The Heart of Flame is the Heart OF the Flame
These are words that came to me in meditation and to some degree have become something of a mantra for me. This is interesting for me in that water has always been the image that I have used for meditation in the past. The only thing that I can think of is that Hestia herself has given me the idea as I identify Her with the “Heart of the Flame” in the sense that the hearth is the heart of the home and that is what I have been the most passionate about in recent days.
The “heart of flame” is a term that I associate with what people are passionate about, but recently I have come to feel that “Heart of Flame” could just as easily be a cult title for Lady Hestia as the hearth is a home for the flame that we all seem to return to when we are done with working towards our dreams. In Rick Riordan’s book “The Last Olympian” he has a wonderful depiction of Her as appearing to be a young maiden of about twelve but nevertheless having the role and status of a full member of the Olympian Council. *spoiler alert* In my opinion, it is most telling that of all the Olympians, she is the only one that does not leave Olympus to battle Typhon – because she is the one who governs what the others would return to in that She IS the center of the Olympian family and the home. She is the Goddess to whom Percy gives the python of Pandora containing Hope itself as an offering. I was in tears and feeling chills up and down my spine at the depiction.
What does this mean to the words at the beginning of this blog entry? Well, our passions are the heart of our actions, is one meaning that could be ascribed to them. However, that is a superficial interpretation of something that seems to be much deeper to me. Hestia is the hearth, the center of our lives and our dreams. The Flame-hearted one is the center of our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations at the same time as She is what allows us to pursue them having the confidence that we have something to come back to after we are done with that pursuit.
Each of the Theoi has their own Mysteria and humanity needs to discover them for ourselves as they are always something that must be experienced instead of explained. It is the combination of the pursuit and the home to come back to that feels to me to be the heart of the Mysteria of Hestia. How they combine is the most interesting part for me. At the core of things for me would be to figure out how each of us would experience this Mystery and how would we translate this into our daily praxis. This applies to all of the Theoi, but it would seem to be more readily creatable for some Theoi as opposed to others.
Hestia is probably the Thea who has the least written about her in ancient sources. The reason is probably because literally everyone honored her in some way and felt no need to write things down that were common knowledge. Because of this individual personal gnosis is what may be needed in the beginning of reconstructing the Mysteria for Hestia. How each person reacts to home and hearth is one of the most deeply personal things, living at the core of our beings. This is where – at least for me – the “heart of flame” meditation is useful. It provides a focal statement that each of us can interpret for ourselves.