Millikan, Flavia

Journal of Sandplay Therapy, Volume 1, Number 2, 1991

KEY WORDS: Hestia, Homer, hearth, home, mythology, hearth-cult, ancient Greece, “housewifery,” feminine, masculine, power, great mother, the virgin, Hestian fire, moon, sandplay therapy.

ABSTRACT: The Greek Goddess Hestia, goddess of the fire and hearth, is known in the Roman world as Vesta. The archetypal image of Hestia as the guardian, manifested in the goddess, was chosen to guard the sacred places in ancient Greece. In the accounts of Hestia, she chose to remain a virgin, “the one who is not defined by any relationship outside of herself”. This archetype of transcendent wholeness is often discovered in mid-life, when the trappings of the social collective are let go of. The fire of the hearth of Hestia burns within, causing a transformation of the ego, with the wisdom of the heart, tended to by the “keepers of the inner light”.