Vesta in action: how Vesta works in the real world, illustrated with a celebrity profile for each sign. What's Vesta doing in your chart?
Vesta in Aries gives a strong independence streak. One becomes self-motivated in work, and thrives when advancing one's own ideas or projects. Under stress, one can become too self-absorbed or fixated on personal goals to the detriment of maintaining intimacy with another. Supported by favorable aspects, Vesta here can be highly motivated to accomplish great deeds.
Charles Darwin (February 12, 1809; 3:00 am; Shrewsbury, UK) was born with a Venus-Vesta conjunction in Aries at the foundation of his chart (the 4th house cusp). Venus-Vesta also trines his Sagittarius Ascendant, so that this hardworking, pioneering spirit strongly imprints itself on his person-
ality. Vesta is also quincunx Uranus, ultimately leading to his radical but enduring theory of evolution.
About the prospect of getting married, Darwin was of two minds. He made a list of the pros and cons, as any Vesta-type might do. On the plus side, he noted "constant companion and a friend in old age, better than dog anyhow." Among the against points, he included "less money for books," and "terrible loss of time." His progressed Vesta was squaring his Capricorn Moon as he made these practical deliberations.
Darwin married his second cousin Emma on January 29, 1839, and she provided a constant religious counterpoint to his natural selection ideas. With Vesta in his fourth house, Darwin was a devoted family man. He had ten children, though two died in infancy. This led him to wonder if his children had inherited genetic weaknesses due to inbreeding. Barack Obama (August 4, 1961; 7:24 pm; Honolulu, HI) has Vesta conjunct the fourth house cusp and in the financially oriented sign of Taurus. Obama's projected calm during politically and economically chaotic times earned him the right to steer the nation out of exceptionally troubled times. With Uranus conjunct his North Node, Obama will be required to implement radical changes in order to avoid financial chaos.
Vesta is closely square Uranus and trine Saturn, with all three at 25º degrees of their respective signs. This is the tightest, most dynamic configuration in Obama's horoscope. Vesta's square to Uranus reflects his father's abrupt departure at an early age, while the trine to Saturn provided him with long-term family security. In the political sense, Vesta here gives a sense of patriotism and strong family values, especially when rooted in financial security.
The Vesta-Uranus square indicates sudden disruptions and unexpected turns regarding his economic plans. The trine to Saturn favors a steady, goal-oriented approach the ultimately brings success. Over the next two years, as transiting Saturn and Uranus oppose each other, we can be assured that economic security will require revolutionary new directions (Uranus) applied in a consistent and predictable fashion (Saturn).
Vesta in Taurus works best in a stable environ-ment. One may develop a keen investment sense, and work generally aims to achieve practical results and financial security. Under stress, this placement can lead to a rigid mind-set that blocks spontaneity in relationships. Supporting aspects offer a calm, centered disposition that others can rely on.
This conflict between career and marriage is shown by Vesta forming a close quincunx to Juno.
Vesta in Gemini reflects her passionate interest in communicating astrological ideas. She wrote four books, conducted tens of thousands of readings, and hosted a popular radio show that brought astrology into mainstream America. On April 7, 1923 Adams married a younger man who supported her professional interests. At the time, progressed Jupiter was in her first house and exactly squaring her Vesta (orb 0º00), while progressed Vesta was forming a quincunx to her Saturn.
Evangeline Adams (Feb. 8, 1868; 8;30 am; Jersey City, NJ) was born with her Aquarius Sun trine an angular Vesta, with Vesta positioned on the fourth house cusp. Her devotion to astrology was so complete, that she avoided personal relationships entirely, even though Venus was right on her Ascendant.
She was engaged to her employer in 1893, but later writes that she did not love him, and that she was "totally unresponsive" to his affections. Living in Victorian Boston, breaking off her engagement was a serious faux-pas. A woman was expected to marry and let the man provide for her. Instead, Adams studied astrology and became an inde-pendent professional.
Vesta in Gemini brings a keen curiosity with an interest in gathering facts and information for any project or goal. Vesta here facilitates communication, networking, and writing in the workplace. Under stress, this placement can create a scattered mind or lack of focus, and in personal relationships, a diffusion of intimacy through trivial chatting or rationalizing feelings.
Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915; 3:00 am; Hoboken, NJ) was born with charming Libra Rising. Venus, the ruler of his chart, squares Vesta, also in Libra, but located in the 12th house of secret activities. Sinatra, like many Vesta personalities, was successful at his career – perhaps the most successful entertainer of the 20th century – but he wasn't so lucky in his most intimate relationships.
Vesta in Libra enhances relationships among co-workers and colleagues. The focus on harmony and aesthetic conditions can be undermined by hard aspects from other planets, leading to excessive competition. One's own sense of centeredness may become unbalanced in face of others' opinions. Favorably aspected, Vesta here may be devoted to the partner and create mutually beneficial commitments.
Sinatra married four times, and had many other love affairs before, during, and after his marriages. None of these women could tie him down or deter him from his acting and singing career. Many of his love interests
had their own careers to develop, including wives Mia Farrow and Ava Gardner, as well as love interests Lauren Bacall, Juliet Prowse, Angie Dickenson, and Julie Garland.
Vesta's location in the 12th house reflects Sinatra's alleged links to organized crime. Vesta's association with secret organizations had a more light-hearted manifestation in the so-called Rat Pack, made of chums Dean Martin, Sammy Davis jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Sinatra's son was kidnapped on December 8, 1963, but since his progressed Vesta and Mars were exactly sextile, the boy was released unharmed after Sinatra paid the ransom.
ments allowed her to become a famous childhood actor through luck and hard work.
Vesta is under pressure from a square to Mercury, which rules her 12th house of secrets. Vesta in Scorpio and this Mercury affliction has led to some tangled relationships, especially involving those with questionable sexual orientation. After she made the successful transition to adult actor in the 1950s, the studio arranged her romances with closet homosexuals, who used Natalie Wood as a cover.
The same configuration (along with Neptune in the 12th) describes her obsessive fear of drowning, which ironically is how she died on November 29, 1981 under mysterious circumstances. She may have had an affair with Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken, or found her husband Robert Wagner with Walken as the threesome anchored off Catalina Island. At the time, her progressed Midheaven was squaring natal Vesta.
Vesta in Scorpio can be passionately involved with work, often accompanied by intense dedication and concentration. Under stressful aspects, intimacy may have to compete with work and vice-versa. Hard aspects can lead to fanaticism or excessive demands from others and self. Sexual experiences can become obsessive, or contrarily, lead one to repression and deep feelings of guilt and shame.
Natalie Wood (July 20, 1938; 11:16 am; San Francisco) was born with a powerful Sun-Mars-Pluto triple conjunction in Cancer – all trine to Vesta in Scorpio. Vesta is emphasized by its precise conjunction with the fateful North Node, and these favorable place-
Maria Callas (December 2, 1923; 7:07 am; New York, NY) was born with her Sun in Sagittarius, which is placed right on the Ascendant. The closest aspect her Sun makes is a conjunction with Vesta. Small wonder that her entire life was devoted to operatic self-projection, and that this prominent placement brought her fame, wealth, and the widespread identity of "diva as artist".
Callas's Sun-Vesta formed a quincunx (150º) to Pluto and a square to Uranus. These planets no doubt attributed to her reputation as being highly temperamental. However, Juno, the marriage asteroid, is found in the tenth house and favorably sextile her Sun-Vesta. And so in 1949 she was able to enhance her career by marrying a wealthy Italian industrialist.
Vesta in Sagittarius people work most effectively when they believe in the cause or ideal behind the project or goal. Vesta here can lead to spreading one's own vision or opinion to others without considering alternative views. Under stress, this can lead to a hypocritical attitude, while under favorable aspects, the expression is more inspiring and illuminating.
In May 1953 – when her pro-gressed Vesta squared her Moon – the 200-pound Callas decided that she weighed too much. Within a year she lost 80 pounds, but critics said the weight loss negatively affected her voice. In April 1957 Callas was introduced to the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis and they began an
affair. Callas divorced in 1959 as her progressed Vesta squared her Midheaven.
