In Ancient Rome a Vestal Virgin was a virgin consecrated to the goddess Vesta and vowed to chastity, responsible for maintaining the sacred fire burning on the goddess's altar. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations to marry and bear children, and took a vow of chastity in order to devote themselves to the study of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests. Their person was sacrosanct and they were the only women allowed to own property.
The house and temple of the Vestal Virgins was my favorite place in the Forum, the city centre of Ancient Rome. Being a sun sign and a feminist, my inner Leo and Goddess loved the idea of these Goddesses of the hearth maintaining the sacred fire that kept the city secure, freed them of typical obligations and allowed them access to knowledge and ownership outside of the patriarchal system. Go ladies! I feel like part of that feminist spark was in the message I channelled that said: 'a twinkle in the eye.' There was that quiet respect but a spark of fiery freedom.
While in the House of the Vestal Virgins the word that came through was: reprieve. This place felt feminine, positive, joyful, lighter and quieter than the surrounding structures and areas. I kept smelling and seeing visions of lavender in my mind’s eye. Later on, I looked it up out of curiosity and found that lavender was dedicated to Vesta and her Vestal Virgins, which is pretty cool!
Porta Alchemica, known as the Alchemist's Gate or Magic Portal, was another unexpected and amazing stop we ended up making during our Rome trip. It's a bummer that it's gated and you can't get close enough to see the details and symbols on the door but I did place my hand on the back of the wall and found my own moment of connection.
The Alchemist’s Gate is one of five former gates that remained in the villa. Legend has it that a pilgrim was hosted in the villa for the night, identified later by some as the alchemist Giuseppe Francesco Borri. He searched the gardens of the villa overnight in search of a mysterious herb capable of concocting gold. The next morning he was seen to disappear forever through a door, but left behind a few flakes of gold, the fruits of a successful alchemical transmutation, and a mysterious paper full of puzzling symbols and equations describing the ingredients and process required.
The guardians on either side of the door are said to represent Bes. Bes is an ancient Egyptian deity worshiped as a protector of households, mothers and children, and childbirth. Bes later came to be regarded as the defender of everything good and the enemy of all that is bad. I found the energy to be charming, exciting and friendly.
Here's what I channeled: