Juturna

Juturna

ORIGIN:

Roman region

Feast: 11 January

Juturna is a spirit of fresh water. Although described as a Roman goddess and now integrated into the Roman pantheon, she actually predates the Romans in the area. Her brother, Turnus, King of the Rutuli, an Italic tribe, was chief rival of Aeneas, progenitor and ancestor of the Romans. Juturna was allied with her brother in his fight against Roman domination. Her brother was killed during the hostilities but Juturna was too important to be banished.

Although a spirit of fresh water in general, Juturna was specifically associated with two sources of fresh water: a sacred well in Lavinium and a spring now in the Roman Forum, probably the primary source of fresh water for the earliest inhabitants of the Palatine Hill. (It remained so until aqueducts were first built in 312 BCE.) Water from Juturna’s spring was used by the Vestal Virgins as ritual water. The water is also believed to have healing properties.

Although Juturna is wed to Janus, she also had an affair with Jupiter, conducted secretly until betrayed by the Nymph, Lara. This myth may be interpreted as Jupiter attempting to move in on the ancient deity, Janus’ turf and being foiled.

Consort: Janus; their son is Fontus, Spirit of Fountains, Wells and Springs

Spirit allies:

Juturna is closely affiliated with the Dioscuri

SACRED SITES:

The spring of Juturna in the Roman Forum; she also had a Roman temple

Sacred day: The Juturnalia celebrated on 11 January marks the dedication of her temple in the Campus Martius.

SEE ALSO:

Dioscuri; Janus; Jupiter; Lara; Nymph; Vesta

SOURCE:

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.

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