Sacred Source -Vesta with Pales

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Vesta with Pales Goddess of Household Harmony. Her Greek name Hestia means hearth, and from antiquity her vestal virgins tended her sacred altar fire on the Palatine Hill in Rome. These priestesses probably engaged in annual sexual rites with the Pontifex Maximus, a priest whose title was later assumed by the Pope. As Vesta she was honored as Rome's First Mother, and while her original image was simply flame, she was as here depicted by 100 BCE. The serpent sucking an egg from her patera represents her generative role, while her scepter and himation headdress signify her rank. Under her throne is a measure of wheat and a round loaf, as she was the deity of household abundance and well-being. Her consort was the donkey-god Pales, a symbol of fertility throughout the ancient world.

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