Keeping the Fires Burning Within
By Judith Harte, Ph.D., M.F.T.
About two years ago, I noticed some activity within my own horoscope involving Hestia, that mythic, spiritual, virginal, asteroid goddess of the hearth. Curious about what this might mean, I researched the asteroid Hestia’s mythical story, while observing her astrological movement and activity within my own horoscope. By way of explanation, asteroids are those astronomical, allegedly less significant points within a horoscope, often named for mythical figures. Don’t be fooled as to their significance. Their symbolic existence and activity pulls some heavy weight and lands some mighty punches! What I’d conjectured after careful research, thought and reflection, about Hestia’s reawakened activity and current place in the hidden spotlight of my own life, was that some emergent, spiritual, inner and/or outer deeply psychological experience, perhaps referencing religious, and/or mythic figures was about to assume center stage.
Hestia did not disappoint. Before too long, a book, entitled “Images of Soul – Reimagining Astrology”, co-authored by myself and Evolutionary Astrologer and Marriage, Family Therapist Hadley Fitzgerald began taking shape, and is now available for online purchase through Amazon books.
In our book, Hadley and I, both astrologers and licensed psychotherapists, set forth the notion each horoscope is driven by a mysterious inner timepiece, curiously cloistered within the image of an acorn. The significance of at least an aspect of this metaphorical configuration, that of the acorn’s symbolic value and literal purpose, was influenced, impacted by, and closely akin to the central ideas postulated by the late James Hillman, in his groundbreaking best-seller, “The Soul’s Code” (1).
Our book conjectures that within each horoscope there lives the metaphorical image that is akin to Hillman’s acorn. However, we have proposed that the acorn also contains a mysterious time piece mechanism that drives our soul’s code or particular path — and in turn acts as pulse, momentum and rhythmic driver of each person’s life calling. We hypothesized that if one were to embrace this notion, one might be afforded a real-life depth understanding of psyche/horoscope, and the opportunity to consciously embrace and follow the beat of their fate and life direction. We further speculated that exploring one’s “Soul’s Code,” guided by a metaphorical acorn which also contains and is driven by the rhythmic pulse of a mysterious, inner time keeper—at the ultimate direction of an angel, or daimon—did carry implications for the understanding and exploration of both psyche and horoscope. In short, we postulated that horoscope, acorn, timekeeper, and daimon, provided reliable, poetic, viable pathways to one’s personal “calling,” inspiration and soul.
Although Hadley Fitzgerald and I each brought our own divergent biases and methods to our co-authoring experience, we discovered that, rather than clashing, our positions were in fact quite complimentary. Despite our contrasting methods, we were, each in our own way, inclined to draw upon image as metaphor when working with clients.
Now as I eagerly explore and bring my own biases to this discussion, I find I am also captured by another factor or presence, within this quaternity consisting of horoscope, acorn, timekeeper and daimon. She is, as James Hillman notes, Hestia (2) the oh-so- divine “guardian of our images.” I see Hestia’s inner divinity, expertise, and imaginal guardianship, as the prime mover behind the ways in which I imagine the astrological interview and consultation. I find as I’ve engaged in that imaginal astro-psychological process that for me, it is Hestia, who, without exception, is the mythic impetus, and container behind both the acorn and that mysterious, inner astrological timepiece, portrayed on our book’s cover. Hestia’s rhythms impact and drive our psycho-mytho-astrological explorations, and… if one is so inclined in their thinking to embrace such notions, perhaps it is she who holds domain over our past and present life explorations and unfolding.
In short, Hestia navigates, oversees, drives and is the goddess behind the patterns and processes inherent within that map and container of our soul’s codes: the astrological horoscope. This mystical, spiritual, eternally maiden goddess, drives our daimon’s trajectory. Her signals inform our exquisite inner time pieces, as to when it is just the right time for the next twist, turn and/or resting place in, or on, our life’s circuitous journey. I’m certain I join with my daimon here when I ask: How could I/we not take our cues from Hestia, the exquisitely silent, wonderfully wise, spiritual goddess of our hearths?
The late James Hillman looked to Hestia as the silent, mythic, archetypal presence behind psychotherapy and Jungian Analysis (3). Given the premise within my original doctoral thesis positing image = psyche = horoscope, it makes perfect sense to me, that if, as Hillman has noted, that Hestia indeed governs “the inner psychic structure,”(4) and if, as I’ve just premised that image = psyche = horoscope, then can’t one reasonably assume that Hestia is also the driving mythic, presence behind and within the astrological horoscope? Who better than this silent goddess—whom Hillman has described as “governing the inner” depths—to act as both prompter and guide, in our own discovery of psyche and horoscope’s mysterious calling and trajectory? And who better than Hestia, to sit silent watch over one’s horoscope, acorn, and that curious inner timepiece? All of which must reside within the exploratory land of a depth, archetypal astrology!
As it turns out, I was correct in my suspicions that certain types of Hestian activity might be ignited by the asteroid goddess’s recent transit through my own progressed horoscope. During this Hestian surge, I completed two sculptures with archetypal, spiritual and/or visual religious meanings! One piece, entitled “Padre de mi Alma”, or “Father of My Soul”, is of an actual priest and personal friend, and is my first bronze portrait. The other, entitled “Offering” is a sculpture of a spiritual figure featured in a prior Depth Psychology Alliance online publication, and also in our book “Images of Soul – Reimagining Astrology”. I have been thoroughly embraced by and cloistered with(in) Hestia’s divine, spiritual leanings!
In keeping with this theme of offering, I invite readers to leave any and all of your written offerings and reflections, at what I now think of as Hestia’s door, imaginal hearth and/or altar. These are my way of gathering others to honor Hestia’s eternal, spiritual flame, in this blog box below. I will make every effort to respond to each and every of your comments.
(1) “The Soul’s Code”, James Hillman – Random House Inc., New York, NY 10022
(2), (3), (4) In: Hestia’s Preposition “Mythic Figures”, James Hillman – Spring Publications, Inc., Putnam, Connecticut 06260