Vesta is a symbol of gender imbalance in your horoscope. One male and two or more females. The asteroid Vesta is common in families where there may be one former husband, a mother and two daughters. You also see it in harem situations where one man has many female fans.
Vesta comes to us from Rome where the Vestal Virgins left home to live together in an exclusively female environment. They were ruled by the Pontifex Maximus; always a man.
They were in an odd situation, having their own legal power in Rome. Yet, they were dominated by their male ruler who could order them to be sentenced to death, if they were found to have had sex. They had to remain virgins.
Photo by Kevin Delvecchio
When Vesta is Painful
This might explain to you why this horoscope symbol can be so painful. It often describes situations where a woman must deal with a man’s ex-girlfriend or ex-wife and the competition for his approval can feel toxic.
Vesta does not have to be negative. With a sense of humour, two or more women can work around the man. If you think about that good old-fashioned British sitcom from the 1970’s, Man About the House, you’ll see why writers love Vesta in comedy.
If you have exact aspects with Vesta in your chart, you’ll find that these ‘one male/many female’ scenarios have an unusually powerful impact on your life.
Vesta in Art
The Vestal Virgin Tuccia by Giovanni Battista Moroni shows the facial expression and body language we often see when ‘one of the many women’ is tired of constantly competing for a man’s approval. Or, perhaps, of feeling trapped by a man. Vesta can feel very difficult unless you find a way of working with her.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a beautifully written account of what it feels like to be in a patriarchy, dominated by male power, and stuck in a family of sisters competing for their father’s attention.
Jane Austen wrote about other Vesta scenarios: Mr. Darcy and his bitchy female relatives and the competition for his hand in marriage, from other women.
Jane Austen had Vesta at 19 Aquarius in her Eleventh House of friends and groups, in aspect to Saturn at 19 Libra in her Seventh House of marriage and sexual relationships (she never married) and Mars at 19 Capricorn in her Tenth House of career. If you are studying astrology, ask yourself how she played that!
Vesta at Work
You may be one of several women working with a male boss, for example. The old phrase from Women’s Liberation ‘the sisterhood is powerful’ sums up Vesta very nicely.
By transit, Vesta shows exactly what you might imagine. A passing situation where women outnumber men. It can sometimes involve babies or children, so there may be a new baby boy in a family of women – grandmother, mother, sister. He rules the roost and they dance around him. This can be unhealthy for obvious reasons and can feel very difficult.
Men often play Vesta deliberately as it gets them attention, ego massage or other benefits. You sometimes see this with flatmates/roommates when a male encourages the females to compete for his attention or approval.
Example Charts – Vesta in Action
Men who are serial ‘players’ will classically refuse to let go of an ex-wife or ex-girlfriend because it gives them too much delicious power over the new one!
How does Vesta work out in your chart? She may be unimportant, if unaspected, but central to your story if she is locked into aspects with other asteroids, planets, points or angles.
By sign and house, Vesta will show you where the female overload is.
Women can obviously have Vesta patterns as much as men.
Sarah Ferguson (The Duchess of York) was born on 15th October 1959 at 9.03am in London. She has Vesta at 18 Libra in her Seventh House of marriage. She has a complicated relationship with Prince Andrew, Duke of York – and Vesta is semi-sextile her Ascendant at 18 Scorpio. The Ascendant is her image and Scorpio is ‘sex and money’.
When we look at the charts of her daughters, we find Eugenie, Princess of York born on 23rd March 1990 at 7.58pm in London, with Vesta at 27 Pisces in the Twelfth House of religion, dreams, astrology and therapy. It is exactly square Ceres at 27 Gemini in the Third House of writing, media and publishing.
Her sister Beatrice, Princess of York, was born on 8th August 1988 at 8.18pm in London. She has Vesta at 12 Virgo in the Sixth House of work, unpaid work and study (also health). Vesta at 12 Virgo is semi-sextile Apollo at 12 Leo, the royal sign, in the Fifth House of offspring and young people.
Prediction is about transits, and we would expect that when Saturn moves to 12 Aquarius in April 2021, Beatrice will meet challenges. Quite likely involving her father, Prince Andrew, who has been linked to the Epstein ‘harem’ but is also the male head of an all-female family.
Speaking of which…
Bill Clinton and Vesta
A good question to ask about Vesta-type men is really about female validation of their patterns. You can’t act out The Temple of the Vestales scenarios without complicit women. Women often have no idea they are doing it!
Bill Clinton, also linked to Jeffrey Epstein, but obviously the male head of a family with two women (his wife and daughter) has another Vesta scenario in his recorded history: the famous Monica Lewinsky affair.
