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Thread: Deities of the Hearth and Home

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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Deities of the Hearth and Home

    This essay is posted in its entirety from Shadow_Kitten. It is a pre-crash cache rescue.

    I wrote this essay a couple of months ago for a Hearth Witchery course that I was doing & I'm very proud of it so I thought I'd post it here. There's hardly any information about Hestia out there so some might find this handy. PLEASE don't reproduce this without my permission or without giving me credit.

    ---

    Hestia



    Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth, Home and Sacred Fire, was once one of the 12 Greek gods and goddesses known as “The Olympians”. Hestia, tired of all the godly quarrels, gladly yielded her seat at the high table to Dionysus, god of wine, in order to tend to the sacred fire.

    Hestia was one of the most influential and widely revered of all the Greek goddesses. Unfortunately, Hestia (and her Roman counterpart Vesta) is virtually unknown today. Scholars often refer to Hestia as “the forgotten goddess”. Hestia is the least personal of all the goddesses. Her name means “the essence”, the true nature of things. Because she is the essence of everything that moves and flows and has life and personality, she herself is the most anonymous.

    Hestia, daughter of the Titans Kronos and Rhea, was the first born - and the last born - of all the Olympian Gods and Goddesses. Let me explain . . .

    Hestia’s father, Kronos, was fearful of a prophecy that was made which stated that one of his children would grow up to seize his throne. Therefore, when the infant Hestia (who was the first born child of Kronos and Rhea) was born, he quickly swallowed her, and the brothers and sisters that followed, in order to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled.

    After secretly giving birth to Hestia’s brother; Zeus, on Crete – where worship of Rhea was notable – Rhea tricked Kronos by giving him a rock wrapped in swaddling instead of the infant Zeus. Kronos swallowed the rock, none the wiser and Zeus remained on Crete, where he was secretly raised. When Zeus came of age he forced Kronos to vomit up his brothers and sisters; Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon. Because Hestia had been the first to be swallowed, she was the last to be disgorged.

    Therefore, Hestia is often referred to as “Hestia, First and Last”.

    Hestia grew in beauty and grace and it wasn’t long before she caught the attention of Apollo and Poseidon; two Olympian Gods who both sought her hand in marriage.

    Hestia, however, was not interested in such things; saying that Aphrodite’s ways of romance and marriage were not her ways. Hestia wanted more than anything to follow a path that was true to her nature and of her own choosing. Thus, she placed her hand on Zeus’ brow and swore that she would never marry.

    Hestia wasn’t interested in power or adventure like Athena and Artemis (the other virgin goddesses), she was perfectly content and fulfilled as she was and enjoyed being of service to her family and friends.

    Zeus, grateful that Hestia’s announcement had averted the possibility of war between the two rival suitors, not only supported Hestia’s wish to remain single but decreed that she should be honoured in the temples of each Olympian deity, her name should be mentioned first in any prayer and that she should receive the first portion of any sacrifice. In fact, Zeus was so happy with Hestia’s decision that he handed her the keys to Mount Olympus; their home. He offered her the position of manager and with it the responsibility of running this vast estate while the other Olympians travelled the world having adventures.

    True to her nature, Hestia never left Mount Olympus, instead choosing to stay at home. She was always there to welcome and enjoy the homecomings of the others; a decision she was very content with.

    Hestia never involved herself with the scheming and the fights of the other Olympians, always managing to stay above the fray. Hestia’s unconditional love and calm acceptance along with her non-judgemental and forgiving nature inspired the love and trust of others in return. Dependable and caring were just two words of many to describe Hestia. She was always there for her family and friends to help them manage their lives and in their hour of need.

    As the estate-manager of Mount Olympus, Hestia had many responsibilities. One of her most important responsibilities was as “Keeper of the Reserves”. This meant that Hestia saw to it that everyone’s clothing and equipment was in good repair and that the pantry was always full. That way there would be ample food and wine on hand when various God/desses returned home from their adventures. Hestia was praised by the Olympians for her dependability.

