Juno is an ancient Roman goddess. She is a daughter of Saturn. She is sister, and also wife, of Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Each Roman woman was said to have her own Juno which represented her female spirit.
Juno is the equivalent to Hera, the Greek goddess for love and marriage. The name Juno was once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove). Juno’s name is sometimes connected to the renewal of the new and waxing moon; implying the idea of a moon goddess.
Wherever the goddess went she was attended by her messenger Iris (the Rainbow), who journeyed so quickly through the air that she was seldom seen, but after she had passed there was often left in the sky the radiant trail of her highly-colored robe.
There are three aspects to Juno. She was a sovereign goddess, a martial goddess and a fertility goddess.
As the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire, Juno, together with Jupiter and Minerva, was worshipped as a triad on the Capitol in Rome. She was often depicted in a goat skin coat that was favored among Roman soldiers. In statuary she is often depicted sitting with a peacock; armed and wearing a goatskin cloak. She was also able to throw lightning bolts like her husband Jupiter.
However, while she was a goddess evoked in war and for political reasons; she also received the homage of women as a marriage and fertility goddess. Juno retains a close resemblance to her original mother-goddess form, remaining a strong, elegant goddess and guardian of women, whose contributions to society are recognized as an absolute necessity to the continuity of that society.
The month of June was held sacred to her, and was thought by the Romans to be the luckiest month for marriage, since Juno was the Goddess of Marriage. She is still honored in the calendar we use today and is silently invoked at every wedding ceremony that calls for flowers, occurs in June, contains wedding cake, or requires a religious or legal magistrate to sanctify.
Juno and Jupiter (Jove) were the children of Fortuna. This makes Juno a sister-wife to Jupiter. By Jupiter, she bore Mars. Though Roman, this divine couple received from Greece its matrimonial implications; bestowing on Juno the role of guardian, patron or protector goddess of marriage.
How Juno’s Symbol Became the Peacock –
Io was a priestess of the Roman goddess Juno. Jupiter fell in love with Io and changed himself into the shape of a dark cloud to woo her and hide his doings from Juno.
However, Juno looked down on earth and noticed the dark cloud. She knew it was her husband and went down to earth to confront him.
As soon as Juno arrived, Jupiter immediately transformed the girl Io into a white cow and gave the cow to Juno to avoid his wife’s wrath.
Juno still didn’t trust Jupiter so she sent Argus, who had 100 eyes and never slept with more than two closed at a time, to watch over Io. When Jupiter heard of this, he sent his messenger god, Mercury, to get rid of Argus. It is said he put Argus to sleep with a Syrinx, a sweet sounding instrument that put people to sleep. Mercury then seized Argus’s own sword and cut off his head.
Juno was very sad at the loss of her servant, and gathering up his hundred eyes scattered them over the tail of the peacock, her favorite bird.