A flame flickered persistently in ancient Rome at the heart of the city. This was no ordinary fire but the sacred flame of the goddess Vesta, the Roman equivalent of Hestia, the Greek goddess of the hearth. Handpicked from Rome’s noble families, six Vestal Virgins were tasked with a sacred duty — keeping the flame […]Keeping the Hearth Fire Burning: The Tale of Hestia and the Vestal Virgins
There is a constant correlation between Hestia and Vesta.
As they say however, correlation doesn’t mean causation.
The Vestal Virgins were part of Vesta’s cultus.
Purity has often been associated with Hestia, but I think it is much more about the purification apect of Sacred Flame, as opposed to Hestia being a virgin in the sense of never having had sex.
I think Hestia remained unmarried, and that has been conflated with virginity.
Given how complex a character She actually is, there is much we simply do not know.
What we do know is that socially, it was unusual to remain unmarried in Ancient Greek culture.
fair maid who sits by the fire,
first-born of fearful Kronos and deep-souled Rhea,
goddess who is the beating heart of every home,
tender of the altar flame,
guardian of the gate,
I pray to you this day, I ask your favor.
All who pass this threshold pass into your realm,
O goddess; may all who dwell within these walls be under your protection.
Hestia, eldest of the deathless gods,
I ask your blessing on my home and on my family.
May we live our lives in joy and love,
may our larder be full,
may we be sheltered from storms,
Kept safe from all ill,
may only those who wish us well make their way to our door.
Be ever welcome in our home,
O Hestia; be ever present in our hearts.