In mid November of 2012, I made a promise, and began a major commitment to Hestia, Apollon and the spirts of my oikos. The day I recieved the keys to the new place, I prayed to Hestia while lighting the Hearthfire on a glass pillar candle that I keep inside the fireplace. I am proud to say that I have, thus far, tended that original flame through countless changes of candles up to the present day.
Everyday, I pray before that flame, and (nearly) every fire that I have needed since lighting it originally, has come directly from that flame. I seriously have only had to use a lighter once, and that was only because the little kids at my daughter’s birthday party couldn’t stand still long enough to wait for the cake to be lit that way.
This is one of the major perks of being a housewife, I’ve found. I do not overlook how fortunate I am to be able to stay home and tend the Sacred Flame. The peace it brings to my home and loved ones is the most wonderful prize of my efforts. I do have to put effort into maintaining the flame, too. Even though the candle burns on its own (unlike a traditional hearthfire where you must constantly apply more fuel) it still must be carefully watched, because you never really know if the candle will just suddenly flicker out. And sometimes, the wick gets pressed up against the glass, weakening it and causing a fire hazard. So, I have to be here to watch and tend the flame, and it is amazing.
Five months. Five months, so far, and I hope to keep it up for as long as Hestia and Apollon will allow. But it is my responsibility. I must measure and estimate the amount of time each candle will last, which usually tends to be three to five days, depending upon the amount of wax, and any invisible defects. It is I who must awaken at timed intervals to check the flame. I must also follow the subtle hints that Hestia and Apollon give to me, like lighting a new candle when one has only burned half-way down, because the next day something falls out of the fireplace, snuffing the flame. And I am so grateful for Their warnings, as well as Their favor, because I haven’t had very many instances wherein which losing the flame was a real possibility. A few, but not many.
So, I guess I’m just basking in the gentle purity that radiates from my Hearthfire. Hestia’s energy, and the quiet contemplation it induces are truly a sign that I am making progress with my efforts. Of course, progress only fuels my desire to please Them more, so I will continue to be diligent in tending my Sacred Flame.