Hestia
Hestia
HestiaIcon.JPG Zeus' oldest sister, Hesita counts hearths, alters, and fireplaces as her perview. Assigned the task of maintain the holy fires the first sacrifice is her's where ever food was cooked or offerings burnt, and she's often at the focus point of social and familial life. Often worshiped by the leading women of households, her cult does however welcome all who wish to find a home within her embrace. Hestia rejected marriage suits from Poseidon and Apollo, and swore herself to perpetual virginity. She thus rejected Aphrodite's values and became, to some extent, her chaste, domestic complementary, or antithesis. Hestia.jpg

Common History

Hestia ("hearth" or "fireside") is a virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. She was not usually worshiped publicly. excpet for her Feast, which is evident by the lack of large temples and shrines attributed to her. Her name means both a house and a hearth, symbolizing the home and its residents. She also represents the coalition and relationship between the colonies and the mother cities. She is Zeus' sister, but and took a vow to remain a virgin, refusing to give in to the callings of Poseidon and Apollo.

Related Colony

Virgon - Quite why Virgon took Hestia to be their Patron is debated avidly amongst religious scholars. One line of thought is that she was especially beloved of the first Queen to rule in her own right, assed that devotion onto her loyal courtiers, from where it then spread to the population at large. Others put forward that it in fact dates back much futher, to the tribe's time on Kobol, and various theories have been put forward for this, ranging from a particualrly bountyful year for crops, to a boom in the number of births. In short though, no one really knows for certain.

Common Rituals

The Feast of Hestia: The Feast of Hestia, a holiday celebrated on Virgon during the night of the winter solstice, is dedicated to the aforementioned goddess as it is her well-lit hearth that provides comfort on the darkest of nights. Brilliantly colored lights decorate homes and businesses in the days prior to the night of the celebration.

On the day prior to the feast night, it is especially important for those with more to make offerings of charity and spend time doing community service on behalf of those who have less. In some very traditional families that may mean traveling to local homes with gift baskets and even aiding poorer families with their chores, and schools put on pageants and parties for young children in the afternoon. In the early evenings more adult parties are held, leading up to midnight, when all lights save those of hearth, torch, or candle are extinguished.

Just before dawn at the darkest of the dark hours, the Procession of Hestia is held. All unmarried women and girls of suitable age walk a predetermined route through their neighborhood or village dressed in white and bearing candles, sometimes worn mounted upon wreathes on their heads. As they walk, they sing hymns to Hestia, until converging at a previously agreed upon locale where others may wait with them for the sun to rise, at which time the candles are extinguished. The young woman who leads the procession each year is by tradition no older than eighteen and always presumed to be a virgin. There's a lot of folklore associated with the candles used in the Procession. Some women keep their candles and use them later for important life events such as their weddings or the dedication services of their children.

Cults and Sects

Fire Wardens - With Hestia's link to the hearth fire it is possibly not surprising that one of her most famous cults too it upon themselves to embody this aspect of her worship. Long extinct they started off as a sort of union for those who tended the holy fires in the temples around Boskirk, but quickly turned nasty. Going from a group who ensured all was well in the temples, they transformed themselves into a vigilante group who roamed the streets with torches, demanding sacrifices from anywhere they saw producing or selling food, with people that refused having their homes or shops set alight. Needless to say, the authorities stepped n pretty quickly and members were hunted down and either forced to surrender or killed. Precisely what caused this religious fever is unknown. Some say a particulalry charasmatic leader had emerged and lead by sheer force of personality, while others blame a new additive that had been added to the fire oil a few months earlier, but was withdrawn from general sale a few years later after it was found to be psychoactive and lead to hallucinations and, after prolonged exposure, sever psychosis.

Keepers of the Hearth - Perhaps the most commonly known of the lay groups that worship Hestia, and more often known simply as the Hearthers. Most of their works are charitable ones, taking food to the homeless, running more permiant soup kitchens and shelters, and other such good deeds. Anyone in need of a home for a night, or a hot meal, is who they reach out to and try to provide for. Whereever you find one of their outreach centres there is a guarentee of a hot meal and a roof over your head for hte night, or, if required, a box of food to take home is money is just a touch short that week. Almost universally loved, and only occasionalyl robbed at knife point, Hearthers are often help up as what decent folk should be like. Members come from all walks of life, and should an aspiring politician have spend a few years volunteering before standing for election, well, it certainly won't hurt their chances amongst many of the populace.

Hymn

Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame,
The seat containing of unweary'd flame;
In sacred rites these ministers are thine,
Mystics much-blessed, holy and divine
In thee, the Gods have fix'd place,
Strong, stable, basis of the mortal race:
Eternal, much-form'd ever-florid queen,
Laughing and blessed, and of lovely mien;
Accept these rites, accord each just desire,
And gentle health, and needful good inspire.

Characters with this Patron

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