VESTA and the phallus of fire…..

In each moment the fire rages, it will burn away a hundred veils. And carry you a thousand steps toward your goal.”   …..RUMI  trans by Coleman Barks

VESTA and the Phallus of Fire

VESTA and the Phallus of Fire

Vesta, Goddess of the home and hearth,  resides in her circular temple as the sacred fire. Where most temples would have a statue, that of Vesta had a hearth, she was the flame and  was rarely depicted.  The fire was a religious center of Roman worship, the common hearth  of the whole Roman people. The sacred  fire not only burned in the inner sanctum of her temple in the Roman Forum, but also  in the homes of the Roman people. The people believed that Vesta’s fire guarded their world, families and lives, and that if the fire went out, Rome would fall to invading barbarian armies. To prevent this from happening, the Vestal priestesses  kept the eternal flame alight in Vesta’s temple, ensuring the connection  between the gods and humankind  would remain unbroken. Although Feminine,the priestesses were treated as men , an elevation for woman in such a patriarchal society . The priestesses were wed to the God – the phallus of the fire. Vesta was recognised as an androgynous diety – a union of God and Goddess energy. She was associated with the phallus and as such  was the embodiment of the Phallic mother. A sacred phallus was among the objects considered vital to the security of the Roman state which were in the keeping of the Vestal virgins. She was worshiped as the most virgin and clean of all the gods, and known as the Mother who granted fecundity and fertility. Ovid explained “Vesta is the same as the earth, both have the perennial fire: the Earth and the sacred Fire are both symbolic of home.”  Vestas festival,the Vestalia  (7-15 June), was regarded as one of the most important Roman holidays, existing well after the Roman conversion to Christianity.

“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” …..Albert Schweitzer



About redseedsgatherer

Linda Hill
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One Response to VESTA and the phallus of fire…..

  1. suefjsuefj says:

    What a special Goddess, what a special print. Visually stunning and you depict her so well. Really interesting I could have carried on reading – Hearth, so vital to our well-being carrying on through the ages. Thank you Linda X

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