    There aren’t many myths concerning Hestia – she had few adventures to record. One of the few myths about Hestia ever recorded is the tale of how Priapus, a lustful fertility god known for his oversized phallus, attempted to rape her as she slept.

    The story goes that after a feast attended by all the gods, everyone had passed out from too much food, drink and partying . . . everyone except Priapus, that is. He approached the slumbering Hestia and as he began lowering himself onto her, a donkey (which has long since been a symbol of lust) began to bray loudly, awakening her. Hestia’s screams awoke all the other gods and goddesses and sent an embarrassed Priapus fleeing in comic terror.

    Hestia is the originator of the concept of “sanctuary”. It was an offence to Hestia to refuse hospitality to a stranger. Hestia’s followers recognized the sacred obligation of sheltering and protecting those in need from ill treatment. Special emphasis was placed the requirement to not “take advantage” of a female guest. This was presumably as a result of Hestia’s experience with Priapus.

    Hestia is often spoken in conjunction with her friend Hermes, the god of communication and travel. Hermes and Hestia were complete opposites when it comes to personality; shy Hestia was quiet and stayed at home while outgoing Hermes loved to talk and travelled to the far ends of the earth. Despite being so disparate, Hestia and Hermes shared strong bonds of friendship.

    The circle was an important symbol of Hestia. It symbolized her as the “complete” goddess, the goddess who was whole and complete within herself. She was not only seen as being psychologically centred but was also seen to represent the centre; the centre of the home and family, the centre of the city and even of the world itself.

    The source of Hestia’s sacred fire was believed to be the molten lava that burns at the centre of the earth, which was said to be connected by an “umbilical cord” called the Oomphalos to the city of Delphi, a place of great wisdom and spiritual energy.

    In Ancient Greece, the town hall (a meeting place for citizens to discuss the community’s affairs) was built around a hearth that honoured Hestia. The living flame of Hestia was tended constantly and was NEVER allowed to die out. This is because it represented the energy of all life and to let the flame extinguish was to invite a cold and barren existence. When new “subdivisions” were developed, the fire was carried from the town’s hearth to light the fire of the community, assuring its prosperity.

    One example of the living flame that’s survived to modern times is the Olympic Torch, though rarely is it recalled that it originally honoured Hestia.

    The ancient wedding practise of bringing Hestia’s flame from the mother of the bride’s home to assure Hestia’s blessing on the union is derived from a modern ritual that involves a bride and groom lighting a candle together from the flames of two candelabra to symbolize the creation of the “new” family from their two “old” families.

    Every home in Greece had a hearth that was dedicated to Hestia and each day began and ended with a ritual requesting that she protect and nurture the family within.

    As the Goddess of Architecture, Hestia intended that all homes should be built from the centre out, with the centre being a hearth that contained her sacred flame. All infants were carried in a circle around this flame as part of naming rituals to secure Hestia’s blessings.

    Hestia gives us security, peace and comfort and helps us to accept the truth of our lives with inner grace. She is associated with the warmth and comfort of the welcoming fireplace. Its glowing flames soothe us with their warm and gleaming light.

    Hestia’s vision was that a house should truly be a home; a place where one’s body, spirit and relationships would be nurtured and replenished. It should be a place to “come home to” after exposure to the cold and chaos of the external world.

    There aren’t very many images of Hestia that exist; therefore her symbols are usually used to represent her in works of art. Some of Hestia’s symbols include her sacred flame, the circle, donkeys, pigs and keys. Her colours are gold, dark rose, lavender, silver and black. The few images of Hestia that do exist often show her wearing a modest veil.

    Hestia is gentle, forgiving, peaceful, serene, dignified, calm, secure, stable, loving, welcoming, caring and well-centred. It is her traits, not her actions, that most define her.

