Tag Archives: Hestia

Ode to Thirteen Goddesses ver. 2

Lovely Persephone, ruling over the hosts of Hades
You bring solace, both above and below
Assuaging the barrenness of Winter, Death and Time

Indomitable Rhea, in the face of all adversity You smile
For You are the Lioness, whose prowess is known
In the hearts of those who labor on

Shimmering Amphitrite, Lady resting upon the waves
Your gentle motions ease our hearts
While warning of the dangers of the deep
That we may honor the division of Land and Sea

Wild Artemis, running along rivers
Protectress and Huntress of beasts
We honor Your fierce glory
And stand awed by the might of Your Bow

Indelible Ariadne, Lover of Madness, Speaker of Truth
Your lessons are those we find within us
Of Will, and Wisdom, and love’s fickle moods

All-encompassing Gaea, O vastness of Earth
Who is at once Mother and Grandmother
Eternal Creatrix, we praise You
And embrace You at our end

Luminous Hekate, Light at the Crossroads
Tending the unwelcome spirits
Even these have purpose among Your retinue
As we hail them in passing

Compassionate Athena, Lady favoring strategy over brute force
We are the wheels You set in motion
And by our hands is the Divine Work done

Warlike Aphrodite, bane of hearts and Mistress of cruel Ares
You tempt even the strongest of mortals
And Yours is the triumph of procreation

Beloved Hestia, consumed in the flame of enlightenment
Yours is the way of the Unfettered Self
We are but fleeting in the face of Your truth

Illustrious Hera, Queen of Gods, tester of men
Your trials forge character and train resolve
For ego falls away, as Your gaze falls upon us

Resplendent Leto, She of Untamed Spirit
Woe be upon the boasters and fakers
Who with scornful tongues
Will know the peace of Your Offspring

Bountiful Demeter, by whose power Earth’s sustenance is grown
Your gentle hand did guide us in first planting
Thus laying the seeds of civilization for all humankind

Blessed are the Goddesses!  Hail these Magnificent Thirteen!

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Telling and Retelling: The Gift

Telling and Retelling is a series inspired and dictated by the Theoi featured prominently in each story; in this case, Prometheus and Hestia.  These stories are not meant to replace established lore, but instead to expand understanding of the Theoi, and of the events which shaped Their mythology.  These stories are given to me directly from the Theoi in question, but are undoubtedly colored through the filter of my individual awareness.  Please take from them whatever you find is useful, with this knowledge in mind.  Happy reading.  <3


Image found on Google, to represent Hestia, and Her flame.

Prometheus peered sullenly through the clouds which obscured His sight, and that of the other Theoi, from the grim reality of the beasts of the Earth. Below the Blessed Gods, all the animals roamed, each with their respective gifts, to allow them the best chances for survival upon Gaea’s breast.

Each creature had its specialty.  There were those which flew through the skies, with their hollow bones and feathered bodies; and there were those that swam beneath the many waters, aided by sleek scales and powerful fins.  The beasts which roamed the land were of great variety, many with hooves for running, and others with great claws for climbing or rending flesh from bone.  Still many were blessed with fangs sharp as swords.

And then, there was a curious race.  A race of beasts which had no such magnificent attributes, save for maybe their intelligence.  However, intelligence would not save them from the other beasts, who all had much more formidable gifts.

Zeus had called this race Man, and the Once Born, King of the Gods, had not looked twice upon the last of the Gods’ creations.  He had no pity for such weak and feeble creatures, and so had resigned them to their fate.

Prometheus grasped His beard in pensive thought, as the clouds continued to drift across His view.  He was responsible for these creatures.  He should have made certain that they received a gift that could enable them to thrive in the harsh world below, yet had He failed them.  And before long, a race with great potential would be stricken from the memory of Earth, its like never to be seen again.

The Titan could not let this be.  He could not allow Man to be wiped out before they had a chance to show the Theoi what their existence was truly worth.  So, He resolved to share with Man the Gods’ ultimate secret, and most guarded treasure.

He would give Man fire, and then watch them evolve.


The plan was a risky one.  If He were caught, Zeus would not be merciful. Prometheus could not even imagine what punishment might await Him at the hands of the King, for Zeus was as creative as He was stern.  But He simply could not abide the tragedy of Man’s vulnerability.  So, with a deep breath, He concealed the torch under His robe, and stepped quietly into the hearth-chamber.

He looked to the right, then to the left.  No one.  He crept forward, feeling the sacred fire’s heat more intensely as He approached.  The fire crackled, and embers flew in all directions, raining down slowly and cooling into ash on the floor.

