“When this card appears the focus is upon the sense of home, family, and place in community. It reminds us of family ties and the lineage that connects past and present. At the core this card speaks of inner peace, contentment, and sanctuary. On another level the card calls to us about relationships in general, including how we take care of ourselves, for the sense of home and place begins within the inner spirit.”
“The hearth is the timeless setting of family, clan, or tribe, the place of safety, warmth, and sustenance. The hearth reminds us of the early site of deity worship, which was the rocky grotto. the opening of the hearth symbolizes the cave, once believed to be an opening into the Otherworld or Underworld realm. The fire within the hearth represents the presence of divinity, for fire itself was once considered to be the divine essence. The logs in the hearth symbolize the sacred grove of the ancient Goddess, which contained the essence of her divine nature.”
“The card depicts an offering of bread and wheat upon the mantle. Here we see the ancestral offerings that bind generations together in a living lineage, past to present. The hearth is pictured with the traditional tools. These symbolize the sacred connection between women and the sacred flame. Traditionally women were the keepers who tended the temple fire. A cat appears near the hearth. The cat is a classic symbol of the feminine and its mystique. Cats have long been associated as a familiar spirit. Here the cat reflects the sanctuary and comfort of the warm household hearth.”
“You enter a warm and cozy room in the cottage. A large hearth draws you to the fire. As you gaze into the flames, visions begin to flood your mind. You see a great standing stone that retains within it the memory of ancient rites performed in its presence. A large oak altar sits before the standing stone, where a priestess and her assistants tend a sacred flame. Surrounding the scene is the grove of the Great Goddess.”
“Your mind is drawn back to the hearth by the sound of the cat. It lies on a stood in front of the fire. As you gaze at the hearth you realize that the stones are cut from the standing stone in your vision. The mantle shelf above the hearth is the oak altar. The sacred tree of the grove are the logs in the hearth cradle. The tools symbolize the priestess and her assistants who tend the fire. The fire in the hearth is the essence of the Goddess alive in the ancient and sacred setting of your previous vision. You hear voices in the distance that seem to come from above the hearth. Your eyes focus on the mantle where you see a platter of bread and grains. The Crone of the cottage appears behind you and says, ‘Do not be startled, it is just the ancestral spirits coming for the meal of the dead’. You feel it is best to leave them in peace, and so you thank the Crone for offering the warmth of her hearth, and you exit the cottage without delay.”
Today’s message is from A Traveler’s Guide to the Well Worn Path by Raven Grimassi and Stephanie Taylor with art by Mickie Mueller.
For information on how to tap into your ancestral knowledge please see Raven Grimassi’s new book: The Cauldron of Memory: Retrieving Ancestral Knowledge & Wisdom to be released October 1, 2009.