Vesta/planet contacts in synastry are often overlooked. This asteroid is named after the virginal goddess of the hearth fire, and gets lost in the rush to find juicier interaspects. But don’t let the word “virginal” throw you off. Vesta can be as intense as Pluto (she is sometimes described as a blend of Virgo and Scorpio). The book “Asteroid Goddesses”, by Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, describes Vesta’s fascinating mythology. In patriarchal Rome, the sacred flame in her temple was tended by young women who took vows of chastity. If the flame went out, they were whipped. If they broke their vows, they were buried alive. Before patriarchal culture took hold, the vestal virgins served the Mother Goddess and were “…sacred harlots who sexually gave of themselves to strangers – men who came to the temple to honor the goddess and partake of the sacred union.”
Natal Vesta symbolizes the area of your life where you can devote yourself with fervor. She is associated with the sublimation of sexual energy into other activity, but she also represents sexual devotion and purity. Vesta holds the potential for sacred sex: intimacy that is physical and spiritual, and that goes beyond personal satisfaction. As you can imagine, when your Vesta is contacted by a person’s planet(s) or angles, the connection is complex and profound.
If someone’s planet or angle (cusp of their 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th House) aspects your Vesta, they are touching a sacred part of you. They are standing at the threshold of your temple, asking to be let in. For example, if you have natal Vesta in your 4th House of home and family, these things will be sacred to you. You’re not going to move in with just anyone, and if you decide to let someone share your space, they had better honor your house rules. If you meet someone whose Venus conjuncts your 4th House Vesta, what the Venus person takes pleasure in (and how they express love) will fit into your sacred space. Unless there’s some other, seriously disruptive synastry contacts between the two of you, you’ll be drawn to live with them.
You’ll also feel an unusual amount of devotion to the Venus person that will be expressed according to the sign your Vesta is in. Vesta in Libra will place an emphasis on give-and-take, but you may end up sacrificing your desires (including your sexual desires) to make the Venus person happy. There’s always a risk that Libra will do this anyway, but when the energy of religious dedication is added, everything is bumped up a notch. However, it all hinges on how you deal with Vesta. Depending on what messages you absorbed about sex when you were growing up, intimacy with the Venus person can be a beautiful exchange of nurturing that is used to strengthen your domestic bond. Vesta sex always has a purpose that goes beyond pleasure.
The Heat of Limits
Natal Vesta is also where you experience limits. If you think about the hearth fire she represents, that fire needs to be contained in order to burn effectively. The limitations are part of Vesta’s agenda to teach absolute focus. When someone activates your Vesta, they will be emphasizing those limits. For example, if your 3rd House (communication) Vesta conjuncts your partner’s 10th House cusp, your partner’s career may highlight your difficulties with being heard. Maybe you sideline your ambitions to devote yourself to your partner’s growing career. But as you are faced with the scrutiny of others, you are compelled to clarify your ideas. What do you stand for, and why are you doing this? Aren’t your ideas just as worthwhile as your partner’s?
If you have Vesta in your 8th House (intimacy and shared resources) square your partner’s Saturn, you may end up sacrificing both money and sexual satisfaction to the Saturn person (who calls the shots). An 8th House Vesta suggests certain sexual needs that are difficult to fulfill, and if they are habitually denied by your lover, you become focused on what you can’t have. And then (hopefully) you find a way to meet them.
Perhaps you have difficulties sharing money and power. Getting involved with someone to whom you end up giving both to will certainly teach you about sharing. When someone activates your Vesta limits, they are helping you become a master in that area.
Sometimes Vesta can deny access to the planet person. Let’s say you have Vesta in your 5th House of self-expression and romance. You’re devoted to your art; it’s not just a hobby, or a way for you to show off. You get involved with someone whose Mars (energy and initiative) opposes your Vesta. There’s sizzle between you, and initially you open yourself up to them (they fire your romantic ideals). But maybe their approach is a bit too aggressive. Or maybe they inadvertently say something that steps on your artistic toes. It won’t take much, because Vesta is ultra-sensitive, and their natural way of taking action (Mars) is at odds with your devotion. Depending on the other synastry connections, you may deny them sexual access, or cut them out of your life completely. Vesta can be ruthless when she’s offended. Meanwhile, the Mars person is probably clueless as to what happened. When your Vesta is activated, you must be aware of the balance between honoring what’s sacred to you, and cutting people off. The planet person must be aware that they are entering your sacred domain. It’s an honor if you allow them in.
Natal Vesta is the flame in your chart: the fire of higher purpose, focus and fanatical devotion. When she is contacted in synastry, the planet person can open this area up, or shut it down. If you let someone in, be aware of Vesta’s inclination to extremes (absolute sacrifice or complete withdrawal). She wants you to give, but not in a way that depletes her fire. She needs to be guarded, but not cut off.
Related: Introduction to Vesta
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