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Juno


Juno, the sister and consort of Jupiter, and in the Roman pantheon she help a special position, being called "the queen of heaven," in this distinction she assumed many of the characteristics of Hera. She was the protectress of women; it was said just as every man has his genius, every woman has her juno, who presided over every aspect of womanly life-especially marriage and childbirth. She was guardian of the bride's girdle, the protector of the newly married woman as she entered her new home, presided over the ritual of marriage, helped women in childbirth and enabled the newly born child to see. Even now Juno is still remembered, although many do not realize it, since June is the month of many weddings.

The sisters, Goddesses Cuba and Cunina, of Juno were associated with the attendants of the Goddess Runina, considered the goddess of breastfeeding and the fig tree. The fig tree is holy to Juno as its fruit resemble suckled breasts.

Women finding themselves sterile prayed to Juno for fertility, and once annually on the first of March, the matronalia--the matrons of the city made special offerings at her temple in the grove on the Esquiline.

As the moon was to control the sexual life of women, Juno was a moon-goddess, and was worshiped on the Kalends, or the days of the full moon. A.G.H.


Sources:

Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology, New York, G. P. Putman's Sons, 1980, p. 145
Grimal, Pierre, Larousse World Mythology, Secaucus, New Jersey, Chartwell Books, 1965, p. 178
Goddess Rumina. <http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/rumina.html>
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 125

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