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Sunday, June 02, 2013

Juno - Queen of Heaven

Titles: Queen of Heaven
Also known as: Uni
Origin: Etruscan; Italian; Latin
Animals: Snakes; goats; wolves; Juno drives a chariot drawn by lions
Birds: Peacocks; crows; and geese
Tree: Fig
Flower: Iris
Planet: The Moon; Juno has an asteroid named in her honor.
Number: One; Juno's name derives from the same roots as the word one.
Sacrament: Marriage

Juno is the Queen of the Roman region. She is an ancient spirit who preceded the Romans in the area; they may have received her from the Etruscans or one of the Italian tribes. In her earliest incarnation, Juno was the Spirit of Time, in charge of organizing the orderly division of time. In this capacity, she rules the menstrual cycle, the earliest calendar. Matron and protector of women, Juno is involved in every stage of female life, from first breath to the last. Her particular concerns are marriage and fertility. Juno epitomizes woman power, whatever the female equivalent of virility would be called.

Women were expected to honor Juno each year on the occasion of their birthdays. According to Roman tradition, during the week following a birth, a table laden with offerings honoring Juno was kept in the new child's home.

Juno can heal any illness but is specifically associated with those considered "women's illnesses" or anything to do with the specifically female parts of the body: breasts, reproductive organs. She bestows fertility or can help you not get pregnant, if that's your desire. She oversees romance, marriage and menopause and has the power to fulfill any request made by a devotee.

Juno has become identified with Greek Hera, as if Juno is merely another nation's name for Hera. Myths of Zeus and Hera are recounted with the names of Jupiter and Juno substituted. Hera and Juno do have many similarities and common concerns. However, they are not the same; their natures are quite different. Juno is not an abused, jealous wife. Juno is calm, regal, serene, and usually a very reasonable spirit. She is not as volatile as Hera.

Favored people: Women; children; men of military age (whether or not they're in the military); those born or married during her months of June or February, or on one of her many feast days; Romans; Italians.

Iconography: Depicted as a veiled woman bearing a flower in her right hand, holding an infant in her left.

Offerings: (Traditionally made on the first day of each month) flowers; peacock feathers; Italian wine and mineral water; coins; flock of toy geese; cooked lamb or beef.

Dates: The first day of each month is dedicated to her. Juno was celebrated throughout the traditional Roman calendar as the focus of several festivals; her primary feast, celebrated March 1, commemorates the founding of her temple on Rome's Esquiline Hill. Women journeyed to her temple, bearing gifts. Additional festivals in Juno's honor were held in March and July.

 From: Encyclopedia of Spirits
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