“Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honour: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, — where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.” Homeric Hymn to Hestia translated by Evelyn White and in the Public Domain
None of us would be alive without food. It isn’t surprising then that the Greeks included a goddess of the hearth and eating at home and at public gatherings. She was so important to them that a portion of each Deity’s offerings at the temples went to her first.
I feel drawn to Hestia because my family has such a close connection to food. My maternal grandparents ran several grocery stores and they held huge fish fries at their homes. They fostered around forty children and teens through the years. That is a lot of food that was sold and shared.
No one ever went hungry in their home. When ever someone showed up at the door no matter the time of day or night, they first thing they would ask, “Can I get you something to eat or drink?” My mom is the same way. She also made sure all of her children, who happened to be daughters, learned to cook. I’ve always enjoyed arriving at her house before everyone else to help prepare the family meal. It was in her kitchen over the smells of searing meat, crisp vegetables, and brewing tea that we worked out our differences. A Christian listening to her daughter who had left that path to be Pagan. Daughter and Mother forgiving and healing the hurts they had caused each other while in and out of the control of a man with a dangerous mental illness. The salt added to the food matched the salt of our tears and the sweetness of our desserts were the renewed and newly shaped love.
Get this! In Greek mythology Hestia is the granddaughter of Gaia. I’m a Gaian Pagan.
I was a substitute teacher for several years until last month. Here I’m announcing some big news to you and it may come as a surprise especially after my “Mother to Many” post. Michael and I have been accepted into the Family and Childrens Services Adoption Program. We’ll be adopting one or two children but it’s a long process. We were going to take classes this spring but they were canceled and won’t begin until summer. Maybe it works out for the best because I finally got a part time job. It’s actually hard to find those. Most employers here want full time workers. I hope to save up money for clothes, children’s furniture, some toys, anything else we’ll need and the lawyer fee.
I don’t want to say where I’m working exactly for privacy sake. Let’s just say it’s funny because Hestia is the goddess of hearth and home and I work in a restaurant with the name of a house in it. Just as my kitchen is dedicated to her at home, I say a prayer to her each time I arrive at work. I dedicate my time there to her asking that the food I help prepare will be blessed for the nourishment of others.
Today for Pagan Coming Out Day I wore my pentacle ring. I enjoyed seeing that as I worked dough with my hands and thought about Hestia.