The Vestal Priestesses and the Feast Days of the Goddess
✨The Vestal Virgins, Keepers of the Sacred Flame of Ancient Rome ✨We are in the feast days of Vesta that were once held by the Vestal priestesses, June 7-15th. This would have been a very warm summer week in Rome and celebrations dedicated to the Goddess would fill the hot summer days.
“The chief festivals of Vesta were the Vestalia celebrated June 7 until June 15. On June 7 only, her sanctuary (which normally no one except her priestesses the Vestals entered) was accessible to mothers of families who brought plates of food. The simple ceremonies were officiated by the Vestals and they gathered grain and fashioned salty cakes for the festival. This was the only time when they themselves made the mola salsa, for this was the holiest time for Vesta, and it had to be made perfectly and correctly, as it was used in all public sacrifices.” 1
Vesta is the Goddess of the hearth and home and she had a prominent presence in Ancient Rome. It was common for homes to have shrines in her image, and on the state level, Vesta had her own temple on the east end of the Roman forum, literally in the center of the city — As a symbol to bind the city together. Being a Vestal virgin was the highest honor a woman in Rome could achieve.
Fire serves as a symbol of purity, truth, and righteousness. Fires often were sacred alters for offering prayers to the divine. As a result, it was a requirement that those who were trusted tending the fires of the temple were deemed pure and uncorrupted.
The priestesses tended the flame, studied their craft as neophytes and taught their craft when seasoned, and tended to the spiritual needs of the people.
The role of these priestesses was so powerful that it was believed the health and safety of Rome depended on their pure relationship with the divine. Ancient Romans believed that as long as the priestesses remained chaste, devoted, and pure, Rome would flourish. If the priestesses were to fail in their duties, it was believed that Rome could fall to war, pestilence, and ruin.
These priestesses endured trials and tribulations as devoted keepers of the flame. Their temple was rebuilt many times because it was destroyed many times and the punishment for being unchaste was death.
In 382 AD, the Christian emperor Gratian confiscated the public revenues assigned to the cult of Vesta in Rome, and the Vestals vanish from historical record soon after.
The final blow to the temple of Vesta and her priestesses was delivered by the Christian emperor Thedosius I in 394 AD when he banned the temple and the role of priestess altogether and the last priestesses of the western world were no longer.
Today, 1627 years later, we are bringing the role of priestess back to our homes, our cities, and western society.
If you want to do your own ceremony of purification, now is a powerful time to do so. Ceremonies work at any time of the year, so even if you are in another season or cycle, this is applicable. If you are making a fire, only do so where it is legal and safe.
Gather elements for a fire ceremony:
- Designate a time for your ceremony where you will have privacy and be uninterrupted.
- Set your ceremonial space.
- Call in the powers and call in the Goddess.
- Speak words of gratitude and thanks for all the blessings and abundance you now have in your life. Thank the divine, Great Spirit, the Goddess, and all the supporting spirits for blessing you.
- Now ask them to help you to release some things that need releasing. Have a heart-to-heart with Spirit about what is challenging you, what pains you, what you wish to let go of, etc.
- Now write down a few of the main things you wish to purify from your life on the papers, one thing per piece.
- With focus and intent, burn each piece individually asking for assistance letting it go, and seeing it evaporate from your life.
- Once all the pieces of paper are burned, open yourself to any guidance and communication from the higher beings to you. You can simply ask Spirit, God, the Divine for guidance or if you work with a specific guide, you can also ask them.
- You may wish to dance, sing, do qigong under the stars, in the moonlight, write, paint, or meditate in this ceremonial space.
- When you feel complete, thank the powers and release them.
- Make sure your fire is safely and completely out.
- Close ceremony.