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Hestia's Hearth

Yep! It's quite possible that you may have never even heard of the virgin Greek goddess, Hestia? That's because, in spite of being one of the twelve Olympian deities, Hestia has no stories or myths depicting her deeds among mortals - and there were almost no ancient images of Hestia. Further, there were no Greek temples devoted specifically to Hestia...

Hestia's consecrated hearth, however, could be found in the center of each and every temple honoring one of the other many differing Greek gods and goddesses... as well as being found in each and every home in Greece.

Architecturally, Hestia's hearth can be described as an ancient ancestor of today's modern utility of convenience and comfort, called the central heating unit.

Still more aptly, I can remember the "ancient" gas furnace of my childhood home. It was located in the center of our home - and there were vents for each of the rooms which directly adjoined the furnace. The simple furnace had none of the labyrinth of ducts and/or powerful fans that are needed in order to push and spread the heat out further into the entire house.

I remember on those especially cold winter nights - my older sister and I jockeying back and forth for the honored spot on the floor directly in front of the warmth of the living room vent. So it's a good bet that Hestia's hearth was equally honored on cold nights in ancient Greece...

Hestia's Fire

The presence of Hestia was known to be in the center of a fire - and thus Hestia's soothing warmth served to make sacred whatever place it dwelled. Hestia's deep abiding presence was felt and seen only in the center of her warming fire. Thus... she could be found in every temple and in every home. As such, symbolically, it could be said that her energies centered around her sense of spirituality and with her home.

Although Hestia's life was focused on the home (and the many practical tasks regarding running the home) - as with the other virgin goddesses of ancient Greece (Artemis and Athena) - her life did not revolve around the pleasing of a male (whether god or mortal).

It's not that the virgin goddesses disliked men - and it's not that they were "virgins" in the manner the term virgin is used today.

The virgin (unmarried) goddesses lived their lives for themselves...

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