Seeds that will require sun and care. Hestia’s fires call us to our dinner tables as friends and family gather round. And, as we offer up our thanks for her bounty and night draws near, the oil of her lamp will carry us into the cradle of gentle sleep.

Spend some time with Hestia. Think on how you connect with her as you move through your day. Light a candle or prepare a meal and feel her presence guiding and watching over.

Excerpted from:

Cornerstones of Magick

https://awitchssacredjourney.com/2015/09/07/cofmagick2-the-hall-of-the-goddesshestia/

Cornerstones of Magick: Lesson Index

https://awitchssacredjourney.com/cornerstoneslesson-index/

Image Credit: Howard David Johnson

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About the Author:

Robin Fennelly is a Wiccan High Priestess, teacher, poet and author.

She is the author of (click on book titles for more information):

 

The Inner Chamber Volume One

It’s Written in the Stars

Astrology

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Two

poetry of the Spheres (Volume 2)

Qabalah

 

The Inner Chamber, Vol. Three

Awakening the Paths

Qabalah

 

A Year With Gaia

The Eternal Cord

 

Temple of the Sun and Moon

Luminous Devotions

 

The Magickal Pen Volume One (Volume 1)

A Collection of Esoteric Writings

 

The Elemental Year

Aligning the Parts of SELF

 

The Enchanted Gate

Musings on the Magick of the Natural World

 

Sleeping with the Goddess

Nights of Devotion

 

A Weekly Reflection

Musings for the Year

 

Her books are available on Amazon or on this website and her Blogs can be found atRobin Fennelly 

 

Follow Robin on Instagram & Facebook.

She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names

November, 2017

Hestia & Vesta, the Goddesses of Hearth & Home

 

As we enter into that time of the year when folks gather together with family and friends, what better time to honor Hestia and Vesta, the Goddesses of Hearth and Home, in Greece and Rome respectively.

 

(Photo credit: goddessgift.net)

Hestia is the Greek Goddess of Hearth and Home. She took no human form, but was only seen in the fire of the Hearth.

Homes were built from the center outward; this center always being the hearth, in which Hestia was always welcome. She was honored each morning and evening with an offering from each family, at their respective hearths, Hestia’s sacred place. Hestia was the embodiment of family unity.

If each hearth was the center of the home, then the hearth’s flame becomes Hestia’s altar. Every woman who was in charge of her own household, therefore, becomes a Priestess of Hestia.

There was also a public hearth, where Hestia was also honored and worshiped. This was the eternal flame, the “prytaneion”, which was never-ending and where the first fruits, wines and oils were sacrificed to Her. This public fire represented the energy of all life.

 

(Photo Credit: greekgods&goddesses.net)

Her name means “the essence”, as in the truth of all things. She was one of the most revered Greek Goddesses. She was gentle and kind, loving and forgiving, peaceful and dignified.

She was both the first, and last, child of Chronos and Rhea (Titans). She was the firstborn, and was promptly swallowed by her father, who had a prophecy that one of his children would be stronger than he. He did this with each subsequent child. After Zeus was born, Rhea tricked Chronos into swallowing a rock wrapped in a blanket. He promptly became sick and vomited up each child. Hestia being the first child born and swallowed, became the last child to be brought back up. Hence, the name of “Hestia, First and Last”.

Hestia was courted by both Apollo and Poseidon, but She swore to never be married, to always be true to Herself and make Her own choices, a true Sovereign Goddess.

Her temples were located at Olympia and at Delphi. It is said that the source of Her sacred fire was the lava at the center of the Earth, which connected the Oomphalos to Delphi, which was a city of great energy and wisdom. Her festival day was held on June 8th.

 

(Photo Credit: commons.wikipedia.org)

Of Vesta, it was said, that She was fire and that fire was She. Worship of Vesta dates back to the 7th century BCE.

She, also, did not take human form, although She was later seen as a veiled figure on Roman coins.

Vesta was also honored each day at Her sacred place, the hearth of each home.

(Photo Credit: alamy.com)

In public, She was worshipped at the only round Roman temple, which was at the Forum Romanum. It also had it’s eternal flame. This flame, and the temple were tended by the Sisterhood of the Vestal Virgins. Once a year, on March 1st, this flame was put out by the Vestals and re-lit.

Vesta’s other sacred day was on June 9th, the festival of Vestalia. Food baked on all hearths, was offered to Her, as well as the sacrifice of salted cakes baked on Her sacred flame by the Vestals. Offerings would take place for 8 days, whereupon the temple would be closed, cleaned and re-opened.