Carla Bruni (December 23, 1967; 6:10 pm; Turin, Italy) was born with her Capricorn Vesta in the seventh house of partners. Vesta here is conjunct the Descendant and sextile the Midheaven, and so has a major influence over her life and career. As a Vesta personality, she's proudly stated about her relationships that "I'm monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry."
Vesta in Capricorn works well in any organized, efficient environment. The drive to succeed is strong, and under stressful aspects, ambition can de-rail personal relationships. Favorable aspects offer success and accomplishment, with personal relationships supporting the social status. Vesta here offers tremendous discipline, but commitment and honor are required for intimate relations to succeed.
Bruni began her illustrious career as a top model at age 19 and by the 1990s was earning over $7.5 million/year. During this time she dated many celebrities, including Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, but
stuck with none of them. In 1997 she left the fashion world to devote herself to music, as transiting Neptune (the ruler of her Midheaven) was conjunct her Vesta.
Bruni met the recently-divorced French President Nicolas Sarkozy in November 2007. They married two months later as her progressed Vesta formed a conjunction with her natal Mars. Has she finally met the man (Mars) of her life? In spite of her position as the First Lady of France, she continues to work on her musical career as if nothing had changed.
Drew Barrymore (February 22, 1975; 11:51 am; Culver City, CA) was born with Gemini Rising, making Mercury the ruler of her chart. It's found in Aquarius and is conjunct Vesta, which makes Drew a very Vesta-like personality. In her pre-teen years she was a party-girl, and took all kinds of drugs – all of which led to her suicide attempt at age 14.
Vesta in Aquarius facilitates teamwork and tends to rebel against authority. The work profile is enhanced by concentrating on the social values or causes that may benefit. Humanitarian goals may be sacrificed when Vesta is harshly aspected by other personal planets. Personal freedom is essential as part of the relationship profile, and friendships often distract from more intimate connections.
She cleaned up her act and became a major actor, seriously devoted to her craft. In her personal life, she's never stayed with any partner for very long. Her first marriage to Jeremy Thomas lasted all of
five weeks, while her second marriage to Tom Green lasted 15 months. She finds that friends provide the most fun, which is evident from the camaraderie in Charlie's Angles (a Vesta-like secret organization), and other film projects.
Barrymore's Mercury-Vesta is located in the ninth house (religion, foreign affairs), and the actor has grown into a kind of hippie guru. In May 2007 she was named Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme, a cause that appealed to her Aquarian humanitarianism, and to which she donated $1 million.
out like a spiritual beacon to the rest of the world, and he's earned his reputation (Midheaven) as one of the great spiritual leaders of our time.
As a Vesta personality, the Dalai Lama has remained unmarried his entire life. His Vesta is closely tied into his karmic path since it forms a trine to Pluto which is conjunct his South Node. In this case, Pluto here signifies the absolute power he has in Tibet's political affairs, and with the trine to Vesta in Pisces, it's based on his religious standing as the reincarnation of the previous 13 Dalai Lamas.
His enthronement ceremony took place on February 22, 1944 as his progressed Sun was trine his Vesta and Midheaven. The progressed Midheaven itself had just entered Aries (0º01'). By 1959 Tibetans were concerned that China wanted to harm the Dalai Lama. An uprising led to his leaving his homeland on March 17, 1959, and he has remained in exile ever since. At the time, both his progressed Moon and transiting Vesta were conjunct his natal Pluto.
Vesta in Pisces can be devoted to spiritual pursuits or a work environment that emphasizes selfless service to others. The urge for transcendent experiences can give those with this placement an ethereal aura. Under stressful aspects, Vesta here leads to drifting, is unusually scattered, and often unfocused on material concerns or personal commitments.
