Juno – Queen of Heaven
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 womanpower, whatever the female equivalent of virility would be called.
Women were expected to honour Juno each year on the occasion of their birthdays. According to Roman tradition, during the week following a birth, a table laden with offerings honouring 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 fulfil 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.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Etruscan; Italian; Latin
Women, children; men of military age (whether or not they’re in the military); those born or married during her months, June and February or on one of her many feast days; Romans; Italians
Depicted as a veiled woman bearing a flower in her right hand, holding an infant in her left.
Snakes; goats; wolves; Juno drives a chariot drawn by lions.
Peacocks, crows, and geese
The Moon; Juno has an asteroid named in her honor.
1; Juno’s name derives from the same roots as the word one. (Think universe; unicorn; unibrow.)
The first day of each month is dedicated to her. Juno was celebrated throughout the traditional Roman calendar as the focus of several major festivals: her primary feast, celebrated 1 March, 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 on 7 March and 7 July. See the list of Juno’s paths below for more feast days.
Juno is the guardian of Rome and provides for its safety and well being
(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
PATHS OF JUNO
Over the centuries, Juno developed many paths, which may all be understood as the many facets of one great goddess. Alternatively, Juno may have absorbed veneration of what were once distinct, independent goddesses. The different paths were recognized and venerated independently by the Romans. One may celebrate all Juno’s feasts and facets or anyone in particular which resonates with you. The following are but a few of Juno’s many aspects:
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Juno the Purifier or Juno of the Fever of Love, presides over the month of February, last month of the traditional Roman year, dedicated to spiritual cleansing and getting ready for the new year to come. The entire month was dedicated to her. Post-Christianity, Juno’s February candle festival was transferred to Mary as the Feast of Candlemas.
Juno Caprotina is Juno of the Wild Figs. Juno Caprotina dresses in goatskins and drives a chariot pulled by goats. Enslaved women made up a large proportion of her devotees.
7 July, the Caprotinae, when free and slave women made offerings to her beneath wild fig trees outside Rome’s city limits
Juno Covella is Juno of the Vault of the Heavens, spirit of the New Moon. The first day of each lunar month is marked by the appearance of the New Moon. Juno Covella presides over calendars. Lawrence Durdin-Robertson’s 1982 publication, Juno Covella: Perpetual Calendar of the Fellowship of Isis is named in her honour.
Each New Moon
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Juno Curitis is Juno of the Spear, the only spirit venerated by all thirty curiae, the military and administrative units introduced by Romulus. Juno Curitis also protects married women and promises them healthy babies. (Curitis may initially have been a Sabine deity eventually overshadowed and absorbed by Juno.)
Her temple was on the Field of Mars
Wine, barley cakes
Juno Fluonia halts menstrual flow. She is the matron of menopausal women.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Juno the Light-bringer; Juno Who Gives Birth
Juno Lucina is a childbirth spirit invoked by pregnant women. She guides the new baby down the dark birth canal into the light. Veneration of Juno Lucina may have been transferred to Saint Lucy.
1 March, birthday of Mars, Juno’s son
Juno Lupa, or Juno the Wolf, is partnered with Faunus; she is his match in every way. Juno Lupa presides over the Lupercalia. She may or may not be the wolf who nursed Romulus and Remus.
Juno Lupa may manifest as a she-wolf
14 February, first day of the Luper calia, Rome’s festival of purification and fertility, shared with Faunus. (The festival technically began on the eve of February 14th; so at sunset on the 13th.) On February 14th, Juno and Faunus respond to women’s pleas for fertility. The Lupercalia was officially banned in 494 CE but survived in secret for longer. Candlemas and Valentine’s Day are among rituals intended to replace it.
Juno Matrona is the presiding spirit of marriage, invoked by women and men for marital happiness.
Juno Moneta is Juno the Warner. Moneta sounds financial now but originally derives from Monere, “to warn.” In 390 BCE, the honking of Juno’s temple geese alerted Rome to a surprise attack by the Gauls. Juno was credited with saving the city and the Roman mint was installed next to her temple, hence terms like monetary and money. Rome considered Juno’s temple the safest place to store their money; she may be invoked to guard your treasures and finances, too.
The Temple of Juno Moneta, located on the highest summit of the Capitoline Hill, was dedicated in 344 BCE. The site is now occupied by the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli.
Juno Populonia is Juno of the People. She is invoked to help increase protection by stimulating conception.
Juno Pronuba helps women find good husbands. Marriage is Juno’s sacrament; if you’re having trouble fulfilling it, request her assistance
Juno Regina is Juno the Queen
Feasts: 1 September, 13 September, and 23 December, anniversary of the dedication of her temple in the Circus Flaminius in 179 BCE.
Juno Sororia, or Sister Juno, sustains harmony between siblings.
Juno Sospita is Juno the Savior or Defender, Mother of Rome, and Matron Deity of the Republic. This is Juno in her warrior aspect. Juno Sospita was originally matron of the Latin settlement of Lanivium, incorporated into the Roman pantheon in 338 BCE.
On Roman coins, dating from 105 BCE, Juno Sospita is depicted clad in goatskins complete with horns.
Lance and shield
1 February when sacrifices were made to her. Blindfolded young girls offered barley cakes to the sacred snakes residing in her grove at Laventum.
Juno Viriplaca is invoked to settle arguments and heal rifts between spouses. She is petitioned by women to eliminate or minimize the wrath of their husbands.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.