Taurus and The Hierophant (Plus Minotaurs and Judges)

The fixed Earth sign, Taurus, is related to the Major Aracana card The Hierophant. Taurus energy is Powerful, yet patient, with a great deal of reliance on the physical senses. The Hierophant rules over the physical world; the earthly realm, and worldly concerns such as material possessions, marriage, religion, established institutions, and academic knowledge. Taurus’ nature is to not only accumulate things, but to preserve these things… whether that be material possessions, people, or knowledge and status.

Tarot The Hierophant TaurusKey Characteristics of Taurus Energy:

Practical, Materialistic, Determined, Stubborn, Affectionate, Possessive, Sensuous, Self-Indulgent, Loyal, Rigid, Unyielding, Patient, Preserving, Unimaginative.

Key Traits and Lessons of The Hierophant:

Education, belief systems, conformity, group identity, pursuing knowledge, seeking a deeper meaning, adapting to the system, fitting in, expressing loyalty, working as a team member or team leader, seeking religion or spiritual truths, making choices, conforming or non-conforming, the quest for meaning in life, organized institutions.
Mythology of Taurus:
The representation of Taurus as The Bull comes from the Greek Mythological tale of Zeus and Europa. Zeus, the King of The Gods, became obsessed with a Phoenician princess, Europa. Zeus knew that his godly masculine form would frighten the young maiden, so he transformed himself into a Bull. Europa saw the magnificent yet gentle bull, and became intrigued. She went to pet the bull, and eventually climbed onto his back. Immediately, Zeus turned back to his godly form and flew away to Olympus with Europa on his back. Taurus is the great bull who abducts us into pleasures of the body and the rapture of our passions. Beyond our physical experiences resides the essence of the Hierophant, helping us guide our passions toward self understanding and knowledge but continuing to remain grounded and gain a respect for our physical realm.
Minos and the Minotaurs
The tarot card The Hierophant is also related to the mythological story of Minos and The Minotaur.  The union of Zeus and Europa resulted in the birth of the demigods Minos and Rhadamanthys – two of the three judges of the dead and ministers of Hades.  Of the three judges who would decide whether a soul passed on to blissful Isles of the Blest, or descend to Tartarus, Minos was the third and final vote and would therefore break any tie in the vote between the other two judges.  (Side note: there is a fourth judge called in when a soul is an Initiate of the Eleusinian Mysteries)  The Hierophant tarot card traditionally represents a priest-like judge, similar in status to the Pope.  He may not be The Emperor or king, but he does hold a place of power in the world, particularly over large institutions like churches, schools, and the institution of marriage.  In the mythological stories, Minos also lived as the King of Crete, but sadly grew into a selfish and somewhat tyrannical king.  After Minos had become King of Crete, Poseidon had sent him a beautiful white bull that he could sacrifice to the Gods in gratitude for his success.  However, Minos was overcome with greed and decided to keep the bull for himself.  The Gods were displeased with Minos and punished him by cursing his wife, Pasiphae, to fall in love with an ordinary herd bull.  She became so obsessed with this bull, that she eventually devised a way to couple with it and bore as a son the Minotaur – a beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull.  Minos created a labyrinth outside of his capitol city and hid the Minotaur within it and would send people into the labyrinth as judgment for some crime or failing (and sometimes simply for his own sick amusement) where they would be devoured by the Minotaur.  In the most commonly told stories, Athens would send young maidens and youths to Crete as tribute to Minos and he would send them into the labyrinth to feed his monster.
Here we see potential corruption of the Taurus energy – for within our desires lie judgments of ourselves and others, and these judgments may indeed create a trap or labyrinth with monsters residing within.  Also within this tale is the warning against greed and how selfish actions can have consequenses far beyond our intent to just own or possess something beautiful.  (All of this could have been avoided if Minos had just sacrificed the White Bull with gratitude and trusted that he already had everything he needed.)
Taurus & The Hierophant’s Lessons and Reflections
Taurus is the Fixed Earth sign, which explains why many Taurus individuals are seen as stubborn and determined. The Hierophant acts as the preserver of Human experience, the collector of ideas and philosophies. The Heirophant recognizes the importance of certain social institutions such as education, marriage and religion, while urging us to either find our own place in these institutions or challenge them. Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, which attributes to Taurus’ innate sensuality. Just as a Taurus has the tendency to over-indulge in physical pleasures such as food, sex, or gaining material possessions – the Social Institutions in the world have a tendency to over-indulge themselves in power trips and as controllers of the people. The Heirophant represents the power to direct these passions. In a card reading when one sees the Hierophant, they must ask themselves, who has the power here? What am I doing with my passionate energy and power? Am I self indulging, or am I seeking knowledge and understanding? Am I being controlled by worldly institutions, or have I found my place within them?
