IV.

                                                                            How bright the fair Paulina did appear,
                                                               When hid in jewels she did seem a star!
                                                                But who could soberly behold
                                                                A wicked owl in cloath of gold,
                                                                Or the ridiculous Ape
                                                                In sacred
Vesta's shape?
                                                                So doth agree
                                                                Just praise with thee:
                                                  
             For since thy birth gave thee no beauty, know,
                                                                          No poets pencil must or can do so.

                                                                                                       ~The Lancasta Poems by Richard Lovelace~

                                                                    

I hope that by now you're curious as to 
  just what this page is about and are willing 
                                     to read further to find the answer.  Have you ever heard of Vesta?  If so, just what
                                     what do you know about her?  I would bet that it would be the same as I knew 
                                     before I started researching her.  I knew she was associated with the hearth and I 
                                     had heard about Vestal Virgins.  There is more to Vesta...........

                                   
                                                                   

                                                                                       Offering to Vesta

                                Vesta, in all dwellings of men and immortal 
                                      Yours is the highest honor, the sweet wine offered 
                                     First and last at the feast, poured out to you duly.
                          Never without you can gods or mortals hold banquet.

                                                                                                                        ~author unknown~

                                                                                                              

                                                       Vesta, the virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and family, was popular in Roman
                                 
mythology.  However, much of her is a mystery since she had no distinct personality,
                                  was not mentioned in myths, and was not depicted as the other
goddesses were.  

                                   As Goddess of the Hearth, she was particularly important to the women of the 
                                  household since it was at the hearth all food was prepared and next to it was where
                                  the food was eaten.  Offerings were thrown into the fire in order to see how it
                                  burned. This allowed the future to be seen.

                                      
                                  Supposedly she originated through the resources of King Numa Pompilius (715-673
                                  BCE).  Symbolized by her sacred flame that burned at her hearth and temples,
                                 Vesta maintained the sacred fire of the Roman state through the use of her Vestal
                                  Virgins.  Every March 1, the fire was renewed until approximately the year 391 
                                  CE when Emperor Theodosius I banned public pagan worship.  
                                  
                                  Every Roman home had a hearth that was sacred to Vesta.  Its flame was never 
                                  permitted to go out.  A newborn child had to be carried before the family hearth
                                  before it was received into the family.When a new city was established, coals 
                                  from  another city  were taken to the new so that Vesta's blessing was brought into 
                                  it.

                                 Her main temple, located on the Forum Romanum, was built in the 3rd century
                                 BCE and did NOT contain a statue of her.  In fact, none of her temples did.  On 
                                 Vestalia, June 7 - 15, the inner sanctum of her temple was opened to women 
                                 bringing offerings while barefoot.  On the last day, the temple was ritually 
                                 cleansed.  

                                Vesta's sacred animal is the ass whose braying kept Priapus away from Vesta
                                who remained a Virgin.  Her Vestales (Vestal Virgins) guarded the fires at her temples.
                                They came from the patricians and observed chastity for 30 years. If they broke
                                this vow of chastity they were buried alive in the Campus Sceleris (Field of Wickedness).
                                They lived together in the Atrium Vestae under the supervision of the Pontifex Maximus.

                                          By the way, one of the most famous Vestal Virgins was Rhea Silvia who mated
                                            with Mars and thus conceived Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome).
                                                             She is most likely to be one of those buried in Campus
Sceleris.                                                                                                  

                                                                                                            

                                                      

Hear, Ye Ladies

Hear, ye ladies that despise,

What the mighty Love has done;

Fear examples, and be wise:

Fair Callisto was a nun;

Leda, sailing on the stream 

To deceive the hopes of man,

Love accounting but a dream,

Doted on a silver swan;

Danae, in a brazen tower,

Where no love was, loved a shower.

Hear, ye ladies that are coy,

What the mighty Love can do;

Fear the fierceness of the boy;

The chaste moon he makes to woo;

Vesta, kindling holy fires,

Circled round about with spies, 

Never dreaming loose desires,

Doting at the altar dies;

Ilion, in a short hour, higher

He can build, and once more fire.

~John Fletcher~

TO VESTA

Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame,

The seat containing of unweary'd flame;

In sacred rites these ministers are thine,

Mystics much-blessed, holy and divine

In thee, the Gods have fix'd place,

Strong, stable, basis of the mortal race;

Eternal, much-form'd ever-florid queen,

Laughing and blessed and of lovely mien;

 

Accept these rites, accord each just desire,

And gentle health, and need full good inspire.

                                     ~The Hymns of Orpheus, translated by Thomas Taylor~

AS VESTA WAS FROM LATMOS HILL DESCENDING

As Vesta was from Latmos hill descending,

She spied a maiden queen the same ascending,

Attended on by all the shepherds swain,

To whom Dian's darlings came running down amain,

First two by two, then three by three together,

Leaving their goddess all alone, hasted thither;

And mingling with the shepherds of her train,

With mirthful tunes her presence entertain.

Then sang the shepherds and nymphs of Diana,

Long live fair Oriana!

 ~ Elizabethan Madrigal, composer unknown~

Ceres, mother of the Earth

Athena, of cerebral birth

Juno, queen of all the gods

Vesta, pure against all odds

Virgo woman, life bequeaths you,

Standing proud amongst your sheaths,

Wisdom, loving gifts of grace,

In all fields is your place

To give of virtue, mind and soul

You plant the seed. You help it grow.

You till the soil and prune and weed.

You are the soil.  You are the seed.

 

A snow-white light on field's relief

To countenance divine belief.

The image of a wishful star;

A steady shine -- but still so far.

The nights of hope; the days of pain

And on and on, that old refrain

We are the heart, the soul, the spleen

We are all we've known, done and seen

We are the time that marches on

With much to do before we're gone.

~Laurie Corzett~                                                  

     Pictures of Temple of Vesta (reprinted with permission)                                       

 

copyright Hrana Janto, used by
permission of the artist. 
http://hranajanto.com

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                        

                                                                         Printed with permission
                                                                                                                              Abe Van Luik
                                                                                                               abevanluik@thoughtsandplaces.org

 

                                                 

THE NEW VESTA

Discovered March 29, 1807 by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, Vesta is the second most massive object in the asteroid belt.  It is also the brightest asteroid and the only one (besides Ceres) visible to the naked eye from Earth.  Used in Astrology, it is represented by a stylized hearth.

In Astrology, Vesta rules devotion, sexuality and health.  It is known as The Virgin and The Sister.  As such she represents a powerful woman who sees beyond herself and looks for the goodness and fulfillment of a greater cause such as was portrayed by Princess Diana and Mother Teresa in their concern for others.

Vesta encourages us to revere our bodies by eating right and staying active. She oversees medicinal traditions especially homeopathic.  She is confident in her sexuality and is devoted, dedicated and powerful.  A Vesta woman has strong spiritual convictions and remains focused.

4 Vesta seen by the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2007

 

One of my favorite methods of 

divination is the Witches' Runes.

Created by Silver Ravenwolf and

Nigel Jackson, this deck portrays

life based on the Runes and their

subsequent meanings.  When I read

about Vesta, their representation

of Beorc reminded me of the Vestal

Hearth and all it means.

Beorc

www.natureswonderland.biz/Books/Ravenwolf/WitchesRunes.htm

Thank you for visiting!  Hope 

you enjoyed it!

Blessed Be!

                    ~Nimue~