    ---

    Image copyright CelticBotan. Please don't reproduce without artist's permission (if you want a copy of the picture without the watermark just email the artist & ask)

    http://celticbotan.deviantart.com/ar...Vesta-76477500
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  2. #2
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    More on Hestia...
    Goddess of the hearth, domestic duties and the home life, Hestia is strong, nurturing and protective. According to Greek mythology, Hestia was the first born child of Cronos and Rhea. Her brothers were Poseidon, Hades and Zeus, and her sisters were Demeter and Hera. Wooed by Apollo and Poseidon, Hestia swore that she would never marry, instead following her own path of service to family, home and community. Being the goddess of the hearth, she was greatly honored in ancient Greek households. In fact, the hearth fires of the ancient Greeks were not allowed to go out unless they were extinguished in a ceremonial, ritualized way and then also relit in the same way.
    Hestia, as is her Roman equivalent Vesta, is seen as a complete goddess, the center of home, family and municipality. She is independent and yet a strong nurturer and protector. Aside from being the goddess of hearth and home, she is also the eternal living flame and inspires quiet dignity, serenity and courage. To invite the goddess Hestia into your home is to make your home a sacred space and a place where you can find centering and balancing energy. You can bring her into your home life in simple or more ritualized ways, depending on the time that you have and your own personal preferences. Some ideas include:
    ETA:
    (the forum snacked this post, and I can no longer find it in google cache)
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Bronze Member Clive's Avatar
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    Awesome, thank you for this. I've been drawn to Hestia for some time but was never sure exactly how to honor her. This is an inspiration.
    Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
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    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    Xian Nian, the Chinese Kitchen God




    Xian Nian (Zao Jun, Tsao Shen) is an important household deity in China. The Kitchen God oversees the household and serves as a reminder to the family prosperity of the household is not guaranteed and should be guarded by its inhabitants. Sacrifices (in the form of sweet candies and cakes) are made to him in the belief that he brings good fortune (so that he can not make a bad report to the Jade Emperor).

    Stories of his origin:
    Traditions assert that a mortal named Zhang was a wealthy farmer who owned an acreage of fertile land with great harvests and livestock. He had everything he needed and had a good family. However, one day he became attracted to a concubine and his wife eventually left him. He lived a vicarious life until he exhausted all his wealth. His concubine left him and he was left to wander the streets as a homeless beggar.

    One day in the winter Zhang became too weak and fainted while knocking on a door begging for food. The lovely lady who answered the door took him in and nursed him back to health. When he awoke he found himself in a small kitchen next to the warm hearth. When he looked out the window he had seen his host. To his surprise it was his old wife. Embarrassed and not being able to look her in the face he jumped into the hearth. She tried to douse him with water but the fire kept on blaring and in a flash his ashes went to the heavens.

    Upon receiving a report of Zhang's story, the Jade Emperor declared and appointed Zhang to be the Kitchen God. The heavenly ruler declared that someone who learned such a lesson would be all knowing and could influence the heavens for eternity.

    from http://www.thatsqingdao.com/qingdao-...xiao-nian.html
    Alternatively, there is another tale where Zao Jun was a man so poor he was forced to sell his wife. Years later he unwittingly became a servant in the house of her new husband. Taking pity on him she baked him some cakes into which she had hidden money, but he failed to notice this and sold the cakes for a pittance. When he realized what he had done he took his own life in despair. In both stories Heaven takes pity on Zhang Lang's tragic story. Instead of becoming a vampirish Hopping corpse, the usual fate of suicides, he was made the god of the Kitchen, and was reunited with his wife.
    The origin of the Kitchen God has different stories behind it just as any historical cultural tradition may. Another possible story of the "Stove God" is believed to have appeared soon after the invention of the brick stove. The Kitchen God was originally believed to have resided in the stove and only later took on human form. During the Han Dynasty, it is believed that a poor farmer named Yin Zifang, was surprised by the Kitchen God who appeared on Lunar New Year as he was cooking his breakfast. Yin Zifang decided to sacrifice his only yellow sheep for the Kitchen God. In doing so, he became rich and decided that every winter he would sacrifice one yellow sheep in order to display his deep gratitude for the Kitchen God.
    Honoring the Kitchen God:
    To please the Kitchen God, a paper image of him resides near the back of every stove. A small altar is made for seasonal food offerings and to burn incense and candles. Each year, about one week before the start of the New Year celebrations, the image of the Kitchen God is taken down and burned. By doing this the spirit of the Kitchen God is released from the earth. Thus freed, the Kitchen God is freed to make his annual ascent to Heaven where he will report to the Jade Emperor on the conduct of the family during the past year.