As the Sun transits through the sign of Taurus, we all have this energy somewhat activated within us and around us.  Are we being like Europa – following our deepest desires and sensuality?  Are we being like Zeus, putting on disguises to get what we want?  If we DO get what we want, what is our tendency to behave like Minos?  Will we be careful to not create monsters and labyrinths of our own greed?  However, within Taurus resides the potential for great wisdom and balance.  While the story of Minos and the Minotaur may leave you feeling apprehensive about the role of Taurus or the appearance of The Hierophant, I will leave you with this further information as a counter-point.
Aldebaran
The thirteenth brightest star in the sky, which has been a guide to travelers for ages, is the distant red dwarf star called Aldebaran.  Aldebaran is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, it is called ‘The Eye Of The Bull” and it is known as the Star of Illumination, or “God’s Eye”.  Aldebaran is said to be the Portal to the Mysteries of The Mind, and all knowledge and Truth can be found through this portal.
I once had a dream that I was sitting under a tree observing a herd of cattle on a field below.  I realized it would be nice to read a book while I sat here under this tree, but I didn’t have any books with me.  I followed a path that seemed like it might lead to a town where I could find books.  When I arrived, there were dozens of famous philosophers, teachers, and sages just milling about talking to eachother.  Socrates, Ovid, and Homer were engaged in conversation with Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.  I noticed that this was a unique and beautiful place to be, but I still desired to sit under the tree and read a book.  I approached the group of philosophers and awkwardly asked them if they had a book I could read.  They LAUGHED at me, and one of them said, “What need for books is there in this place, where all knowledge exists without the need for paper bindings?  You’re in the bull’s eye. ”  I became greatly distressed at the thought of a place with no books. (I was 17 years old and had just finished reading “Farenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury)  I wandered away from the group of wise teachers, wondering how they could be so happy in a world without books.  How would the knowledge be preserved and passed on?  What did they mean by Bull’s Eye, was this some target I had been shooting for?  Or a target created by others in some attempt to create a Utopic world?
I woke up and the dream was clear in my mind.  Actually, waking up from that dream was terrifying, I thought for several moments that I had died and after a brief glimpse at heaven I had become afraid and now I was somehow trapped in my physical body again.  My physical body was dead and I couldn’t move.  This is the first time I remember experiencing Sleep Paralysis, and had no idea that’s what it was at the time.  I remember trying to convince myself that it would be safe to “let go” and trying to convince myself to let go of whatever fears now held me bound to this useless dead lump of flesh.  Eventually though I realized I was indeed breathing, and was able to move my toes, and then my legs and other body parts.  (Oh!  The simultaneous relief and regret as I realized I was indeed, still alive! )  I thought about all of this for many days and did not fully understand it for some time.  Mostly I chalked it up to having just read about a Dystopian fictional  world in which books were burned, but I felt this place in my dream had somehow preserved the knowledge.  It was like Heaven for all the great thinkers and teachers.  What need would you have for books if you just had all the Teachers gathered in one place?  Years later when I was studying astrology, I came across the term “The Bull’s Eye” in reference to Aldebaran and the constellation Taurus, and the Star of Illumination and I instantly remembered that dream from when I was 17.  I don’t know how or why I had access to that place in a dream as a teenager without even hearing about it before, but I’m sure that’s where my Astral Travels took me.  This is the place I think of when I think of Taurus.  This is the place that the Hierophant holds the keys to, and he knows how to access that Portal.
As The Sun God Apollo travels though each sign, he brings Light and the potential for Healing to whatever that sign has to teach us.  I am open to the Light that is shining through the Eye of The Bull and The Hierophant.  I am open to Minos’ judgments, and bring awareness to my own labyrinth and whatever bull-headed monsters may reside within it.

