Monday, July 30, 2012

Goddess of the Month for July- Vesta

Vesta, or Mistress Vesta, as I call her is the Goddess I chose for July.  I'm late in posting this, since in 2 days it will be August, but I hope you enjoy and find this useful!

To ensure fortune, health and happiness for your family, honor Vesta by making a hearty, home cooked meal.  Pick comfort foods that everyone can enjoy.  Sit some bread, a small dish of water and a few pinches of salt in the middle of the dinner table as an offering to Vesta and light a white candle to represent her fire and say the following blessing:

“Wherever a home is tended
Vesta makes a sanctuary 
Preserve our home and family
In love, health and safety.”

Vesta, bless this hearth and home
Bring health to our bellies and strength to our bones
Bless those whose arms are empty and long for a baby
To nourish and bring up in love and to honor the goddess
In her many faces
Bless those who hunger and guide our hands to serve them
Bless us all with love and peace
And help us to remember you in all fires and flames.


Colors:  orange, brown
Sabbats:  Imbolc, Lammas, Mabon
Festivals: Vestalia (June 7-15), March 1 (old New Years Day)
Animal:  Ass

     Vesta, not to be confused with Hestia, who, although similar, are 2 distinct deities, is the Roman goddess of the hearth, home, and the sacred flame.  She was always invoked last during ceremonies.  She was the last  and ultimately only Roman deity who was served by an all female priesthood (the Vestal Virgins).  Her temple was round.  She was so sacred to the Romans that her traditions could never be changed, even when certain things fell out of fashion.
     Vestal Virgins were honored above other women; they had more legal and economic privileges than ordinary Roman women.  It was an honor to be chosen for this service.  A Vestal served for 30 years: 10 years learning the Mysteries of Vesta, 10 in service to the Goddess, and 10 training their replacements.  While serving the Goddess, Vestals were sworn to stay virginal, but after they retired from service they were free to marry.  Breaking her vows was a serious offence.  Their primary role was to make sure the sacred flame of Rome never went out, and if it did, the priestesses were punished.  They also made the mola salsa which were ritual salt cakes that were offered to Vesta as a sacrifice, sprinkled over other animals who were to be sacrificed to other gods and used to purify space.
     Vesta is also honored in the home.  She is present in any flame (even though most don’t cook on fire stoves anymore, she is also found in an oven’s pilot light)  Any offerings to her should be set directly on a flame.  Since she is an oracular goddess as well as of the flame, she can give you information via flame gazing.

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