Thinking about a story involving Dionysus and Hestia

Even though there is no ancient source for the story of Hestia yielding her Olympian throne to Dionysus, it is still a story that has caught the popular imagination. Kerenyi in his “Gods of the Greeks” states that there is no story about Hestia being moved from her fixed place.

However, if you look at other factors, I can see — as a devotee of Hestia — where She might have done something similar. Instead of BEING moved, CHOOSING to move to a place where it might be said that was more important. If you look at the analogy of a wheel with 12 spokes, the thrones would be the spokes. Where Hestia moved was to the HUB of the wheel, with the spokes revolving around her. This is a “fixed” place and also the center point which allows the spokes to do their job as well.

This analogy is one that emphasizes both Hestia’s importance and her desire to facilitate cooperative endeavors between the other Theoi in the Olympian pantheon. Hestia is NOT about “appeasing” the other Theoi, but more about ensuring that the other Olympians can work together for the benefit of the Cosmos. It is the hub which connects all the spokes to each other allowing them to function in moving the wheel. It is the spokes that connect the hub to the circumference of the wheel itself which represents the greater Cosmos — suggesting that Hestia HERSELF is the true center of Olympus, not Zeus, Hera, or the other “better known” Theoi. It explains why Zeus was willing to grant her request to remain inviolate — because she was in many ways “beyond” his authority in ways similar to the Morai. As the “eldest” of the Olympian Theoi, Hestia may actually be the Goddess who inspires the other Theoi with Her creative fires — much more than simply the Goddess of the Hearth.

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