My latest print edition is of the Greek Goddess Hestia who personifies the hearth and the home. War, violence and persecution left one in every 122 humans on the planet a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum at the end of last year, according to a stark UN report that warns the world is failing the victims of an “age of unprecedented mass displacement”. Loss of home must be utterly devastating and traumatic for home has a deep archetypal and emotional meaning for each of us. It is human nature to want a home , a place and space where we belong. Starting with the womb of our mothers our home is often part of our self definition almost an extension of the Self. We all need a Home…..
Hestia means “altar” fireplace or the sacred hearth symbolising the Home and its residents.. She was one of the virgin goddess’s and represented the community and domesticity. Offerings to the fire were an offering and blessing to Hestia. She was not worshiped publicly, which is evident by the lack of temples and shrines attributed to her; this comes in contrast to the Roman equivalent goddess Vesta, who represented the public hearth. She was Zeus’s sister, but although initially she was included in the Olympian gods, she was later replaced by Dionysus. She took a vow to remain a virgin, refusing to give in to the callings of Poseidon and Apollo .
In way of a prayer; may all those displaced eventually find new homes and peace within them ….to all of us with homes may we find deep gratitude and endless compassion to those who have not.
Blessing for a new Home By John O’Donohue
May this house shelter your life,
When you come in home here,
May all of the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces of your desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of any mask
Or pretense or image.
May this home be a place of discovery,
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Through the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.