Astrology – Watching the Ongoing Mythology Unfold

I’m constantly in awe of the movements of the planets through the heavens and how I see this cosmic story playing out here on Earth; both personally and through the broader scope of cultures at large.  The way I see it, the Gods are alive and well, still playing out their comic tragedies and transmitting messages to Earth and eachother, and if we wish to know how this story is currently playing out all we have to do is look to the stars and Astrology.

When people get me talking about Astrology (which, admittedly isn’t very hard to do these days) they often hear me refer to the planets as Greek or Roman Gods and excitedly explaining what they are doing.  Example; when Mercury was retrograde a couple weeks ago I am pretty sure the phrase “Hermes is flying backwards in trickster mode” came out of my mouth in a variety of ways as I refererenced the planet’s transit.  Some people have asked me to elaborate on this concept a bit more, so I wanted to put together a simple list of the planets and the Greek or Roman Gods/Goddesses they might be associated with through their Archetypical Roles.  Most of the planets are already named after Roman Gods anyways, so forgive the obvious redundancy in this list.  (Side Note, in Astrology, all the heavenly bodies within our solar system are referred to as “planets”, including the Sun and Moon.  Yes, we know these aren’t Planets in the scientific sense of the definition.)

Please note–   This is in no way a complete list, and I’m eager to hear if you have any personal associations that are not listed here.  I’m also not an expert on Mythology and Deities so while I am sure there are many Gods from a variety of cultures that would fit these Archetypes – I have only included the Deities I am familiar with rather than guessing or making assumptions about the nature of Gods I don’t know.  I hope to someday include Deities from a variety of cultures here in this list, and invite you to share in comments or email your own learned assocations.

Planets:

THE SUN

  • Apollo (Greek, Roman) – God of the Sun, creativity, music, healing, poetry, prophecy, and children.  Son of Zeus & Leto.
  • Helios (Greek)

THE MOON

  • Artemis – Goddess of Hunting, Wilderness, Wild Animals, Protector of Children.  Twin Sister of Apollo.  Daughter of Zeus & Leto.      –AND/OR….
  • Hekate / Hecate – Goddess of the Moon, Magic, Witchcraft, Night, the Crossroads, Ghosts.  Daughter of the Titans Perses & Asteria.        –AND/OR ….
  • Selene (Greek) – Titan Moon Goddess.  Daughter of Titans Hyperion & Theia

MERCURY

  • Hermes (Greek) – God of travel, trade, diplomacy, language, writing, astrology, and cunning.  Son of Zeus and Maya.
  • Mercury (Roman)

VENUS

  • Aphrodite (Greek) – Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure, Procreation.  Born of Sea Foam when Oranous’ castrated genitals were thrown into the sea by Kronos.
  • Venus (Roman)

MARS

  • Aries / Ares (Greek) – God of War, Battle, Courage, Masculinity, and Order.  Son of Zeus & Hera.
  • Mars (Roman)

JUPITER

  • Zeus (Greek) – King of the Gods, God of law and order, destiny, fate, weather.  Son of Kronos & Rhea.  Brother of Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter.
  • Jupiter (Roman)

SATURN

  • Cronos / Kronos (Greek) – King of the Titans, God of Time & Lessons.  Titan son of Ouranos & Gaia. Father of the Olympian Gods – Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia
  • Saturn (Roman)

NEPTUNE

  • Poseidon (Greek) – God of the Sea, Rain (floods, droughts), Earthquakes, and Horses.  Son of Kronos & Rhea.  Brother of Zeus, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Demeter.
  • Neptune (Roman)

URANUS

  • Ouranos (Greek) – Primordial God of the Sky.  Father of the Titans (Including Cronos)
  • Uranus / Aion (Roman)

