Vesta~Asteroid Goddess of Fire, Sacred Virgin, Sister to Ceres
Discovery Date: March 29, 1807
The Sacred Virgin is symbol for lovely Asteroid Goddess Vesta, also known as Hestia by the Greeks, relating to the sign Virgo. Vesta was worshipped as Goddess of the hearth and keeper of the sacred flame. She placed a shrine at the center of every home, similar to our modern day fireplaces or Native American sweat lodge pits, where loved ones gather around; friends and family have the opportunity to bond.
She is the brightest of asteroids and is the only one who can be seen with the naked eye. How fitting for one who is guardian of sacred fires. Since Vesta was chosen to guard and protect these sacred flames, she came to symbolize food, shelter, hospitality, and social contacts. She provided a sanctuary of protection.
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The Romans utilized her eternal fire and chose the Virgins at the age of six (6), before the Saturn square. According to Wikipedia (2010), "the Vestals were committed to the priesthood at a young age (before puberty) and were sworn to celibacy for a period of 30 years. These 30 years were, in turn, divided into three periods of a decade each: ten as students, ten in service, and ten as teachers. Afterwards, they could marry if they chose to do so. However, few took the opportunity to leave their respected role in those luxurious surroundings. Leaving would have also required them to submit to the authority of a man, with all the restrictions placed on women by Roman law." Ironically, when a man married a former Vestal, it was considered a high honor.
A similar myth comes from pre-Hellenistic Greece. The sacred flame guarded by the priestesses symbolized the Kundalini fires of Indian Yoga practice and the secret powers of sexual alchemy. The woman who tended to these fires were known as Virgins, yet not because they were sexually chaste, because they remained unmarried and belong to no man. There wasn't a desire to be defined or controlled by any man. (don’t you love it??) “Ms. Vesta” was way before her time; perhaps the first woman’s rights activist!
Well, these “virgins” actually served as sacred harlots who sexually gave themselves to strangers. They didn’t use their sexuality to attract a man to marry, or to satisfy their own needs, but to serve a higher purpose through the process of fertilization. They provided a “service” by either servicing males' sexual needs or for the desire to bear a child out of wedlock. Since the Vestal Virgins were of Queen-like status, the "seeds" planted were a sacred union. Male children born from this union were considered “Kings”. Author-Astrologer Demetra George, “Asteroid Goddesses", asserts that “Latin Kings were born of a virgin mother with no known father or to be the son of the God. In fact, many of the Kings of early Rome were the sons of Vestal Virgins”.
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Fast forward to 2010. Childless couples hire sexual surrogates, for a fee, to conceive children and birth children. Are there not male prostitutes too? In our culture, it has become commonplace to collect sperm from hired donor males for artificial insemination. Actually, artificial insemination dates back to the early 1900's. Researchers concur that male fertility starts to decline as he enters his mid-30s and is significantly lower if he is over 40. Studies also found that if the father was in his late 30s, the chances of a successful pregnancy went down. The father's age also affected rates of miscarriage. If a father was over 34, the miscarriage rate was 16.7 percent. Between the ages of 35 and 39, it went up to 19.5 percent. And if the father was older than 44, it jumped to 32.4 percent; which means nearly one-third of the pregnancies ended in miscarriages. Researchers said the problems were likely the result of DNA damage and fragmentation in sperm, which can lead to pregnancy failure and miscarriage. Dr. Peter Schlegel, chairman of urology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, works at the Male Center for Reproductive Medicine. In an News interview he stated the possibility that there is a link between DNA damage and age. "As men get older, there is an increase in the risk of having that fragmented DNA," Schlegel explained. Alternately, research indicates higher incidents of learning disorders, autism, and schizophrenia conceived by men over the age of 37 years, even when the age of the of the mother was controlled for. These new studies are highly significant given the increase of conception in 2nd and 3rd marriages later in life, particularly since older men tend to marry a younger female. Given these dramatic fertility statistics, questions arise about the quality of sperm and then...... "Sperm for hire"~! I'm aware of at least one individual who was a sperm donor for pay, in order to pay for his doctorate degree; Vesta resided in the 8th house, retrograde in Taurus, trining a 4th house Saturn. This example demonstrates how Vesta might operate in a male chart.
The location of Vesta in your chart signifies withdrawals, where you withdraw when you have depleted resources, where energy is focused, a variety of possible sexual expressions, where you're devoted, where there is the ability to delay gratification or where gratification is denied. If Vesta is strong in your birth chart, you may engage in sexual encounters with a variety of partners, sometimes to avoid long-term commitment. Vesta points to the area of life you feel most liberated, where your fire shines brightly, where you're committed.
As a career indicator, Vesta by sign, house, and aspect points to the principle of focused energy, concentrated efforts, commitment, and sacrifice. For instance, Vesta in Cancer is literally dedicated to maintaining the family home fires. Starting a home business is likely. Alternately, sacrificing personal needs due to family responsibilities is possible. Demetra George expands upon Vesta in Cancer stating that individuals with this placement "require the feeling of being needed in order to activate commitment. Sexual fulfillment comes from the feeling of being loved and cherished". For example, eighth house Vesta individuals may be "The Psychic" dedicated to occult studies or psychoanalysis. The could be the Physical Therapist, Sexuality expert, Psychologist, or Funeral Director. A ninth house Vesta individual may be dedicated to truth-seeking, religious or political fanaticism, and teaching. The 9th house Vesta individual may be a spiritual Guru or University Professor. Since Vesta may be linked to the sign of Virgo, look to the natal house where Virgo resides for additional career clues.
Vesta's archetype sounds vaguely similar to our New Age Tantra Sex Therapists. Sacred sex, teacher/student, or prostitution? You decide. What messages resonate with your own sexual nature? How may society utilize Vesta's mythological symbolism to transcend social, and cultural taboos and norms surrounding sexuality, patriarchy, relationships, and monogamy? Our culture is being primed by Universal energies, to experience a "shift" in consciousness. The relationship dynamic of "ownership" and sexual inequality no longer work. We live in unique times.
You don’t belong to no one…that’s a shame.
You could hide beside me…maybe for a while.
…and I won’t tell no one your name. ~ Goo Goo Dolls~Name
Transiting Vesta is currently 8 degrees Libra, sandwiched in between Saturn at 4 degrees Libra, Mars and Venus at 16/18 degrees Libra, respectively. She's also squaring the Capricorn/Cancer nodal axis further validating a focused commitment to setting standards and developing a balanced approach in relationships. Change is imminent. If you want to know where Vesta resides in your birth chart, I'm available for consultations and readings 7 days via phone, e-mail or in-person.
Click here to view: Vesta Astronomy
* Contributed by Astrologer friend Steven Davis.
George, Demetra (1986). Asteroid Goddesses. San Diego, CA: ACS Publications.
Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (2010, July). Vestal Virgin. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vestal_Virgin
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