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Vesta was the goddess of the hearth, the home, and domestic life in the Roman religion (idenitified with the Greek goddess Hestia). She was the first-born of the titans Kronos and Rhea and, like the others, was swallowed by her father. When her brother Jupiter (the Greek Zeus), who managed to escape their father's appetite, freed his siblings, Vesta was the last to be released (because she was the first swallowed) and so is regarded as both the oldest and the youngest of the gods. She was very beautiful and attracted the attention of both Apollo and Neptune who fought for her hand. Vesta rejected them both, however, and begged Jupiter to allow her to remain forever a virgin. When he consented to this, Vesta was pleased and took care of his home and hearth; thus identifying her with domestic life but, more importantly, with domestic tranquility.
The hearth fire in the home of the ancient Romans was not only essential for cooking food and heating water, but also served as the gathering place for the family and, in time, became associated with the spirit of that particular family gathered around that particular hearth. The Latin word for `hearth' is focus which, of course, is used in English to designate a center or activity of interest. The hearth in Rome was most certainly such a center of activity and the fire which burned there was most important. Sacrifices to the gods of the home were made by the fire and thrown into the flames. When one left home on a business trip, or even on vacation, one carried some of the hearth fire along in order to keep one's home close even when away. Further, the difficulty of making or transporting fire made the constantly-burning hearth a vital element in the home as well as state buildings. Vesta, therefore, along with the house spirits of the Penates, Panes and Lares, was a goddess revered in every strata of Roman society as she was thought to literally "keep the home fires burning" from the most modest apartment to the grandest villa.
In the shrine of Vesta in the Roman Forum a fire perpetually burned and was tended to by the Vestal Virgins.
In the shrine of Vesta in the Roman Forum a fire perpetually burned and was tended to by the Vestal Virgins (Latin: Vestales). The fire was renewed annually on March 1 (which was originally the Roman new year) and the sanctuary was not open to the public save during Vesta's feast days (June 7-15, known as the Vestalia) when matrons were allowed to visit barefoot and in humility. When the Vestalia ended there was a ceremonial sweeping of the sanctuary and it was considered a time of bad luck and unfriendly omens until the sweepings were disposed of in the Tiber River or in a certain spot agreed upon in the city. Vestal Virgins were expected to remain chaste throughout their tenure as servants of Vesta and the punishment for failing to do so was to be buried alive or, in one notable case, to have molten lead poured down the throat.
Vesta is always depicted as a fully-clothed woman accompanied by her favorite animal, the ass. Since Vesta was goddess of the hearth she was also the patron goddess of the bakers of the city and, as the ass turned the millstone to grind the wheat for the bread, the animal became closely associated with the goddess. She is also frequently depicted holding a kettle (a symbol of the hearth) and also cut flowers (symbolizing domesticity). Like the goddess Bastet in Egyptian belief, Vesta was of special service to women but was popular with both sexes. She was the proctectress of Rome in that she cared for and maintained the homes of each of its citizens. Of all the Roman deities, only Vesta was accorded the honor of full time clergy devoted solely to her rites.
The Vestal Virgins kept the sacred fire burning in her temple and tended to her hearth in gratitude for her charity and care of the people. They were disbanded in 394 CE by the Christian emperor Theodosius I who also prohibited the worship of Vesta along with the other gods of the pagans and closed the schools and temples. After almost one thousand years of observance in Rome, the sacred fire of Vesta was extinguished and the new Christian faith instituted their own rituals.
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- 4 Vesta has a diameter of around 525 kilometers / 326 miles.
- The asteroid constitutes around 9% of the mass of the asteroid belt.
- In comparison with other asteroids, Vesta is slighter larger than Pallas however, it is 25% more massive.
- Among the other remaining rocky protoplanets, Vesta is the only one with a differentiated interior, very similar to the one that formed the terrestrial planets.
- This colossal asteroid was discovered in 1807 by the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers.
- Because of numerous collisions, Vesta lost various fragments from itself around two billion years ago.
- There are two enormous craters on Vesta’s southern hemisphere, which evidence this.
- These events don’t go by without creating further causalities. Much of the debris from then have fallen to Earth as the howardite-eucrite-diogenite meteorites.
- This debris has been an enormous source of information regarding Vesta’s composition.
- Vesta is also the brightest asteroid visible from Earth, having an apparent magnitude of 5.1 to 8.48.
- The asteroid’s absolute magnitude has been estimated to be at 3.20.
- Vesta has been classified as a spectral type V celestial object.
- The temperatures on Vesta have been calculated to be at 85 K at minimum, and at 270 K at maximum.
- The orbit of Vesta lies entirely within that of Ceres.
