“pure” fire and mundane fire–relationship of Hestia and Apollon

I was reading Plutarch today and again it was a section that was Roman, discussing Numa, but within the section Plutarch drifts off to talk about the difference of the practice of keeping sacred fire in Greece, and briefly discussing what happened when the fire extinguished at places such as Delphi. That is, how the fire was rekindled. That no earthly fire was used and instead by using glass they magnified the sun until it lit. Of course one is aware of Hestia’s connection to fire and the hearth, but if these more important fires were utilized from the light of the sun (the province of Apollon) then what can be said of the relationship between Hestia and Apollon?

We do know that in poem Hestia is ascribed as one who tends the hearth in the house of Apollon, that being she is at the center of his home, even as she is at Olympos at the hearth therein, and in our own homes. That the sacred fire is lit by light of the god we can assume an association with these continually burning fires to Apollon, in that it is of him. By magnification his light is transformed into earthly fire translating solar fire onto the earthly plane. However, as Hestia is also at the center of Apollon’s house we must say that she dwells at the heart of the sun, as much as he dwells at the heart of the earth. The hearth is the house of the flames, the shell that holds the flame safely within its grasp and directed toward our benefit. So it can be said she sits at a metaphoric hearth within the sun as well, directing and containing the energies even as Apollon rules this area. It is, after all, his house.

So we see a sphere of influence. At the first sphere is the earth and its core, the combination of elements and metals that produce the molten energy and balance of the earth which by flint and steel translates into our homes in historical times and continues to do so through material means of this earth. Then there is the sphere of the sun where the fire seat radiates heat to the planets, bringing life and those conditions necessary for life and the gravatational pull to the planets.

So I would summerize the relationship as a sor tof dance of cohorts 🙂


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