PLUTO

  • Hades / Aidoneus (Greek) – God of The Underworld and Death.  Son of Kronos & Rhea.  Brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, Demeter.
  • Pluto / Dis (Roman)

Asteroids:

VESTA

  • Hestia (Greek) – Goddess of the Hearth Fire & Sacred Flame.  Daughter of Kronos & Rhea.  Sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera and Demeter
  • Vesta (Roman)

CERES

  • Demeter (Greek) – Goddess of Agriculture, Grain, Bread, Fertility.  Daughter of Kronos & Rhea.  Sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Hestia
  • Ceres (Roman)

JUNO

  • HERA (Greek) – Queen of The Gods, Goddess of Marriage, Women, the Stars.  Daughter of Kronos & Rhea.  Sister of Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hestia.  Wife of Zeus.
  • Juno (Roman)

PALLAS ATHENA

  • Athena (Greek) – Goddess of Wisdom, Defense, Justice, Protection, Good Counsel, Weaving and other crafts.  Born of Zeus’ head.
  • Minerva (Roman)

CHIRON

  • Kheiron (Greek) – Half Titan, Immortal king of the Centaurs.  “The Wounded Healer”, Master Healer, Warrior and Teacher.  Son of Kronos and the nymph Philyra.
  • Chiron (Roman)

It is also important to note that each of the Gods (Planets) rule over the Astrological Signs and Zodiac Wheel Houses.  I see it as the Houses are the Kingdoms that the Gods rule over, and the Signs are the Energy/Lessons that each God/Goddess rules over or activates.

SIGN      HOUSE         RULED BY
Aries      1st                 Aries/Mars
Taurus   2nd               Venus/Aphrodite, Ceres/Demeter
Gemini  3rd                Mercury / Hermes
Cancer   4th                Moon/Artemis/Hecate/Selene
Leo         5th           Sun/Apollo/Helios
Virgo      6th          Mercury/Hermes, Vesta/Hestia
Libra  7th Venus/Aphrodite, Pallas Athena/Minerva, Juno/Hera
Scorpio   8th          Pluto/Hades, Hecate, Aries/Mars
Sagittarius   9th         Jupiter/Zeus, Chiron
Capricorn   10th         Saturn/Cronos, Pan, Pallas Athena /Minerva
Aquarius    11th         Uranus/Ouranos, Saturn/Cronos
Pisces         12th          Neptune/Poseidon, Jupiter/Zeus

When you look at the signs and houses as energies that the Gods are teaching us through or playing within, you get an even deeper picture of the Living Archetypes and how the Mythology stories continue.  For example, let’s say that Mercury is in Aries.  So Hermes (Mercury) is still operating as God of Language, Writing, Commerce and Travel – but he’s doing it through the realm and kingdom of Aries, the God of War.  So how is Hermes’ behavior and teaching style altered by his surroundings? What specific lessons come along?  Hermes is bound to be a bit more pushy in fiery ways as he transmits his lessons of communication through the filter of Aries’ individuality and drive.  How is this different than when Hermes is in one of his own Kingdoms like Gemini or Virgo?  Chiron just showed up in Aries’ realm too, what kind of pain (and medicine) does he want to teach us about here?  Now add in more layers – Artemis and Hecate (the Moon) are shining through in the Sign of Virgo (Hermes and Vesta’s house).  Cronos, Hades, Aries, and Vesta are having some kind of important meeting in Cronos’ Realm (Capricorn).  Meanwhile, Zeus is behaving oddly and having a backwards stroll through the Underworld  (Scorpio).  Apollo seems comfortable and happy visiting Aphrodite’s realm (Taurus – and Aphrodite is home too, though she’s quietly slipping out the back door on her way to Gemini).

Are you still with me?  Good.  Because the story of the Gods is ever unfolding.  I humbly wish to tell you their stories as a faithful Oracle and Astrologer.  I’m still learning and growing, but I’d be honored if you follow along with me in this journey.