- The maximum distance of Vesta from the Sun is slightly higher than the minimum length of Ceres from the Sun.
- The famous spacecraft Dawn entered Vesta’s orbit in 2011 and left one year later to continue its mission to the largest asteroid known to us, Ceres.
Vesta is one of the four largest asteroids, the others being Ceres, Pallas, and Hygiea. It is the first asteroid to be visited by a spacecraft, and it is the brightest asteroid in the night sky, sometimes being visible even to the naked eye.
It is designated as 4 Vesta since it is the fourth discovered asteroid. The name Vesta comes from Roman mythology she was the goddess of home and hearth. The man who named the asteroid was the German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss.
He played a considerable role in the discovery of Vesta and, as such, was given the honor of naming the celestial object. Another reason why he named it was because the German astronomer Heinrich Olbers who already named and discovered Pallas and Ceres in 1801-2, handed this honor to him.
According to Roman authors, the cult was founded by Numa Pompilius, a semi-mythical Roman king who ruled around 715 to 673 B.C. Unlike most Roman religious cults, worship of Vesta was run by women. The hearth was sacred to this goddess, one of Rome’s three major virgin goddesses (the other two being Minerva and Diana). The rites surrounding the Vestals remained relatively fixed from the time of the Roman Republic through the fourth century A.D.
Six virgin priestesses were dedicated to Vesta as full-time officiates who lived in their own residence, the Atrium Vestae in the Roman Forum. The Vestals’ long tradition gave Romans a reassuring thread of continuity and may explain the Temple of Vesta’s traditional circular form, a style associated with rustic huts in the city’s deep past.
This place of worship, which lay alongside the Atrium, was where the priestesses tended the goddess’s sacred fire. Once a year, in March, they relit the fire and then ensured it remained burning for the next year. Their task was serious as the fire was tied to the fortunes of their city, and neglect would bring disaster to Rome.
To become a Vestal was the luck of the draw. Captio, the process whereby the girls were selected to leave their families and become priestesses, is also the Latin word for “capture”—a telling turn of phrase that evokes the kidnapping of women for brides that took place in archaic Rome. Records from 65 B.C. show that a list of potential Vestals was drawn up by the Pontifex Maximus, Rome’s supreme religious authority. Candidates had to be girls between the ages of six and 10, born to patrician parents, and free from mental and physical defects. Final candidates were then publicly selected by lot. Once initiated, they were sworn to Vesta’s service for 30 years.
On being selected, their life was spent at the Atrium Vestae in a surrogate family, presided over by older Vestals. In addition to room and board, they were entitled to their own bodyguard of lictors. For the first 10 years they were initiates, taught by the older priestesses. Then they became priestesses for a decade before taking on the mentoring duties of the initiates for the last 10 years of their service.
Training the Novices
After lots were drawn from the list of young girls who could serve Vesta, initiates were brought to the Atrium Vestae, where their training would begin. The training was overseen by the chief priestess, the Vestalis Maxima, who came under the authority of the Pontifex Maximus. The first 10 years were spent training for their duties. They would spend the second decade actively administering rites, and the final 10 were spent training novices. The chastity of the priestesses was a reflection of the health of Rome itself. Although spilling a virgin’s blood to kill her was a sin, this did not preclude the infliction of harsh corporal punishment. First-century historian Plutarch writes: “If these Vestals commit any minor fault, they are punishable by the high-priest only, who scourges the offender.”
Public monies and donations to the order funded the cult and the priestesses. In Rome religion and government were tightly intertwined. The organization of the state closely mirrored that of the basic Roman institution: the family. The center of life of the Roman home, or domus, was the hearth, tended by the matriarch for the good of her family and husband. In the same way, the Vestals tended Vesta’s flame for the good of the state.
Unlike other Roman women, Vestals enjoyed certain privileges: In addition to being able to own property and enjoying certain tax exemptions, Vestals were emancipated from their family’s patria potestas, patriarchal power. They could make their own wills and give evidence in a court of law without being obliged to swear an oath.
Although the curry is the national dish of the British these days, back in the 1960s and 1970s when fish & chips was still Britain’s favourite meal, having a curry was the height of culinary daring.
It showed you had a sophisticated and worldly palette.
It wasn’t particularly easy to get hold of a curry though. In fact, the only real way to sate your urge for something spicy was to pop down to your local supermarket and pick up a Vesta.
This was a DIY curry which was available in a choice of flavours – none of which were particularly hot or curry-like.
The box contained sachets of coloured powder which you prepared by tipping them into a pot of boiling hot water and stirring.
The end result was a shiny brown stew that both looked and tasted like shit. And which made your kitchen stink like a Calcutta cesspit.
