Our grove priests travel around during the Stay at Home month in February of each year. I modified the blessing we do to work for any time of the year, and in this case focusing on a hellenic hearth. This is the blessing I use most frequently when doing commissioned house blessings.
Prayers from Liturgical Writing 2
lighting a sacrificial fire:
I call out now to Hestia,
Goddess of the Hearth and Keeper of the Sacred Flame.
You burn ever bright within my heart,
and I ask now that you burn brightly upon my hearth.
A flame, kindled upon the earth, pillar of smoke reaching to the Heavens
that it may connect us to the realm above so our voices may be heard.
I make this first offering to you, Hestia,
as you prepare to accept the sacrifices made today
And see them carried to the mighty Theoi.
Hestia, be welcome here as you become the Good Fire around which I pray.
a meal blessing:
“A Children’s Mealtime Prayer”
Mother Earth gives us grain and bread
And all the food that keeps us fed.
Now the meal is about to start,
So we thank her from our heart.
remembering a recently-passed ancestor:
“For Dan’s Crossing” (Sept 10, 2014)
Beloved Dead, Ancient Wise, Ancestors:
One of our own begins his journey tonight.
He comes to join you, wrapped in Crane-feathered cloak.
Borne aloft to cross the veil by the sweet and gentle wings of Garanus,
And held safe and secure within those wings for the journey.
His passage has been paid by kith and kin
As we set his spirit free to join you.
Light the fires along the way,
To brighten his path as he travels.
Prepare the hall for a great feast,
To welcome him when he arrives.
Show him the way, and where to drink,
And guide him in this new role.
Watch over him as he makes this transition,
As he begins this adventure.
Dan, the Ancestors await, to greet you with joy in their hearts.
Fly now, and know you will be welcomed.
Fly now, and know we will celebrate your time with us.
Dan, farewell for now, and safe travels on your journey.
opening a Grove business meeting
As we gather tonight to continue the good work we do as a Grove,
Let us remember that all here are Children of the Earth.
As we speak, let our voices carry respect;
As we listen, let our ears hear honestly;
As we think, let our mind seek what is best for the community.
So be it!
for blessing a house
*flame is kindled just before crossing the threshold of the house*
I call out to Hestia as I kindle this fire here,
that she may light and warm this hearth
and bring blessings for all who dwell here.
Hestia, as I enter this place, I ask that you enter with me
Filling this home with your light, protection, and hospitality.
*flame is carried to each room in the house, ending in the kitchen.
charm below is spoken in each room*
May this flame brighten the lives of those who dwell here,
May its light fill this space: from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.
*upon entering the kitchen, light a new candle for the individual/family*
May this flame brighten the lives of all those who live or visit here,
May its light fill this home: each room from wall to wall, from ceiling to floor.
Hestia, flame kindled here on this hearth,
be welcome as the Good Fire as you light and warm this home.
The hearth kindled and brightened,
I call out now to Zeus Ktesios,
who protects the wealth and possessions of this home,
And to Oikoyro Ophi, who protects the individual/family in this home.
Strong Father of Justice, Faithful House Serpant,
enter this home where the Fire burns bright
and grant this hearth, home, and individual/family the blessings of bounty
as you lend your protection to all those who dwell here.
Let your power and protection be bound to this Oikos
for as long as they dwell here.
So, Thom and I closed on our house this week. First time homeowners, yeah! It’s a been a crazy ride, and we’re so happy and excited. To prepare of the move, I’ve had to think about how I wanted to handle some of the religious and spiritual things. I wanted to do something to mark the “claiming of the land” or similar. Something to say “this is our new home” in the context of my path. What I eventually decided on, after much deliberation and feeling at a loss for words, was to douse all of my flames the night before, and then light them again at the new house. My hearth flame would be the first thing across the threshold.
I currently am the tender for the Hellenic Kin’s flame in ADF. So, I didn’t want to douse that one formally since it belongs to the wider community, so I gave it into the care of MJD (complete with prayer to say), who is keeping it for a few days for me until we’re settled. The rest of my flames I lit Monday evening. Called to Hestia as I always do, and made offerings. I said how I’d be extinguishing the Fires here, and how I looked forward to rekindling them in our new home. Then I doused them all in the water I had purified earlier in the ritual.
It was really weird to have a night in that liminal space, without the fires of my hearth. Even weirder was to wake up the next morning and not have a fire as I did my morning devotional. After we signed all the paperwork and got the keys, Thom and I drove over to our new home.
I called out to Hestia and kindled her flame on the front porch.
Then I walked, lantern in hand, across the threshold, and brought the Fire into our home. It was powerful. I walked the flame through each room of the house, inviting Hestia to warm and brighten each space for all those who live or visit there. I called out to the Agathos Daimons, the house spirits, and made offerings to them. I let them know that we’d be living there with them, and to be welcome around my Fire, and that I’d make good offerings to them.
I then walked the perimeter of the property with the lantern and with barley. I called out to the spirits of the land and made offerings as I walked. I invited them to stay and be welcomed by my Fire, but also let them know that if they chose to leave their would be no hard feelings, and they should feel free to disperse.
Then I went into the kitchen, to the place I had already chosen would be the household altar, and set up my simple flame, well, and tree/omphalos. I thanked Hestia for joining me in this new home and thanked the spirits of the house and the land for listening to my words. I let them know more offerings and prayers would be forthcoming through then coming days and months, and that I looked forward to building a relationship with them.
It was a very powerful experience. Moving from the light of my home, to the darkness of between, and then back into the light at our new home. We’d done a couple walk throughs during the process of buying, and so we were familiar with the layout and everything. But it was amazing, the way the addition of my hearth goddess and her flame, and introducing myself to the spirits there really made that big empty house feel like home.