Thursday, August 2, 2007

The home fires

The fire of the hearth is the home fire. It is that light and warmth that calls to us and makes us sit still in front of its protection from the night and cold. Hestia is that hearth fire.

Close your eyes, breath evenly and deeply. When your mind feels as if it is slowing, stilling, open your eyes and light the hearth candle, or the fire in the fireplace, and let the light of the fire dull you into another state of awareness.

This isn't easy, but I try to do it from time to time as a way to meditate on the essential nature of this goddess. Not her personailty, but the essence of her. An essence that is both light and warmth and the destructive power of fire. A fire that can not only burn but also burn away that which harms from within.

Imagine, if you will, your heart and soul as a sword being forged. The metal of the sword needing that fire to burn away the dullness, impart strength, and which allows it to gain form from formlessness. So too do the Gods prove to us humans. As the fires that both strengthen us but can also burn and destroy us if we lose ourselves too long in them.

But the fire that is Hestia is very special. One must wonder at early man and how frightening it must have been to tame fire, to control it and worse, to bring it home once he started living in structures. A gift of the goddess of the hearth, one that must be properly respected and maintained. It is a gift we take for granted in the modern world.

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