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Juno is the ancient Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth. She is also the chief goddess, Roman Queen of the Gods (Regina Deorum) and female counterpart of Jupiter. She is the wife and sister to King Jupiter. Juno is considered as the protector and special counselor of the roman state. Juno also looked after the woman of Rome. She is the youngest daughter of Saturn and Ops. Younger sister of Vesta and Ceres and older sister of Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. Juno was worshipped as one of the Capitoline Triad alongside with her husband Jupiter and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.

Juno is generally depicted as gracefully beautiful and very tall, who is more warrior-like in nature, as opposed to her Greek counterpart, Hera. She is usually wearing a goatskin coat with a golden crown called polos, carrying a spear and a shield.

Juno's symbols are crown, cypress, pomegranate, lily and lotus. While peacock, lion and cuckoos serves as her sacred animals.

Etymology

The name Juno was also once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove), originally as Diuno and Diove from *Diovona. At the beginning of the 20th century, a derivation was proposed from iuven- (as in Latin iuvenis, "youth"), through a syncopated form iūn- (as in iūnix, "heifer", and iūnior, "younger"). This etymology became widely accepted after it was endorsed by Georg Wissowa.

Iuuen- is related to Latin aevum and Greek aion (αἰών) through a common Indo-European root referring to a concept of vital energy or "fertile time". The iuvenis is he who has the fullness of vital force. In some inscriptions Jupiter himself is called Iuuntus, and one of the epithets of Jupiter is Ioviste, a superlative form of iuuen- meaning "the youngest". Iuventas, "Youth", was one of two deities who "refused" to leave the Capitol when the building of the new Temple of Capitoline Jove required the exauguration of deities who already occupied the site. Juno is the equivalent to Hera, the Greek goddess for woman, marriage, family and childbirth. Juno is the Roman goddess of marriage, family and childbirth. Ancient etymologies associated Juno's name with iuvare, "to aid, benefit", and iuvenescere, "rejuvenate", sometimes connecting it to the renewal of the new and waxing moon, perhaps implying the idea of a moon goddess.

Festival

The Matronalia

Like most gods and goddesses, there was a festival in honor of Juno. Matronalia was celebrated on the first of March. Matronalia was a day when husbands were expected to present their wife with gifts. Some say that the festival was made in honor of Juno's son, Mars. While some says, that the celebration was mark of the end of the the Roman-Sabine war, where women played an important role. It is said that the women threw themselves between the factions to restore peace.

In addition to Matronalia, which falls on the first of March, the first of each months were special to Juno. The entire month of June was also considered sacred to her, and it was named in her honor.

The Epithets of Juno

Just like her Greek counterpart, Hera. Juno has many epithets that describe her function or area within the Roman society.

  • Juno Sospita- Juno Sospita refers to Juno’s role as the protector of those in confinement, referring to pregnant women awaiting the impending birth of their child. As a protector, this aspect of Juno is depicted in goatskin, carrying a spear and a shield. Juno Sospita was also the chief deity of Lanuvium, a city located to the southeast of Rome.
  • Juno Lucina- As Juno Lucina, Juno was known as the goddess of childbirth. Lucina, which means “light,” was described as “she who brings children into the light.” Her main duty was to ensure the safety of women in childbirth. In the temple of Juno Lucina, a woman could not present an offering unless all knots in her clothing were untied. It was said that a belt would hinder delivery
  • Juno Moneta- Juno Moneta refers to the goddess of Rome that was the protector of funds. In the Temple of Juno Moneta, the first Roman coins were minted and continued to be minted there for over four centuries.

Juno also has many other epithets that describes her roles and function in the Roman society such as Juno Curitis, Juno Lucetia, Regina Coeli, Juno Caprotina, Juno Cinxia (she who loses the bride's girdle), Juno Tutula, Juno Flounia or Fluvionia and many more.

Mythology

Early Life of Juno

The story of Juno’s creation, was very similar to her Greek counterpart. In the beginning of time, the cosmos was ruled by a god known as Caelus. In time, Caelus’s son Saturn overthrew him and took control of the universe for himself. Saturn united with Ops, the goddess of elemental earth, and sired children with her.