The Dalai Lama (July 6, 1935; 4:38 am; Takster, Tibet) has Vesta in Pisces and it's located right on his Midheaven. An angular Vesta placement like this makes the holy man a Vesta person. We can see that his entire life is devoted to his Buddhism and promoting the basic human value of compassion. The Dalai Lama's Vesta in Pisces shines
Warren Beatty (March 30, 1937; 5:30 pm; Richmond, VA) was born with his Aries Sun square Vesta in Cancer. It's the closest aspect his Sun makes, and so has the greatest influence on his personality development. Vesta is in the tenth house of career, and
Vesta in Cancer is devoted to family relationships and works best when emotionally engaged in the project at hand. Under stress, Vesta here can become over-dependent on others, or withdraw emotionally when feeling unappreciated or un-needed. Favorable aspects can lead to a protective, nurturing style that others find comfortable, as well as supportive, extensive family relationships.
in this case, Vesta's association with sisters was manifest in a famous older sister, actress Shirley MacLaine, who encouraged him to try acting himself.
Beatty has the marriage asteroid Juno conjunct his Ascendant, so that he prefers to project an image as a couple. His numerous love affairs have become tabloid fodder and included many with co-stars, like Natalie Wood, Julie Christie, Diane Keaton, Madonna, Cher, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, and so on. With Juno squaring Vesta, staying with one partner was never a manageable task.
That is until he met Annette Bening (May 29, 1958). Bening's Gemini Sun is conjunct Vesta, and so she understands the need for space and the importance of work. The two were married on March 10, 1992 as his progressed Vesta and Juno moved into a harmonious sextile to each other, allowing him for the first time in his life to reconcile these two contrasting archetypes.
Grace Kelly (November 12, 1929; 5:31 am; Philadelphia, PA) was born with her Scorpio Sun square Vesta in Leo, which was located right on her Midheaven. Naturally, with Vesta so prominently placed, Kelly could parlay her patrician good looks into a successful acting career. By 19 she was already a success on Broadway, and by 22 was co-starring with Gary Cooper in High Noon and having an off-screen romance with him.
Vesta in Leo focuses on creativity and self-promotion. One works best when goals offer a sense of pride and accomplishment with appreciative feedback. Under stress, this placement can become too arrogant or aristocratic. Favorably aspected, this placement illuminates personal relationships with a sense of playfulness, and in the workplace, inspiring others to achieve success.
Juno trines Vesta in Kelly's natal chart, undoubtedly helping her portray such roles as a graceful heiress, a serene socialite, and a princess. However, with Vesta under much developmental pressure from more challenging aspects, she couldn't give up her
career to get married. She carried on romantically with many of her co-stars, never allowing herself to become distracted from her film career.
However, all that changed when she met Prince Rainier of Monaco. The two were married on April 18, 1956 as her progressed Sun and Vesta were precisely trine to each other. But was she really happy in this new role? She died in a car accident on September 13, 1982 along the same stretch of the road where she filmed To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant. At the time, transiting Vesta opposed her natal Vesta.
Agatha Christie married in 1914 before she began her writing career. Shortly after her first novel was published in 1920, her husband began having an affair. He revealed this to her on December 3, 1926, after which they quarreled and ended their marriage. At the time, her progressed Vesta and Mars were exactly squaring each other. Also, her progressed Ascendant was conjunct her natal Vesta.
In 1930, Christie married again, to a man 14 years younger than her who wasn't adverse to her writing career. Her two famous characters each reflected part of her own Vesta-in-Virgo persona: Miss Marple is her Inner Spinster, while Hercule Poirot is the hyper-critical, ego-centric perfectionist. She died on January 12, 1976 as progressed Mercury (natural ruler of writers and her chart ruler) squared natal Vesta.
Vesta in Virgo loves to work and be helpful. Vesta is strongly placed here, and even hard aspects from other planets may not distract from the goal. However, stressful aspects can lead to a perfectionism or hyper-critical attitude that drives others crazy. Favorably aspected, Vesta here carries a strong sense of duty that never flags.
Agatha Christie (September 15, 1890; 4:00 am; Torquay, UK) was born with her Virgo Sun conjunct Vesta, a hardworking combination that allowed her to become a prolific writer and the best-selling novelist of all time. Since her Sun-Vesta squares Mars, naturally she took to writing crime stories, notably the murder mystery series featuring detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple.
Vesta is the brightest of all the asteroids, even brighter than Ceres which is almost twice as wide. On a clear night and when she's at her brightest, Vesta is visible to the naked eye. Her ever-present luminosity is due to her being uniquely re-surfaced about a billion years ago when volcanic flows hardened into a highly reflective basaltic layer that coated the entire asteroid.
