Tag Archive | Hestia

One Hearth

Fireplace

What does it mean to be aligned with Hestia? To be a hearthkeeper? What is it like to designate oneself in the accepted ~ though often denigrated ~ role of “homemaker” when asked “what do you do”?

I tend to structure my days, creating a schedule so that I feel a sense of accomplishment. I’ve done this ever since retiring in 2003 from the 9-to-5 grind of office work. But I find myself more often this past year allowing a day or two mid-week, when Ron is working, to just go with the flow. My sadhana may extend itself into nearly three hours, and that is often the sign that the day needs to be open and permeable to intuitive flow and contemplative practices.

I realize upon reflection that I often allowed this non-structured flow in my single years as well. The years before I met Ron, but while I was still working in an office where a clock and structure dictated the day’s tasks. In those years, however, the flowing days were on the weekends…the solitary times.

What I find, from past and present both, is that truly necessary tasks still get done, maybe in a different order or in a unique way, but done. From cleaning and cooking to animal care and grocery shopping, and all the other mundane tasks, whether scheduled or not everything important eventually is taken care of.

Or sometimes the day is a slumber of presence flowing into each moment that encompasses subtle contemplation; I look around at the end of the day to see that nothing was accomplished, there are no outward signs of productivity. Yet this is fine, too.

I am blessed by the touch of Hestia, though I don’t always dwell in the traditional “homemaker” role. Especially these past several years. Jean Shinoda Bolen, in her book Goddesses in Everywoman, describes the introverted Hestia also as a “temple hearthkeeper” and I now resonate more strongly in this sub-archetypal direction. Familial caregiver energy, and the attention to keeping a tidy and properly-run home, is being shifted toward sacred sharing and extended periods of focus upon the Divine Feminine.

Yet my husband and I remain solid in our connection. Ron and I both refer to our home as our sanctuary. He enjoys our quiet, easy lifestyle, and appreciates the simple, loving energy that I bring into our home. I treasure his kindness and generosity that provide me with the opportunity to enjoy my innate nature.

I believe that the strong partnership I share with Ron, and the reason that our relationship is sweet and easy, is a direct result of Gaia’s presence and support. Gaia’s guidance ~ my own Divine essence ~ allowed me to be completely open and honest with Ron, from the moment we met, about my nature and what was important to me. And yet, I also know that Gaia would have continued leading me into deeper resonance with Her even if I had not met Ron. I was already on the Gaia Path prior to meeting my husband. We are blessed that we both honor one of my roles as hearth-keeper.

What is my current path?

One Hearth for Home and Temple

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Hestia at Winter Solstice

Flame Pendant

Morning, December 21, 2012, meditation: 

Soft, subtle music plays in the background as I sit in contemplation, welcoming the Light of dawn.

In the recesses of my mind, I find myself crouched in front of an old, soot-tinged fireplace made of rough-hewn stone, a modest fire licking birch logs. The room is dark, but I know it is a cozy log cabin far off in a mountain forest, familiar and safe. I take a twig from the crackling fire and light three candles, clockwise, for the other directions; I face the fireplace, which is South.

Within the circle, Hestia comes to me. “Keep the home fires burning.” Her voice is crisp and raspy like the crumpled paper I use as tinder when wood is wet or kindling scarce. Hestia shows me that part of Her ‘homing’ is in the aspect of ‘frequency holder’ and that She is here to support that essence. She holds the point of convergence which is heart-communication; she is the core, the focus, around which wise women sit and pass the ‘talking stick.’ And she tells me this includes writing. I feel so welcome in Her warmth.

I touch my flame pendant and know that Hestia is a major component of inspiration and creativity … that the fires I write and ignite don’t have to be a bonfire someone could see from space! “Just use the flame that comes naturally.” Her unobtrusive whisper warms my inner ear. Hestia encourages me toward the flickering colors of creativity, alternately wielding “the Torch, the Candle and the Coal.”

With Hestia in the cabin, I relax into an exquisite sense of belonging.

Pre-Dawn, December 22, 2012, meditation: 

I return to the cabin of yesterday, a heavy patchwork quilt wrapped around my body, a veil upon my head, and light a single candle on the mantle to welcome the growing Illumination of longer days. Just one. For the Dark isn’t quite ready to relinquish her shadows … not just yet.  Hecate sings to those in the blackness … “come out, come out, wherever you are, and meet the young lady, who fell from a star.”  Hestia joins her voice in harmony, a gentle background of flickering, dancing flame, for She is the Great Goddess, unlimited by form or figure, by night or day.

Hestia is as old as the suns of a million stars, and Her spark is within every atom of existence.

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Note: Hestia is often depicted in Classical Greek artwork as wearing a veil in supposed ‘modesty.’ I would proffer that originally her veil (pre-Hellenic) is actually part of her inward-focus attire, that the seers perceived her in a draped veil of introspection. Why do I see the veil symbol differently? Because I experience deeper contemplation when wearing a veil/scarf draped upon my head. The curtain-effect of the outer separation promotes and supports inner reflection upon that which is sacred, which allows the sacred flame to consume us within the ecstasy of eternal knowing.hestia