“Hestia” means the home or household, properly “the place centred on the hearth-fire”, which is the embodiment of the sun in the microcosm of the house (as is the heart in the microcosm of the body).

The term “hestia” is often used in contradistinction to “agora”, which means the public world. Patriarchal societies tend to be agoracentric, believing that the public world is the focus of all importance, while feminine societies are more hestiacentric, seeing the household as the centre of life (we still refer in English to our homes as “where we live” – a very significant expression when one thinks about it).

The movement from hestia to agora has been an important part of late-patriarchy. Most early education, for example, once took place in the home, as did much work. People who owned shops often lived above or behind them and the shop was a “public” extension of the home. Many craftspeople worked from their homes, as did farmers.

Today most of these functions are transferred to “public” institutions like schools, factories, and supermarkets, while television brings the agora right into the centre of the home, forming a new “focus” (the word “focus” originally means “hearth-fire”).

Aristasians stress the importance of the hestia as the centre of life. For example, when modern people perceive something amiss with the world, their first thought tends to be to change the agora (this is termed “politics”). Aristasians point out that such efforts are largely futile, as one has no control over the agora, whereas one can have full control over one’s hestia, and this is where efforts should be directed. The idea of Aristasia-in-Telluria as a union of linked households (or hestias) is thus based in Aristasian philosophy.

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