Today’s topic is common offerings, both historical and UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis). With Hestia, there are two sources for historical that I will be referring to, and a modern one that seems to be relatively common based on the number of people who independently have had the same idea.
In Homeric Hymn #29, it is stated that “without you there can be no feasts for mortals, if at the beginning yours is not the first and last libation of honey-sweet wine”*. The Orphic Hymn in her honor is annotated with the incense that should be offered to her is aromatic herbs. From these two sources it can be inferred that each meal would begin by offering a small portion to the goddess along with possibly the burning of sweet smelling herbs. Because pigs were her sacred animal, I would also infer that when a pig was slaughtered, a portion of it would have been sacred to her.
In modern times, it is a little trickier to determine what would be appropriate to the Gods as there are likely NO families, even in Greece, who have an unbroken tradition of worship of the Theoi — although there are likely some families where the tradition goes back over fifty years. For this reason, most of the offerings we give in her honor can only be based in the hymns I referenced or through UPG.
The one UPG offering to Hestia that I have been able to find has established itself in the modern community is a cup of coffee or tea. In our (mainly European-based) culture, the first thing we offer to a guest in our home is something to drink — and that is usually coffee or tea if our physical family comes from Europe. As I can infer from Hestia being the Goddess of the Hearth (and by extension, the rest of the home), the initial hospitable act becomes a suitable offering to Hestia. It has been my experience from doing this myself for over 10 years and speaking with others that this is an offering that is well received by the Theoi.