Hestia avoided power struggles, and didn’t take part in the wild affairs and wars that occupied the other gods and goddesses. Instead she kept to herself and was represented by the fire in the hearth of every home; the warm centre of the household. For this reason she was not depicted in human form, but more of a symbol of spirituality, wisdom, and inner peace.
Hestia was one of the ‘virgin’ goddesses, meaning that she didn’t need a man to complete her. But unlike Artemis and Athena she did not seek to go out into the world and explore or conquer. Instead she focused inwards and her life was an independent meditation. The spiritual centre is Hestia’s focus, and she withdrew from the world to seek inwardly.
The Hestia woman is one that seeks freedom from the world, She represents wholeness and being. Trying not to draw attention to herself, she avoids competitive situations, and may downplay her femininity to try and blend in. For her the world is too fast and competative. Instead she finds her meaning in being fully present in each moment, making a sanctuary of her home, and creating beauty in stillness.
The Hestia Character
Inner focus: Hestia’s orientation is inwards, on her own subjective experience. She is introvert and not driven by outward goals or accomplishments. You likely understand things on an intuitive level, and live your life as an inner meditation; slightly detached from others and the outside world. This makes you somewhat emotionally unavailable to the people around you, and inattentive to your surroundings. This inner focus however, gives you the gift of being able to read people and situations very easily, and find hidden meanings where others see only the surface. Your world is of the inner landscape, not readily understood by others.
Hearth keeper: The Hestia woman finds meaning in keeping a warm and peaceful house as a sanctuary from the outside world. She views daily household ‘chores’ as meditations and meaningful in themselves. You easily become absorbed in each task which you give your full attention,. These activities can be very nourishing for the soul.
Temple keeper: Hestia women thrive in spiritual communities where they are able to devote themselves to their inner worlds. The day is focused around meditation, cultivating silence, spiritual ritual, and mindful house keeping or gardening. The anonymity, peace, and simplicity of such a life can be highly fulfilling for the Hestia woman.
Detached: Hestia women do not become involved in the passions and conflicts of the world. They are unattached to people, events and outcomes, and exist above the level of drama that drives so much of life. You feel whole in yourself and aren’t driven to prove anything to others. This gives you an inner freedom, keeping you still, wise, and at peace regardless of the chaos around you. This can be difficult in a world that thrives on conflict, and for this reason you may find yourself drawing ever more inwards.
Centred: The source of the Hestia woman’s power is within herself. She does not rely on the outside world, but on her inner connection. For this reason you can stay centred and at peace in almost any circumstance.
The Hestia Challenge
Detached: The inner focus of the Hestia woman means that she can become quite detached from the world of people and events. You may find it difficult to keep relationships with friends and family members, or to show the love and care that you inwardly feel. This undemonstrative attitude can isolate you from people who may need more than you are willing to give. For the Hestia woman the loss of such relationships are not overly important. However, if you would like to expand beyond this tendency towards detachment, then reaching out to people and the world is the first step.
Being devalued: For the Hestia woman, living in a spiritual institution or a stable marriage is most natural to her. If you don’t find such a sanctuary then being forced to live in the ‘real’ world of competition and social climbing can be overwhelming. You may feel devalued by others who are driven by causes or goals, and don’t understand your lack of similar ambition. This can be very damaging for the Hestia woman’s self esteem and she can be left feeling incorrectly that something is wrong with her.
Being taken for-granted: The Hestia woman’s tendency to be anonymous and work behind the scenes can leave her feeling unappreciated. Although you find quiet pleasure in maintaining an orderly and beautiful home; if it is continuously messed up again without thought you can become burnt out. It is not in your nature to be confrontational or outspoken so these issues can simmer under the surface and upset your inner calm.
Unexpressed feelings: The Hestia woman shows her feelings for people through thoughtful acts, but is otherwise undemonstrative. This, coupled with her need for solitude, can give people the wrong idea and they may leave her alone entirely. It’s important for you to reach out to people every now an then to re-connect. Otherwise your prolonged detachment can break those bonds, and your solitude can turn to loneliness.
Women: Hestia women tend to have a few close friends who they see from time to time. They’re unlikely to gossip or engage in intellectual debates, and often attract other Hestia women who share they’re sense of detachment and require little upkeep. Maintaining close relationships with other archetypes can be difficult, as they tend to need more connection and attachment than you are able to give.
Men: Hestia women tend to avoid the gaze of men and this may extend to friendships. If you do have male friends you tend to relate in the same way as your female friends; fondly but at a distance.
Work: Hestia women work best in environments that require stillness and patience. You are not driven by ambition or power, but prefer to work in the background. For this reason you tend to either be taken for-granted and ignored, or respected as the heart of the business, quietly holding everything together. Many Hestia women prefer to work within the home.
Sexuality: Although you likely enjoy it when it occurs, sexual activity isn’t of utmost importance to the Hestia woman. You may be quite content to go for months and even years without it. If a strong sexual drive develops this is due to other archetypal goddesses.
