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Hestia & Home for The Holidays

Have you ever noticed that no matter how lovely a living room or sitting room is, when family and friends gather, it's usually in the kitchen and the adjacent area?

For many years my family and I have hosted a neighborhood holiday gathering just before Christmas. And, of course, we celebrate Thanksgiving, Birthdays, New Year's Eve, and Anniversaries. Like it or not, no matter what I try, the kitchen is always the hub of action at every party or celebration.

Whether I'm cooking or it's a potluck, everyone gathers in the kitchen. I can't seem to keep everyone from lingering around the kitchen island or sitting in the breakfast nook. Even when I put the bar in another room and place appetizers throughout the living areas, everyone congregates in the kitchen. Without fail, all the guests will gather, talking, laughing, and celebrating in the kitchen. Of course, that's where most of the food and drink comes from, but it's much more than that.

There is an energy that pulls us back to Home or into the idea of Home during the holidays. It's an energy that builds as we gather with family and friends to celebrate. This ancient energy draws us to the kitchen and originates there too.

In ancient times the kitchen was the literal center of the Home. It held the hearth, which generated warmth, light, and fire for cooking. In ancient Greece, the Goddess Hestia was the power, strength, and energy of Home. Hestia was the creator and keeper of the warm, loving feelings many of us have when we think of Home. She was the hearth and the fire in it. Her domain included the larder—the food stores—and her magic included the enticing scent of foods cooking, like bread baking or cookies in the oven.

Hestia's hearth had to be tended constantly.

One could never let the fire go out. The only time it was allowed to burn out was for a ceremonial relighting of the home fire during an annual ritual. Once a year new fire was brought to each house from Hestia's temple hearth—the heart of Greek Culture.

If you look, you can still feel the warmth and power of Hestia in your psyche. Even if your life growing up was far from idyllic, you have the power within you to create warmth and nurturance at the energy center of your Home.

Hestia is the eternal spirit of Home, where a family gathers and finds its center. She is the living energy of Home that we relish in family reunions, in meals shared around the table, and in the warmth within holiday gatherings. As a goddess, she never married or had children; she never left the Home.

The name Hestia also signified the center of the Earth, which the ancient Greeks believed contained the Earth's fire and center. To neglect the energies of Hestia is to ignore the heart and center of life.

When you think of Hestia's power with you, know that it also includes attributes of the archetypal feminine, such as relationship, intuition, creativity, nurturance, compassion, nature itself, the cycles of the natural world, and the immanence of divinity.

As we head into the Holiday Season of 2022, may you and your loved ones be held and nurtured by the energies of Hestia in love, warmth, and happiness.

Namasté, Dr. A.

Don't miss the upcoming Women's Wisdom Village on Dec 14th at 6:30 PM Pacific on Zoom

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