Who is your favorite Hearth goddess? There are several throughout the world.
In ancient times the Hearth Goddess was a deity associated with fire, home, crafts, textiles, food and women’s development. She was revered at the household hearth. Hearth goddesses are part of the deities that represent the divine feminine. Famous European goddesses such as the Greek Hestia, Roman Vesta, Celtic Brigid, Scandinavian Frigga, German Holle and the Slavic Mokosh are just a few goddesses that make up this classification.
Frigga by Helen Stratton 1915
Hearth goddesses Vesta and Brigid are connected to fire and other goddesses are linked to domestic work. Fire was first presented as magical to early pagans, only the Shaman or magician would use fire for magical rituals and later on as fire was tamed the hearth became the norm in every home it was mainly used by women to cook meals for their families.
Women’s handicraft that was done in the home and garden was spiritually supervised by the local hearth deity.
Presently we would call this domestic work or women’s work which is vital to the home and local community. The work done in the home and on the hearth by women was extrememly important for survival of the family and her village.
Most women worked with their hands crafting, spinning fibers into yarn and textiles. Textiles were pivotal for the family to be equipped with the appropriate fitting capes, jackets and boots to cover the four seasons. Weaving and spinning would provide many a household as a source for income.
Feeding, nurturing ones’ family and providing food for local and seasonal festivals was dependant upon the women folk.
Hearth goddesses such as the Norse Frigga, Slavic Mokosh and German Holle have been represented with a spinning wheel.
Vintage illustration of The Slavic goddess Mokosh, with spinning wheel.
The Celtic Pagan Lowland fairy tale ‘Habetrot’ depicts a type of fairy godmother that spins fibers with her spinning wheel, she may represent one of the early pagan hearth & home goddess.
The Earliest Nurturing goddess is Gaea or Gaia mother earth she is the ancient Greek goddess ancestral and primordial mother of all life. According to Greek mythology Gaia birthed the sky god Uranus. This event originated The Titans who were themselves parents of the Olympian gods/goddesses, the giants and also of Pontus (the sea). In Roman mythology Gaea is the equal to the Roman goddess Terra.
Gaea, by Anselm Feuerbach (1875)
Sources and References:
Katharine Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Bogies, and Other Supernatural Creatures, “Habetrot”
- Ruck, Carl A.P. and Danny Staples, The World of Classical Myth, 1994.
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