To Hestia

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Each day, I begin my morning prayers by reciting one of the Evelyn-White translations of the two Homeric hymns to Hestia:

"Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honor: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last. And you, Argeiphontes, son of Zeus and Maia, be favorable and help us, you and Hestia, the worshipful and dear. Come and dwell in this glorious house in friendship together; for you two, well knowing the noble actions of men, aid on their wisdom and their strength. Hail, daughter of Kronos, and you also, Hermes."

"Hestia, you who tend the holy house of the lord Apollon, the Far-shooter at goodly Pytho, with soft oil dripping ever from your locks, come now into this house, come, having one mind with Zeus the all-wise -- draw near, and withal bestow grace upon my song."

I finish my prayers each night with a recitation of the Athanassakis translation of the Orphic Hymn to Hestia:

"Queen Hestia, daughter of mighty Kronos,

Mistress of ever burning and peerless fire, you dwell in the house center.

May you hallow the initiates of these rites and grant them unwithering youth,

Riches, prudence and purity.

You are the home of the blessed gods and men's mighty buttress,

Eternal, many-shaped, beloved and grass-yellow.

Smile, O blessed one, and kindly accept these offerings,

Wafting upon us prosperity and gentle-handed health."

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I don't need any specific reasons to dance naked at night. Just as long as the day of the week ends in Y

Well naturally. It takes hours to hand wash wool and let it drip dry. Did you really think we thought you slept in that suit? That would be silly.

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Hestia is the Greek Goddess of the hearth, home, and family. She was represented both in the warm fires of the hearth and also the altar flames of burnt sacrifice. She's the eldest of the six offspring of Kronos and Rhea, the king and queen of the Titanes, and was the first swallowed and last regurgitated by her father. Zeus decreed that she would receive the first and last of each offering and sacrifice that mortals make to the Gods. She also swore on the brow of Zeus that she would remain a virgin forever.

In Greek religious tradition, she is the chief of the household deities; and as public cult worship grew out of (and mirrors) household worship, she is the deity that is most accessible to mortal devotees through worship. When Greek colonies were established, a fire from her hearth at the governmental center of the mother-city was taken to light the new prytaneum hearth of the colony.

I feel a strong devotion to her because of my personal inclinations toward domesticity, which she governs. I cook, clean, bake, and tend to many duties concerning the household. I pray to Hestia first when my day begins, and last when it ends, and I give her small offerings of each meal I take during the day.

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