Asteroid Goddesses of the Hearth
Asteroid Goddesses of the Hearth
Since the beginning of human’s relationship with fire, it has been a focal point of the home and family whether it be the actual hearth or an outside fire. Until modern times, it was the only heat source of the home and was where meals were prepared, stories were told, and families gathered. Literally and metaphorically the hearth represents life-giving nurturing, protection, our roots, communities, families, children, and motherhood.
We also can’t separate the element of fire and the spirit, as we associate life itself with the flame of the soul.
The creative energies of alchemy and passion are central to these themes and as we explore these goddesses of the hearth.
These goddesses are often venerated during the season of Yuletide as well as the sabbat of Imbolc. Once the festivities of the holidays are over, many people have a depression creep in once the end of January and February comes because in many places it is still deep winter. Spring and Summer feel so far away, and even though the light is returning and we can see the days getting a little bit longer, it can feel like there isn’t much to look forward to.
Particularly during Imbolc, but any time we feel lost in the dark or that better and brighter days are nowhere to be found, the hearth goddesses can help us see the stirrings of new life and give us a little bit of hope and warmth in their hearth fires. They sustain us in the dark.
While you can connect with these goddesses and this energy any time and in any way you like, in our natal charts, their asteroids can show areas in our lives, in our psyches, and in our divine blueprints where the hearth fires are always burning brightly. Look for tight conjunctions and oppositions with your natal planets and angles, as well any conjunctions and oppositions these asteroid goddesses make with each other in your chart.
The name Brigitta is a form of the Irish Brigid.
Her name means "Exalted One", and this ancient Celtic goddess is still beloved today, not only in Ireland, but throughout the world. She is a hearth goddess associated with poetry, craftsmanship/blacksmithing, invention, sacred wells, and healing. She is depicted in Celtic mythology as being the daughter of Dagda, the ultimate patriarch of the Celtic pantheon, and the wife of Bres who was King of the Tuatha De Danaan, a supernatural race of divine beings. She was conflated with the goddess Minerva, the Roman Athena, under Roman rule, but I do not see them as the same, even in the slightest.
When the Celts were Christianized, Brigid lent her name, festival day (February 1st which is Imbolc in pagan traditions) and attributes to the Catholic Saint Brigid of Kildare (451-525). Historians do not agree that there ever was an actual Saint Brigid. Some believe this was a case where the Church just sainted this goddess to make conversion to Christianity more attractive. It’s interesting to note that Saint Brigid is no longer a saint in the Church’s eyes. She was stripped of her sainthood around the same time St Nicolas was stripped of his and many believe this happened because of their associations with pagan beliefs.
Actual saint or not, she is loved and venerated to this day and is celebrated mostly on Imbolc where altars are adorned with Brigid’s crosses, greenery, new shoots of plant life, and of course, candles to represent her hearth.
Hestia (46)/Vesta (4)
In the ancient Greek religion, Hestia was the domestic deity of the hearth fire. Her Roman equivalent was the goddess Vesta.
In the Greco-Roman world every hearth was an altar to this goddess. A public sanctuary containing an eternally-lit flame was also maintained in her honor and represented the spirit of the city. She was the domestic deity of hearth and home, and was deeply and widely beloved and venerated.
Hestia was the daughter of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea. The Titans were the original gods who ruled before and gave birth to the Olympian pantheon who consisted of well-known gods such as Hera, Demeter, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus, who were Hestia’s siblings. Here we see a similarity with the origin story of Brigid who was also the daughter of a primordial god. Hestia was the most humble, peaceful, gentle and charitable of the Olympian gods and was unimpressed by all types of glamor.
Hestia also rejected love and romance, swearing to always remain a virgin. She was courted by both Poseidon and Apollo, but they were both unsuccessful.
Ritual offerings to any god performed at home began with a small offering to Hestia.
Of all the objects in the asteroid belt, Vesta is the 2nd most massive and makes up about 9% of the belt's total mass. It is also the brightest asteroid, and is sometimes visible to the naked eye.
In the Roman era, Vesta's temples were maintained by 6 virgin priestesses known as Vestales, or Vestal Virgins. The Vestales enjoyed a high level of honor and privilege in Roman society as well as great responsibility. Their main function was to tend Vesta's sacred fire, the embodiment of the spirit of Rome.
There is a deeply spiritual and sexual energy here that is special about Vesta and all the hearth goddesses, in my opinion. Truly this topic deserves an article of its own, but I have to mention this aspect, even if it’s brief.
The themes of sexuality and virginity are not surface topics here. This is the creative energy within us all and this is the energy we expend outward into our lives and it must be replenished. The virginal quality of Vesta does not equate with chastity. In fact, it is more about being whole within the self. The divine union within which is where we are all self-possessed and self-fulfilled.
It is said that in order to renew their virginity, the Vestales would bathe in healing springs and sacred waters (here we have another connection with Brigid as she is connected to sacred wells). This represents the withdrawal into the self in order to replenish this inner fire.
Vesta was honored annually on March 1st when the Vestales ceremoniously doused and then re-lit the sacred flame, as well as the festival of Vestalia, which lasted from the 7th to the 15th day of June. At this time the innermost sanctuary of Vesta's temple was opened for women to bring offerings and ask the goddess for the blessing and protection of their households.
In Norse mythology, Frigg (or Frigga) is the Supreme Goddess, the “All-Mother”. Frigg was primarily portrayed in legend as a divine mother and domestic goddess of marriage and motherhood. Her name means "Beloved Woman" and derives from the verb “frija” which means “to love.” She was wife to the Odin, the Norse “All-Father” and was parented by what seems to be the masculine and feminine forms of the Earth…more primordial beings. Frigg and Odin alone were able to sit upon the "Highest Throne", a seat which provided them with a view of the entire Universe. The word Friday is named for her, literally meaning "Frigg's Day".
Some Germanic traditions conflated Frigg with Freyja, although many feel their domains are quite different and they are shown as 2 distinctly different beings in the Poetic Edda.
As a domestic goddess queen, Frigg is the keeper of the home and hearth. Her crafts are weaving and spinning and she is sometimes thought to be the spinner of the clouds. She has the gift of prophecy and is connected to the threads of fate. A devoted and wise wife and mother, she was often on her throne alone, overlooking the worlds, as Odin was traveling the realms.
Bastet is the beautiful and beloved ancient Egyptian cat-headed goddess. She represents the life-giving warmth and fertility powers of the Sun and is fiercely and lovingly protective of the hearth and home. She is an ancient goddess and has been identified in antiquities as early as 3200 BC.
Her origins as the protector of the hearth make sense because the people of the Nile Delta shared their land with many types of snakes and rodents. So, they welcomed the cats into their homes.
Bastet carries an ancient percussion instrument called a sistrum, and a protective amulet or necklace called an aegis, or breastplate (in Bastet’s case, surmounted with the head of a lioness), Her worship spread to Italy and traces have been found in many places outside of Egypt, even as far away as Rome and Pompeii.
She was one of the most beloved deities in all of ancient Egypt, and even though she was associated with childbirth and motherhood, it seems that men and women revered her equally. Cats became sacred to them and were mummified along with their people. This adoration was at such a level that it was used against them in war with the Persians in 525 BC, which they lost. Their enemies knew that if they painted imagery of Bastet on their shields and drove cats in front of them, or even carried them as they approached for battle, the people of Egypt could not fight back.
If you would like to dive deeper with your natal chart relationship with these hearth goddesses, or discover other elements of your Personal Pantheon, I would be honored to work with you.
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