While the children were still growing in Ops’ womb, Saturn learned of a prophecy that predicted his downfall at the hands of one of his offspring. Not knowing who was to take the role of usurper, Saturn ate his first five children, one of whom was Juno. Ops saved the last child, Jupiter, and substituted a rock in his place. When Saturn ate the rock, he came down with a case of indigestion that ultimately caused him to vomit up his children; Juno, Pluto, Neptune, Ceres, and Vesta were soon free. After combining their strength with that of their younger brother Jupiter, the divine siblings took over the world and divided responsibilities amongst themselves.

Family of Juno

Juno's parents is Titan-King Saturn and Titaness-Queen Ops. She had two elder sister which is Vesta, goddess of hearth and Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility. Juno also had three younger brother named Jupiter, god of sky and thunder (whom she marry later), Neptune, god of sea and Pluto, god of the underworld and wealth.

Juno is married to her youngest brother, Jupiter. Through their incestous marriage, Juno gave birth to Mars the god of war, Juventus the goddess of youth and rejuvenation, Vulcan the god of blacksmith, Lucina, goddess of childbirth, Bellona, goddess of war, conquest, bloodlust and destruction and lastly Discordia the goddess of discord and strife.

The Household of Juno

Juno was attended by Castor and Pollux also known as Terror and Boldness, alongside with 14 additional nymphs. Her most beloved and favourite attendent is Iris. She has been pictured at her side in artwork. Iris is Juno's messenger.

Juno was usually believed to be the mother of four childrens Mars, Vulcan, Juventus and Bellona. According to a roman poetic work by Ovid, Mars the Roman God of war was said to be the parthegenous child of Juno. He was conceived by the magical flower that Juno ate. The flower was given to her by Flora, the goddess of spring and flowers.

As Jupiter's wife, Juno is known to be fiercely loyal, but also a jealous and vengeful, especially when Jupiter usurped her role as a mother and gave birth to Minerva from his head. It is believed that Jupiter tapped his head and Minerva sprang from his head. This incident is believed to the reason behind why Juno use Flora's magical flower to gave birth to Mars on her own.

She was also according to Homer and Virgil, likes (and) more often scold her husband rather than caressing him. This probably could explain why Jupiter often cheats on Juno a lot.

Io

It starts with Juno looking down on Earth from heaven and seeing an unusual dark cloud. She assumes that the cloud was put there by her husband to hide himself. Juno blows the cloud away and goes down to investigate. She finds her husband Jupiter standing by a river with an attractive heifer (a female cow). Jupiter had been flirting with a river goddess named Io and when he sensed his wife coming, changed Io into a heifer.

Juno compliments the beauty of the heifer and asks who it belongs to. Jupiter says it was a “new creation of the Earth” and didn’t belong to anyone. Then Juno asks to have the heifer. Jupiter can’t say no because it would look suspicious so he gives the heifer to his wife.

Juno senses something is going on with the heifer so she gives it to Argus, the giant with one hundred eyes, to keep a close watch over it. Argus agrees and begins watching the heifer. Io’s (the heifer’s) father and brother come across Io in her transformed state and offer it some grass to eat. Io licks her father’s hand but he doesn’t understand. Then Io writes her name in the dirt with her hoof and he understands and is sad that she’s been changed into a female cow. Just then Argus comes near and chases her father Inachus, the river god, away from Io.

At this point Jupiter becomes sad about Io being changed into a heifer and her being held under so close a watch by Argus. He decides to call on Mercury who is the Roman god (his name is Hermes in Greek mythology) of trade and poetry and actually a lot of other things, to go and lull Argus to sleep and then kill him. Mercury agrees and leaves heaven with his winged shoes and lands on Earth. He leaves his shoes and cap and only takes his syrinx, which is a reed-like instrument, and poses as a shepherd playing music.

Argus hears and likes the music he is playing and invites him over to rest and play more. Mercury agrees and plays his most calming songs and lulls most of Argus’s eyes to sleep but a few stay open. Then, to lull the giant all the way to sleep, he tells the story of how the syrinx came to be. In short, there was a river goddess named Syrinx and she was beautiful. Pan, the god of the wild and shepherds and flocks, saw her and wanted to marry her. Syrinx runs away and Pan chases. She runs right up to the river and then asks the other water nymphs (goddesses) to help her. They change Syrinx into reeds just as Pan arrives. He is sad she has been changed but likes the music the reeds make. He cuts a few and begins to play them as an instrument and is happy to at least have the instrument, if not Syrinx herself.