Asteroid Vesta Has a Colorful History
Enormous asteroid Vesta is the second-largest body in the asteroid belt. It’s so big, in fact, that many consider it to be more of a planet than just another rocky lump. There are good reasons to consider it planet-like: But for two massive impacts that nearly blew the thing apart (we’ll come back to that later), Vesta would be roughly spherical and among other things, its innards are differentiated – it has a core, mantle, and crust. Just like Earth and Mars and Venus.
If Jupiter hadn’t formed, and its massive gravity hadn’t stirred the asteroid belt into perpetual crumbliness, it’s possible Vesta may have grown up and become a real planet of its own. But Jupiter did come along, and Vesta froze in a sort of embryonic planet-seed stage. It’s a relic from the beginning of the solar system, and a valuable target for scientists seeking to learn more about how our planetary neighborhood took shape.
Until recently, though, we didn’t know very much about Vesta except that it was big, appeared to be missing a chunk from its south pole, and had donated bits and pieces of itself to the good planet Earth (something like one-sixth of the meteorites that have fallen on Earth are fragments of Vesta).
It wasn’t until 2011 that the full image of the protoplanet began to emerge (even the best Hubble images were blurry collections of pixels). That was when NASA’s intrepid Dawn spacecraft, tasked with exploring two of the asteroid belt’s worlds, zoomed in for a close look. Dawn spent more than a year orbiting the 525-kilometer wide protoplanet. It mapped Vesta’s surface, measured its gravity field, and took detailed images before heading for its next target.
Almost as soon as the spacecraft arrived at Vesta, it relayed images to Earth that puzzled scientists. Running along Vesta’s equator were humongous troughs comparable in size to the Grand Canyon. It looked as if something had grabbed the rock, put one hand on the north pole and the other on the south, and pressed the protoplanet between its palms. Later, the Dawn team would learn that a massive impact had reverberated so mightily through Vesta that it was indeed deformed, and now wears the scars along its equator.
That impact, which occurred more than a billion years ago, was the second of two cataclysmic collisions at Vesta’s south pole. The first, about two billion years ago, created the Veneneia basin, which measures about 400 kilometers across. The second obliterated that bruised crater, carving the 500-kilometer wide Rheasilvia impact basin into the first.
When the dust from the collisions had settled, Vesta’s smashed up south pole had grown an enormous mountain. Stretching 180 kilometers across, and rising 25 kilometers from the base of the crater, the Vestal peak is truly huge.
How Vesta survived such violence isn’t clear. But the scars of the impacts are all over it – including those equatorial fractures – and here on Earth, in the form of fragments that have fallen as meteorites.
Smaller, less intrusive impacts created pockmarks on much of Vesta’s surface, which is remarkably varied in shade and texture. Coal-dark spots parked next to bright white areas have intrigued scientists, who wondered how the asteroid came to be painted with such variegated shades. And how did that mysterious, dark material end up on lighter-colored Vesta anyway?
Turns out, it was left there by other asteroids – dark asteroids known as carbonaceous chondrites. Scientists solved this riddle recently by characterizing the minerals present in Vesta’s dark splotches (part of this work involves generating images like the one above, where the colors correspond to different chemical compositions). In those dark splotches, they detected the mineral serpentine, which only forms under specific conditions. Things like volcanic eruptions and the heating, melting, and recongealing of Vesta as it formed would have destroyed serpentine – but an asteroid impact would not. Furthermore, the team suspects that most of Vesta’s dark marks originated from the asteroid that created the Veneneia crater (this work confirms an earlier hypothesis implicating asteroids).
There are other perplexing features on Vesta’s surface, including small gullies that may have been carved by water.
While scientists work on solving these remaining mysteries, Dawn is busy speeding toward its next target, Ceres. The largest of all the worlds in the asteroid belt, Ceres is a bona fide dwarf planet, an icy chunk that’s very different from dry, dusty Vesta. When Dawn arrives in spring 2015, it will be the first spacecraft sent to orbit two distinct bodies in the solar system – and the first to peer at Ceres.
“After more than two centuries of telescopic study, the largest body between the Sun and Pluto not yet visited by a spacecraft is about to be unveiled,” says Dawn chief engineer and mission director Marc Rayman of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Dawn will map Ceres’ surface and search for clues about how this icy world formed, before ending its mission in 2016.
The spacecraft’s final act won’t be a dramatic plunge to the surface of its target planet, as some of Earth’s other spacecraft have done. Ceres is potentially a wet, mineral-rich world – one that could, in theory, support life. Contaminating Ceres with anything from Earth would be exceptionally irresponsible.
So, when Dawn’s fuel runs out and its messages to Earth cease, it will forever stay in orbit around Ceres.
