So this past Sunday with a little help from my mother I redesigned the inside of the temple space in order to make it a little more organized and to focus the energies a bit more. The shrines are now the first thing that people will see when they enter the space, which is something I have been feeling drawn to doing for a while and on Sunday evening when I was reading about Greek temples in the past I was inspired to go ahead and do it.
In ancient times, the Greek temples were set up so that the first thing people saw when entering the temple was the cult statue. Rituals were not always performed inside the temple (at least not sacrifices) in fact this was very rare, but rather outside the temple space so that more people could gather around the altar, which stood a few feet from the temple doors. The God's statue could be seen through the doors of the temple so that the God was looking upon the ritual being performed in His/Her honor. (from the book The Complete Greek Temples by Tony Spawforth) This got me thinking of how the space could be adapted so that it would have this feel to it as well as refocus the energy a bit.
I also had an epiphany today while doing my daily devotions. I had been thinking about why making offerings to the ancestors prior to the beginning of rituals feels so appropriate and how it connects with Hestia and Her being honored first and last at every ceremony. Hestia is the Goddess of the home and family and honoring the ancestors is honoring the family, thus it is also honoring Her. I can see that honoring the dead either before and/or after the ceremony would seem appropriate. It also seems to help ground and center the ritual somewhat.
May everyone reading this have a great day and receive the Gods' blessings!