To continue my series of relating deities to their respective times of the year, this month we look at the Roman goddess Juno.
Those who are not familiar with Juno might know her better by her Greek counterpart, Hera, queen of the gods. Wife of Jupiter (ruler of the gods) and mother of Mars, she has influence over the domains of birth, midwifery, and marriage. It is worth noting that Mars, her son, went on to found, and become the patron deity for, Rome. This only serves to exemplify how important her role was in Roman theology.
Like any good mother, Juno carries many titles and many corresponding roles. As a goddess of marriage, she was called Interducta (“she who leads the bride into marriage”), Domiduca (“she who leads the bride to her new home”), and Cinxia (“she who loses the bride’s girdle”).
In addition, Juno bore other responsibilities. She was called Juno Regina (“Juno the Queen”, in relation to her position among the gods), Juno Moneta (“Juno who Warns”, as the financial protector of the Roman empire), Lucina (“Bringer of Children into the Light”), Pomana (“Goddess of Fruit”), Pronuba (“Matron of Honor”), and Ossipagina (“Setter/Strengthener of Bones”).
Juno is, however, still most known for her role as patron of marriage and birth. For this reason, June is considered to be one of the most favorable times to marry.
Lest we take her too lightly, however, remember this: Juno has been known to throw lightning bolts just the same as her husband Jupiter.