Greek virgin Goddess of the hearth - fire.
(in Rome: Vesta)
Hestia is the daughter of Kronos
and Rhea. She was the Holy Hearth, goddess of hearth (hestia)
and hearth-fire. Her sacred place was at the centre of the household
and also at the hearth of the city. Hestia was higly honored
but never very famous in Greek myth. She was more or less confined
to her place at the centre of the home. She didn´t take
part in the ordinary activities of the gods, yet Hestia remains
forever at the centre. Fire is a pure and purifying element
so Hestia was considered to be a Virgin goddess. Her sacred
hearth-fire was guarded by the unmarried girls of the household.
Beginning with Hestia
Hestia was important in rituals.
She would usually receive the first offering at sacrifices.
She would normally be invoked before any other god in prayers.
The first and final libations would be dedicated to her at feasts.
This inspired the proverbial phrase "beginning with Hestia"
which means to make a good proper start or sound beginning of
Another ancient saying regarding
Hestia and her sacred fire is that it could be said that "Hestia´s
laughing" when the fire crackled.
The Romans identified Hestia with
their goddess Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth and keeper
of the sacred fire on Mount Olympus. Vesta was more important
and more public than Hestia in her cult as guardian of the Roman
state. Her priestess were called Vesta Virgins. They lived a
life of chastity and guarded the sacred flame.
the Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology 2004