Vesta was the fourth asteroid discovered when German astronomer Heinrich Olbers sighted her on March 29, 1807. He allowed his colleague, the prominent mathematician Carl Frederich Gauss, to name the asteroid after the Roman Goddess of the Home and Hearth, Vesta.
Astronomers continue to be fascinated by Vesta with some advocating that this asteroid should be classified as a dwarf planet like Ceres and Pluto. However, Vesta is not spherical due to an ancient collision which led to some fragmentation. The asteroid pieces spawned from that collision are called Vestoids and often strike Earth. One out of nine meteorites are Vestoids.
In political astrology, Vesta represents secret societies and agencies whose members are bonded together over a shared belief. This can include the CIA or the KKK, Nazism or the athletes in the Olympic Village. Vesta is associated with insurance, protection services, safety issues, retreats and sanctuaries. In the U.S. horoscope, Vesta is located at 19º Taurus, making this a sensitive point for developments in the corporate and financial worlds. In the Scorpio Rising horoscope (2:21 pm; July 4, 1776; Philadelphia), Vesta is found in the seventh house of "others". Vesta's activation can correspond to enemy action.
In the personal horoscope, Vesta can be so devoted to her sacred duty – whatever that might be – that she feels obliged to separate from close personal relationships which might interfere with her cause. As Demetra George explained in her definitive book Asteroid Goddesses, the Vestal Virgins were not virgins in the sense of being chaste, but in the sense of belonging to no man. Time after time, Vesta activated in the natal horoscope corresponds to the end of close relationships, or at the very least, a distancing from intimacy. Vesta needs space in order to turn within and integrate scattered energies.
The Astrological Vesta
While astronomers are busy gauging the physical qualities of Vesta, astrologers might want to consider her metaphysical qualities. The process for understanding a new celestial body's symbolic range is well-known, and is derived from the archetype as it's demonstrated in ancient mythology. Vesta's story was preceded by Hestia's, which is the analog in Greek mythology. Hestia (Vesta) was known as a symbol of protection for both the family and the state. Consequently, her role in the horoscope has both a personal and transpersonal meaning as the one who insures security for the people of our global village.
Those who are lucky enough to define their work as a calling often have Vesta prominently placed in their charts. When Vesta is angular, or in close aspect to the Sun or Moon, or the ruler of the chart, the native may have a special talent or gift and is prone to working long hours. Others might see this as being a workaholic, or as an excuse to avoid relationship issues. Either way, the astrologer who uses Vesta will have insights about why relationships go bad and the timing of when things may fall apart.
On September 11, 2001, in the U.S. horoscope progressed Moon and Vesta were conjunct at 29º Taurus, while the transiting Sun, Venus, and Uranus were all forming close aspects to natal Vesta. Uranus was passing through the fourth house of domestic affairs, and as it formed the square to natal Vesta over the following month, U.S. security forces went on red alert and President Bush issued a secret executive order that allowed NSA (National Security Agency) to spy on Americans.
In a national horoscope or other geopolitical chart, Vesta's association with the eternal flame gives us hints about where she has power in modern affairs. Imagine the spectacle of the proud Nazi parades accompanied by their symbolic torches that heralded the arrival of the master race. Similarly, the Olympian torch reflects the timeless honor shared by athletes in their international contests. Vesta represents an impassioned faction of people who come together over a shared, exalted vision or goal.
The material on this page is excerpted from "Vesta: Keeper of the Flame", which was Dell Horoscope magazine's cover story for the July 2009 issue, written by NeptuneCafe's resident astrologer Michael O'Reilly
Here's twelve famous Vesta personalites: On this page you'll find profiles of Charles Darwin, Barack Obama, Evangeline Adams, Warren Beatty, Grace Kelly, Agatha Christie, Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood, Maria Callas, Carla Bruni, Drew Barrymore, and the Dalai Lama.
What's Vesta doing in your horoscope? Find out with a personal reading from Michael O'Reilly, or get an Asteroid Report ($40) for detailed descriptions of all four of the major asteroids. For more info, visit readings or email firstname.lastname@example.org