    from http://aneducatedpalate.wordpress.co...od-re-visited/
    Traditionally the Spring Festival actually begins its course a week before the Chinese New Year (the 23th of the last month from Chinese lunar calendar), with the practice of offering a sacrifice to the Kitchen God, a god sent from Heaven to each family to take charge of family's affairs and make a report on what the family has done in the past year to Heaven annually on the date of the 23th. Strangely enough, the sacrifice to the Kitchen God is a lotus root-like sticky cake made of a kind of confection, a typical Chinese traditional candy, instead of the usual cows, pigs or sheep. The purpose of the practice is compromising, for people are making full use of the sticky cake to prevent the Kitchen God from speaking ill of the family in Heaven by sticking his mouth. Of course, it seems to be quite a tacit agreement between the Kitchen God and his prayers; he is always accepting the sweet food from the people around. This tradition is no longer popular in cities now, but may still be observed in some areas of countryside.

    from http://chineseculture.about.com/libr.../aa010300a.htm







    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Bronze Member magusphredde's Avatar
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    Brigid: Celtic goddess of the hearth, midwifery, healing, smithcraft, poetry and holy wells. She was originally celebrated on February 1st in the festival of Imbolg, which coincided with the beginning of lactation in ewes and the first signs of spring. During this festival is was common to put out the household hearth and clean it, then re-light it from a common source, generally a blessed sacred bonfire. She represents the goddess of the land, fertility, and creative inspiration. She has also been worshipped as a warrior and protector, a healer, a guardian of children, a sovereign, and a goddess of fire and the sun. Still other sources say she was the goddess of agriculture, animal husbandry, medicine, crafting and music.



    Tawaret: The hippo-headed Tawaret was a popular element of ancient Egyptian mythology; she was considered to be the protector of women during pregnancy and childbirth. Births usually took place inside the home, so Taweret was considered a household deity.



    Bes: A popular Egyptian household god, whose duties included killing snakes, protecting children, encouraging fertility, and assisting Tawaret in childbirth.



    Vesta: The Roman virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family; Vesta’s presence was symbolized by the sacred fire that burned at her hearth and temples. In ancient times, she was the Goddess of the Vestal Virgins, a powerful group of noble women who tended her temple every day. To become a Vestal Virgin was the highest standard a woman could aspire to, the role representing wholesomeness, purity and health.



    Hestia: In Greek mythology, virginal Hestia, daughter of Cronus and Rhea, is the goddess of the hearth, of the right ordering of domesticity and the family. She received the first offering Something offered, a gift A sacrificial gift ceremonially offered as a part of worship or ritual at every sacrifice Translates as "to make sacred". To give something of value to the gods, ancestors spirits etc. in the household. In the public domain, the hearth of the prytaneum, or town hall, functioned as her official sanctuary. With the establishment of a new colony, a flame from Hestia’s public hearth would be carried to the new settlement. In classical Greek art Hestia was depicted as a woman modestly cloaked in a head veil.



    Zao-jun: The “Lord of the Hearth”, an immensely popular hearth and kitchen deity in Chinese folk religion. He is also the protector of the family. An image or picture of him is fixed above the hearth and from this position he notes everything that happens in the house. This he reports to Yu-huang on each New Year’s Day. In order to make him submit a favorable report to the Jade Emperor, people smear honey around his mouth on New Year’s Eve. He is usually shown surrounded by a host of children, and is venerated by the whole family. The Chinese god of the stove was a deity who was greatly respected, for he possessed the power to bestow a family with good health, wealth, and prosperity. To keep him from being offended, all family members would take great care not to sing, swear, cry, or kiss in front of the stove. To chop onions on or near the stove was also regarded as disrespectful and was forbidden.



