Aeterna Flamma, the Sacred Flame. What does it symbolize? The presence of Spirit and our connection to the formless essence. Vesta, virgin goddess of hearth and home, preserves this sacred fire. She represents the container in which we center ourselves, be it temple, sweat lodge, meditation cushion, or our own home. Interestingly, the word hearth means “focus” in Latin. Vesta can help us improve our spiritual focus, dedication and commitment. This pertains to our home life and family or tribe unity, as well.
Gazing into a candle flame or fireplace can ignite awareness of her spirit and invite her presence. Oracular messages can be tapped into through her energy with practice and attunement. When the demands of the outer world threaten to pull us away from our inner core, Vesta provides us our inner sustenance, allowing us to preserve our own sanctuary even as we engage with the outer world.
“Essence over form, in all things, essence over form”– this is the message that I have received from her in my meditation. Vesta was not often portrayed in human form, unless veiled. She was instead seen in the flames. “She was fire and that fire was she.” Her symbols are fire and a circle. Her temple in ancient Rome was of a circular shape. Just as in the magick circle used in witchcraft, there is an element of safekeeping and protection. The circle is also a container that magnifies sacred energy. It symbolizes eternity and the soul.
Vesta also had rule over the communal ovens of ancient Rome and baking in general. This is another reference to an energetic container that can transform. The hearth-fire was central to domestic life where families cooked meals but also where they paid homage to their gods. The worship of household gods involved burnt offering of meat, bread, or wine. The Roman Vesta is syncretized with the Greek Hestia, the oldest of the Olympians. Offerings were thrown into the fire in her honor from earliest times. Libations of olive oil or wine were carefully poured into the fire.
Vesta played a central role in religious devotion. She did not appear in many myths, but because Vesta was “the fire,” she was the first to receive the offerings sent to the other gods and goddesses. She was honored both in household rituals and all temple sacrificial flames.
In her ancient Roman temple, a sacred flame was guarded by the Vestales, the Vestal virgins who took a 30-year vow of chastity. This sacred fire symbolized the goddess’ protection over the city. Every 7th of June, the Vestal virgins would make a bread called “mola salsa” with consecrated salt and sacred water from holy springs as an offering to Vesta. The bakers took the day off to commemorate the time when bread was made in the sacred ashes of the hearth–Vesta’s domain and pay respects to the mistress of the hearth.
At the end of the celebrations, the Vestal virgins would ritually sweep the temple to remove dirt and debris and throw them in the Tiber River, carrying them out to sea. This served a practical and also a symbolic purpose, which is spiritual cleansing.
Vesta Powder is comprised of:
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Saltpetre
Use Vesta powder with caution! Very flammable! A very small amount on a charcoal disc is sufficient. If you need a dramatic pop! build a bonfire outdoors.
Protection and guarding the home
Dispelling negativity and evil intent
Keeping gossip at bay
Finding beauty in simplicity
Healing familial and ancestral wounds
Grounding into your body and life
Soothing rocky emotions at home
Sprinkled around a room where a ritual is to take place to strengthen the energies.
In a sachet for the illusion of youthfulness, purity and innocence.
Tuning in to Vesta is relevant to the current turning inward and toward the home. She assists us in feeling the sacredness in the simple, meaningful, quiet times. With her energy, we reconnect with appreciation for our loved ones and gratitude for what matters most.
So bake some bread, light a candle, and attune to the sacred flame within.
Nicki Ojeda (Tatiara) has been a past life and tarot reader for over 35 years. Her highly sought after readings have helped people from all over the world experience a deeper connection with their inner realms, as well as helping them to access their unique energy, and their special magic.