I highly recommend that everyone read this article by River Devora on “The Revolutionary Art of Hearth-Keeping.

5 responses to “Hearth

  • aediculaantinoi

    Very interesting! Thank you for pointing this out!

  • Katherine

    Thank you for drawing attention to this, it was a really interesting read.

    In many of the Chinese texts I’m working with lately, true repentance is signaled by swearing an oath before the hearth. In the tales, it’s implied that this is because the Stove God carries news of one’s good deeds and misdeeds to heaven for tabulation and judgement, but after reading this article I’m thinking also about its symbolic function. How much more powerful is it because the oath happens at the center of community cohesion, merging spiritual nourishment with the literal place where bodily nourishment is prepared?

    • aediculaantinoi

      Is that a situation of “more powerful,” though, or “also important/powerful”? From a polytheist perspective, it would have to be the latter…

    • Heathen Chinese

      Whoa, that’s cool, I definitely have been thinking about the Stove God in relation to this article, but I didn’t know that about oaths of repentance! I suspect that the centrality and significance of the stove within the house is a big part of why the Stove God is understood as the level of the celestial bureaucracy assigned to the family (as opposed to the neighborhood or the city).

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