The White Moon Gallery presents




Hestia, Goddess of hearth and home beloved and revered as the center of Ancient Greek life, is veiled by the mists which shroud her mystery. Unlike her sisters who are so visibly part of the Olympic Pantheon, Hestia is not recounted and lauded through mythological stories, nor is her image emblazoned on ceramic and wall. Hestia was instead made visible in the flame that sanctified the living space, as well as the temples, and city. Where her flame burned there was sacredness. She provided light, warmth, and the means of cooking food. She was holiness and life.

Hestia, the first born daughter of Rhea and Cronos, was the oldest sister of the first-generation of Olympians making her one of the original twelve. She was one of the first swallowed by Cronos and last to be regurgitated. She did not sit on Mount Olympus and so her seat was finally usurped by her brother, Dionysus, God of Wine. While being the least known of the Olympians she was the most honored receiving the best offerings. For without Hestia’s presence, a house was not a home.

When a bride, for example, was married in ancient Greece her mother would carry a torch lit from the maiden’s home to the home of the newly made wife to consecrate and bless the new household. Too, a child was accepted into a Greek family on the fifth day after birth by carrying the infant around the hearth flame.

According to Bolen in her work “Goddess in Everywoman,” Hestia was often paired with Hermes, the God of travelers. “Thus in households and temples Hestia and Hermes were related, but separated. Each served a different but valued function. Hestia provided the sanctuary where people bonded together into the family - the place to come home to.” Hermes then was the realm outside the home. It is hypothesized that this distinction between the inner world of the hearth and the outer world of male energies was used as a philosophy that tied women to their homes and made it unacceptable to seek themselves in the outside world. While this distinction can be manipulated to create a fissure between male and female, Hermes and Hestia can also be a personification of the yin and yang. If we extend outwards so too must we contract inwards male and female, young and old, it is about balance. This too is important as women of today seek to find their balancing point. In embracing Hestia we embrace our centered-ness and our haven. Hestia calls our heart home to a place we have made safe and comfortable reflecting our unique individuality and our soul, a place to sigh and retreat in, for rejuvenation, for family and friends, for sanctuary and spirit.

Manifestation: Ways to Evoke Hestia’s Attributes into Your Life.
From The Goddess Workbook by Jill Fairchild and Regina Schaare

Colors ~ white for purity, and gold
Gems/stones ~ clear quartz, crystal, sodalite
Symbols ~ the hearth, the torch
Feast/ Festival day ~ December 31
Fragrances ~ chamomile (calming), frankincense, myrrh (cleansing)
Flowers/herbs ~ daisy, hyssop, basil

There are many ways to bless and invoke Hestia. Anytime you are working to center and give attention and reverence to your home as a support for family you honor her.

Here is a meditative craft by Laurel Reufner. She says that ”It can be difficult finding balance today. Being able to come home to a nurturing environment is a necessary luxury vital to good mental health. To do so try the following magical herbal tips. Honeysuckle has a calming energy…For this spell form honeysuckle vines into a small wreath, focusing on having a balanced home. Decorate the wreath with objects, herbs or flowers representing things you need to bring into your home in order for the energy to feel more balanced hang this in your home for a week then place it in your garden…” (Llewellyn’s 2003 Almanac)

When you have lost touch of Hestia’s centeredness and feel that the home is no longer a place of peace. Take a few minutes to refresh and restore equilibrium. Here are some suggestions from Scott Cunningham and David Harrington’s book, The Magical Household:

For a Peaceful House

If your household is being rocked by disturbances from an outside source, gather freshly cut parsley from the garden (or from your local market) and place it in a pan of water. Let it soak for nine minutes, then sprinkle the water throughout house while visualizing a calm environment and harmony should be restored.

For in-house disturbances heat three cups of water until just boiling. Put three teaspoons dried Valerian Root in a teapot and pour hot water over this. Let steep for 13 minutes, strain and sprinkle the mixture around the home. This should halt the strife.

“Negativity weighing down on any house can strain relationships, create tension, increase arguments and accidents… It may also prevent sleep and cause the whole house to assume a heavy, malignant atmosphere. When this happens, purify the home of the negativity that is unavoidably attracted to it. Monthly purification will drastically reduce the negativity in your home.” says Cunningham and Harrington.

For a monthly full moon ritual, you can peel nine lemons using your hands alone. As you finish peeling each one place the peels in a large bowl of water. Next, gently squeeze the peels into the water to express the oils. Visualizing the lemon’s cleansing powers and ability to rid your home of negativity scrub the floors, doorknobs and windows with the lemon water. Pour a little of the remaining water down each drain.

