Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Kitchen Gods


The idea of a deity who reigns in the kitchen, blessing and protecting the household, is common all the way around the globe. In China, he is called Zao Jun, in Mesoamerica, he was called Huehuetotld, in Rome she was Vesta.



Vestal Virgin by Leighton
Vesta was the Roman goddess of the hearth, and as such she was the only deity worshipped in every household. Not only that, her temple was extremely important in the state religion and was the only one to have a college of full-time priestesses. To be one of the Vestal Virigns was a privilege reserved for the daughters of the elite.

So how come she was never assigned one of the major planets when the astrological prizes were being dispensed way back when?

In fact she was not entirely overlooked. The second century astrologer Manilius did give her a "tutelary" assignment: to oversee Capricorn that least domestic of signs. Capricorn is the sign most associated with public life and duty, so you can see that having Vesta, goddess of all things homey, might be quite helpful.

For an example of a Capricorn specially blessed by Vesta, read this piece on Nigella Lawson.

But Vesta is having a comeback. A lump of rock in the asteroid belt was named after her at the beginning of the 19th century – and then everyone promptly forgot about her again. In the 1970s, astrologers began to take more interest in the asteroids, and just this year Vesta was promoted to proto-planet.

In case you're thinking, "So what?" That's just a whisker away from getting to be a planetoid like lonely Pluto and chummy Ceres.

There's a beautiful Grand Trine in the sky today between butch Mars and Pluto and Vesta. They are all in earth signs, but Vesta is surely the most comfortable there. It's home turf for her. She has fire in common with Mars though, and Pluto is in her favourite sign Capricorn. All three are working in harmony.

I have just pulled two beautiful loaves of sourdough out of the oven. What could you do to honour the goddess of the hearth this week?

Here's a piece about the (possible) connection between Vesta and eating disorders.

11 comments:

  1. No wonder my mum's fried batter-only version of pakoras turned out unusually good ;D. Usually there's a bum batch in the lot. Not this time - ALL perfection. Melt in your mouth with a satisfying crunch (hungry yet? ;D)

    Also - God of ice-cream? I can get behind that :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pakoras.... ahh lovely ... it's really hot here today ,,,,

      Delete
  2. Always related more to Vesta than the maternal archetypes. She is in my 4th House in Pisces trine my Mars/Mercury/ASC in Scorpio. Love to cook! I'm planning on baking a cake w/rhubarb fresh from our garden today. Make my own bread once a week . . . disgustingly domestic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mmm...Vesta rising here, trine 4th house Cap Sun. I make spelt bread twice a week, but tonight I'm going to do gluten-free berry muffins. Or cut the grass. Or both:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've become wildly gluten intolerant. May I come over and help with the muffins? I'll bring really great butter :-)

      Delete
  4. 3rd house in Cancer, does it get any homier? :) Few things I love more than having a few friends over and feeding them good things, then sitting slightly outside the circle so I can look on and enjoy the sound of their conversation, everyone sated and comfortable and happy.

    Pluto's intense relationship with Charon creates such a powerful node of energy that it always surprises me to see Pluto referred to as a dwarf planet or pseudoplanet or whatever we're calling it today :). I keep wanting to say, "But it's a dyad, not a single body," and my favorite cry amidst sloppy arguments: "Define your terms!"

    Their orbit of each other (and it is mutual) is so intense that the center of the orbit is not Pluto, but the space between them. (I love that. Blows my mind.) Eerie as dammit, and no wonder Pluto has the properties of an energetic vortex, whether drain or fountain; he and his partner are spinning around a cone. Energetically we know Pluto is planetary; I think it's this marital standoff with his moon that gives it such punch. Were Charon named today, I wonder if it would be called Persephone.

    They lie almost prone on the ecliptic, and I've often wondered if the many-layered nature of Plutonic energy we get is changed by which end of this spinning vortex is facing us, or if it's aslant us. Hard to get that data into an ephemeris, so I guess I'll go on wondering.

    Vesta got upgraded cuz it turns out she has an iron core and a crust like Earth. How homey is that! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those thoughts on Pluto are really really eye opening Isy. Fancy a guest post on that? Just a shorty.

      Delete
    2. Love to! It'll prod me to look up the "which way it's pointing" thing.

      Delete
    3. May I second that? Vesta in 1rst and always wanting to know more about the asteroids. Plus married to a mezzo Romano!

      Delete
  5. PS Vesta trines Venus @11th and does something nice to Ceres, which is on my ascendant.

    I'm what you might call a stealth homebody. People don't think it of me, probably because of the dog pile in my Aries, but there it is!

    ReplyDelete