The Asteroid Vesta Points to the Sacred Dimension of Our Sexuality
While our modern Gregorian calendar begins on January 1, ancient Rome celebrated the new year near the Spring Equinox in March. In this timeline, February was dedicated to new year preparation and rituals that included purification, prayer, and cleansing-especially those related to fire. Eventually, the month became associated with the goddess Vesta, the goddess of hearth and home, and an ancient symbol of the sacred flame.
As one of the three virgin goddesses, Vesta reminds us of our holiness, wholeness, and the power inherent in our own life force energies separate from others-particularly romantic partners. In Greek translations, the word virgin meant “one unto herself,” as it referred to an unmarried maiden rather than the purely sexual connotation of our language today. However, this also explains Vesta’s claim to fame as a goddess who refused to marry powerful gods Apollo or Poseidon-though may have taken them as lovers, we can’t be sure.
Vesta became even more of a “household” name in ancient Roman times with the cult of the Vestal Virgins. These women kept the sacred fires burning that protected the city from strife and honored Vesta through their chastity. However, if any of them were caught having sex during their 30-year term, they were buried alive outside the gates of Rome, as the blood of Vestal Virgins was considered sacred and couldn’t be spilled. After their service to Rome, Vestal Virgins received a rare social status including the choice to marry-or not, though according to Britannica, many chose not to wed.
Astrologically, Vesta was discovered in 1807, and is officially classified as a dwarf planet even though it orbits in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. In our birth charts, Vesta represents what is most sacred to us. In Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George describes the four major asteroids (Ceres, Juno, Vesta, and Pallas Athena) as expressing different expressions of sexual energy: “ Vesta represents the sacred dimension of our sexuality and how our inner flame of desire translates into spiritual yearning.”