Today (12 Hestia/Jan. 6) is Hearth Blessing in the Janite Tradition. This is the day, (or over the weekend is fine), when we bless our hestias (sacred homes) for the coming year. For those who missed it, here is a truly informative article on Hestia by Sorella Sophia Ruth: https://mydevotionstodea.wordpress.com/
Where the sacred month of Hestia focuses on the hearth, both literally and symbolically, it is a proper time of year for the home blessing.
When we bless our homes, we are formally consecrating and dedicating them to Dea. We are placing our homes beneath Her Mighty Mantle of Protection and under the watchful care of the Janati. This is why we call our homes, hestias, because for Janite Deanists, an hestia is a sacred home, one which has been blessed, consecrated and dedicated to Dea.
There are two versions of this blessing, the Blessing Rite and the longer, Consecration Rite.
For the both rites, begin by making holy water if you do not already have some on hand. It’s best to use a natural, flowing water. Sources for such water are rivers, lakes, brooks and underground springs. I keep extra on hand in a large mason jar. You also need sea salt or kosher salt.
Pour some salt in your left hand. With your right hand, fold the pinky and ring fingers down while crossing the thumb over them. Your fore and middle fingers remain upright (this is the Blessing Hand). Trace the Fora over the salt and say: May this salt be blessed, in the Name of the Mother, and of the Daughter, and of the Great Mother. Iot ‘E Voh. Then, with your right hand, take three pinches of salt and pour them into the bowl of water. Pour any remaining salt along the inside of your threshold as a blessing and protection of the home.
With wand or finger, stir the water three times clockwise. Form Blessing Hand and trace the Fora over the water while saying: May this water be blessed in the Name of the Mother, (trace Fora a second time), and of the Daughter, (trace Fora a third time) and of the Great Mother. Iot ‘E Voh.
Take a small evergreen branch that you found on the ground and dip in holy water as needed. Bless each room of your house, beginning with the East wall. Sprinkle (asperge) the holy water towards each wall, each window, each doorway and each corner of the room, clockwise, while chanting, ‘this hestia is blessed in the Name of the Mother, and of the Daughter, and of the Great Mother. Iot ‘E Voh.
Continue with each room in the house, the cellar and towards the attic. You may also stand in your yard and bless in the four cardinal directions, if you wish.
This is a very thorough blessing in and of itself. It reminds me of how the Russian Orthodox priest would come and bless our homes in January. The altar boys would carry smoking incense as they followed the priest. The priest would blessing each room with holy water, towards each wall, in each cardinal direction. He would even bless the cellar!
Hestia Consecration Rite
As I do with many holy items, I like to bless, consecrate and anoint my home. So, for the Consecration Rite, I will repeat the above, but instead of blessing with with water, I bless with incense. I will use the incense to trace the Fora in each direction while chanting, May this hestia be consecrated in the Name of the Mother, and of the Daughter, and of the Great Mother. Iot ‘E Voh.
The incense can be resin, which is burned on charcoal in a bowl full of sand or in an incense burner, or, it can be a stick incense of good quality.
Finally, I anoint the top of each outside door by dipping my finger in holy oil and tracing the Fora on the outside of the house (either just above the door or near the top of the door) and I say, May this hestia be anointed in the Name of the Mother, and of the Daughter, and of the Great Mother. Iot ‘E Voh.
You should also bless your house whenever you move into a new home.
Hearth Blessing is a day of rest by the hearth-fire with family and friends, or within the warmth of your hestias, if possible. Warm, nourishing winter foods and beverages, especially those native to your area, make a nice Hearth Blessing feast.