“The spacecraft will remain a silent celestial monument to human curiosity, creativity, ingenuity, and passion for adventure and knowledge,“ Rayman says. “It will stay in orbit around Ceres as surely as the moon stays in orbit around Earth or Earth stays in orbit around the sun.”
As readers of Kilmer House -- and The Duct Tape Guys’ popular website – know, duct tape was invented by a Johnson & Johnson operating company in response to a request from the U.S. military for a cloth-based, waterproof tape during World War II. But have you ever wondered why the Army made that request, and who had the original idea for duct tape? Well, wonder no more, thanks to Kilmer House reader Kari Santo, whose great grandmother Vesta Stoudt had the idea that led to duct tape.
Meet Vesta Stoudt, whose idea led to duct tape! Photo from The Chicago Sunday Tribune, October 24th 1943
In the 1940s, Vesta Stoudt, a mother with two sons serving in the Navy, went to work in the Green River Ordnance Plant between Dixon and Amboy, Illinois to do her part to help her sons and their fellow servicemen. So Vesta got a job at Green River inspecting and packing cartridges used to launch rifle grenades that were used by soldiers in the Army and Navy. The cartridges were packed eleven to a box, and the boxes were taped and waxed to make them waterproof and damp-proof. The box flaps were sealed with thin paper tape, and a tab of tape was left loose so that it could be pulled to release the waterproof wax coating and open the box. The problem was that the thin paper tape wasn’t strong enough, and the tabs frequently tore off when soldiers pulled on them to open the ammo boxes, leaving them frantically scrambling to claw the boxes open while under enemy fire. Lives were at risk –including the lives of her sons. So Vesta Stoudt came up with a solution: seal the boxes with a strong, cloth-based waterproof tape instead of the thin paper tape. Vesta raised the issue with her supervisors but, although they thought it was a good idea, she wasn’t getting anywhere with having it implemented. Here’s what Vesta Stoudt said:
“I suggested we use a strong cloth tape to close seams, and make tab of same. It worked fine, I showed it to different government inspectors they said it was all right, but I could never get them to change tape.” [Copy of original letter from Vesta Stoudt to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, February 10, 1943, courtesy of Kari Santo]
So Vesta Stoudt did what any other mom with two sons in the Navy would do: she wrote a letter to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt outlining the issue and telling him her idea about how to fix it.
Letter from Vesta Stoudt to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, February 10, 1943, courtesy of Kari Santo
“Now your son, my son and our neighbor’s son must pull this tape off some way, perhaps with his teeth or his knife if he is lucky enough to have one, nine chance out of ten he hasn’t any.” [Copy of original letter from Vesta Stoudt to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, February 10, 1943, courtesy of Kari Santo]
Here’s the diagram of the problem that Vesta sketched out in her letter:
Vesta Stoudt's drawing of the ammo box tab issue, from her letter to President Roosevelt.
“I suggested we use a strong cloth tape to close seams, and make tab of same. It worked fine, I showed it to different government inspectors they said it was all right, but I could never get them to change tape. I have two sons out there some where, one in the Pacific Island the other one with the Atlantic Fleet. You have sons in the service also. We can’t let them down by giving them a box of cartridges that takes a minute or more to open, the enemy taking their lives, that could have been saved. Had the box been taped with a strong cloth tape that can be opened in a split second. I didn’t know who to write to Mr. President, so have written you hoping for your boys, my boys, and every man that uses the rifle grenade, that this package of rifle cartridges may be taped with the correct tape.” [Copy of original letter from Vesta Stoudt to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Feb. 10, 1943, courtesy of Kari Santo]
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, public domain photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Public Domain Photo of Franklin Delano Roosevelt courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Roosevelt sent Vesta’s letter to the War Production Board in Washington, D.C., and just a few weeks later in March, she received a series of replies from higher-ups in the organization saying that her idea would be considered that it was being forwarded to the appropriate division and they hoped she would send them any other ideas she had in the future and finally that her recommendation for the new tape had been approved and was “of exceptional merit.”
Letter to Vesta Stoudt, March 26, 1943, from The War Production Board in Washington D.C., letting her know that her idea for duct tape had been approved. Letter courtesy of Kari Santo.
Because of Johnson & Johnson’s long experience making surgical adhesive tapes, the War Production Board asked Johnson & Johnson to make the tape, which was named “Duck Tape” because, as the story goes, it was 1) waterproof, like a duck and 2) it was made with cotton duck fabric. The tape soon became known as “100 Mile an Hour Tape” in the military and, because it was strong and waterproof, soldiers used it to repair just about everything. Vesta Stoudt received a letter from President Roosevelt and earned the Chicago Tribune’s War Worker Award for her idea and her persistence.
