Monday, April 23, 2012
About Fire — the Sun, the Hearth, the Goddess, and Life; Part Three
Hearthfire, Heartfire, and the Goddess
Our ancestors knew what we've forgotten: that the Hearthfire Goddess—she who guards and protects the humble fires of our hearth—is truly the Guardian of all the Fires, from Sun's fires to Earth's heartfires and all those between, including our own inner fires. In one sense, She IS Fire and all other fires are manifestations of her. In fact, the awesome, transformative power of fire to bless, purify and change energy from one form to another is the power of the Goddess.
For thousands of years people were so well acquainted with this Goddess within the Hearthfire as the Center Point that they had temples to the Hearth Fire Goddess of the State, and Priestesses whose sacred duty it was to tend these State Hearthfires, which were the central fire, the focus, the hearth of the nation, representing its heart. The Vestal Priestesses of Rome served the Goddess Vesta in this way. In Ireland, priestesses tended Brigid's sacred fire that burned for at least 1000 yrs before it was extinguished by Protestant reformers. Tending the Sacred Hearthfires of the Goddess was everyday reality in both Temple and home.
The Hearthfire is the Heart fire, be it of nation or of our humble homes. But these hearthfires of home, of temple, of nations are but the sparks of a larger hearthfire, what I call the Cosmic Hearthfire: the Fire that is at the very heart of life. This Inner, Cosmic Hearth Fire is that from which all other fires spring and come into manifestation. It is this Fire, ultimately, that we serve, we who serve fire. It is the fire of Life itself.
Fire needs to burn. The Fire that is the Cosmic Hearth Fire manifests itself on this plane as Life—and it requires our service, our tending, to keep it going. To be alive is to burn with this power of fire. As Beings who are part of this Life Stream and not separate from it, this fires requires our interaction with it. Untended by us, this Cosmic Hearth Fire's manifestation on this realm will go out, or burn out of control in some way. It requires the service of priests and priestesses—dedicated to the Hearth—to tend and serve it. And by that wonderful principle of resonance, we serve this Cosmic Hearth Fire by serving our smaller fires, and our smaller fires by serving the Cosmic Hearth Fire. Every home hearthfire is a hearth of the Goddess. And what the service of fire entails is paradoxically a very big subject, yet simple at the same time.
(c) Margie McArthur, 1995