Hestia ~ Goddess of the Hearth Offers Her Blessings
Regally seated on a throne, her staff, measure of wheat, and snake represent the abundance over which she rules.
Hestia, in the high dwellings of all, both deathless gods and men who walk on earth, you have gained an everlasting abode and highest honor: glorious is your portion and your right. For without you mortals hold no banquet, – where one does not duly pour sweet wine in offering to Hestia both first and last.
~Homeric Hymn to Hestia~
Daughter of Chronos and Rhea, Hestia is Hearth, the first born of the Olympians. Hestia, who discovered how to build houses, extends her power over altars, hearths, and homes. All prayers and sacrifices end with this goddess, because she is the guardian of the innermost things.
She is a virgin goddess and can never be ensnared by the goddess of love. Instead of marriage, Zeus granted that her place should be in the very midst of the house. For that reason mortals did not hold banquet without offering to Hestia both first and last, and many homes naturally included an altar to Hestia.
Her Roman name was Vesta, and her Vestal Virgins tended the sacred flame of Rome.