Hestia is associated with the warmth and comfort of the welcoming fireplace. Just as the flames glowing from the hearth soothe us with their warmth and glowing light, the goddess Hestia gives us security, peace, and comfort and helps us accept the truth of our lives with inner grace.
Hestia’s vision of a house was that it should truly be a home, a place where one’s body, spirit, and relationships would be nurtured and replenished. . . a place to “come home to” after exposure to the cold and chaos of the external world.
Honoring Hestia is about honoring hearth, home, and self.
I studied Greek and Roman mythology as a child. It was my passion to read any of the myths I could find at the library. I consumed these. And, yet, I don’t remember Hestia at all.
I assume most people don’t. She’s not flashy and attention-seeking like Apollo or Zeus, or even as immediately elemental as Demeter. But, I’ve come to really appreciate the essence of self, the essence of humanity that this symbolic goddess represents.
Hestia is caring. She’s nurturing in that she is the essence of a comfortable and welcoming home. She’s also represented in a warm, freshly-made loaf of bread. (THAT is close to my heart.)
But she keeps to herself a bit. She is strong, confident and self-reliant. She finds time to care for self. She doesn’t give so much of herself away as to not have any more strength for self.
In my reading I find that Hestia is the necessary balance for the Hermes element. Hermes is about change and information and leaving home and meeting people. I can see that, but I think that I need her essence to balance my mother-self. Mothering is quite self-sacrificial.
I need to go on through my daily tasks remembering that I can be both mother and caretaker of the home and that they really are not the same thing. I can use care of my home as a daily, personal meditation. I can use it as an antidote to not having my own identity.
Mostly, I can remember that ancient civilizations saw a benefit to what I do daily, and made a goddess out of it.