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In Latin focus means "hearth," or first altar, and the center of early tribal life. The Goddess of the focus was Vesta (Greek Hestia), whose priestesses attended a perpetual fire that was connected to the soul of Rome. The altar of Vesta was believed to be the center of the universe. The origin of the cult came from Neolithic views of matriarchal power radiating from the home center of the clan, with the matriarch serving as high priestess and conducting religious ceremonies from her hearth. A.G.H.