There are of course times when a less involved cleansing would be more appropriate and for this you might try the Family House Cleansing ritual from Llewellyn’s 2003 Witches’ Spell-A-Day Almanac. “While this spell isn’t intended for a serious housecleaning, it will be sufficient for helping to air out your home a bit and to lighten the mood. Start by lighting some incense. As the smoke begins to curl up into the room, open all the doors and windows that you would have open on a nice day. Smudge each room in your house by carrying the incense and waving it around making sure to waft smoke out open doors and windows. Let house members follow with bells and maracas or other noisemakers. After the incense burns out sprinkle the ashes outside your door.”

Hestia is involved in all things related to home and this includes the harmony of relationships. If there is stress between those in your household perhaps clearer communication in the key. The following is a helpful working to increase communication with loved one(s). (based on a spell by Laurel Reufner - Llewellyn's 2003 Almanac) - This spell improves communication between you and your loved ones. Choose a number of yellow candles to correspond with the number in your household and anoint with a love oil and carve a name or symbol to represent each householder. After lighting your candles hold an agate in your hands and charge it to bring communication between you and your loved ones. Lay the stone between the candles. Circle them with pink or red cord. Allow the candles to burn down before removing the agate and either place the stone on your altar or carry it with you.

A natural time to invoke Hestia is when cooking. Try to be centered and magical as you create your meal. Stir deosil and imagine good things for you and your family. You might want to say a little prayer as you add your herbs like that of Jonathan Keyes (Llewellyn's 2003 Almanac):

I add these spices to the meal,
Let our home mend and heal.
Bring us love,
bring us peace,
May our hearts,
be at ease.

Choose a warm colored candle - perhaps golden yellow. Either buy a scented candle of warm cinnamon and the smells of baking or anoint it with an appropriate oil. (such as Scott Cunningham’s “fire Oil” made by blending 3 drops of ginger, 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop clove, and 1 drop petitgrain - used to invoke the powers of fire including strength love and passion) Place it on your dinner table and light it before calling everyone to dinner. Chant:

Sacred scents of Sky and Earth,
fill our home with health and mirth.
Bless our travels,
Return to heart,
Hestia’s blessings to impart.
Peace and safety,
Love and light,
Respite, solace,
Compassion bright,
Warmth of family, Steadfast and true,
Laughter of friendships,
Old and New,
Gentleness, Kindness,
glowing flame,
Hestia, Hestia I call your name!

Auralia Pendragon

Offer your first bite of the meal to Hestia in tribute. “To you Hestia!” then savor the flavors and know Hestia blesses your efforts.

After the day is done, the children are tucked in, the animals settled, and what will be done is done, relax with a cup of tea flavored with a little Love Honey (The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews - Scott Cunningham)

1 cup pure light honey
2 broken sticks of cinnamon
1 tsp. Whole cloves
1 dime sized piece of sugar Ginger
1 inch-long piece of dried lemon peel
1 inch-long piece of vanilla bean
1 pinch dried Cardomon

Empower the herb as and the honey with your magical intent, pour herbs into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Add honey and shake until the herbs are moist. Place between 2 pink candles and let them burn out. Let honey sit in a dark place for 3 weeks. Add to food or drink to promote good feelings of love.

Or, perhaps you need an opportunity to be alone with your thoughts, to refresh and renew. May I suggest a warm bath, candle light, gentle music and a lock on the door?

Tranquility Balm
from The Healing Bath by Riggs

“The Tranquility Balm is a mantra of floral essences and the ultimate bubble bath. This blessing of aromatic harmony simulates the state of higher consciousness reached during transcendental meditation. Floating for twenty minutes on a blossom scented cloud of foam inspires exalted serenity more refreshing to the body and mind than a good night’s sleep.

Two tablespoons of scent free shampoo
fifteen (15) drops of Neroli Oil
twelve (12) drops of Vanilla Oil
ten (10) drops of Carnation Oil

This is not, of course, to discount the healing, spiritual, and restorative powers of sleep. End your day with a prayer of thanksgiving that you are safe in hearth and home, that your needs are met and you are at peace. Perhaps increase this feeling of peace, and your gentle sense of well being, by dusting your bed linens with lavender powder or tucking a dream pillow into you pillow case (Scott Cunningham suggests 2 parts rose petals, 2 parts lemon balm, 1 part Costmary, 1 part mint, and 1 part clove sewn into a small pillow, in his book The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews).

All acts, done with gentle intentions, that create a sense that your home is sacred space, sanctifies hearth and home and honors Hestia.

May peace fill your home and heart, gladdening your friends and family. May you find respite, health, joy, light and warmth in your sacred space. May Hestia bless you.

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Special thanks to Liliana for her talent and dedicated work.