General Robert Wood Johnson in uniform during his tenure as head of the Smaller War Plants Corporation in Washington, D.C. in the 1940s, from our archives.
General Robert Wood Johnson, who was President of Johnson & Johnson at that time, would have appreciated Vesta Stoudt’s creativity, initiative and refusal to take “no” for an answer in the service of saving lives. (After all, it was that same motivation that led Johnson’s father and uncles to found Johnson & Johnson in 1886 to make the first mass-produced sterile surgical products to save patients’ lives.)
Duct tape: the result of a mom trying to help her sons -- and everyone else's sons -- during World War II.
Vesta Stoudt showed that one person with an idea can make a difference, and everyone who served – and continues to serve – in the military owes Vesta a lifesaving debt of gratitude. And for readers who just love duct tape but whose lives don’t depend on it, the next time you’re repairing a lawnchair, the base of a fan (an actual use of duct tape by this blogger!), or making a duct tape wallet or prom dress, take a minute to thank Vesta Stoudt for this indispensable piece of modern life.
And a huge thank you to Vesta’s great granddaughter Kari Santo for sending in her great grandmother’s amazing story to share on the blog.
The Meaning of Vesta in Astrology
Vesta is an important baby planet (recently reclassified) in your personal astrological birth chart. We associate her with the Vestal Virgins of Ancient Rome, who worshipped Vesta in their temple, under the authority of just one man, the Pontifex Maximus. The all-female environment and the power and control issues with the male in charge, give us Vesta’s meaning.
These were six hand-picked women, chosen by the Pontifex Maximus (the chief priest of Rome) and after the time of Augustus, from 27BC-AD 14, the Emperor himself. They were aged between six and ten. They had to be free of physical or mental deformity. They had to agree to be virgins, for at least 30 years – after which they were set free.
Professor Corey Brennan, from the American Academy in Rome, says, “They had no family they were totally on their own. This was unique for women in Rome,” adding that “they were also constrained by their positions as guardians of the sacred fire”.
Vesta ruled fire and Romans thought that as long as the virgins kept the flame alive, Rome was protected. Allowing the sacred fire to die out would lead to the Vestal responsible being stripped and beaten.
The Roman historian Livy documents cases in which Vestals were condemned to death. The Vestal virgin Minucia was accused of having “an improper love of dress”, while others were killed based on the testimony of temple slaves. History tells us more than one was buried alive. Yet, strangely, the virgins led privileged lives and received a substantial pension from Rome. Unlike other Roman women they were not the property of their fathers or their husbands.
VESTA AND SATURN – DAUGHTER AND FATHER
Astrology is based on a Roman family tree, and Saturn is the father of Vesta. Perhaps it’s not surprising. He is a symbol of fear and the Vestales were undoubtedly living in fear in their temple. At the same time, men were terrified of being accused of having sex with any of them – the punishment was dreadful. No wonder something as basic as a love triangle, or jealousy within a marriage, can trigger such tremendous, raw feeling. A very old archetype is being triggered whenever Vesta is at large.
This archetype made it all the way from Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages, and today, into modern times – when adultery can still end a marriage and so many professions are still female-dominated, yet with male superiors in charge. In your birth chart, you will see Vesta symbolised by a tiny fire symbol – the sacred flame. Vesta is about the ‘heat’ which can arise in all-female environments where there is competition for male approval or male attention. This asteroid requires special handling, unless you want to be sent back into the Middle Ages in the dark days before men and women figured out gender politics.
HOW VESTA TURNS UP IN YOUR HOROSCOPE
Sometimes a man marries a woman and starts a family, only to find that he has ended up surrounded by females – with daughters, rather than sons. It is also common to find Vesta in female-dominated professions like women’s magazines (with a male publisher at the top) or in airlines, where a male pilot flies the plane and female flight attendants outnumber him. This is the chart for Sir Richard Branson, below. He was born with Vesta at 10 Taurus (the sign ruling business), Hygiea at 10 Sagittarius (the sign ruling travel) and Diana at 9 Aries (the sign ruling self-promotion). Even his airline is called Virgin. He is frequently shown promoting himself in the company of women, plural. Virgin’s branding has long been linked with its glamorous female attendants, en masse. Sometimes astrology can be staggering, it’s so literal!
The Richard Branson horoscope shows Vesta at 10 Taurus, Hygiea at 10 Sagittarius, Diana at 9 Aries.