Prometheus breathed at last, sliding the torch from beneath its sheath of cloth. But, before the Titan could coax a single delicate flame into being upon the cold torch, He was met with the measured voice of Hestia, who was keeper of the sacred flame.

She spoke.  “Prometheus, whose name means forethought, were you not wise enough to foresee my presence in this place, which is mine?”

Prometheus immediately halted, pulling the torch back, close to His body. He turned and met Hestia’s fierce eyes, as they reflected the flame back at Him.

“My Lady,” He began, “I had only hoped to avoid your shining presence, as I did not wish to disturb.”  It was not a lie.  He made no attempt to conceal the torch, however, for He knew that She had already seen it.  To do so would only serve to insult the fine Sister of Zeus.

She walked toward Him, with all the surety of one whose command would be obeyed, if She but said the word.  “And to what end do you carry that instrument into my sacred dwelling place?”  She inquired, with a graceful gesture as She passed Him.  “If you require a flame, you have only to ask, and I will provide, as is my duty.”

Upon reaching the hearth, Hestia held Her hands close to the fire, and it licked Her fingers.  She turned Her head slightly, to catch Prometheus in Her bright shining stare.

“You would not dare to steal my flame, would you?  You would not take what is most sacred without my consent.”

The Titan averted His gaze, unable to lie, yet unable to speak the truth.  For, indeed, He had come to take what was Hers, and Hers alone to give.

“Sweet Goddess, you who are lovely beyond all reckoning, and wise beyond myself and so many Others, I meant no offense to you.  Truly.”  His head hung low and His hands gripped the torch, trembling slightly as passion began to overtake His words.  “And yet, I did come here with intent to house some of your fire upon this torch,” He confessed.  “But before you judge me a thief, Great Lady, do listen to the reason for my trespass.  If you would do that, I will accept any fate you deem appropriate.”

Hestia removed Her hands from the fire, folding Her arms across Her chest in contemplation.  “Then speak to me of your reasons, Titan, and I shall judge their worthiness for my fire.”

And so spoke Prometheus of His responsibility and His concerns, of His guilt and of His hope for the future of Man.  He told of Man’s intelligence and ingenuity, and He told of their vulnerability, as well.

The many great beasts of the Earth could overtake this soft race easily, for they had not been given a proper gift upon their creation.  And as Zeus had looked down on them with dismissal, even with scorn, Prometheus charged Himself with righting the wrong done to them, and was prepared to pay the price for His presumption.

Hestia listened silently, absorbing the Titan’s words, and also His passion for the poor animal, Man.  In His voice, She heard the pride of a parent for the unknowable fate of their offspring.  Although the future was not His to know, He saw a great one for this small and vulnerable race.

The Goddess silenced Him then, having heard the case made for the necessity of fire, for the use of Man and their descendants.

“Speak no more,” She said in hushed tones, “for it is clear to me that your intentions are pure, indeed.  I am the keeper of the sacred hearth, that which warms, and that which prepares nourishment.  The Man animal that lives upon the body of Great Gaea could perhaps one day be more like the Theoi than unlike Us, but only if they cultivate civilization.”

As She spoke, She coaxed a tiny ember from the sacred hearth, and it floated into Her waiting hands, where it grew into a robust flame in its own right.

“The spark of true and lasting civilization is the fire of the sacred hearth, which lives forever as the heart of a people.  I keep the heart of Olympos for our People, and from our mighty heart, do I make this gift of fire, for the race of Man upon the Earth.”  She laid the fire upon the torch held in Prometheus’ still trembling hands.  “Go with grace, and be swift,” She whispered.

Prometheus, with face shining in reverence for Hestia, the Twice Born, whose wisdom was like an ever-blooming flower, held the torch aloft and bowed to His Lady.  The gift was given, and He saw now that He was not, and never could be, the Giver, for fire was not His to give.  Nor was it Zeus’ to withhold.

The Titan fled the hearth-chamber then, leaving behind lofty Olympos, and descended to where Man huddled together in their caves.

By the glory of Hestia, by Her grace and compassion, the weak yet intelligent animal that was Man, would not only survive, but thrive in the wilds of nature. They would build great civilizations, as they expanded upon the face of Earth. And they would come to know and honor the Theoi, giving sacrifice and love unto Those who would have kept them kneeling in the dirt.  But such was no longer their fate, for wise and lovely Hestia had seen their potential, and gave them the means to realize it.

