A Vision of Flammetta (1878), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Image courtesy of Wiki-Commons.
A Vision of Flammetta (1878), by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Image courtesy of Wiki-Commons.

I originally wrote a version of this post in May 2012, about the Virgoan qualities of the Feminine, and had a strong intuitive nudge that it was time for an update.

She speaks. Her medicine must be needed even more right about now. No big surprise, eh?

In ancient Rome, these qualities were symbolized and embodied by the Vestal Priestesses, keepers of the flame, and Vesta-Hestia — the heart and hearth fire at the center of everything.

Other traditions also knew and made a point of honoring and tending these qualities, this powerful essence, by different names. Priestesses of Bhrìghde, for instance, kept the flame, too.

Vestal Virgo Qualities – Mono-dimensional, and More Graceful Expressions

In traditional ‘surface-level’ astrology, Virgo is associated with ‘being detail oriented’, fastidious, and organized, at best; and nit-picky, crushingly critical, and even a wee bit (or big bit) of a hypochondriac in the shadow-expression.

Having lived with a variety of Virgos throughout my life — Virgo Risings, Virgo Suns, Virgo Moons — I’ve experienced those Virgo traits up close and personal.

The Priestess (1895), by John William Godward. Image courtesy of WikiCommons.
The Priestess (1895), by John William Godward. Image courtesy of WikiCommons.

Also, those of us born in the mid-Sixties with the Uranus-Pluto Conjunction in Virgo have a particular sort of ‘wiring’ (or the potential) for transformative Virgo magic. (Your unique type of magic depends on the various facets in your astro-blueprint.)

As with all in Life and Wisdom, there is something richer — something more intricate and wondrous in its untapped potential — when we dive below the surface.

Virgo is considered to be ruled by the Mercury-Hermes archetype — associated with ritual magic and the magic of the Word. An interesting clue is found in the notion that where Hestia’s fire burned within a temple, a statue of Mercury-Hermes stood just outside the temple’s doors, hinting at a connection between the two.

Occasionally, some astro-peeps assign Chiron to Virgo as a dominant archetype — the potential of the Wounded Healer (which requires healing first one’s self!).

But to me, Hestia — called Vesta by the Romans, and one of the oldest of Goddesses — shines some light on Virgo Wisdom.

It makes perfect sense, and gives a greater depth of meaning, to the Virgo gifts we have available to us.

If you have prominent Virgo – Sun, Moon, Ascendant, and/or chart ruler in Virgo particularly – there is always the opportunity to check in on whether you’re being the nitpicky, crushingly critical or negative, and possibly hypochondriac Virgo, or are ready to take it up a notch and embrace a higher Virgo magic.

Portrait of a Woman as a Vestal Virgin (1780s), by Angelica Kauffman
Portrait of a Woman as a Vestal Virgin (1780s), by Angelica Kauffman

Again, those of us born in the mid-Sixties with the Uranus-Pluto in Virgo conjunction have a particular type of Virgo magic to share with the world. Interestingly, the first batch of us are currently having our Chiron Returns (those of us with Chiron at 8 degrees Pisces had 3 Chiron Returns and a 4th close call, so really got activated in recent years!).

A lesser-known fact about Virgo is that it also relates to the archetype of the Vestal Virgin Priestesses — the famed and highly respected Priestesses of the Goddess Vesta who tended the sacred flame and other important things in the Roman Empire.

Remember that ‘virgin’ also meant sovereign – whole unto herself – as well as “untouched by man.”

In the ancient Greek culture, the flame of Hestia burned within every temple, city center, and home.

There is much to share, because Hestia-Vesta is an absolutely vital facet and archetype of the Feminine needing to be reclaimed in these times of great transformation.

Morgan le Fay (1864), by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys
Morgan le Fay (1864), by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys

Given that Sophia’s Children is dedicated to the remembering and re-emergence of the mysteries, initiations, and practices of the Via Feminina, there posts exploring many facets of the Feminine here – the Inner Way of Magdalene, the media-oracle Feminine, and many more.

In the meanwhile, suffice it to say that Hestia (a.k.a. Vesta, Bhrighde, etc.) represents our very core of Wisdom, individually and collectively. Our Divine Spark.

For those who feel called (or just intrigued), you can begin to learn more about how Virgo-Vesta-Hestia weaves into your essence by looking to see where Virgo and the asteroids Vesta and Hestia are located in your astro-charts.

These are some of the shiny breadcrumbs we can follow to the core of our own soul-essence and heart-purpose.

See, if we’re not honoring Hestia-Vesta – and tending the inner hearth-flame – we will not be acting or expressing wisely or truly in the world.

What’s more, if we’re not honoring Hestia-Vesta — and this is more vital for some of us than others — we’ll run smack dab into the brick wall going a thousand miles an hour. Trust me on this one — that ‘splat’ takes a lotta time to recover from.

The Vestal priestesses tended an actual flame at the center of Rome as a symbolic gesture, to keep ‘front and center’ the reminder of tending the Flame (the priestesses and later nuns of Bhrìghde  in Celtic lands did the very same).

Temple of Vesta (1902), by Constantin Hölscher.
Temple of Vesta (1902), by Constantin Hölscher.

As ‘Keepers of the Flame’, they were really the devoted tenders of the Feminine Soul — the wellbeing and habits of wild bounty — in the collective and the community.

Even the very macho, War-and-Empire-driven Romans recognized that this was essential to the ultimate wellbeing of the whole civilization, much less the community and individuals in it.

Key themes to play with as you awaken and move through the day: discernment, devotion, introspection, sacred tending, and a core integrity inspired by the sacred. The Inner Way symbolized by Mary Magdalene.

Have you felt these energies and themes calling to you over this year so far? How do you answer the call and cultivate the remembering of your inner Feminina?

Lots of love,
Jamie