 

Aries Season’s Fiery Conclusion

Aries season has had us rushing around in a big busy flury of discovering and expressing our self-identity in new ways.  With the start of the zodiac calendar year, Aries bursts onto the scene with the great shout of “I AM”!  No matter what your zodiac sign, we all feel the sun’s transit through Aries and the Spring Equinox on some level as a rebirth of our personal identity.  I touched on this a little with my previous blog post, “I’m back!  Renewed by Aries Sun” yet even I wasn’t prepared for the profound renewal I would experience.  How was it for you?

Aries is the Cardinal Fire sign of the zodiac.  As a Fire Sign, it is transformative, purifying, and energetic.  As a Cardinal sign, Aries is direct, initiatory, and carries the “start up” vibe of the spring season.  So within Aries energy we have this ability to find initiative, burn away the excess, and jump right into the next big thing.  This can be powerful and it can also be dangerous.  If you have ever jumped head first into a new project because of passion and “it seemed like a good idea at the time”  but then get tripped up on some minor detail and fall on your face?  Yeah that might have been an Aries Energy influence at work in your life.  But don’t hate!  Life NEEDS that risk taking fiery force of nature!  Where would we be without the instigators, risk-takers, and “do it now” moments?  Spring would never come if the seeds didn’t take that chance to crack open and send a fresh new blade of grass up through the dark soil.  As the Sun, Venus, and Mercury emerged from the watery depths of Pisces we collectively awaken from the cozy dream that is the end of winter and say, “Oh!  I have things to do!  I have individual goals that are important to me!”  With a fresh new spark of fire, it’s time for some soul-alchemy to turn this seed into a sprout.  We’re inspired to step up as the leader of our own life.

Tarot, tarot card The Emperor, Aries, Aries Astrology
IV The Emperor. Rider-Waite Smith Tarot

In the Tarot, Aries is represented by Major Arcana card IV – The Emperor.  The Emperor brings messages of Strength, Leadership, Structure, Stamina, and Reasoning.  As you can see in the classic RWS version of the card, the Emperor is depicted as a wise military type leader, his age represents wisdom and experience.  Robed in red (fire, action, strength) with armor underneath (knowing that sometimes he has to fight for what he wants).  His throne is adorned with carvings of the Ram’s head (the symbol of Aries).  In one hand he holds a golden sphere (the world) and a scepter (status and leadership) in the other.  In the background there are mountains, depicting the lands he has conquered or trials he has overcome.  Yet with all his wisdom, the Emperor knows that at times he needs to be the one to take risks, push for change, challenge the status quo, or shake things up a bit.

I know, it’s all very Patriarchal.  But there is value here.  Remember that there are different kinds of leaders and emperors.  Some might rush into war head first or abuse their power, and Aries certainly has the potential to start some epic battles!  Yet, look again at this Emperor. He’s not holding a sword or weapon.  He’s holding the world – and he seems quite aware of the weight of it.  He’s not standing up and rushing into battle.  He is sitting down, listening and waiting for the right time to act.  This Emperor is the type that has seen battle, but has developed the wisdom to know that there are times to fight and times . . . not to.  He knows how to choose his battles with the thought of the greater good at heart.  The Emperor is refined Aries energy.  This card depicts Aries energy at it’s very best; powerful yet reserved.

As we approach the end of Aries season – ask yourself, “What kind of Emperor am I”?  If you’re truly the master of your own life (whether you are a leader or authority figure to others or not), you have moments when you have to make big decisions.  Should I fight for this ideal?  Should I fight to defend who I am?  Wait, in order to really know my ideals or defend who I am, I have to know WHO I AM and what my ideals are!  Thus comes the transformative, purification and rebirth of the Aries season.

