3/8/10

Goddess of the Week: Hestia

The Giustiniani Hestia in O.Image via Wikipedia

MamaJosephine kindly requests that we give Hestia her due, and so we shall.

Hestia was the Greek goddess of the hearth. She was not like her sisters Hera and Demeter, who liked to flit around and have their dramas. Hestia was a homebody. She stayed home. Always. She never married -- although she had her chances -- and she cared little for glory.

How little Hestia cared for glory became apparent when the gods were arguing about where to seat the the newly appointed god of wine, Dionysus. See, Mt. Olympus is no different from any other real estate market. It's all about location, location, location. The original twelve gods had their thrones, they liked where their thrones were, they liked the space between them, and they liked who they were sitting next to. They were like kids in a car. Every one of them was riding shotgun, and every one of them wanted to keep it that way.

Except Hestia. She was all, "Dude, take my throne. I don't care." She just moved on down to the hearth and sat there. It was easier to tend the fire anyway. Plus, she totally didn't have to deal with any of the politics or the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know how long-winded the omnipotent can be.

The Greeks appreciated Hestia's modesty. Every home hearth was an altar to Hestia and was kept burning at all times. The first sacrifice of every day was made in her honor. Families knew: sometimes you need to give up your chair if you're going to keep the peace. Cities knew it too. When new colonies were formed, they lit the fire of their new town's central hearth with fire from their original town's central hearth. The hearth, the home, the willingness to sacrifice one's own comfort for the good of the tribe, were the very definitions of community.

Channel this goddess: When you're feeling lost, out of place, or rootless, when longing for the comforts of home, when someone takes your place on the couch, or when making smores!

Need a goddess: I got goddesses! Leave a comment in the comment section telling me what you need and I'll see what I can do.

In the meantime, keep those home fires burning.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

14 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

Is there an All In One, or Multi-Function goddess?

Joanne said...

I like Hestia. Home is such a source of comfort, any goddess who bestows her power on the peace of home has my vote :)

Petrea said...

Community-wide, country-wide, world-wide, we need to think of Hestia a bit more often.

altadenahiker said...

I'd be happy to sit by the fire with her.

Desiree said...

I'm not sure Dionysius rated it, but sometimes it's nice to give or contribute for the bigger picture.

Shell Sherree said...

She sounds like the salt of the earth.

... daisy... said...

I love this goddess. She knew what really mattered and wasn’t fooled by success and politics. I picture her like those mothers who are always there for a soothing word or for a joke to make you feel better. Or simply to give you a good advice when you truly need one but are too embarrassed to ask…
I wish for a heart advice right now… but I guess I must stick to my own Goddess (thanks for the post) Isis…

Margaret said...

Pup: I will find one.

Dez: I can't believe you're dissing Dionysus. He was such a nice god.

Daisy: You're never stuck with just one goddess. The goddess you must channel changes with your needs.

pasadenapio said...

Perhaps someday I'll be able to keep my homefires burning. For now, I'm hardly ever home!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I have no hearth in my home. I wish I did.

Susan C said...

I'm partial to Hestia. The YWCA once provided a transitional program for homeless women called Hestia House. The shelter program has been gone for more than a dozen years, but, unfortunately, the need hasn't.

claire said...

I like Hestia's inner peace and detachment, not that she does not care, but she is more a witness than an actor. Could she be the inner goddess of our own heart grounding me in my own truth?

Thank you for Hestia.

A goddess of joy?

Bec said...

A godess for making s'mores - I like it! I'll channel her this year because we usually travel a lot and my feet are getting itchy staying home.

baffled human said...

Good goddess Margaret! I'm lucky, after decades of traveling and leaving home behind I'm now able to be closer to my hearth. What a difference this is making in my blood pressure and outlook. Spot on Petrea