© Columbine 2017

Gratitude Project 2017, Day 15 – Hestia

Blessed Hestia, Keeper of the Hearth, Great Goddess who serves for the good of all life.  Beautiful Goddess most demure and serene in Your countenance, thank You for what You have taught me over these years.

How to be the best for my family, and how to do what is necessary. How to love without expectation, and how to give with humility and grace.  You see the truth of all, for You are present in all the fires of the world.

You reside in those that warm our bodies, and in those that cook our meals.  You reside in the candlelight that illuminates our homes, and the campfires around which we tell our tales.  You are the soul of living flame, and You are always with us.

I have given praise to You in my darkest days, and in my brightest.  You have watched over us in times of scarcity and plenty.  You are the first and the last, receiving our offerings graciously and with joy.  We thank You, Hestia, and we are grateful for Your sacrifice.

O, Virgin, please continue to share with us Your strength and clarity. Keep us in Your thoughts as we move through this world.  And especially, allow me to burn with the passion of service toward the ones I love.  Goddess, grant us these things, and we will be steadfast in our reverence of You, as we have been these many years.  For we are grateful to You, Twice Born, Eldest and Youngest of the Gods.

#GratitudeProject2017

Ode to Thirteen Goddesses

Lovely Persephone, ruling over the hosts of Hades
You bring solace, both above and below
Assuaging the barrenness of Winter, Death and Time

Indomitable Rhea, in the face of all adversity You smile
For You are the Lioness, whose prowess is known
In the hearts of those who labor on

Well-loved Columbia, Lady of sweet freedom
Whose strong arms enfold us in warmth
Glad are we by Your presence
And in Your absence left cold

Wild Artemis, running along rivers
Protectress and Huntress of beasts
We honor Your fierce glory
And stand awed by the might of Your Bow

Indelible Ariadne, Lover of Madness, Speaker of Truth
Your lessons are those we find within us
Of Will, and Wisdom, and love’s fickle moods

All-encompassing Gaea, O vastness of Earth
Who is at once Mother and Grandmother
Eternal Creatrix, we praise You
And embrace You at our end

Luminous Hekate, Light at the Crossroads
Tending the unwelcome spirits
Even these have purpose among Your retinue
As we hail them in passing

Compassionate Athena, Lady favoring strategy over brute force
We are the wheels You set in motion
And by our hands is the Divine Work done

Warlike Aphrodite, bane of hearts and Mistress of cruel Ares
You tempt even the strongest of mortals
And Yours is the triumph of procreation

Beloved Hestia, consumed in the flame of enlightenment
Yours is the way of the Unfettered Self
We are but fleeting in the face of Your truth

Illustrious Hera, Queen of Gods, tester of men
Your trials forge character and train resolve
For ego falls away, as Your gaze falls upon us

Resplendent Leto, She of Untamed Spirit
Woe be upon the boasters and fakers
Who with scornful tongues
Will know the peace of Your Offspring

Bountiful Demeter, by whose power Earth’s sustenance is grown
Thank you for the greatest bounty of all
Your Daughter, the Blossom of Spring

Blessed are the Goddesses!  Hail the Magnificent Thirteen!

Simple Pythaea Ritual

For my Sisters, and the benefit of any who were perhaps wanting to celebrate with us, I present one of my Pythaea rituals.  This modern funerary celebration of the power of Apollon as Pythios, the Rotting God, may be held in a variety of ways, however, I have decided to share the most traditionally inspired ritual I can stand.  I think this one is the most widely accessible version I’ve ever done, and so the most worthy of being shared.

Pythaea occurs on the twentieth day of Treasury Month Pytheion (V), which we are currently in, falling upon the Julian date of May 8, 2015.

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The Pythaea

A modern, though traditionally inspired, ritual to exalt Apollon Pythios, He who rules over Death, the Enlightener, who strips away the pretense of the flesh, revealing the untarnished truth, and sending souls forward on their evolutionary paths.

You may find Him in the cemetery, or the mortuary.  You may find Him standing over the roadkill you saw on your morning commute.  Pythios is the Rotting God who commanded the corpse of Python to fall into oblivion, and He is the God whose Temple lies before us, after death.

This is a funerary rite, in which we acknowledge the power of Death, and contemplate Apollon’s role in its implementation.  Death is not an end, but a first step on a journey we can not yet know, just as we may not yet know our enlightenment until we have received it.  But by this rite, may we shed a little of what holds us back.

This ritual is but one example of what might be done for the Pythaea.  Feel free to alter or fix the ritual to suit yourself, and your needs.

