I wrote this article as part of this year's Pagan Values Project, in 2012:
The Sacred Hearth Tradition is a tradition that I developed based on personal gnosis combined with academic research with a lot of experience thrown in. I am a nerd in many senses of the word, so it irks me to wander too far from a research-supported path but I am also an individual and needed to define clearly a path for myself and my family and so I have. Well, it's clear to us. I've taken some flack for developing my own path and naming it and putting it out there, but whatever. That's not what this post is about anyway. It's about the values behind the Sacred Hearth Tradition, and here they are.
Our values are very simple and personified in the word HEARTH itself. You will see. The symbol of the Sacred Hearth Tradition is a triquetra with a flame in the center in front of a twelve-pointed star. The twelve pointed star represents the twelve Olympians, and the twelve months of the year. The triquetra represents the three realms and the three core values of the Sacred Hearth Tradition and the flame represents the Hearth itself and the energy behind it. So, what are the three core values of the Sacred Hearth Tradition. Three Hearths if you will.
In no particular order they are:
The Hearth is the home and family. These things are sacred. The home is the temple, the sacred space and everything it represents is law. The code of hospitality is the law associated with the Hearth. Also it represents the family, caring for our children with our whole selves (and grandchildren, nieces, nephews and random neighbors kids off the street on occasion) as well as honoring our parents and grandparents. Honoring the hearth we create family rituals to bind these ties and we always
The Hearth is your SELF. The heart symbolizes your physical health, which we are bound by this value to look after. The body is a temple built to house the Divine Essence and as such, is sacred. As a student of ancient Hellenic theology, I am interested in the idea of Arete, Greatness. Being the best you can possibly be and one must look after one's health to achieve this. This means no smoking, use of harmful or addictive drugs or excessive use of alcohol. This means wholesome food and daily exercise. It means more than that.
The Heart also symbolizes your hopes, your dreams and your Will. All of these are valuable, all of these are sacred as they are all expressions of the Divine within you. Therefore we strive for greatness in all of our endeavors so that our True Will be realized and our hopes and dreams fulfilled.
The Earth is the third Value embodied in the Sacred Hearth. It is the great Hearth, the communal Hearth that we share with all things, living and nonliving, material and non-material. The Earth makes the other two Hearths possible. Therefore, it is important to walk softly upon the Earth, to honor Her, to give thanks for Her gifts AND to remember that we share Her with all other living things that gather about Her for warmth and sustenance and treat Her and them accordingly.
While a tradition is more complicated than simply outlining its values, the values form the core around which everything else revolves. Our monthly Thanksgiving feasts, daily meditations and even the rules I set for our home are all reflections of these core values. The stories I tell my children reflect the morals of the code of hospitality, the search for knowledge, respect for one's elders and putting family first. Without the core values of a tradition, everything else is meaningless, random and has nothing to tie it together. The values are the center, the rituals, holidays, even the Gods you choose to honor and the way you choose to honor them are extensions of these values.
More like this
Comments, questions, criticism?