Hello all and happy Tuesday! Welcome back for another mythology lesson. I apologize for my absence for the past two weeks but I really needed to focus on preparing for my finals to finish off this semester strong (and I think I’ve prepared myself for these final two weeks so fingers crossed I can keep all of my A’s in my classes). After being inactive on here, I’m so glad to be back and I hope y’all enjoy today’s lesson on the Queen of the Gods, Hera.
Hera: The Greek
Hera was born to the Titan king and queen, Cronus and Rhea, and was the sister of Demeter, Hestia, Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus. Hera married Zeus and became the Queen of the Gods, ruling over the heavens by his side. She was the mother of, most notably, Eris, Hebe, Eileithyia, Ares, and Hephaestus.
Hera was the goddess of marriage, family, birth, women, as well as the sky and the stars of heaven. She was often depicted as a beautiful young women with a, usually, stern or strong expression. She is usually shown wearing a crown, holding a royal scepter with a lotus-tip, and sometimes accompanied by a lion, cuckoo, peacock, or hawk.
Being one of the only gods to actually practice fidelity and monogamy, Hera was often disgusted and disappointed when she heard (especially about her own husband) of other gods being unfaithful. Because of Zeus’ constant infidelity, Hera was an extremely jealous, vengeful, and vindictive person. She would often cause terrible harm to the lovers of her husband as well as their illegitimate offspring. Examples of this are when she tried to kill Heracles (Hercules) numerous times for the simple crime of being the illegitimate son of Zeus. She sent countless beasts after him, delayed his mother’s birth so that his cousin would become king instead of him, and even went so far as to drive him mad and made him kill his own wife and children. However, despite all that crap, when Heracles finally did die and became a minor god in the heavens, he and Hera reconciled their differences and he ended up marrying Hera’s daughter, Hebe.
Dionysus is another illegitimate son of Zeus that had Hera’ wrath inflicted upon him.It was under Hera’s orders that he be torn apart and killed. However, he ended up coming back to life and his resurrection was celebrated by all of Greece.
Of course, she often inflicted terrible fates upon the mistresses of Zeus, whether they were innocent and were forced into the relationship by Zeus or not, Hera didn’t have a clear mind or any mercy when it came to her jealousy. Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis, was driven across the expanse of Greece while she was trying to give birth to the twins by Hera. Callisto was turned into a bear and hunted down by Artemis (by Hera’s request) for simply being called beautiful by Zeus. Io, one of her own priestesses and a former princess of Argos, was turned into a cow by Hera for simply catching Zeus’ eye and was given to Argos (a person instead of a place this time) who had many eyes. He was killed, however, in order to free Io and Hera ended up taking his eyes and placing them on the feathers of peacocks which then became her sacred animal.
She was a strong symbol for fidelity as is demonstrative in the myth of Hera and Ixion. Ixion desired the goddess and tried rape her but, being already married to Zeus, Hera found his affections to be offensive and so she tied him to a wheel in the sky and had him spinning eternally.
Hera had two attitudes when it came to mortals: love them or despise them. She favored the hero, Jason, in his quest to obtain the Golden Fleece but utterly loathed and actively fought against Paris in the Trojan War because she was being petty and still super butt-hurt about Paris choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful woman/goddess instead of herself or Athena. There is no in between with Hera, it’s either she loves or she wants to kill you. But, this is what makes her such an interesting person to study.
Juno: The Roman
Juno was born to Saturn and Ops, King and Queen of the Titans. She was the sister of Ceres, Vesta, Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter. Juno married Jupiter and became the Queen of the Gods, one of the most beloved and sacred goddesses of the Roman Empire. She was also the mother of Bellona, Juventas, Mars, and Vulcan. Juno was the goddess of family, marriage, women, pregnancy and childbirth.
The biggest difference between Juno and her Greek counterpart, Hera, is that Juno was not that big on the whole revenge thing. She spent most of her time, not bringing down hell on everyone that her husband cheats with and subsequently sires, but protecting women and being a patron of marriage and families. She was worshiped as one of the three main gods of the Roman religion (Jupiter, Minerva, and Juno were the three main ones). Whereas Hera in Greek tradition is absorbed entirely by her revenge and temper and punishing all those who wrong her, Juno is less concerned with such matters and instead spends her life helping others (mostly women).
I hope y’all enjoyed learning a little about Hera/Juno. She is a really well-known goddess for her temper and her mistreatment by her husband and his infidelity but, her Roman counterpart is (in my opinion) her sole redeeming aspect considering how her Greek persona is kind of a raging bitch (somewhat understandably though). I hope this post was illuminating for y’all as I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. If y’all have any questions about stuff I didn’t touch on, or you’d just like an elaboration on something please leave me a comment below so we can chat! I really hope this was interesting to y’all. Thanks for reading, I’ll talk mythology with you next Tuesday!Thanks so much for reading y’all! Let me know anything you’d like to say in the comments below, you know I love hearing from y’all!
Don’t forget to please follow me on Twitter, follow this blog, check out my Facebook page, friend me on Goodreads, and follow me on Instagram! Just a reminder, I put out new content every Tuesday and Thursday and occasionally on Surprise Saturdays and Who Knows Sundays where I post content if I have time and feel like doing so. Thank you all for checking this post out!