|From Images 108|
"Asteroid Vesta is home to some of the most impressive cliffs in the Solar System. Pictured above near the image center is a very deep cliff running about 20 kilometers from top to bottom. The image was taken by the robotic Dawn spacecraft that began orbiting the 500-kilometer space rock earlier this year. The topography of the scarp and its surroundings indicates that huge landslides may have occurred down this slope. The scarp's origin remains unknown, but parts of the cliff face itself must be quite old as several craters have appeared in it since it was created. Dawn has now finished up its high altitude mapping survey and will spiral down to a lower altitude orbit to better explore the asteroid's gravitational field. During 2012, Dawn is scheduled to blast away from Vesta and begin a long journey to the only asteroid belt object known to be larger: Ceres."
As of today, the asteroid Vesta is located around 22 degrees of Aquarius. And by mid Dec. Vesta will conjoin the planet Neptune at the end of Aquarius. Neptune re-enters Pisces the Fishes on Feb. 3, 2012.
Wikipedia on Vesta:
Vesta is a minor planet or asteroid which orbits the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is the third largest asteroid within the asteroid belt and has a diameter of 503 km and an average distance from the Sun of 353.4 million km. Its sidereal orbital period is 3.63 years. Vesta was discovered on the 29th March 1807 by H.W. Olbers in Bremen.
The asteroid takes its name from the Roman goddess Vesta (Greek: Hestia). Hestia was the oldest child of Rhea and Kronos (Saturn). Her brothers were Zeus (Jupiter), Poseidon (Neptune) and Hades (Pluto), her sisters Demeter (Ceres) and Hera (Juno). Hestia was very popular among the Olympian gods. Apollo, Poseidon and others tried to gain her affection but she decided to live a life of chastity. She was the most modest of Rhea's and Kronos' children and became the goddess of hearth and home. Vesta is hardly mentioned in Greek mythology.
The Romans made Vesta the tutelary goddess of the state. A cult was established, and temples devoted to her were guarded by the Vestalas, the virgin priestesses of Vesta. They had the task of guarding Vesta's eternal burning fire within the temples. It was a great privilege but also a great challenge to be ordained as one of the Vestal virgins. Only girls between the ages of six and ten with no physical afflictions were eligible. They parents had to be of free origin and still alive; the period of service was 30 years. The worst crime they could commit was to break their vow of chastity which could be punished by flagellation or being buried alive.
The asteroid specialist Demetra George points out that Vesta's supposed virginity was not part of the original myth: "Originally, sexual rituals which honoured the fertility and procreational powers of the lunar goddess were an integral part of the Vesta myth because they secured sovereignty with divine blessing. It is for this reason that Vesta was worshiped as the ideal embodiment of motherhood. However, with the rise of patriarchy this aspect of Vesta was driven into obscurity and she became transformed into the goddess of purity and sexual chastity."
Vesta stands for service in the name of a higher cause which promises a great degree of independence if an individual is completely devoted. Although Vesta must submit to laws in the general public interest and bears great responsibility, she is able to recognise freedom within these boundaries. For this reason, Vesta has a close relationship with nature and natural laws and some astrologers see a connection between Vesta and modern ecological awareness which tries to respect the laws of nature and knows that respecting these means living in true freedom.
In the natal chart, Vesta's position shows where it is wise to search for our uniqueness not by fulfilling personal desires, but by their apparent renouncement in the name of a greater cause which will allow us to experience our individuality on a deeper level. What matters is the inner center, the inner fire.
Vesta also highlights "the need to reintegrate spiritual and sexual energies. Vesta appears to have an affinity to both Virgo and Scorpio and might have its domicile or be exalted in one of these signs."
Aquarius is symbolized by the Waterbearer pouring the waters of knowledge into the river of humanity. The interconnectedness of all people is central to Aquarian consciousness. And with Vesta in Aquarius the current trend is to dedicate ourselves even more deeply to transmuting our personal desires so we might serve the collective better. Focus and passion can unite in actualizing humanistic ideals. Vesta's conjunction with Neptune in mid Dec. may bring further inspiration and empathy to the work at hand. Dreams or visions of the world we wish to create are more readily manifested now, when the inner fire and urge for transcendence align in the spirit of devotion.