The Leo Myth- The Myth Of Juno
The myth of Juno – The royal womanliness
It is a purely Roman myth, there is not a similar figure in Greek mythology, or better, the most similar is Artemis, who was also linked to the growing moon, but in her myth it is something of adolescence that the Roman Goddess does not have since it presents her as a mature, intense Goddess with many functions.
Juno was considered “the bearer of light” since she indicated the first sckle of light that was announcing the new cycle had begun and, then, “visibly”.
Three moments of the lunation in the Roman myth were divided into “calends”, “none” and “ide”; Juno was presiding over the “calends”, or over the first quarter, that moment in which, in the Roman public life, they called the people “to harvest” to proclaim the beginning of the month and to honour the Goddess who represetned the eternal female beginning.
Juno was a Virgo, spouse, mother and queen: then as a totality symbol she is contained in you; She was a symbol of a true female, complete pride that manifests itself in all her phases; something of Juno today can be found again in the Leo woman who is the female that expresses herself particularly, proud of everything that she is capable of living completely her phases, without thinking that there should be better youth or state of love rather than the motherhood or the advanced phase of her life.
In fact, Juno was accompanying the woman in each phase of their lives, birth up to the moment of death and, therefore, presiding over: adolescence, marriage, motherhood and maturity.
The origin of Juno was in central Italy; very probably the Romans adopted the symbolism of the Etruscan Goddess Uni (one of nine Manubiae divinities) considered the protector of women, the only Goddess who had the prerogative of being able to throw lightning when she became angry; also this symbol of an active, direct, clear and powerful female able to be worth and to be considered equal to the male. Among other things, lightning is necessary to be associated also with the “light” of the intellect, another very evident symbol in Juno. Alone Zeus possessed the “thunderbolt” that indicated reason.
This divinity, according to some scholars of myths, was carrying an Indo-European name that, translated means “strength that characterises people with most vital energy”.
With the name “Uni” that derives from “Iuno” she was a woman who had one great vital energy able to represent “the great power of the cosmos”; she was symbolising the totality in all that in her there could end up as female characteristics and characteristics credited instead mainly to males. There is no doubt that the Leo women and particularly the Moon in the sign, really gives these types of characteristics: strength, imagination, creative potentiality but also wish of having an impact on the world.
Juno presided over childbirth and certainly the Romans were very much inspired by this divinity at the point to import it into their culture giving her the name “Giunone”. Among other things, Roman civilisation has much to do with the sign of Leo; Rome was a symbol of the power of an empire, but also of generosity and magnanimity, an expression of pride then, Juno characteristics certainly also reflected the many characteristics of the Roman matrons.
Juno was adored as “the saviour, mother and queen”; she then had a triple function quite unusual in our country where only males could assume more functions.
It was in the matriarchal myths of the Great Mothers that there were no female divinities with great powers, while these were given to the Roman Juno.
Juno was called the “talented one”, or the saviour, but in this name something of “warrior” was contained, Juno also incarnated features of savage, typical womanliness of the woman in “Virgo”, which still does not have a unity life giving project in her hands.
In this side Juno recalls Artemis, a very aggressive and savage Goddess who often intervened with weapons and with strength (she was a powerful archer and was invincible) to defend women who were in trouble because of the violence of men.
The power symbol is given by the fact that she symbolised the first quarter that represented the unrestrained power of light that was winning definitively over the dark of the night and was reconfirming the cycle.
Another symbol was that of the Queen since she was assuming the functions of a political-religious queen. She had a place in the Capitol and in Aventino and, for this peculiarity, she dominated with Jupiter.
In this role she protected women after motherhood and she was giving families her advice, she was always extremely wise. In this side Juno recalls something of the “wisdom” embodied by the Goddess Mothers who were changing into “sophie” in order for men to grow with their cultural and psychic feeding.
Undoubtedly Juno is the Goddess who most approaches the three-phase Goddess of the matriarchal phase so all three moons were united into a single divinity called “Hera Chera” who was considered “fecund, warlike and political” true and with an own armed divinity, whose effigy was kept in an Argo temple, the city from which she originated.
Of course, over time every trace has disappeared of this pride of womanliness, also because from 494 A.D. Pope Gelasio I, who was irritated at seeing a continutation of women’s adoration for the pagan Juno, threatened those who were participating in the cults of the Goddess with excommunication. It was peculiar to take away the presence of this warlike and sovereign Goddess, saviour and purifier and more so protector of families and of births and led to the establishment of the holiday of the Candelora – Holiday of purification of the Virgin Mary – in which blessed candles were distributed with protective abilities attributed against pagan witchcraft.
In any case, for a long time her cult remained firm and when a woman wanted to have a son, she was watched over by a Juno puppet for the whole night with a torch light in her hand, a symbol of the great fertilising power of the growing moon.
Besides, appearing of the first quarter of the Moon, when Juno appeared in the chart, in ancient Rome a sacrificial meal was used as lunch under a Caprifig, a wild tree and symbol of fertility that was used by the Romans to “fertilise” the cultivated fig and this rite, in countries where it remained a long time, in spite of the persecution of the church which did not want the pagan cults.