On this day, in ancient times, Romans observed the Festival Junonalia. This festival honored Juno, Queen of Heaven, of their gods. This festival was celebrated by the matrons of Rome. There were processions in which statues of Juno were carried through the streets and ending at the temple of Juno. There was dancing and merriment. I am sure there was wonderful feasting also, as the Romans were known for their feasts.
As Juno has been a great part of my life recently I honor Her today in all I do. At devotions today I lit a beautiful rose incense for Her. My altar was cleaned and lit up with candles and my prayers were to Juno. This Goddess of women has become a major part of my life! At dinner tonight I will honor Her for all the gifts She brings to my life. My day will be filled with Juno and Her joy!
Earlier this month was another festival called The Matonalia. This festival, also celebrated by the matrons of Rome, was the anniversary of the foundation of the temple of Juno. Women and girls brought their prayers to Juno and brought Her generous offerings of flowers and flowering plants for it was said She delighted in them.
They worshipped Juno in Her aspect of Juno Lucina. Juno Lucina is a Goddess of childbirth and the first light a child sees. In this aspect, women would go to Juno when they wanted to conceive. They would also go to Her for their birthing and for the health of their children.
Just imagine this festival… When women gather there are always great goings on. We know how to have a fun time together. Imagine the gossip, the food, the music, the hilarity. Imagine the baudiness and the storytelling, all in honor of this Queen of Heaven. Can you just see it?! Think of these women in their finest made of beautiful materials, imagine their jewelry. Imagine the colors and the scents.
Now, lets take this into modern times and think of how we can honor Juno (or other Goddesses of your choosing). For Juno, I love honoring Her as Goddess of Light. And so, I do light my altar up with lots of candles. In my next blog I will post a modern day ritual that I will create to this royal Queen of Heaven. So look for more on Friday….!