Vesta’s Opening

Hymn for Vesta’s Opening

(June 15)

Open all doors and windows; sweep all rooms;
gather up ashes from black fireplace.
Clear webs from corners where for twelve long moons
Arachne’s children have set sacred space,
And make this house clean for divinity:
Vesta, sister of Olympian Zeus,
Gave up a throne among gods for a hearth,
banked her nimbus with sweet humility
To take work for small glory — yet much use,
Now bright heaven is her garden and garth.

Surely, Vesta, you gave foresight a wink,
When Prometheus smuggled a few coals
And Zeus did not punish you… we must think
Some are greater than their apparent roles,
And some can wring changes from Cosmos-course,
So great mysteries meet in small spaces,
And tea-cups hold vast oceans of love.
Truly each household is a cosmic force,
When whole lives are knit from tiny graces,
And hearth is home: as below, so above.

Vesta, keep this house yet another year.
Sanctify every room and keep them warm.
Let this family live in freedom from fear,
Knowing this dwelling to be safe from harm,
And a shelter from Earth’s bitter troubles.
Fill kitchen and pantry with healthy food,
And garnish with delight each family meal.
Then bring many guests, for Vesta doubles
Such happiness guests add to household moon.
Let us under this roof be friends, and heal.

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  1. […] Hymn for the Feast of Vesta’s Opening: This week includes a poetry piece from my multi-year-long experimentation with creating a Romano-pagan spiritual calendar, based on the ides, nones, and calends of the month, and the sacred days from the calendar of Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome (c. 600 BC). From June 2007, the hymn for Vesta’s Opening, a festival for re-opening the temple of Vesta, where the state hearth-fire of Rome burned for almost two thousand years. […]

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