The Story of the Vestal Virgins

by Tara L. Reynolds

vestal virgin statue

Fire was seen as a sacred element in primitive and ancient times; it gave warmth and was a necessity for survival. In ancient Rome, the sacredness of fire was symbolized in the form of a goddess, Vesta.

She was seen as the divine personification of fire, as fire itself. The Vestal Virgins tended this sacred fire, and it was a very prestigious job to be had. It seems that the Vestal Virgins, along with their practices and their goddess, stood for purification in all of its aspects.

Since fire was seen as pure and destructive rather than having the ability to create, the Priestesses of Vesta were required to be virgins, to become entirely one with the sterility of fire. Vestals were appointed at no more than ten years of age, and had to meet certain requirements.

"They were to be perfect in form and all their senses, to be free born, have both parents still living and be patricians".1 Continue reading "The Story of the Vestal Virgins"