Asteroid 4 Vesta, is the second largest asteroid in the main asteroid belt, and may be classified as a dwarf planet at a later stage. She was discovered on March 29th, 1807 by Heinrich Wilhelm Matthaus Olbers. Asteroid Vesta takes just over three and a half years to orbit the Sun, spending roughly three months in each sign, orbit and retrograde dependent.
Vesta was the virgin Goddess symbol of the hearth, which was the Roman people, and her temple was the home of the sacred flame. Vesta was worshiped in Rome long before the adoption of Greek religion and is similar, if not the same in interpretations as Hestia. To the Roman people Vesta was the earth itself and the area where man walked, had to be made marked and made sacred by the flame. Fire was considered sacred to the Romans as it was a symbol of the Earth’s core and the divine connection to life itself. It was essential to the Roman faith system, that the sacred flame be pure, due to the intensity surrounding its symbolism that it was the root life force of Roman society. The only individuals allowed near the flame were the Vestals, virgins were chosen and endured a forced life of intense sacrifice for their culture. It is stated:-
The Vestales were one of the few full-time clergy positions in Roman religion. They were drawn from the patrician class and had to observe absolute chastity for 30 years. It was from this that the Vestales were named the Vestal virgins. They could not show excessive care of their person, and they were not allowed to let the fire go out. The Vestal Virgins lived together in a house near the Forum (Atrium Vestae), supervised by the Pontifex Maximus. On becoming a priestess, a Vestal Virgin was legally emancipated from her father’s authority and swore a vow of chastity for 30 years. This vow was so sacred that if it were broken, the Vestal was buried alive in the Campus Sceleris (’Field of Wickedness’). It is likely that this is what happened to Rhea Silvia. They were also very independent and had many privileges that normal women did not have. They could move around the city but had to be in a carriage.
In the home, Vesta was worshiped as the Goddess of the hearth and of the fire. the essential source of food production, warmth and light.
To locate asteroid Vesta in your natal chart, head over to serennu.com or astro.com and input the number 4. Keep your aspects major – conjunction, square, opposition, sextile, trine and opposition and your orbs within 1-2 degree.
In your natal chart, Vesta symbolises sacrifice and protection. On a mundane scale, Vesta, on research of nations and their data, could symbolise protective and sacrificial areas of importance, such as religion or resources.
On a personal level, Vesta indicates a personal sacrifice made in life, as well as a chart area where you are extremely private and protective. Pamela Anderson experiences Vesta in her Scorpio 6th House, and has given the ‘sacrifice’ of her health, due to contracting Hepatitis C from her highly public sexual relationship and marriage to Tommy Lee. However, her daily routine (6th House) and maternal outlook is actually pretty ordinary. She takes her boys to soccer and the like, doing her best to keep their lives as private and normal as possible. She is also an advocate for numerous charities in support of animals, children and the planet earth (6th House Vesta).
Farah Fawcett had a tough connection with her natal Vesta, with her posited in her Aries 10th House of public reputation/status and in direct opposition to Neptune in Libra 4th House. Farah’s career and home life have been rife with reports of abuse, substance abuse, affairs and violence, a tumultuous roller coaster of forced and chosen sacrifice, of home versus career. It was during transiting Pluto conjunct natal Neptune and opposing natal Vesta, and when Vesta was the apex of a yod between Saturn in Leo trine Vesta, and Neptune conjunct Moon trine Vesta that her role in Charlie’s Angel began her rapid rise to fame. There are no set dates, or actual reasons given for her decision to leave the show after one season – was it her marriage to Lee Majors that caused the move, or was it her desire to pursue more challenging roles – but with Pluto and Neptune moving backwards and forwards over sensitive points, her decisions were deep, karmic and for the long term. On an interesting side note, Farah married Lee Majors when Juno was on her North Node. It is quoted that she loved playing the wife, and would insist on being home to cook his meal, but that he did not share her domestic dedication and enjoyed his time with the boys. When she separated from him, Neptune was conjunct natal Juno and when she divorced him, transiting Vesta was conjunct natal Juno. Majors has been quoted as saying that in forty years, he has felt no greater love than he did for Farah,
Another example is Oprah Winfrey with her Pisces ruled Vesta posited in the 7th House. Here you have an amazing individual who is the perfect example of unlimited boundaries. It is not just her wealth that is almost immeasurable, but her generosity and sincerity regards the human spirit. In essence, she has sacrificed her intimate relations but is vehemently protective of her hearth as such, which has been the global audience. In trine to natal Vesta, you have her 3rd House Scorpio Mars, which has relayed the truth regards life, love and dependency extremes within the human psyche for years, and also her 11th House Cancer ruled Uranus, never-ending insight into the human condition and a desire to nurture the group environment.
In transit, aspects to Vesta indicate a time where focus is on the home, family and is either a sacrificial or protective situation. There can be tension felt within intimate, familial and social connections and resolutions will be dependent on the planets or luminaries, and houses, which are activated by the transit.
Keywords:– sacrifice of an intention, protective of home, family and reputation, working with what is sacred to you, confusion about relationships of importance, relationship upheavals, balancing service to others, demands by others, boundary issues
Artwork – Herbert James Draper
© Karen Piscitelli