That story lulls Argus all the way to sleep and Mercury chops off his head, killing him and freeing Io, still in heifer form. Juno, however, is still upset and has further plans of torment for Io. She sends a gadfly, which is a fly that bites horses, to chase and torment her. Io runs all over the world and through oceans to escape the gadfly. Finally, after promising not to go down and flirt with Io anymore, Jupiter convinces his wife Juno to change Io back into her original form and reunite her with her family, which she does.

Callisto

Diana goddess of hunting and moon was said to have a beautiful nymph as one of her huntresses. The nymph was named Callisto. Jupiter, Diana's father and Juno's husband fell in love with Callisto. He disguised himself as Diana and slept with her. When Juno found out about her husband's affair with the nymph, Juno became extremely jealous and she promised for vengeance. Juno appeared herself before Callisto and turned her into a bear. Juno then came to her step-daughter, Diana and convinced her to shot one of her arrows at Callisto. Diana fullfilled Juno's wish and shot the girl with one of her arrow. Poor Callisto fell to the ground and died tragically.

Jupiter, Juno, Mercury and Larunda

Larunda also known as Lara was the daughter of river Almo in Ovid's Fasti. Lara was known to be very beautiful. Her parents often scold her for not being able to hold her tongue. Lara likes to talk non-stop and while she was talking she likes to reveal secret that she should not.

One day, Jupiter fall in love with Lara's fellow nymph, Juturna, who is also the wife of Janus. As the King of the Gods did not stop harassing her, the nymph decided to throw herself into the Tiber and hide on its banks. Jupiter called all the naiads and ordered them to prevent Juturna from hiding. Lara, who was present during the event saw what happens. She went to where Juno was and explained what happened. Juno was furious and repriminded her husband.

Angry Jupiter cuts off her tongue causing her to become a mute. After he cuts her tongue off, he ordered his son, Mercury the psychopomp to accompany her to the underworld where she must remain for all eternity. Juno took pity on her cause Mercury to fall in love with her. He had sex with Lara on the way and with the sexual union they had: Lares. Mercury hid his beloved in a cabin in the forest so that Jupiter could not find her.

Powers and Abilities

As Queen of the Gods, the chief goddess of he Roman Gods and female counterpart of Jupiter, Juno is considered as the most powerful goddess in Roman mythology. Juno was a goddess by her own right and she is described being more graceful and merciful than her Greek counterpart Hera.

She was honoured and worshipped by millions of Romans every single day. Many Romans, especially woman, loved her.

  • Immortality
  • Agriculture Inuition
  • Cycle Manipulation
  • Divine Lord Physiology
    • Divine Authority (Queen of the Gods & Sovereign Goddess)
  • Enhanced Charisma
  • Feminity & Youth Aspect Manifestation
  • Primordial Mother Goddess Physiology (limited/one myth)
  • Guardianship
  • Lunar Deity Physiology (one myth; new & waxing moon)
  • Monetary Manipulation
  • Oath Keeping
  • Purification
  • Relationship Manipulation
  • Sacred Energy Manipulation
  • Sacrificial Power
  • Sex Deity Physiology (limited; female sexuality)
    • Feminity Manipulation
    • Fertility Manipulation
      • Birth Manipulation
        • Miscarriage Inducement
        • Infertile Manipulation
        • Pregnancy Inducement
  • Love Manipulation
  • Seer (Juno warns Rome everytime she sees/sense danger)
  • Super Fecundity
  • Supernatural Beauty
  • Trinity Force (Jupiter-Juno-Minerva; the Capitoline Triad)
  • War Deity Physiology (limited)
    • Combat Specialist
      • Combat Perception
    • Supernatural Strength
    • War Manipulation
      • Army Manipulation
      • War Inducement (limited)
  • Spell Casting
  • Shapeshifting
    • Animal Morphing
    • Human Morphing
  • Flight
  • Transmutation
  • Transportation

See Also

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