Marriage: The Hestia woman does not need a partner to complete her, however she likes the role of ‘homemaker’ and so suits marriage well. You are not ambitious for yourself or your husband so life is often peaceful and easy going.. The Hestia woman is emotionally independent and so you do not look to your husband for your source of meaning, although economic support is welcomed.
Children: Hestia women can make excellent mothers, providing a warm and secure home. You are accepting, and place no ambitions or demands on them. However, detachment can be an issue, and unless you have some Demeter influence, this emotional distance can be difficult for the child. Social or career development can also be hampered unless the co-parent is able to act as a model.
Child: Like Persephone the Hestia child is compliant and quiet. However, instead of seeking to please others she is more focused on her self directed activities. If she is hurt she will likely seek solitude rather than reach out for help, and if born into an extrovert or ambitious family she may be pushed out into the world more than she feels comfortable with.
Teens and early adulthood: As a teenager she doesn’t get caught up in the dramas of her social group and her friends may berate her for not taking sides or being more driven. She may develop a persona to wear for people so she fits in, or go the other way and develop an interest in the spiritual realm. Hestia women usually direct their own life rather than comply to their parents wishes, which can cause a rift because her goals are often more subtle and unseen. It is unlikely she will go to University, unless other archetypes are present.
Mid-life: These years are usually peaceful for the Hestia woman. You will likely continue on your path of homemaker, living alone, or diligently working in the same organisation. Some Hestia women suddenly decide to join a spiritual community, which is a natural transition for her, but a shock to everyone else who have not been privy to her inner world.
Later years: The two major traumas of a woman’s life are often when their children leave home or they become widowed. Neither of these will effect the Hestia woman in the same way; instead she moves through her later life with the same peace and wisdom. Her detachment and self-sufficiency make loss a relatively easy process. What can be difficult is if she is forced out into the world by circumstance or loss of economic support. She does not feel at home in the competitive world and needs to feel some protection from it. As long as she has her sanctuary she will be quite well centred.
Rooting your Inner Hestia
Developing a persona: In Jungian psychology a persona is like a mask that one tries on for different social situations, like a well stocked wardrobe. The more adaptive the persona the more they are able to ‘fit in’ to the world. The Hestia woman is not interested in this persona level small talk. You don’t generally care about what people think of you, and are unaffected by expectations.
However, unless you live in a closed community you will have to engage with people sometimes, and for this you need to develop a persona. A lack of persona may leave you feeling distressed or anxious in social situations. The best thing to do is to ‘try on’ different persona’s, until you find one that ‘fits’. Dreams of being naked in public often point to this underling feeling of social inadequacy.
Assertiveness: For a Hestia woman to be able to function in the world she needs to develop her assertiveness. The tendency to stay out of relationships, steer clear of dramas, and not readily offer help to people, can make this archetype quite disconnected. Unless this is worked on you may feel unable to function in the world without economic support or protection which will force you to rely on others. A way to become more assertive is through activating your Artemis and Athena archetypes.
Communicating: The Hestia woman is comfortable in her own inner world and doesn’t need the same outer reassurances that other archetypes do. Due to your undemonstrative and quiet nature, feelings can often go unexpressed which may lead to a breakdown in relationships. If these connections are important to you, then trying to communicate more directly can help people to understand why you behave in certain ways, and how you feel about them.
Movement: The best form of exercise for a Hestia woman is something that can be meditated upon alone. Any activity can become sacred for you, and there is likely to be a preference for exercising within the sanctity of the home rather than out in the world. Stationary walking, cycling, or rowing machines are great, as are videos you can follow, or practices such as tai chi or qigong. Walking out in nature is also a fantastic way to give you some quiet reflection time.
Nourishment: Of all the goddesses, Hestia is most likely to prepare proper meals for herself, even when she is alone. This is a fantastic quality, and you can ensure good health as long as you are making positive food choices. Make self nourishment a conscious priority, and your natural inward focus will turn your body into a true temple.
Body: The inner reflective nature of Hestia means that you likely pay steady attention to your body. Of all the archetypes you are most attentive to your needs regardless of other peoples involvement. This extends to your body temple, and so cleansing and beauty routines are easy, and even meditative experiences for you. What level you take body love and self care will depend on other archetypes at work, and the importance you place upon it personally. A simple clean face for one Hestia woman, may be a full face of make up for another.
Your gift: Hestia’s gift is in honouring the present through ritual and keeping the centre burning brightly. You are the hearth keeper; a sanctuary in the chaos of the world. Your wound is that your gifts and inward focus can be dismissed in a world that is so focused on outward goals and ‘doing’.
You may feel looked down upon by those who value assertiveness and intellectual pursuits over ‘being’ and reverence for the moment. This can effect your self esteem and make you feel that there is something wrong with you. Remain strong in your centre and celebrate your gift for holding a sanctuary from the outside world. Creating beauty in stillness is a truly valuable pursuit.