When I heard the incredible story of Thecla it reminded me so much of everything I have learnt about Vesta in the past twenty years. As an astrological body, she represents healing the spiritual authority of women, whereby harmony in the order of creation may be finally established.
The Apostle Paul is often considered to have been against the equality of women, which would have been the norm for a Hebrew man (indeed most men of most cultures) at that time. The story I feel God has revealed to me about Paul is that he encountered many challenging women to his culture and belief on his journey to spread the message of Christ, and that this was no mistake. He was obedient to God in embracing the women disciples in his path. On our spiritual journey we all meet our cultural programming, limiting beliefs, our judgments and Paul was no different. These more hidden stories are those that inspire me most about Paul and validate my experience that Christ the Beloved is 100% fully into gender and sexuality equality. The story of Paul’s meeting with Lydia in Macedonia blew my mind when I first heard it about a year ago, and Thecla is another.
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On the day I read the story of Thecla, I felt immediately a strong connection with the issues of Vesta as an asteroid, and it turns out the Moon was crossing over Vesta at 11/12 degrees Taurus as I had this inspiration. At the beginning of this year Vesta continues her journey with Uranus which is all about liberation and freedom of this all important archetype for the transformation of our world. I hope the story of Thecla will illuminate why this is.
Thecla at 18 years was due to have an arranged marriage in her village when the Apostle Paul arrived. She was immediately drawn to him and listened from her rooms to his telling of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. So inspired she decided she wanted to follow him which her family, especially her fiancé, greatly objected to. They accused Paul of being a magician and he was arrested. Thecla however crept out and met him in the prison, bribing the guards.
When her family found out they were outraged and she was dragged out into the streets naked and a pyre set to burn her. Paul in the meantime was released and given his orders to leave immediately.
This is one of the first connections with the Vesta archetype, in that Thecla rejects marriage and places her authority in her own spiritual journey. She challenges the right of her family, men and of the state to control a women’s sexuality and spirituality. Vesta with Uranus provides a window of opportunity where women (or men who also have an inner Vesta) may feel the need to break free from restrictive relationships to follow their own spiritual path. This does not necessarily mean the end of a relationship if the partner can accept that there is a higher need for spiritual authority in all of us.
Thecla is there with the pyre lit, and she must have felt afraid and yet she did not back down from the authority of the call of Christ. She crosses her chest and at this point a great thunderstorm rolled in a miraculously put out the fire, and Thecla was saved.
Freed to follow Paul, she cut her hair and donned men’s clothes and they set out for Antioch.
This is another theme of Vesta which appears in different cultures (Sumerian poems of Enhedhuanna, Navajo Twin Spirits and the Gospel of Mary Magdalen) where the Priestess undergoes a merging of genders with her male side. The whole Priest becomes One with their Anima/Animus depending on their birth gender. In other words an Alchemical Marriage is achieved within.
Thecla it is said was very beautiful, and despite her male attire she is nearly raped by a magistrate in a town of Syria called Alexander in the streets. She defends herself by ripping off his crown and his clothes. She goes before a court for her actions and is again given the death penalty.
This is a third aspect of Vesta that she fights back against the patriarchy to protect her sexuality. We are even today so conditioned to submit to men and not to value our body as a holy temple. For Thecla her honor was even greater to her than her own life.
Thecla has to face wild animals as her way of dying. The first animal let in is a hungry lioness, but whatever passed between them rather than eat her the lioness lay at her feet and later defended her as more animals were let it. Eventually the lioness is killed but the crowd start to turn in favor of what they can see is a Holy Woman. The woman cry out together with ‘one mouth’ that she must be saved, and she is.
This is another intriguing element of the story as the people move from perceiving themselves as being separate, and are cruel in this state and then become ‘one mouth’ and express compassion. They throw rose petals, spikenard and cardamom into the ring to calm the animals.
The Goddess Asteroids, of which Vesta is just one, are said to help us transition from individual to collective consciousness – from hierarchy to synarchy you might say. These bodies lie between Mars and Jupiter and are the new rulers of the signs Virgo, Libra and Scorpion (6, 7 and 8th houses) where this transition takes place in our astrological charts.
In the astounding conclusion to the story Thecla baptizes herself in a sea lion pool. As she does so a Pillar of Fire forms over the pool protecting her from any further attack. It is interesting the interplay of fire and water in both these near executions. In the first pyre it rain that saves Thecla, and in the second fire above saves her as she enters the water.
This issue of sovereignty is really the key power of Vesta. We are so conditioned to believe we need people in authority to do things before we can act. We wait for permission, but Vesta like Thecla knows exactly when the time is right and she boldly goes for it. Her only authority is her own spirit in relationship with God and thus she is powerful like the lioness who protected her life. Ironically, this is the key issue in why the Spanish conquerors persecuted the Mayans and were so afraid of their teachings.
It is said Thecla lived to around 90 years and healed many people. I feel very much these hidden stories about the women are the true story and fractal line of Christ Consciousness which has always been about men and women working together for the greater good.
Thecla’s story comes from The Acts of Paul and Thecla, a scripture which has been authenticated from the time of Paul and is by scholars said to have been widely read as a number of copies have been found in different locations. It was declared heretical by a theologian Tertullian in the late Second Century which is why you like me may never have heard this story.
After the British election I felt very depressed for a few days but it illuminated to me the importance of Vesta. When we feel powerless, victimized and furious at the injustice of the world it can bring us crashing down – well it did me. I felt completely purposeless for a few days. Then the birds came – three thrushes and sang to me as I cried underneath a tree. Somehow they brought me back into my body and slowly over the days came back to the sense of inner authority that is unshakable and invincible, at one with the Beloved.
Some key dates for Vesta in 2020
She is currently in a wide conjunction with Uranus in Taurus.
She enters Gemini at the Spring Equinox 21st March 2020
She is conjunct Venus and Hygiea in late April and on the 26th April the Moon joins this glorious trio of healing feminine energy. On that day the Sun is also conjunct Uranus.
On the 15 May Vesta, Venus and Hygiea are in exact conjunction at 21 degrees Gemini
5th June Vesta enters Cancer and is conjunct the North Node.
3rd July Vesta in aligned to Sirius for a few days.
In late July and early August Vesta with Hygiea at her side in Cancer oppose Pallas Athena, Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn.
11th August Vesta enters Leo during the Lion’s Gate
Venus and Vesta make their exact conjunction on the Autumn Equinox 2020 at 17 Leo. Vesta and Venus travel together through most of late September.
17th – 22 October Vesta is conjunct Regulus, The Heart of the Lion
23rd October Vesta enters Virgo – she is a new ruler of Virgo so will thrive here until the end of the year.
I offer one to one Goddess Asteroid readings do email me for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love and blessings
I read the story of Thecla in Mary Magdalene Revealed by Meggan Watterson
Background information on the Acts of Paul and Thecla https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/maps/primary/thecla.html