The chart for today’s new moon sees asteroid Vesta at 19 degrees Capricorn (conjunct Pluto), shining bright in her glory on the midheaven.
In ancient Rome the Vestal Virgins tended the sacred flame in the temple devoting themselves to the goddess Vesta and taking vows of chastity. They were chosen for this service form the age of about 8 – 30 after which they could, if they wish, marry… apparently few did.
According to astrologer Demetra George, prior to patriarchal takeover from matriarchal culture, the vestal virgins, or priestesses of Hestia as they were known in ancient Greece, were the sacred sexual priestesses who were capable of ‘taking the war out of men’, opening the hearts of wounded men who had become shut down by trauma an initiating them so that they knew how to honor and meet the feminine- and even produce an heir to the throne.
The flame they carried burned bright within the inner fires of their bodies (kundalini) as sacred flames of purification able to transmute even the most disconnected and discordant energies.
It was a true shamanic act of magic and there was no moral judgement attached to the ceremony.
When the men came back from war full of violence and rage, they would first have to pass through the temple of Vesta and lay with one her priestesses so that he could be transformed by the goddess and reintegrated into the community ensuring the well-being and harmony of all.
The flame of the vestal virgins burned so bright that it dissolved the negative experience of war and opened the hearts of the most broken.
At the winter and summer solstices, 6 vestal priestesses would lay with 6 of the king’s high-ranking men in a darkened sacred cave so that their identity was concealed. Any child born of a priestess was considered a divine child and if there was no natural heir to the throne that year, a divine child was chosen. In this way a royal priestess blood line was in place.
Later, after the patriarchal usurping, the vestal virgins were kept in the temple where they tended the hearth and the sacred flame in devotional service but were sentenced to horrific death should they transgress their vows of chastity. In this way, kingship and claim to the land was passed down, not from a priestess lineage but a patriarchy in which the tenure of the king changed from just 1 year to a life time.
Enforced chastity was as much about control and male power as it was about moral values.
With Vesta conjunct transformative Pluto on the midheaven, perhaps a worthy consideration is how we deal with trauma and inner devastation in our present-day culture? We either suffer the disruptive consequences of it ensuring more and more, or we medicate it.
What would a modern day magical encounter with the goddess or the healing feminine principle look like at a collective level?
Research found in Demetra George ‘Asteroid Goddesses’