Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hestia, Days Twenty and Twentyone

20. Art that reminds you of this deity.
21. Music that makes you think of this deity.

The first thing that comes into my mind is the veiled Vestal Virgin statues (in particular, the one shown), perhaps for obvious reasons. I remember learning in art class that to those studying sculpture in years past, making such a veiled sculpture was almost a final test of sorts, as they are especially difficult to do. (Art class was over a decade ago now, so hopefully I'm remembering that right.) Perhaps less obviously, often when I see a warm autumn or winter fire scene, those tend to remind me of Hestia, as well.

Veiled Vestal Virgin
Raffaelle Monti (1818 - 1881)
As for music, there's not really any music in particular that reminds me of Hestia. Perhaps some Christmas carols, as they always remind me of being much younger, at home, bringing up good winter memories of family for me.

To add on some extra, I see scent is not mentioned on the 30 days, but scent is such a huge trigger for memory for me. The scent of baking bread, of baking sweets like apple pie, pumpkin pie, mincemeat, cinnamon rolls, ginger cookies... all those warm baking scents remind me of home and the hearth. Amber, as well, is a scent I have come to associate with Hestia, and with a few other hearth goddesses as well. I forgot to mention this on the day for offerings, but amber incense is something I occasionally offer to Hestia (occasionally, as my kitchen doesn't have a window, so I don't like to burn too much incense there as it bothers my partner), but I also keep a small box of amber resin tucked away that I bring out to hold and smell when meditating on the hearth.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hesta, Day Nineteen

19. What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?

Hestia is an interesting deity, because, to me anyway, there's not much to find troubling. Unlike some deities who have questionable myths, or sides to them that are hard to mesh with, I do not feel that with Hestia. I mean, the biggest thing for me would be that Hestia has ties to bread baking, and carbs aren't good for me. Even if I love them. Stop tempting me with delicious carbs!

What I admire about Hestia is that she is stability. She is the home. She is the warm hearth fire. She is welcoming and hospitable, but she will not be trampled on - disrespect a fire and see how well it goes for you. Yet she is forgiving, understanding, compassionate. She is unwavering in her dedication to follow her own path and purpose.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Hestia, Day Eighteen

18. How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)

Oh Hestia, I have not forgotten about you! After a two year pause (where did those years go?!), I am finally committing to finishing this project for Hestia.

Historically speaking we know Hestia chose to remain a virgin, unmarried, never having children. We know that her Roman counterpart, Vesta, was served by a group of virgin priestesses. But that is all we know.

We don't know how Hestia felt about those who did marry, those who did not, those who had children, and those who did not, those with many partners, those with few, those with none. We don't know about how she felt about people attracted to their own genders, another gender, we don't know how she felt about gender in general. We can know what was the cultural norm in parts and particular times of Ancient Greece, but we do not know, in particular how Hestia feels. It's just never spoken of. It does not come up in myths. It doesn't seem to be addressed in hymns. And in my opinion? It's because she just doesn't care.

Hestia made the best choice for herself, and she wants you to make the best choice for you, period. Hestia wants you to have a happy and stable home, whatever that might look like for you. Not what it might be for you your culture, your neighbors, your parents, or anyone else, only what it is for you.