Vesta was the first born child of Saturn and Rhea and sister to Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres and Juno. She is one of the oldest and most cherished goddesses. Hestia, her Greek name, means hearth, symbolic of that which brings us together, gives focus and captures our attention. In many ways, Vesta is our animating principle, symbolizing our inner sacred flame.
The Greeks worshipped her as Hestia. They built a public altar to her and kept her fire going. Families used this flame to build altars at home. When a woman left her childhood home upon marriage, she built her own altar from her mother’s flame. Hestia symbolized protection, honesty, sincerity, hospitality and the feeling you were among friends.
The Romans adopted her as Vesta and built a temple to contain the City’s sacred flame. This fire could never extinguish. Priestesses, selected from the City’s most noble and finest, dedicated their lives to protecting it. They were called the Vestal Virgins and held high honor. Yet, they were to remain celibate, giving all their attention on keeping the fire alive.
Behind chastity we see traces of Vesta way back in the ancient world as the priestesses who worshipped the Great Mother Goddess by tending the water supply and a sacred flame. These sovereign women were known as virgins as they belonged to no man. They sexually gave themselves to men who honored the Goddess at the temple. Children born of the vestals as a result of sacred rites could become King for a year, explaining the origins of virgin births with no father
In our natal charts, Vesta points to our commitment style and suggests the area where we are often compelled toward focusing much of our energy, time and resources. Here we revitalize ourselves through work, commitment, devotion and even sacrifice.