Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Goddesses are Coming ~ Up Close with Vesta

Vesta sizes up. Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/JAXA/ESA
This week, NASA published some remarkable close up photos of the asteroid Vesta.

It’s part of NASA’s Dawn Mission, which is orbiting in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Next stop Ceres. Ceres and Vesta are what they call protoplanets and by studying them, the mission hopes to uncover new insights into the birth of our solar system.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/
You can read all about the mission at http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/

Both Ceres and Vesta are well known to astrologers. Along with Juno and Pallas Athena they are the Asteroid Goddesses, profoundly feminine energies amongst a group of planets that for the most part are named for the western masculine mythological tradition. Slowly though, the tables are turning, as new bodies are being named for female deities including Eris, after the Greek goddess of strife and discord and Sedna, in honor of the Inuit goddess of the sea.

And now that Vesta and eventually Ceres are finally showing us their beautiful faces, close up and personal, what does this mean for the feminine? As an astrologer, I believe that what happens in the skies (whether naturally or by human intervention) is reflected in the collective. So yes, I do hope that the emerging prominence of these female named objects will be reflected in a rebalancing of the masculine and feminine energies of our world. Goddess knows we need it. Oh and I’m not necessarily speaking gender here, I’m thinking more in terms of our general values - intuition, caring, sensitivity, compassion, how we care for our lovely planet and for all the human beings and creatures that walk upon it.

Vesta in Mythology

In Roman mythology, Vesta was the virgin goddess of the hearth, home and family. Her priestesses, known as the Vestal Virgins, were responsible for keeping the sacred flame alive, considered essential to the security and continuance of Rome. The Vestal Virgins took a strict vow of sexual chastity, but in return enjoyed status and privilege in Roman society. However, it is believed that earlier versions of Vesta’s priestesses (in pre-Hellenic Greece) participated in sacred sexual rites, said to symbolise the eternal sacred flame. Perhaps this is why Vesta has been associated with both the signs of Virgo (chastity/modesty/service) and Scorpio (passion/sexual energy/control).

Vesta in Astrology

In astrology, Vesta symbolises the sacred flame, the divine spark we carry within. In our birth chart, Vesta – by sign, house and aspect - symbolises whatever gives us a fire in our belly, our raw ambitions. She also speaks of the service and devotion we must apply to our passions in order to keep them alive and use them to create something useful and secure. So sexual energy, dedicated service and fiery devotion are all good key phrases for Vesta. Overall, I think Vesta symbolises that little part of ourselves that we must own and not give away, our spirit. She also, I intuit, has something to say about how we feel about our home and family and in particular symbolises the family rituals and habits that tend to become ‘sacred’ within family groups.

For further reading, see Asteroid Goddesses by Demetra George
You can get a free birth chart which includes Vesta at Astro.com http://www.astro.com/cgi/genchart.cgi
You can find out Vesta’s zodiac position for today, or any given date, at http://www.serennu.com/. Serennu also lists the positions of other asteroids, centaurs, fixed stars and trans-neptunian objects.

Explore your own Vesta

If you do a google search you will quickly and easily find some basic interpretations for your Vesta by sign and house, but why not DIY. Simply scribble down some key phrases for Vesta with the key phrases for the sign and house and then do a bit of word play….

For example here are a few quickly put together ideas for Vesta in Cancer in the Second House.
Gives of oneself sexually only when one feels secure and valued…
Devotes oneself to nurturing and healing, ambition directed towards making money from it…
Dedicates a lot of energy towards building a secure income by caring for others…
Intuitive abilities and sensitivity are assets that should be nurtured and protected…

What about your Vesta?

With love, Mandi

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  1. By some strange synchronicity I have just got around to reading asteroid goddesses (it has sat on my 'to read' pile for a couple of years) and have found it really enlightening when applied to my own chart. My 8th house Vesta completes a grand earth trine with my 12th house Taurus Moon and my Venus/Pluto in Virgo.

    So I was very interested to come across your post and read about Nasa's Dawn mission! I totally agree with you when you say. . .
    "I believe that what happens in the skies (whether naturally or by human intervention) is reflected in the collective."

    Interesting times!

    I always enjoy your posts Mandi and this one is no exception. :-)

  2. Thanks Susannah for sharing your synchronous moment. The 8th feels like a very good house for Vesta to me :)


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