Pagan Paths

A blog dedicated to the renewal of the ancient Vesta tradition, the “spiritual focus of the home,” in modern households.

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Stubborn as a Mule - But Is That a Bad Thing?

So as many of you know, I’m hard at work on another Vesta book.  I’m having a great time writing it and hopefully you’ll have a great time reading it.

For this book series, I’ve gone beyond the usual ancient sources (as invaluable as they are) for my research and have relied heavily on old images and vintage articles from archaeology papers.  My latest find is this stereoview card (see blog image) of the Temple of Hercules in the Forum Boarium located near the Tiber.  This was the area where cattle were bought and sold, and various other merchants set up shop.

At the time this stereoview was created – in the early 1900’s – this round temple was still commonly believed to be a Temple of Vesta because of its circular shape; however, a delegate of Napolean (yes, THAT Napoloean) had previously identified it as a Temple of Hercules.

The reason I love this pic is simple – it’s that stubborn little mule.

Sure, that grinning boy is cute too – looks a bit on the mischievous side, doesn’t he? – but it’s that mule that really makes me smile.  He looks like he has an attitude.  Stubborn as anything, yet I have a feeling that he’s the chap you call when you really need to get the job done.

Whenever we’re trying to finish a project – whether it’s a book, losing weight, being more positive – we talk a lot about finding inspiration.  That’s certainly important.  Yet when it comes down to it, we need a stubborn streak as well, don’t we?  We need that little voice inside of us that says, “I don’t care how tough it gets, I’m not giving up.”

I’ve always wondered why – of all the graceful animals out there – Vesta chose a donkey as her sacred animal.  Why not an exotic peacock?  Or a pure white dove?  Why a stubborn, stamping donkey?

Yet as I trudge along trying to balance my writing with work, husband, son, other family obligations, household chores and so on and so forth, I’m beginning to understand why. You know exactly what I’m talking about.  No doubt you do the same balancing act every single day.

So if your inspiration levels are good but your “staying power” tends to wear thin, here’s my advice:  make like a mule and nourish that stubborn streak.  It’s the only way to get a tough job done.   All best, in Vesta.  Visit

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Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B. is a couples and family mediator, a top-selling marriage author-expert and a popular resource for major media in North America. She is the leading proponent of the New Vesta tradition and order. Her New Vesta book series and Add a Spark women's seminars "spread the flame" into modern lives and homes.


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