June is a glorious month! Spring is officially present and encroaching upon sultry summer. June is the month of rebirth, of nature after a long, frozen winter. June ushers in twittering song birds, a various array of fine green colored plants and trees, brilliant pinks, white and yellow blossoms. June is famous for of the pink Strawberry moon, also known as the Rose moon or Hot moon and the ushering in of the summer solstice.
Above: Flaming June, by Lord Leighton 1895 (public domain.)
June is the astrological month of Gemini the twins and after the twenty-first Cancer the crab.
The ancient goddess of time that resides over June is the pre-Roman goddess Juno, was an original Creator Goddess or Spirit. Juno is named in Aesop’s fable of Juno and the Peacock. This maternal goddess of fertility governs several phases of the feminine principal of life. Later, during the Roman empire era 27 BCE – 1453 CE she was paired with the god/planet Jupiter and the mother of Mars, Vulcan, Bellona and Juventas.
Juno is also recognized as the Greek goddess Hera, sister-wife of Zeus and one of the twelve Olympians. Juno, a matron to women, protects them while granting them plenty of health, fertility and energy to deal with major life events. She was known for her powers of healing an array of female issues from painful menses to childbirth.
Below: Photo of another revered matron goddess Cybele who also rode a chariot pulled by lions similar to Juno. Cybele pulled by lions Madrid Spain Wiki-commons.
Worshipers of Juno would gather annually, seven days after their child’s birth to honor her. During the Roman empire in the 4th century BCE, there was a temple built on the Esquiline in honor of Juno. Several images of Juno displays her driving a chariot being drawn by lions. Her favorite bird is the Peacock and her special flower is the Iris.
Above: The Baby’s Own Aesop (verse fables by W.J. Linton), 1887. Illustrations by Walter Crane. Available on-line at International Children’s Digital Library.
A Happy Birthday to all you Gemini and Cancer folks celebrating (or not) your birthday this month.
A Very Happy fourth Birthday shout out to Willow Winsham and Dee Dee Chainney and guests at #Folklore Thursday, @FolkloreThurs on Twitter.
Readers, Please give them a Follow on Twitter, FB and visit their website Folklore Thursday to browse & order their brilliant books on Folklore by various talented authors.
Sources & References:
Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995
Virginia Brown’s translation of Giovanni Boccaccio’s Famous Women, pp. 13–14; Harvard University Press 2001; ISBN 0-674-01130-9
The Warburg Institute, Iconographic Database online, link below