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I wrote last week about the God Jupiter and his abundance. This week’s post is about the Roman Goddess Juno who, like Jupiter, is expansive and multi-faceted in her attributes and abilities. She was considered the Queen of the Gods and as such was connected to all aspects of life notably those that concerned women. In the broadest sense she was the embodiment of the feminine principle and seen as the protective guardian “spirit” (Juno) of women in the same way the “genius” was attributed to men.

Of the Roman Gods none but Apollo were worshipped more widely or more often appeased when thought to have been provoked to anger. Juno, in her more ancient aspect is often depicted as the jealous and vengeful wife of Jupiter, in his archaic form of philanderer and womanizer. She would stop at no means to attain her ends and was in particular a vital and powerful ally for women regarding matters of marriage and their life cycles. These negative traits gave way in light of her overwhelming devotion to women and their safeguarding and she became a most beloved Goddess to be called upon in all affairs.

Juno was the daughter of Saturn and Rhea and sister (as well as wife) to Jupiter. The Roman Poet, Ovid speaks of Juno as being jealous of the birthing of Minerva from the head of Jupiter and sought the aid of Flora who gave her an herb that enabled the birthing of Mars. Juno’s other children are noted as Vulcan, the God of Fire (and Volcanos) and Juventas, whose name means “youth” and rejuvenation. These became energies associated with Juno as well, having bestowed them on her daughter.

Juno was noted as a Goddess of the “Capitoline Triad” and in this role was known as Juno Regina, or Queen Juno.

” In ancient Roman religion, the Capitoline Triad was a group of three supreme deities who were worshipped in an elaborate temple on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, the Capitolium. Two distinct Capitoline Triads were worshipped at various times in Rome’s history, both originating in ancient traditions predating the Roman Republic. The one most commonly referred to as the “Capitoline Triad” is the more recent of the two, consisting of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva and drawing on Etruscan mythology. The earlier triad, sometimes referred to in modern scholarship as the Archaic Triad, consisted of Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus and was Indo-European in origin. Each triad held a central place in the public religion of Rome during its time.” (1.)

Her epithets were many and were customized in accord with the particular function that was assigned to her. As Queen of the Heavens, Juno was depicted in a chariot drawn by her sacred animal, the Peacock…

“When Juno appeared as the majesty of heaven, with her sceptre and diadem beset with lilies and roses, her chariot was drawn by peacocks, birds sacred to her; for which reason, in her temple at Euboea, the emperor Adrian made her a most magnificent offering of a golden crown, a purple mantle, with an embroidery of silver, describing the marriage of Hercules and Hebe, and a large peacock, whose body was of gold, and his train of most valuable jewels.” (2.)

As the Juno Moneta (she who warns) she guarded over the finances of the empire and had a temple on the Arx (one of two Capitoline hills), close to the Royal Mint. This attribution ensured her place as one of governance over the State and its affairs.

As Juno Lucina she became the Goddess of childbirth. As Juno Sospita (Saviour) she was depicted wearing battle attire, ready to protect the welfare of women and eventually, as her popularity and power grew she became known as the defender and protector of the state. This spoke to both her sovereignty and fertility in maintaining order.

Image: Statue of Juno Sospita in the Round Hall in the Vatican Museums

Her Festivals were frequent, especially because of her influence in so many diverse areas of daily life. These became more widespread as her archetypal energy was assimilated as Rome’s cultural impact spread.Known as Fluviona and Februalis, Juno embodied the purification and fertility rites of February in preparation for Spring’s new life. A special ceremony was dedicated to her in the home to celebrate the beginning of each lunar month…

“ The first days of each Roman month, the calends, were sacred to Juno, as was the entire month of June, which is still named for Her. Five cities in Latium (the region of the Latin tribe) also named a month for Her: Aricia, on the Via Appia; Lanuvium, where She was worshipped as Juno Sospita (“Juno the Saviouress”), Praeneste (modern Palestrina), Tibur (modern Tivoli, the resort town of Rome), and Laurentum, located between Lavinium and Ostia on the coast. And as Juno is the Roman Goddess of Marriage, it is no coincidence that June is still considered the proper month for weddings.” 3.

And, Juno’s main festival, the Matronalia was held on March 1st. On this day married woman asked their husbands to give them money to make offerings to the Goddess.

There are many ways to incorporate Juno’s energies into your workings and daily devotionals. Call upon her to rejuvenate your relationships. Call upon her when you need courage and strength in support of a worthy cause. Call on her in childbirth and to ease the monthly cycles of menstruation. Call on her as Queen of the Heavens and welcome her into your home to weave her magick of new beginnings and harmonious relations.

Read more about the Goddess, Juno at Sacred Texts:

Sacred Time:The Month of June

Resources:

1. Dumézil, Georges (1970). Archaic Roman Religion with an appendix on the Religion of the Etruscans. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago

2. E.M. Burens. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York. Maynard, Merril and Co.

3. Obscure Goddess Online Directory

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