Vesta the Goddess governs the domain of the Sacred in Modern Life
The asteroid Vesta (Latin) is named after the ancient Greek goddess Hestia, first born of the Olympian deities and last released by her father Cronos (father Time), who at one point swallowed all his offspring.
Thus she denotes the beginning and the end – alpha and omega – and serves as a reminder of the source from which all things originate and to which all must return. She represents the preservation of sacredness and the state of connection to formless Essence.
As such, she is the only Olympic deity not worshipped anthropomorphically; she is symbolized only by the altar and its sacred flame.
Thus she also represents any sacred space – be it temple, sweat lodge, or meditation corner – that acts as a container in which we may center ourselves, and feel the presence of Spirit. In ancient times Vesta was worshipped both in the city center as the flaming altar, and in every home as the central hearth whose embers were literally passed on down through the generations from mother to daughter when the daughter married and established her own hearth.
In this manner Vesta came to represent the perpetuation of the spark of life, and of civilization and one’s ancestral and cultural roots.
In early matriarchal societies, priestesses honoring Hestia maintained a connection to this spiritual essence (represented by a sacred flame that they tended night and day). They offered themselves in sacred sexual union in order to teach the divine aspect of sexuality and the need to remain aware of the sacred while engaged in physical life. The priestesses remained unmarried and committed to none but themselves and their worship.
Their sons (conceived anonymously during ceremonial summer solstice rites) served as year-kings when there was no royal heir. These customs were finally abolished when patrilineal traditions were enforced and the priestesses were compelled by the Roman king to serve as keepers of the new (patriarchal) civilization and to observe vows of celibacy.
To break these vows entailed a cruel death penalty. In exchange for the relinquishment of their sexuality, matrilineal customs, and true spiritual function, the priestesses (Vestal Virgins) were granted freedom from paternal control.
Vesta’s sacred flame represents, in the yogic tradition, the kundalini force which, when properly awakened and channeled, leads to spiritual development. Thus, astrologically, Vesta has come to represent both spirituality and consecrated (or desecrated) sexuality. This can include a wide range of sexual expressions such as abstinence, renunciation and celibacy, the celebration of spiritually honored sexuality, sexual idealism, and the sacred whore.
Astrologically, Vesta stands for that which provides us with inner sustenance; the way in which we are pulled back to our core or inner self; and the struggle between this and the demands of the outer world. Vesta represents the way in which we long to bless others with the fruits of the spiritual resources we have found within ourselves, but it is also the need to retreat and preserve our inner sanctuary against any disrespectful intrusion.
Vesta is associated with dedication, focus, and commitment. She represents those things that helps us focus, the way in which we dedicate ourselves with heart and soul, and that for which we are ready (or compelled) to make a sacrifice. The things indicated by Vesta’s position in your chart may be things that you feel compelled to give up or sacrifice, often out of a sense of spiritual compulsion.
Yet they can also be the very things that evoke your dedication – leading to a sense of deep inner fulfillment when you are willing to make some sacrifices on their behalf. Keep this paradox in mind as you read on, for Vesta can express itself one way or the other – or both!
Vesta The Goddess In Your Horoscope
This text is an excerpt from Chiron and the 4 Goddesses Report, by Viniita Hutchinson.