Tarot, Justice, Tarot Card Justice, Libra
XI Justice. Rider Waite Smith Tarot

In the middle of the Sun’s transit through Aries, there was a balancing point with the Full Moon in Libra.  Libra is the polar opposite sign of Aries and brings balance by focusing this energy outwards through community and relationship.  Libra encourages us to reflect on how the “I AM” is changed by the presence of and awareness of “WE ARE”.  We can’t just run amok pushing our identity and goals into the world with much success without the cooperation and support of those around us.  Here is where the Wise Emperor differentiates from the Oppressive Dictator.  The wise Emperor knows the value of community, relationship, cooperation, and even love.  Without these, the Emperor’s reign is short lived and remembered as terrible. The Tarot card associated with Libra is XI JUSTICE – the great balancer.  Interestingly, here is where we find the sword.  The wise Emperor does have a sword nearby, but he trusts in Justice to tell him when it is time to use it.  Libra teaches about balance through the lens of relationship to others, reminding us that our individual actions have an impact on those around us.  Through the balancing counter-point of Aries and Libra I am reminded of the quote, “With great power comes great responsibility.”   That Full Moon brought our relationships into light and many revelations may have occurred about what kind of support system you have around you.  How are you building up or supporting your community and your partners?  Are your partners and community supporting you in meaningful ways?  If you think of the Tarot and Astrology in terms of Greek Mythology, the Aries/Libra connection is like Aries (the God of War) working side by side with Athena (Goddess of Justice).  Together they can create powerful and lasting change.  On that Full Moon I found myself surrounded by an amazing group of like-minded people.  I reveled in the glorious feeling of finding my “soul tribe”, and I even fell in love.  (THAT was unexpected but has been transforming my life in powerful ways – THANKS ARIES & LIBRA!)  I had been struggling to define who I am and what I should be doing with my energy – and found this loving embrace of a community that appreciates who I am and what I do!

On Sunday, the New Moon will be in Aries.  Soon the sun moves on into Taurus and the next cycle begins, but first it’s time for one last fiery celebration for The Emperor.  The lesson will be driven home as Aries asks “What have you learned from me?  You’ve worked with my energy for nearly this whole month and had the chance to redefine who you are and what you fight for.  You had the illumination of the Full Moon in Libra to remind you of balance and others.  What kind of Emperor are you striving to become?”

These will be some powerful reflections for you to make as you set your intentions with the New Moon on Sunday.  I hope that this Aries season has brought you just the lessons you need to help propel your growth forward in positive ways through the rest of this year.  So Mote It Be.

Artwork by valhadar

 

Vesta

Vesta is the Roman Goddess of the Hearth, Home, and Sacred Flame. (Her Greek counterpart is Hestia.) Daughter of Saturn and Ops, sister of Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto, Ceres, and Juno.  Saturn feared one of his children would overthrow him so he swallowed them each whole when they were born.  When Jupiter was born, Saturn was tricked into swallowing a rock swaddled in cloth instead of his newborn son.  Jupiter grew up and did indeed challenge his father, and he was made to spit out his children.  Vesta was asked what she would like to do with her power as a Goddess (what realm she would like to rule over) and she wished to simply remain pure and serve as gaurdian of the flame.  In many ways She IS the flame, and was often simply depicted as the sacred flame of Rome, the Home, and Sacred Divinity.

Vesta

A virgin Goddess, she did not marry or have children like most of the Roman Gods and Goddesses, yet she is still seen as a maternal, mothering figure.  This is because the fire of the Hearth which she protects – was recognized to be an essential part of a nurturing and safe home life. Without a fire in the hearth, families would be cold, hungry, and unprotected.
Today, we don’t have a “hearth fire” in our homes; that has been replaced by a stove and a microwave. Most of us don’t cook our food over an open flame (except for those fun family barbeque nights) and a fireplace is more of a luxury than a necessity for warmth. Although our methods have changed, many Neo-Pagans are still drawn to honoring a Goddess of Hearth and Home.  The Ancient Romans would honor Vesta by throwing some of their food into the hearth fire as an offering . . . giving back to the life- force that had provided for them. In Vesta’s temple, a fire was constantly burning. Guarded and tended to by the Vestal Virgins . . . women who had dedicated their lives to honoring and serving Vesta.  It was believed that if the Sacred Fire in Vesta’s temple ever went out, Rome would fall and die.
Today, many who call themselves “kitchen witches” are drawn to honoring Vesta (or Hestia) as part of their daily spiritual practice. Recognizing that the kitchen with all it’s modern gadgets is still a center of the home – a place of creation and nurturing, where we prepare our food.  Vesta has also been honored as an aspect of the Divine Feminine who holds great power without a male counterpart.  She was seen as the great nurturer… as Fire represented not only the means to survive, but also represented wisdom, inspiration, focus, community, purity, power, and even divination and sacred sexuality.