Born on 19th August 1946 at 8.51pm in Hope, Arkansas, Clinton has Vesta at 6 Aries in the First House of image, reputation and branding. It is very close to his Ascendant (also image) at 5 Libra in the Seventh House of marriage and the Midheaven or MC (vocation) in the Fourth House of family. His Descendant, which describes his partner, is at 5 Aries also in the First House of image and the IC or Immum Coeli at 5 Capricorn is in the Tenth House of position, mission and ambition.
In all cases I am using the Natural House System.
Photo by Paweł Furman
King Henry VIII and his Six Wives
The King was born on 28th June 1491 at 8.45am in Greenwich. He had Vesta at 11 Virgo in his Sixth House of work, unpaid work and health. It is very close to a semi-sextile with Vulcanus (self-control, power) at 12 Libra in his Seventh House of marriage and divorce.
The pain that women in particular feel with Vesta placements in their charts can be as deep as the pain no doubt felt by Anne Boleyn. Vesta pushes our buttons as this archetype has long been associated with quite brutal male power over a number of females.
If you are born into a Vesta family or marry into one, by only ever having daughters, then you can’t avoid it. Awareness is all in astrology.
If you do have Vesta issues try to avoid getting a crush on a man who quite obviously encourages female ‘friends’ to gather around him. He may never have sex with any of you and keep you dangling for years.
It is very important to understand that you can be complicit with Vesta men. You buy into it. Why? That is a really good question to ask yourself! Maybe you don’t want to get married or have a baby, deep down, so you obsess about a Vesta type who will never commit, because it means he can prolong the ego boost of having several women vying for his favours. Vesta men play favourites all the time.
At this point I should really look at the natal chart of Mr. Trump, for obvious reasons, with his female entourage. Yet, we have two conflicting birth dates for him, both given out by himself or his staff, and so this is DD rated. (Lois Rodden’s famous rating system gives him a Dirty Data classification. At least in my opinion).
Famous Men With Vesta Patterns
Jimi Hendrix spent his life surrounded by groupies. Vesta always turns up when there is a harem. He was born on 27th November 1942 at 10.15am in Seattle, Washington. His chart shows Vesta at 16 Aquarius in the Eleventh House of groups (literally, groupies) very close to a square with Mars at 17 Scorpio in his Eighth House of sex and money.
Woody Allen is infamous for having had an affair with his adopted daughter while still with his co-parent Mia Farrow. Born on 1st December 1935 at 10.55pm in Brooklyn, New York, he has Vesta at 12 Pisces in his Twelfth House of religion, astrology, dreams and…therapy.
Vesta at 12 Pisces can be unconscious, as the Twelfth House rules the unconscious mind. If you have it as a woman, for example, you can quite unwittingly have a lifetime pattern of falling in love with men who are committed to other women, or men who make you compete with other females. Woody Allen’s Vesta at 12 Pisces is very close to an exact aspect with Chiron at 13 Gemini in his Third House of writing (his film scripts are often about Vesta situations). He also has the North Node at 13 Capricorn in his Tenth House of success and the South Node at 13 Cancer in his Fourth House of family. Again, if you are studying astrology, you can take this apart and interpret it quite easily.
Kurt Cobain was born on 20th February 1967 at 7.20pm in Aberdeen, Washington. I interviewed Kurt when I was a music editor. He had a lovely sense of humour. He was born with Vesta at 24 Scorpio in the Eighth House of sex and money, but also family and legacies.
It is exactly trine Chiron at 24 Pisces in the Twelfth House of religion, astrology, dreams and therapy. Kurt was very unlikely to have known about his Vesta placement, but he did used to wear women’s dresses when he was with Nirvana. That’s really amusing because he was ‘being’ Vesta with the other two male members of the band.
Kurt obviously leaves behind Courtney Love and Frances.
Vesta in Summary
The whole point of astrology is awareness, so you can work with your chart, your life and other people. Rather than blindly ‘do’ Vesta by repeatedly falling in love with men who are surrounded by other women, try to avoid the pattern.
If you cannot stop the feelings and are in the relationship, at least see through what is going on. If your new boyfriend refuses to stop his ongoing telephone friendship with his old girlfriend, a really good way through that, is to become friends with her. Seek her out. Don’t be scared of her or hate her. Remember all women are in it together in situations like this.
The Vestal Virgins had to figure out a system to support each other and presumably stay sane. And also – stay safe. This ancient archetype from Rome has a lot to teach us. If you are interested in Vesta, have a look at the art and sculpture about her online. Often, these images will teach you more about the meaning of Vesta than anything else. The data sources for everyone in this feature have come from the excellent www.astro.com and have ‘pass’ Rodden ratings. The calculations come from Solar Fire, which has a program of Roman asteroids and other heavenly bodies. You can purchase that at www.esotech.com.au.
Feature Image: Omar Lopez