GENDER POLITICS AND VESTA IN THE SIGNS AND HOUSES
By sign and house, Vesta shows you where you will encounter gender politics. Situations with one male – and two or more females – need careful handling when Vesta appears in your birth horoscope. If you find Vesta in Cancer and the Fourth House, your family will be dominated by women/girls with one man – usually your father – the lone male. If you find Vesta in Leo and the Fifth House, then a baby boy may be born to a single mother with daughters/sisters for company. If Vesta is in Libra and the Seventh House, you may attract love triangles or men with baggage – the classic ‘other woman’ scenario. Where is Vesta in your chart? If she turns up in your Eighth House you may get into financial or property situations (repeatedly) where you, as a woman, are dealing with other woman (or perhaps, the Other Woman) in relation to a man – and the deal at stake.
As you can see in this extract from my e-guide Asteroid Astrology (free to Premium Members) Vesta, found in 1807, made her debut in the same year as the opera La Vestale. She is asteroid number 4 in your birth chart and she is prominent in the chart of novelist Jane Austen, who was born with Vesta at 19 Aquarius in the house of groups, Saturn at 19 Libra in the house of marriage and Mars at 19 Capricorn in the house of ambition. Austen pulled all this together (from her personal life) into the enduring story of a family of girls, all looking for husbands, in the timeless bestseller Pride and Prejudice. Both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bennett played the Pontifex Maximus figure in Jane Austen’s story of the ‘virgins’ – the Bennett sisters. Austen’s way of handling Vesta in her chart was to see the funny side – and to write a classic romantic comedy. Vesta is often best handled with a rich sense of humour, and perhaps that is why Pride and Prejudice has flourished for so many years.
LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE. NANCY MITFORD, DIANA MITFORD AND VESTA
The Mitford sisters were another classic example of a Vesta family, as the only boy in the aristocratic clan was tragically killed during the war, leaving all the Mitford girls with their father (Farve in Nancy Mitford’s novels, Love In A Cold Climate and The Pursuit of Love) as the head of the household.
The sisters handled Vesta’s heat with varying degrees of success. Nancy, Diana, Jessica, Unity and Deborah (Debo) were often at war with each other, as well as fiercely loyal when Farve was threatening them with punishment. Vesta can turn up when we see feminism in action, but she is also there, when you see a toxic atmosphere resulting when women or girls compete with each other, for a man’s approval.
Nancy was born with Vesta in a conjunction with Apollo, in the Sixth House of work, and also the body. Vesta was at 24 Virgo and Apollo was at 23 Virgo on the day she arrived. Her sister Diana was born with Vesta at 23 Aries and Uranus in a square at 24 Capricorn. Both sisters were involved with men, later in life, who brought love triangles with them. Nancy was fascinated by a Frenchman who could never belong to her exclusively – and who in fact, broke her heart – and Diana found herself embraced by Oswald Mosley and his complex private life.
If you are a woman and you have a pattern of being drawn into relationships with men who have former wives or girlfriends who cannot let go (and whom, tellingly, they cannot release) or you fall in love with people who are married or dating other women – have a look at Vesta in your chart. Are you repeating family patterns? If you are a man and you find yourself surrounded by daughters, former wives or new wives who are at war with each other, look at Vesta in your chart for clues. This is the Nancy Mitford horoscope, below.
The Nancy Mitford horoscope shows Vesta at 24 Virgo, Apollo at 23 Virgo.
CHICKS, GROUPIES, GIRLS AND ELECTRIC LADYLAND
I always guessed that Jimi Hendrix might have Vesta making exact patterns in his natal chart, because of the cover of Electric Ladyland. There is a particular kind of ‘guy’ both in the music industry and other professions too, who delights in the ego massage and attention, of a group of women creating a harem atmosphere around him. Women do not exist as individuals to them, they are merely all ‘girls’ as part of a generally pleasant, personality-free, mass of ladies. You see Vesta a lot in astrology, too, because it is typically dominated by women, yet frequently puts men at the top of the profession. Ahem!
Jimi Hendrix was born with Vesta at 16 Aquarius in the house of groups (and groupies) sextile Bacchus – the pleasure asteroid – in Sagittarius, in the house of travel. And touring rock bands, of course.
Bacchus is crucial. If you’re going to use Vesta in your astrology, you can’t ignore the other asteroids too, or indeed any of the other heavenly bodies of modern astrology. They all complete the Roman family tree of our planets and their close relatives. Bacchus matters just as much as Vesta, especially if you are reading the birth chart of a promiscuous man who cannot commit. It may be that his pleasure principle (Bacchus) is tied to his need to have an Electric Ladyland.
MEN WHO DON’T PUT OUT
Men who don’t put out – who are religiously celibate (sometimes literally so) – often find themselves surrounded by women. Why so many female friends? Why so many panting admirers? Perhaps it’s because the power of playing Pontifex Maximus to the ‘virgins’ comes from never actually choosing one to be the harem favourite. Once a choice is made, the game is over. How can you tell if a man has a Vesta problem? Simple. Join forces with the other women and see what happens when it’s (all of you) having a joke at his expense. Vesta men tend to run screaming from feminism as it can feel so threatening.
