Olympian Goddess of the Hearth
Hestia was the goddess of the Hearth and Domestic Life.
Hestia was associated with domesticity and protected the home and the family. She represented communal security and domestic happiness. Her worship was widespread and newborn children had to be carried around her hearth before they could become part of the family. She was also protector of the sacrificial flame of the altar and received the first offering of every sacrifice men made to the gods.
Physical Features, Symbols and Character
Hestia is depicted as a modestly dressed, veiled woman, sometimes holding a branch with flowers – possibly a chaste tree.
The kettle is her attribute.
The pig and the chaste tree were sacred to her.
Hestia is a symbol of the hearth and the home. She is associated with the family and presides over the baking of bread and the preparation of family meals. Every city had a hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out.
Hestia is a virgin goddess and, like Athena and Artemis, immune to love. She is kind, forgiving and unobtrusive, without any strong features.
|Hestia at a Glance|
|Rules over - In charge of||The Hearth, Home, Domesticity, Family, the State|
|Symbols||The hearth, the kettle, chaste tree|
|Parents||Cronus and Rhea|
|Notable Siblings||Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Zeus|
Hestia was the first born child of Cronus and Rhea, and when Cronus swallowed his children she was the first one to be swallowed. When Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge his children, Hestia was the last one to come out and was therefore considered to be both the eldest and the youngest of the six Cronides (children of Cronus).
Apollo and Poseidon both sought to marry Hestia, but she refused and asked Zeus to let her remain a virgin, which he agreed to.
Although Hestia was a very important goddess in the ancient Greek cult and domestic life, she has no real myths of her own.
The name comes from ancient Greek and literally means “hearth” (“ἑστία “).
The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite and the Homeric Hymns to Hestia, Hesiod’s Theogony, Pausanias’s Description of Greece, Pindar’s Nemean Odes, Virgil’s Aeneid.