    Annamurti: The Hindu god (an incarnation of the god Vishnu) of kitchens and food. Offerings of payasa (sweetened milk and rice) are traditionally offered to him.



    Oki-Tsu-Hiko-No-Kami and Oki-Tsu-Hime-No-Kami: In Japan, the god and goddess of kitchens are Oki-Tsu-Hiko-No-Kami and his consort Oki-Tsu-Hime-No-Kami. They are the children of the harvest god, and their main duty is to look after the cauldron in which water is boiled.



    Hettsui-No-Kami: A Japanese deity of the kitchen range. Each year on the eighth day of November she is honored in Japan with a Shinto festival called the Fuigo Matsuri.



    Erce: Anglo Saxon goddess who is associated with the harvest. A goddess of the land and harvest goddess symbolized by a womb or by an over-flowing horn of plenty.



    Frigg: Norse goddess and the wife of Odin, Queen of the Æsir, and goddess of the sky. One of the Ásynjur, she is a goddess of fertility, love, household management, marriage, motherhood, and the domestic arts. Her primary functions in the Norse mythological stories are as wife and mother, but these are not her only functions. She has the power of prophecy although she does not tell what she knows, and is the only one other than Odin who is permitted to sit on his high seat Hlidskjalf and look out over the universe. Frigg also participates in the Wild Hunt along with her husband. Frigg’s attendants are Hlín (a goddess of protection), Gná (a messenger goddess), and Fulla (a fertility goddess).



    Andhrímnir: The chef for the Æsir and einherjar in Norse mythology. Every day, he killed Sæhrímnir, the cosmic boar, and cooked it in Eldhrímnir, his cauldron with magical powers. That night, the boar was restored to life to be eaten again the next day. He makes the Æsir’s mead from the milk of Heiðrún, a goat.

    Sucellos and Nantosuelta: Gaulish/Celtic gods. Sucellos is a god of agriculture, forests, and alcoholic drinks. Also known as the Hammer-God for the long handled hammer he carries, he is also depicted with a small pot and sometimes a small dog. The hammer, it has been argued, was an instrument of power used to strike the earth and awaken it after its winter sleep. It could also be used to fix fence posts into the ground to demark boundaries and protect the people from disease. Nantosuelta is his wife, a goddess of home, hearth and harvest (possibly associated with beehives). Little is known of them beyond a few images.



    Hastsehogan: For the Navajo, Hastsehogan is the god of houses.



    Belisama: Celtic Goddess of light, fire, the forge and of crafts, she is possibly a wife of the god Belenus (Beli) and the Goddess of the Mersey River.



    Habondia: Anglo-Celtic Goddess of abundance and prosperity, she ruled over crops and livestock. Demoted to a “mere witch” by medieval times.
    http://walkingthehedge.net/wildgeekh...amp;Itemid=163

    I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a-hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them ... John Bernard Books


    Indian Chief 'Two Eagles' was asked by a white government official; "You have observed the white man for 90 years. You've seen his wars and his technological advances. You've seen his progress, and the damage he's done."

    The Chief nodded in agreement.

    The official continued; "Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?"

    The Chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied.. "When white man find land, Indians running it, no taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, clean water. Women did all the work, Medicine Man free. Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing; all night having sex."

    Then the chief leaned back and smiled; "Only white man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that."