Jimi, your Vesta is showing
FATHERS, WIVES AND DAUGHTERS – VESTA IN FAMILIES
It should come as no surprise to find out that not only King Henry VIII (with his six unfortunate wives) as well as Prince Andrew, have strong Vesta patterns. Henry was born with Vesta at 11 Virgo in aspect to the Moon at 10 Aries. That’s almost an exact quincunx. Andrew was born with Vesta at 22 Sagittarius exactly trine Hygiea at 22 Leo, the sign of royalty, no less. Knowing that ‘Vesta is in the house’ in families can help all concerned consciously manage the situation.
The Prince Andrew horoscope shows Vesta at large (Daily Telegraph)
HANDLING VESTA IN YOUR PERSONAL HOROSCOPE
What works with Vesta? A sense of humour. Tolerance. Time. Tact. A frank acceptance of the reality of the power issues, when one male is surrounded by two or more females. Vesta can sometimes produce a very painful, even poisonous atmosphere. Perhaps it’s not surprising. In modern life, we have to find creative and thoughtful ways to cope when Vesta is in the house. Sometimes, awareness is all you need. Just realising that you are having transits to your Vesta can stop you from buying into a potentially toxic situation (if you are a woman) when an old boyfriend wants you to become involved with his new family.
Kurt Cobain is another example of a Vesta man. He left behind a wife and daughter, tragically, when he left the planet too young. He was the Pontifex Maximus. I find it interesting that he also used to frock up! Maybe that was his way of handling this asteroid in his chart – he literally removed his male status from the harem. Kurt was born with Vesta at 24 Scorpio, in the house of wills, testaments and legacies, exactly trine Chiron at 24 Pisces. The sign and house you find Vesta occupying, and the sign and house of any corresponding horoscope factor, making aspects (allow one degree) usually tells you the story. Sometimes astrology is really very simple. Just read the poetry of the signs and the houses they rule, in the natural zodiac/horoscope.
BILL CLINTON AND WOODY ALLEN – WHEN VESTA HURTS
Bill Clinton was born with Vesta at 6 Aries, Mars at 6 Libra and Neptune at 6 Libra. He is the only male in a family with two other females. He and Hillary survived his affair with Monica Lewinsky, but it remains a classic example of what can go wrong if Vesta is allowed to hurt. Obviously the other factors in the chart are the key here – Libra rules marriage. They all survived, and in fact Jupiter will cross Mars and Neptune at 6 Libra as Hillary runs for President. It’s a remarkable time in his life.
Woody Allen, whose chart is shown below Bill Clinton’s, was born with Vesta at 12 Pisces, the North Node at 13 Capricorn, the South Node at 13 Cancer (the sign of family) and Chiron at 13 Gemini. That is a huge Vesta pile-up. One suspects that the Vesta stories in Allen’s life end up in his scripts, because Gemini rules writing. Note that Vesta is tucked away in the house of secrets.
For better or worse, Vesta is a key player in the lives of both these famous saxophone players, Mr. Clinton and Mr. Allen, below! How does Vesta work in your own chart – and the charts of the men or boys in your life? If you are a man, how do you handle the female overload that can happen when Vesta turns up in your chart? As with everything in astrology, the first step towards handling these chart patterns is knowing they exist in the first place. Sometimes, sidestepping Vesta games is simply the best thing – and the obvious thing – to do. And of course, you can also cross the road to avoid the next Vesta type you meet. Women can act out the toxic side of Vesta’s ruthless female competitiveness and betrayal, just as much as men can act out the power-tripping, controlling side of this pattern, too. The key is self-knowledge which is why astrology can be so useful.
The Bill Clinton chart shows Vesta, Mars and Neptune in aspect.
Woody Allen has a huge Vesta pattern in his birth chart.
Vesta is an infant planet in your own birth graph. We link her with the Vestal Virgins of Ancient Rome, who loved Vesta in their sanctuary, under the specialist of only one man, the Pontifex Maximus. The all-female condition and the power and control issues with the male in control, give us Vesta’s significance.
These were six hand-picked ladies, picked by the Pontifex Maximus (the main cleric of Rome) and after the season of Augustus, from 27BC-AD 14, the Emperor himself. They were matured somewhere in the range of six and ten. They must be free of physical or mental deformation. They needed consent to be virgins, for no less than 30 years.
Vesta ruled fire and Romans believed that as long as the virgins kept the fire alive, Rome was ensured. Letting hallowed flame to blow out would prompt the Vestal responsible for being stripped and beaten. This is the history behind Vesta astrology.