A votive candle of Mother Mary that has become part of my altar to Hestia and Vesta

Personally, I work with both Vesta and Hestia as interchangeable; different faces of the same Goddess.  I have also found the energy signature of the Sacred Flame to resonate in other Goddesses as well – namely Brighid (Celtic) and Mother Mary (Christian/Hebrew).  Hestia and Vesta are both usually depicted as veiled or wearing some kind of head covering, as is the Virgin Mother Mary.  They are all virgins, although Mary did bear a child but the stories still depict her as a virgin anyways.  Vesta is represented in historical drawings and carvings with an Ass (donkey/mule), and the Mother Mary is also associated riding an ass from when she rode pregnant into Bethlehem.  Catholic nuns who devote their lives to service of God, wear headcoverings, and their vows of celibacy bring to mind the Roman Vestal Virgins. I recently found a votive prayer candle in the religious candle section of my local grocery store that depicts “The Sacred Heart of Mary”, with a picture of Mary and the glowing heart within her chest is burning with a bright orange fire. (see photograph above)  The connection seems obvious to me and even though I know most pagans are probably not comfortable working within the “Christian Pantheon”, it is something worth considering.  Brighid or Brigid also has many similar associations, a fire Goddess who was seen as gaurdian of hearth and home, wisdom, purity, domesticated animals, and the Sacred Flame of Kildare (similar to the sacred shrine of Vesta in Rome).  I have found that when I work with Brighid, Mother Mary, or Vesta, I am working with an aspect of Hestia.

Working With Vesta – you can call on Vesta (or Hestia) for all these matters:

  • Honoring all that is Divine and Sacred
  • Purification
  • Devotion
  • Home matters (safety, prosperity, and love within the home)
  • Kitchens, food, nourishment
  • humbleness and gratitude
  • Rebalancing pain or corruption within governments
  • protection of cities or countries
  • protection from assault or unwanted sexual advances
  • forgiveness for crimes and mistakes
  • sacred sexuality
  • service and sacrifice

Vesta in Astrology

The symbol of Vesta in Astrology

In Astrology there is an asteroid named Vesta (it was recently reclassified as a “baby planet” and resides within the asteroid belt.)  Looking to the placement of this asteroid in your natal chart can show you where the energies of Hestia and Vesta are most present in your life.  It can show you where you are most likely to place your Devotion and what you honor as Divine or Sacred.  It can show you where your connection to the Sacred Feminine originates, and issues around sexuality and Feminist issues.  Vesta in your chart can teach you about how you identify with matters of Home, Family, Security, Sacrifice, and our own inner light.

“Vesta is the place in our charts that belongs to us and us alone. She is the inner spark we need to survive all odds, and to keep our spirits intact on the darkest day. She is also the light that guides us and allows us to take joy in our lives, and in our accomplishments. She is our inner light and the life inside ourselves.”  ~Isabelle Ghaneh (see more)

It is my hope that this post has helped you understand Vesta and Hestia, and perhaps inspired you to work with them in some way in your life.  May your Inner Fire always burn brightly, may you always find home that is warm and safe, and may you find ways to serve humanity and the Gods through your strength and Devotion.  Blessed Be!

**COMING SOON!**  I am working on an e-course called Hestia & Vesta Dedication Course.  In this course you will receive a manual including lots more information about Hestia and Vesta, how to work with them, and some spells and rituals.  You will also recieve an astrology reading in which I look at the placement of Vesta and Virgo in your natal chart, and an attunement to an energy system called “The Gems of Hestia and Vesta”.  I am so excited about this upcoming course and hope you will join me!  Join my Facebook Group – Unwinding The Universe With Hestia’s Muse to get updates, or sign up for my free newsletter if you are not on Facebook.