It is in October that the tale of the three priestesses in Fire and Sacrifice begins, so this October 2133 years later my monthly post goes back to the beginning.

It is 114BC Rome: 114 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, before Caesar, before Antony and Cleopatra, the emperors, the Colosseum, and before Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash.

It is mid Autumn. As the days shorten and the evenings cool, the priestesses’ sacred fire takes on greater import as Romans and their slaves and servants are drawn to her warmth.

Before there was a temple in this little corner of the bustling and famous Roman Forum, there was a campfire. From even before the time Romulus and his men made camp and built a fire for warmth and to cook the spoils of a hunt, this fire was survival.

In the coming Winter where the nights can drop to zero degrees, it would keep them alive.

Very quickly they came to cherish it.

Very quickly it became vital to be able to keep it aflame, and to use it to revive the fires of the new camps and clans growing around them should they be in need.

The new Romans protected their fire from wind and rain, with walls and a roof. Archaeological excavations have found the remains of wooden postholes at the Temple of Vesta that date back to 600 or 700BC.

They protected it later with stone. They named the fire a goddess, Vesta, and the shelter her temple. They raised an alter, and used the fire to cleanse their sacrifices to other gods, too.

The fire came to represent the beating heart of Rome itself. And, just as the campfire signals to the soldier, explorer, hunter, nomad that home has survived and waits safely, so the hearth in the Temple of Vesta in the centre of Rome symbolised no less that the very survival of the Roman empire.

And they would kill their most beloved, to protect that.

Here, in October 2133 years later, begins the story of the princess-priestess Aemilia and her servant Secunda.

Click here to get a copy of Fire and Sacrifice.

Very excited to work with the fab ladies at Biddy Tarot, appearing on their blog this month. Writing this was a fun and fascinating journey into the goddess Vesta as well as Minerva and Venus: three gals with helluva punch!

Rider Waite Queen of Swords

As personifications of female archetypes, the Tarot Queens can be much like the goddesses. Relating a Tarot Queen to a goddess with the same traits can be a very effective way to deepen your understanding of these cards.

Get to know these multi-faceted goddesses, and you can uncover insights and connections with the Tarot Queens in easy and exciting ways.

As earthly beings of the minor arcana, I look upon a Tarot Queen as a priestess of the chosen goddess; one who walks with the goddess in her everyday mortal work (just like you can!).

Rider Waite Queen of Cups

Read the full blog for

Queen of Swords (Minerva, goddess of wisdom and war – not particularly in touch with her emotions but gets the job done!)

Queen of Cups (Venus, goddess of love and beauty – unashamedly feminine and in-touch with her feelings and desires but totally in control of them!)

Queen of Pentacles (Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire – an ultimate Earth Mother, pragmatist and provider)

Queen of Wands (the hotter side of Vesta, goddess of the hearth fire – magnetic, passionate and charismatic).