Vesta and Saturn
Vesta Astrology depends on a Roman family tree, and Saturn is the dad of Vesta. Maybe it’s not astounding. He is a sign of fear, and the Vestales were without a doubt living in fear in their temple. In the meantime, men were scared of being blamed for engaging in sexual relations with any of them.
In your birth chart, you will see Vesta symbolized by a little flame image – the holy fire. Vesta is about the ‘heat’ which can emerge in all-female conditions where there is a rivalry for male endorsement or male consideration. This space rock requires extraordinary care, except if you need to be sent back into the Middle Ages during the dark days.
Vesta in the Signs and houses
By sign and house, Vesta guides you where you will face gender political issues. In the circumstances with one male – and at least two females – need to be careful when Vesta shows up in your birth horoscope. If you discover Vesta in Cancer and the Fourth House, your family will be ruled by ladies/young ladies with one man – mostly your father– the only male.
If you discover Vesta in Leo and the Fifth House, at that point, a child might be destined to a single mother with little girls/sisters for the company. If Vesta is in Libra and the Seventh House, you may draw in love triangles – the great ‘other lady’ situation.
Having many females in your circle
If you are a lady, and you have a history of being in relationships with men who have previous spouses or girlfriends who can’t give up (and whom, unsurprisingly, they can’t leave), or you become hopelessly attached with men who are married or dating other ladies then make sure to check out Vesta in your chart.
Other asteroids are important too
Bacchus is important. In case you’re going to utilize Vesta in your astrology, you can’t let go of other space rocks as well, or without a doubt any of the other heavenly bodies of astrology. They all finish the Roman family tree of our planets and their nearby relatives. Bacchus matters the same amount as Vesta, particularly if you are perusing the birth graph of an indiscriminate man who can’t commit to one person. It might be that his pleasure standard (Bacchus) is attached to his need an Electric Ladyland.
Not being able to settle down with one woman
Men who are religiously chaste (in some cases truly so) frequently wind up around ladies. Why such a large number of female companions? Why such huge numbers of gasping admirers? Maybe this is on the grounds that the power of playing Pontifex Maximus to the ‘virgins’ originates from never really picking one to be the favorite one. When a decision is made, the game is finished. How can you tell if a man has a Vesta issue? Easy. Unite with the other ladies and see what happens when it’s (every one of you) having a joke around him. Vesta men will in general run shouting from women’s liberation as it can feel so undermining.
Vesta in your horoscope
Vesta astrology can produce an extremely agonizing, even harmful environment. In present-day life, we need to discover innovative and careful approaches to adapt when Vesta is in the house. At times, staying cautious is all you need. Simply understanding that you are having transits to your Vesta can prevent you from getting tied up with a possibly poisonous circumstance (if you are a lady) when a former lover needs you to wind up with his new family.
If you are a man, how would you handle the female over-burden that can happen when Vesta turns up in your graph? As with everything in vesta astrology, the initial move towards taking care of these chart designs is realizing they exist in any case. In some cases, avoiding Vesta games is basically the best thing to do. What’s more, obviously, you can likewise cross the path to keep away from the next Vesta type you meet. Ladies can showcase the harmful side of Vesta’s merciless female aggressiveness and disloyalty, the same amount of as men can showcase the power-stumbling, controlling side of this example, as well.
Now you have an idea about Vesta in astrology and how they are linked with one another. You can check your chart to find out in which house of yours is Vesta found so you have a clue if something related to that happens and if you are a guy you can try avoiding Vesta if it’s in your chart.
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The Dietz Vesta was one of the most popular and widely sold lanterns and is still very common on the market today. The Vesta was first marketed and sold sometime between 1900 and 1910 and was sold continuously with variations up until the mid 1950s. There are two primary types of the Vesta, the earlier “hi-top” model and later “lo-top”. The Vesta takes a unique globe at 4-1/4″ tall and is easily recognizable with its large “cold-blast” tubes on either side of the lantern that circulated cold air to burn a brighter cleaner light than competing designs.
Dietz Vesta lanterns were stamped with a production date starting in 1915. The date stamp is the numeral of the month followed by a two digit year, separated by a dash ( 3-24 would be March of 1924 ). Many stamps also include an S or an M for Syracuse or Main, depending on which facility the lantern was produced at. After 1956 laterns were no longer stamped, and the Main plant shut down in 1931. Before 1915 instead of the date of manufacture, patent dates were stamped on lanterns.
The value of Dietz Vesta lanterns is lower than most because it is so common, most sell for less than $50. Dietz Vestas in excellent condition and with rare railroad markings / globes can bring higher prices, but still top out around $80-90 making this model a great entry point for newer lantern collectors looking for a nice piece.