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Be washed and dressed in clean, comfortable, perhaps mournful clothing. Then begin by transferring flame from the sacred hearth/candle to a another candle which can be carried to the altar, while saying: “Hestia, who guards the holy fires of the Lord in Pytho, who holds the sacred task of keeping the ever-burning hearth, we/I ask that You bless this rite and consecrate all that is affected herein.”

Alternatively, if you do not keep a sacred flame burning all, most or some of the time, you may instead light and dedicate the flame to Hestia for this ritual specifically, by saying: “Blessed Hestia, keeper of the universal hearth, She who is the nurturer of all flame, everywhere, we/I ask that You bless this rite and consecrate all that is affected herein.”

Here is the procession toward the altar, where all participants gather before walking together, led by you (the facilitator), who carries the sacred flame. The burning candle should be placed on the altar at this time.

Now, you will take a large bay leaf (or a bundle of other preferred herbs) and light it with the newly consecrated flame.  Quickly plunge the flame into the previously prepared bowl of water, saying:  “This water is purified in the essence of Hestia, Virgin Most Holy.”  Khernips are now prepared.

Next, you will asperge (sprinkle with khernips) first the altar and all implements thereon, moving to each participant in turn, yourself included, while circling the altar.  All should hold a prayerful mindset throughout the purification.  A prayer to Apollon the Purifier may also be spoken aloud at this time, if you like.  Example: “Apollon, our Lord called Daphneios, hear the prayer of Your people.  Our Lord called Katharsios, cast out the impurities herein.”  The space is now ritually pure, and the leftover water should be placed outside of the ritual area, to be poured onto the ground later.

At this time, participants should place their offerings upon the altar, each saying a personal greeting to the Lord Apollon as they approach, or they may do so silently.  Offerings for this rite should include a few previously prepared “bodies for cremation” in the sacred fire, in Apollon’s name. These bodies need not be any more complex than paper cut-outs in vaguely human shapes.  Upon these bodies should be written labels of undesirable traits that are relevant to the person(s) present.

Now, you may call to Apollon in earnest, saying (something to the effect of): “Apollon Pythios, our Lord, and commander of the decaying flesh, we/I do call to You, Releaser of the spirit from physical bonds!  Dread Apollon, Most Equitable Pythios, hear us/me and arrive!”  Calls may continue until you feel the Lord’s presence.

Next comes the explanation of the ritual, the reason(s) why you have come and your intent, spoken thus, or similarly: “Apollon Pythios, Lord called Destroyer, He who waits at the brink of death, who rules the transition at the sacred cemetery, we/I have come here to know You, to exalt You, and to be released from our/my bonds, just as You release the pure souls of those lain to rest before Your holy feet.”

You will now hold each of the “bodies” out toward the image of Apollon upon the altar in turn, saying aloud the labels each were given.  Participants will at this time call out any other undesirable traits that they wish to have stripped away by the Rotting God. After all are finished, you will hold the “bodies”, one by one, over the sacred flame until they are consumed.  Any leftovers should be collected in a small bowl for burial later.  During this process, participants, including yourself, should pray intensely and silently to the Lord Apollon. They may also choose to meditate upon Him in this aspect of Pythios, and the lessons which may be learned from Him.

Afterward, you and participants may light incense from the sacred flame to be placed on the altar in offering and thanks to Apollon Pythios for His presence and purification.  Thanks may be verbalized at this time.  Example: “Apollon Pythios, Lord of the rot who wields the all-cleansing light, we/I thank You for Your presence at this rite, and in our/my lives/life. Thank You for the enlightenment You bring, and for the gift of death’s release.  If we/I have ever pleased You, and if You have ever seen fit to assist us/me in our/my turbulent lives/life, then remember us/me as we/I remember You.”

Next, comes the final offering, in the form of libations poured into a separate bowl.  I have determined that the most appropriate libations for this rite are water and wine, though you may use your own discretion in choosing for yourself.  As each libation is poured into the bowl, say something like: “May You receive this sustenance in exchange for Your presence and attention.  Blessed Apollon, we/I thank You.”

At this time, all participants should follow you outside to pour the libations onto the Earth, as well as to bury any leftovers from the “cremated bodies”, and to pour out the used khernips.  Thank Lord Apollon and Lady Hestia one last time to conclude the ritual.  Example: “Lord and Lady of Purest Flame, we/I thank You for the kindness You have shown us/me, and we/I humbly seek to remain worthy of Your Divine intervention.  If it pleases You, stay; if it pleases You go, and be welcome with us/me, always.”

Hail Apollon!  Hail Hestia!  Hail the Blessed, Deathless Gods!