 

(Photo Credit: alamy.com)

 

It was considered bad luck and an ill omen for either of these sacred flames to go out.

Vesta and Hestia also shared common symbols, fire and a circle, the circle representing that they were complete Goddesses, in and of themselves.

 

While the following is for Hestia, from The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky, it is also true for Vesta.

I am what’s at the core

the indescribable

the elusive

the living presence

that inhabits and transforms

a building

a dwelling

an edifice

taking it from the realm of

marble

stone

or wood

and with its hearth fire lit

making it a home.

May the Goddesses of Hearth and Home, Hestia and Vesta, bless you and yours during the upcoming holiday season.

 

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About the Author:

 

 

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is MysticalShores@gmail.com

 

For Amazon information, click image below.

 

The Enchanted Cottage

January, 2015

Spirits of the Household

 

In the next several installments I will be writing about the different goddesses, gods, and spirits of the witches’ home. These entities are known to bless and protect both the home and those who live within. By honoring them we grow closer to the Spirit of the home, infusing it with love, laughter and warmth. In this first installment I welcome Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth Fire.

 

 

Hestia

 

 

Homeric Hymn to Hestia XXIX

 

Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless

gods and men who walk the 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.

 

 

Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home, is envisioned as the living flame of the hearth fire. It was to Her that the ancient Greeks gave a portion of every sacrifice to and was the first to be invoked in ritual. The first born of Rhea and Kronos, She was held in high esteem by all. Embodied at the heart of the city by a public altar, Her eternal flame protected the city from harm. Hestia is an obscure goddess, not much is known about Her from myth but that does not negate the fact that She was highly honored, as can be seen in the hymn above. Ellen Dugan, in her book Cottage Witchery, says this about the worship of Hestia—“Hestia represented the unity of family and state, hospitality, and the spiritual center of the home.”

 

Today, Hestia is venerated in many homes as the heart of the home. Hearth fires and sacred candles are lit in Her honor and the food we cook is blessed in Her name. The very Flame of hearth fires, candles, and oil lamps are seen as being Hestia Herself. She is the Light and Warmth of the home, the Eternal Flame of Creation. “ Hestia is an example of how holy the hearth and the hearthfire were considered, and how sacred the home as temple was for a family.” Arin Murphy-Hisock~ The Way of the Hedge Witch.

 

My home is my temple. It is where I pray and converse with the Divine and the Household Spirits that share a living space with my family. Hestia, the living Flame of my home, encourages all those who enter to do so with love and laughter in their heart. Her presence in my home ignites the Spirit of Hospitality, welcoming all with open arms. When I come home from a long, hard day at work, the warmth and love that Hestia fills my home with comforts me as I step through my door. While cooking dinner it is to Hestia that I pray to bless my food, filling it with health and infusing it with Her light and love.

 

Though Hestia is a hearth goddess, you don’t need an actual fire place to honor Her. Setting up a simple shrine of candles is a wonderful way to bring Hestia’s warmth into your home. Decorate Her shrine or hearth in warm colors such as red and gold. Offer Her red wine, bread (preferably homemade) and fiery herbs. I have found common kitchen herbs to be appropriate offerings to Hestia. Allspice, cinnamon, clove, chili pepper, ginger, and nutmeg are but a few. Simply asking Hestia what She would prefer as an offering and listening to your intuition is a wonderful way to make a connection with this very loving goddess. Whenever I light a candle, I do so in Hestia’s name, asking Her to bless my home.

 

Prayer of Thanks to Hestia (Said while lighting Her sacred candle)

 

cottage

 

 

Hestia, Heart of my Home,

It is to You that I turn to for warmth and comfort.

You are the Eternal Flame of Creation,

 I give You my love and devotion

And I thank You for the joy and laughter You fill my home with,

And the health and fortune You bestow upon my family.

Hestia, Heart of my Home,

May You continue to bless us….

