Hestia at her Hearth

It’s been a while but here I am. Summer is now winter and it’s turned chilly here, we had a freeze last night and it’s just the right weather to curl up by the fire with a good book.

“Hestia at her Hearth” is the first in a series of storytelling art about an ancient Crone and her fairy friends.

Colored Pencil drawing. Copyright Jane E. Ward 2012 Hestia at Her Hearth, colored pencil drawing, copyright Jane E. Ward 2012

In each drawing,  Hestia will share her world with the divas and fairies of each of the Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. In this one, happy fire sprites cavort in the flames of her hearth as she, nice and toasty, reads a book about the Lore and History of Dragons to her companion Uruloki, a young fire-drake, at  at her feet.

In Greek Mythology, Hestia is the ancient Goddess of the Hearth. In ancient Greece her fire was never allowed to go out and every home had a shrine to her in the hearth. She was represented simply as a flame and later was depicted as a veiled Matron.

When a young woman married she would carry burning embers from her mothers hearth, through the streets in solemn procession, to her new home, to light own hearth.   The Ancient Greeks would also carry the Sacred Flame from the Pyretaneum within Hestia’s Temple, to wherever they settled and at the height of their Empire this could be very far afield.

She was present at the very moment we discovered the element of fire could be captured from a lightning strike catching fire to the shrubbery and brought it home to our caves, this was even before we knew how to create fire for ourselves, although I’m sure that skill came pretty soon after the discovery, probably when the first hearth fire went out! From that moment on, we gratefully worshipped her, knowing that without fire, life was much harder and we were at the mercy of the weather, wild animals and all else that lurked in the darkness.   As well as the promise of safety she also gave us fire skills that included cooking, pottery making, glass making, smithcraft and forging and infinitely so much more. She truly was the Mother of Invention.


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