There are very few things that I take more seriously within Hellenic Paganism than this statement. Hestia is the patron to everyone.
Since really diving into reading, I’ve been just a bit amused with the sort of short hand that people use to describe the Gods. If Zeus is considered “king of the gods” then Hestia is the center of all worth. As the goddess of hearth and home, her myths are few because she was in need of so few of them. You didn’t need to tell a story about her, when she was ever-present in your home and community. What need of temples? What need of boisterous festivities?
She doesn’t need them. She already is the focal point of our lives, our homes, our hearts, our hearths and communities. We’re pagans here, we’ve all read Yeats. Hestia is the Center, and we know what happens when the center does not hold.
It’s to Hestia that we start every ritual, who we give the first and last. She’s that important, and yet, if go on the basis of mythology, she seems so small. So small that a myth was invented for her, one where she gave up her throne to Dionysos. (Just another myth that Graves toyed with).
To further my relationship with Hestia, I started taking seriously being at home. I hate housework, but cleaning and cooking and creating the home is a great way to honor her. And something that most people can work on. I’ve jokingly called my endeavour “becoming a grown-up”. Somehow, making my bed can turn into a practice when I pray over it in the morning.
I also bake bread, but I’ll do more on that later. My friday nights are community building, with a large group of friends who come over and we cook and watch movies and share interesting things we’ve found that week. Oh and drinking. It was a Saturday morning that I was named the patron saint of hangovers and I figured out that maybe Hestia and Dionysos aren’t at odds with each other. Someone has to take care of the drunken morons.
So here’s to Hestia, the first and last and the center.