Gems of the Goddess

November, 2011

Hearth Heiress: Hestia


She is said to be the warmth that spreads throughout our houses, leaving a calming state of mind.  She watches over ritual and cooking within the homes across the world.  She is the very flame that burns with an ethereal brightness in our fire pits.  Hestia, the Greek Goddess of the hearth, is not only a domestic women, but a protective motherly Goddess.  Even though Hestia promised to never marry and have children, she served as a mother figure for many Gods and Goddesses.  Hestia choose this because she felt it was true to her nature.  She wanted to choose her own path with no influenced of outsiders.  She did what felt right to her, which was being of service to her family and friends.  Think of her as a loving, down to earth, mother figure brewing you tea in the kitchen for your head cold.  Hestia did little things like that for people, but also things of greater meaning.
When Zeus heard that Hestia choose to remain a virgin, he was overly delighted, considering her decision repelled the option of war between her suitors.  So being as happy as he was, Zeus gave Hestia the keys to their family home on Mount Olympus.  There, Hestia was to watch over the home, and the other Gods and Goddesses roaming about the earth.  She was comfortable keeping to herself and her home, and felt right in protecting it and the people she loved.  Being such a loving individual, Hestia was never involved in any conflict with other Gods or Goddesses, and managed to stay out of trouble.  This resulted in her lacking a grand story like the rest of the Goddesses, but Hestia doesn’t need a story…she’s all that is, and continues to be a burning flame within the walls of houses across the universe.  She is the embodiment of peace and centeredness not only within our homes and the earth, but within ourselves.

CONNECTING WITH HESTIA
Remember: Hestia does exactly what she wants, because it feels true to her and makes her happy.  That’s very common behavior among Goddesses, but Hestia really never let her ego get in the way.  When you feel your ego creeping up on you, yell for Hestia and she’ll gladly help you out.  She’s also great to evoke for house blessing or protection rituals.  If you want to keep burglars away, Hestia’s your girl.
You could also do some baking for your loved ones!  Plus with Samhain just around the corner this recipe is perfect.

Pumpkin Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir into mixture until well blended. Cut the cranberries in half and stir into mixture along with the orange zest and walnuts. Drop by teaspoons onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

SYMBOLS AND THINGS TO PUT ON YOUR ALTER
Fire, bowls, keys, purple coneflower, angelica, iris, lavender, gold, silver, amethyst, architecture

Gems of the Goddess

February, 2009

Today we’re going to look at the Gems of the Goddess Hestia.  Hestia can teach us very important lessons about bringing our fire and our warmth into the world.

Hestia is the Greek Goddess of the Hearth Fire, which means she ruled over all domestic issues.  Her name means “the essence”.  She’s the Goddess of Architecture, Hospitality and Ordinary People.  She managed to stay about the fray of quarreling and politics and gave all “unconditional love”.

One of the ways you can work with Hestia is to be able to see into the heart and soul of someone to provide unconditional love and caring.  You can be generous and kind to everyone you meet, regardless of their baggage.  You are only responsible for how you interact with them.

These virtues define the goddess Hestia: mild, gentle, forgiving, peaceful, serene, dignified, calm, secure, stable, welcoming, and, above all else, well-centered.

Hestia grew up with grace and beauty and was pursued by both Apollo and Posidian.  Hestia decided she didn’t want to be married so she swore on Zeus’ brow that she wouldn’t marry.  She was content to live her life alone because she could follow a path that was her nature and her choosing.

Zeus was so grateful that Hestia averted a war between her two rival suitors; he made her the manager of Mount Olympus.  She would stay home, never leaving Mount Olympus.  Hestia was there to greet those returning – their “Homecoming”.

Hestia makes it so women can be who they are on their own.  A partner is not needed to be whole, even though this can be what many people feel completes them.  There is nothing wrong with having a partner but Hestia is also saying you can be your own best partner.   Many women who are alone and never marry are thought to be an “old maid”.  However, Hestia says you can be a beautiful woman, no matter what is your marital status.  Hestia says reach in and find how you can be nurturing to others but most importantly, how you can be nurturing to yourself.

The circle symbolized Hestia as the “complete” goddess, the goddess who was already    whole because she could “complete within herself.”  Hestia was seen as the center, representing herself as being centered and also the home, family, the area and the world.

The living flame of Hestia was tended to constantly and never allowed to die out.  The flame represented all of life’s energy.  If the flame was allowed to die out, it would create a cold existence.  There would be a lost of prosperity and warmth if the flame was extinguished.  When new areas were developed, Hestia’s fire was carried from the main area’s hearth to light the fire of the new community.  This assured prosperity and fertility for the land, the inhabitants and all others of the world.

So is Hestia telling you to believe in your own internal flame?  It is literal but think about it as lighting your own flame so you can light others.  Your interactions with others can either light or extinguish their flame.  Be careful of your interactions with others.

Hestia reminds us to be the keeper of our own flame.  We have to make sure it doesn’t go out because our flame is what drives us to move forward and create our destiny.  Obviously, working with the fire element can create a connection with Hestia.  Burn a special candle to light the fire within or for someone else. Most importantly, make sure your own fire doesn’t extinguish.