In my years of womb healing work, the womb space and sense of being at home with oneself have always been interconnected. The Womb Space is the centre of giving and receiving pleasure, as well as nurturing and creating life. Whether through birthing biological children, creative projects or new versions of ourselves, the womb space is intimately tied to the nurturance, containment and protection of the new life growing within it. Our mother’s womb is our first home. Our sense of home begins in the womb, and then extends to the environment we grow up in. It eventually extends into the home we create for ourselves, and influences how we inhabit our body and womb space.
Like the home- the womb space is where we nourish life and where life nourishes us.
In one’s own abode- Svadhisthana
The Sanskrit word for the sacral chakra located beneath the belly button is ‘Svadhisthana’ meaning ‘one’s own abode’. It is the energetic centre of the womb space. When this centre is balanced, we are comfortable within our own abode. We feel nourished and therefore have healthy expressions of our sensuality, pleasure, and creativity. We engage in healthy relationship boundaries and feel at home in our body and ourselves. When it is out of balance (as it is for many of us), we may not feel at home within ourselves. We may feel disembodied, have issues around body image, self-esteem, sexual intimacy and boundaries, trusting our instincts, receiving pleasure or creative blocks.
What is the Hearth and how is it connected to the Womb Space?
The hearth is a term with various connected meanings. In the most physical, literal sense it is the slab of brick or stone in front of your fireplace, and/or the fireplace itself. It can also mean the area where cooking takes place. It can mean the central fire within a dwelling or community- the anchor of nourishment and life that brings people together. Generally, it means the fire and the home that includes it, and implies comfort, warmth, nourishment and life.
The hearth was more central to our ancestors before electricity came into use, as the hearth fire was a main source of heat and cooking, therefore the main place to gather, stay warm, cook and eat in the home.
To this day, our modern homes are often equipped with either a wood-burning or gas fireplace to replicate the warmth and comfort that was necessary to our survival for thousands of years. We have such deep ancestral memories of the warmth and comfort the fire brings, that we keep this alive even with electricity available.
The hearth on a spiritual and energetical level is the part of your home that feels the most comforting and sacred. It may be where your fireplace is, the kitchen or any other area of your home that you tend to gravitate and settle down into to feel most comfortable, nourished and replenished.
When people come over, where do they naturally tend to gravitate? What part of your house do you feel is hardest to get up and leave from? Where do you feel drawn to going when you feel emotionally vulnerable, ill, or tired? Where do you feel most relaxed and ‘at home’ in yourself in your dwelling?
These are clues as to where the spiritual hearth may be in your home. This is the area of your home you may wish to treat as sacred space, tend and nurture most frequently. It is the place to spend more time in if you are low energy, emotionally vulnerable or need to feel more anchored and at home within yourself.
Tending the Hearth-Fire Within
The womb space serves as our internal hearth- a central anchor of nourishment, comfort, and pleasure within our being. It draws others to it and nourishes others from it. Our relationship with our womb space may be reflected in our relationship with the space we live in.
Womb space and home are intimately linked. When we treat both as sacred, we help heal the Feminine Wound. Tending our inner hearth and outer hearth are essential to our well-being.
For instance, if we hoard or let things build up in our home, it may reflect a stagnancy in our womb space energy, a holding on to old pain or sorrow, stifling our creativity and flow. Perhaps the habit of collecting and gathering is a way of coping with a sense of loss and fear of losing again.
If we tend to obsessively clean and organize within the home, this can reflect being too rigid and controlling of our natural instincts and pleasure in the womb space. This can also stifle our creativity and flow. Perhaps we are feeling a sense of guilt or shame about who we are or what we need, and so try to purify or perfect ourselves, rather than dropping into acceptance of our wholeness, flaws, and all.
How do you feel in your home? How do you care for it? Do you despise housekeeping? How are your boundaries with those you live with and neighbours? Do you need lots of privacy, enjoying your fence and closed doors? Or do you like to let it all hang out in the open and be involved in your neighbours’ business? These habits may reflect how you operate in relationships and whether your boundaries are loose, rigid, or balanced.
Both the womb space and our home reflect our need for comfort and pleasure. Our womb space is our inner hearth. Tending the hearth fire within means checking in with ourselves on a regular basis to ensure our sensual, creative, physical, and emotional needs are being met. Embodying the hearth within means to anchor our awareness into the womb space energy and listen to its needs. When we give ourselves permission to have and express these needs, and do our best to take care of them, we strengthen our inner hearth.
When we are anchored in our inner hearth, we radiate from a place of integrity, wisdom, and vitality. We are then able to reflect that energy in the space around us and create a home that truly nourishes us from the inside out.
The Goddess Hestia- Housekeeping vs Hearthkeeping
Hestia was Goddess of the Hearth, or, more specifically, of the fire burning on a round hearth. She is the least known of the Olympians. Hestia and her Roman equivalent, Vesta, were not represented in human form by painters or sculptors. Instead, this goddess was felt to be present in the living flame at the center of the home, temple and city. Hestia’s symbol was a circle. Her first hearths were round, and her temples were also. She made both places holy when she was there. Hestia was apparently a spiritually felt presence as well as a sacred fire that provided illumination, warmth, and heat for food.
– Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shindoa Bolen.
Hestia teaches us how to housekeep in a sacred, meaningful way- like how a priestess tends her temple and altar, rather than begrudgingly as a chore.
We have layers of healing from patriarchal oppression to navigate when it comes to housekeeping. Fighting over the distribution of chores and mental load is often what breaks couples apart. However, there are ways to shift our perception of value in regards to tending the hearth and keeping a home. It is sacred work anyone can do, that all members of the household should contribute to.
When the home is seen as an extension of our innermost self, a sacred container that holds our vulnerabilities and allows us to exist in our wholeness, it becomes much more than simply the place we live. It becomes the hearth- A central gathering point of nourishment for body and soul- a manifestation of Spirit in the physical realm. When we tend to our home In devotion to Hestia’s hearth energy, we are tending to the Sacred Feminine within us.
When housekeeping is valued as the tender care of our innermost needs and desires, and as an act of devotion to The Goddess, it is seen not only as necessary, but an art and spiritual practice. Housekeeping then becomes Hearthkeeping.
Activity: Make a list of qualities or activities you wish to emphasize in your home. If you live with roommates or loved ones, All should contribute to this list and make an agreement to uphold it. Place the list on the fridge or somewhere prominent in the home where everyone will be reminded by it.
Example: Peace, hugs, cooperation, laughter, gentleness, encouragement, love notes, communication, healthy food.
Come home to your body and ignite your inner hearth in this healing 13-min Embodying the Hearth Meditation . It will help to awake your passion and inspiration, anchor you in authenticity, melt away obstacles and bring light to grief and sadness.
It becomes easier to feel nourished when we connect with our inner hearth-fire, so that we can feel at home in ourselves wherever we may be. With this meditation you can ground, center and connect with your inner hearth at any time or place. It is an anchor to rekindle your vitality, self-love and radiate your inner Hestia into the world.
May you thrive as you tend the sacred flame of your inner Hearth, reflecting that beauty into the spaces around you!
For more info and details on creating sacred space and tending the hearth, you may wish to explore my workshop: Home and Hearth Magick- Rooting Into Sacred Space. or book one-on-one sessions to help you improve the energy in your home.