Hestia, the Goddess of the Hearth, is the most domestic of the Olympians, but she is full of paradoxes.
She was the firstborn of the Olympians. Her father was worried his children would overthrow him and devoured his wife’s babies whole. Zeus rescued his siblings and the fact she was the first swallowed meant she was the last to emerge. That’s why she’s called the “first and lastborn of the Olympians.”
She is the most domestic of goddesses but took an oath to remain a virgin. This makes her domestic yet unmarried.
The fact she is a goddess of the hearth makes her a fire goddess. Fire gods and goddesses in other pantheons are often temperamental. Yet she is the steadiest and most sensible of the Olympians. She is known for visiting mortal towns but there are no stories about her striking anyone down in anger. She treats her visits as pleasurable, harmless outings. No worse than a modern housewife enjoying a shopping trip to a market she likes.
The fact she remains in the background means these paradoxes are often unnoticed. Her attributes portray a balanced approach to power. This was Ancient Greek’s ideal for civil society and authority. She kept things running so smoothly her presence was barely noticed.
She was called “Vesta” in Roman Society. Vestal virgins served in her shrine for a 30-year term. When they retired they were allowed emancipation from their fathers. Perhaps the fact they were one of the few women allowed autonomy meant they were the only women trusted with it. Sensible Hestia was a fitting patron for such women.