  6. #6
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

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    Member Laketear's Avatar
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    That's a beautiful story about Hestia Thalassa, well it's not a story I know but it's a great piece and you're right about Hestia not being very well known. I have an old book on Greek and Roman Mythology and very little is mentioned of her other than the fact that she tended to the sacred fire on Mount Olympus but there was also something else that was in the book that was not mentinoned in your essay. Hestia's roman name being Vesta was the patron Goddess of the Vesta Temples that were run by women all of whom had to be virgins. Which is where they came up with the name Vesta Virgins and the women of these Temples were charged with keeping the pyre of said temple lit at all times something you said Hestia did as well on Mount Olympus. But there were dire consequences to any woman who let the fire burn out or had an illicit affair with a man before her term had ended if caught she was either burned or buried alive, the good thing I noted about the Vesta Virgins was that they didn't have to remain in the service of the Goddess or the Temple for her whole life after a certian amount of time which was usually many many years she could go free to spend the rest of her life as she wished even marry if she wanted to.
    That was all the real information given on Hestia in the book I have but I have to say from what you've written Hestia is my kind of Goddess! Lol, maybe I should pay some kind of tribute to her and introduce myself because I would like to spend the rest of my days just as she did living quietly, peacefully tending to my home and garden. Thanks for sharing your essay.

    Laketear
    A witch is a woman who knows what she wants and is not afraid to work to achieve it. She has strong beliefs and the power to go through with her wishes. She has the power to turn thought into action. She's a strong, hardworking and intelligent woman.
    Call me a witch and I will thank you for the compliment.

  8. #8
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    In Irish mythological cycles, Brighid (or Brighit), whose name is derived from the Celtic brig or "exalted one", is the daughter of the Dagda, and therefore one of the Tuatha de Dannan. Her two sisters were also called Brighid, and were associated with healing and crafts. The three Brighids were typically treated as three aspects of a single deity, making her a classic Celtic triple goddess.

    ---------- Post added at 12:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:53 PM ----------

    Celtic goddess of the hearth, midwifery, healing, smithcraft, poetry and holy wells. She was originally celebrated on February 1st in the festival of Imbolg, which coincided with the beginning of lactation in ewes and the first signs of spring. During this festival is was common to put out the household hearth and clean it, then re-light it from a common source, generally a blessed sacred bonfire. She represents the goddess of the land, fertility, and creative inspiration. She has also been worshipped as a warrior and protector, a healer, a guardian of children, a sovereign, and a goddess of fire and the sun. Still other sources say she was the goddess of agriculture, animal husbandry, medicine, crafting and music.

  9. #9
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    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    I know a Lokean who argues that Loki is a god of the hearth fire:

    "... in Norway, among older people who still keep the old traditions they grew up with, Loki is closely linked to hearth fire. It’s an ancient tradition to sprinkle a bit of your drink, and throw small leftovers of your meal into the hearth fire for Loki. When the hearth fire crackled loudly and spit sparks it was said that Loki was spanking his children or that he was lively."

    "~It seems that it was a common thing in southern Norway, especially in the county of Telemark, to associate Loki with the hearth fire. It was believed that as long as you treated the fire well - like not letting it go out, and by giving it offerings of food and drink - then Loki, as the hearth fire, would be a good ally against king Bure (Lord of winter, and also Odin's granddad), and a good friend in the kitchen."

    "~One custom was to give a pinch of flour to the fire as an offering, while making the traditional morning porridge, and saying: "Loki shall have his"."

    "~Another curious custom several places in Scandinavia:
    When a child lost a milk tooth, it was thrown into the hearth fire, and something like this was said: "Loke, Loke ram - gi meg bentann for gulltann." Ram means strong, powerful or bitter (a drink can be ram - too strong or bitter). What it means in this context is unclear - though considering that Loki as the hearth fire was considered a friend, I'd guess "strong". Translated, the prayers goes: "Loki, Loki, strong - give me bone tooth for gold tooth". Another version of that prayer uses the word "rang" instead of "ram". Rang is another spelling of the word vrang, and can mean "inside out" - as in, if you put on your sweater turned inside out, you're wearing it på rangen. It can mean crooked, as in not straight. It can also mean stubborn and difficult - but seen from another angle, it means someone who can't be ordered around, who is strong-willed, assertive and have a mind of their own.”"

    Found here: http://templeoftheflea.weebly.com/fo...folk-ways.html

  10. #10

    Re: Deities of the Hearth and Home

    a complex problem in health and home , it worth everyone thinking for it for times.

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