Category Archives: Roman Gods

June: a month dedicated to young love, blessed by a Goddess, and much ado about “I do.”

Here we go again: another example of having to live with a “god” created by those pesky Romans. They just couldn’t leave well-enough alone.  Remember May?

Now we’ve got Madam Juno; another Goddess-Wife god (in fact, she was the Queen of ALL gods; the “First Lady of gods” – thanks to her marriage to the biggest god of them all, Jupiter.)  Naturally, in her role as First Lady, her claim to fame was marriage, being the ultimate housewife, all-things matronly, and motherhood, all of which won her the admiration of Roman women.  No, that’s not quite right: they literally idolized her; prayed to her to watch their backs. They even had a huge celebration on March 1st every year devoted to her. It was big! (Roman women obviously picked up a thing or two about throwing a party from their menfolk.)

So here we are, a couple thousand years or more later and there is a month named in her honor.  Everybody’s ok with that (as if we had a choice.)  But the other thing that happens a lot in June because of Juno, “First Lady of the gods – Queen of the Goddesses,” is marriage.  We get married in June. Lots and lots and lots of folks get married in June.  For many, getting married in June is considered the proper time to tie the knot. Supposedly, a June wedding brings good luck to the marriage. (There was a song named “Cupid” recorded by R&B singer Sam Cooke. It was one of his biggest sellers.  You guessed it; June was when it was most popular, mainly with women.  I wonder why?)

Now that I have the subject of music AND June on your mind; in a wildly popular musical (in its day) by Rogers & Hammerstein, one song stood out: “June is bursting out all over!”  Listen to the lyrics: its singing the praise of young love and how June gets the “juices flowing ( they said that, not me. Check it out on YouTube.) Well, you can thank Queen Juno (according to the Romans) for this rampant display of emotions among the young.  She was their patron saint, so to speak.  Mix all this up with Queen Juno’s birth flower – the Rose, with its beauty and wonderful fragrance, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.  As Seal so eloquently sang in his song “Kiss from a Rose” – it was “…his power, his pleasure, his pain.”

Want to guess who rocketed that song to the top of the charts?  Women!

Another fact about Queen Juno: she could hurl thunderbolts like her husband, Jupiter.  So if young Mister Quintillus Servetus Maximus was kind of shaky about marching down the aisle, First Lady Juno could literally put the fear of a god into him.  Man!  Talk about lighting a fire under his butt.

Oh, almost forgot: the most famous of First Lady Juno’s birth stones was pearls; gorgeous radiant (expensive) pearls – in various colors.  Pearls can be worn on any occasion – yes, even weddings.  I am willing to bet the farm; well, my city block at least, every lady can tell you when she got her first set of those oval masterpieces. How she “styled and profiled” in front of her mirror matching them with dresses, blouses, jackets – you name it;  how they unleashed her most glamorous self.

Are you beginning to get the picture of what Queen Juno wrought upon our world?

Here’s one last thing about the Queen of the Goddesses – the First Lady of gods: she was the almighty protectress of childbirth.  Remember that celebration by Roman women in her honor each March 1st?  Think about it: all those marriages in June had to mean more Roman Citizens the following March

June is still about “hot fun in the summer time.”  Take the R&B band Sly & the Family Stone’s hit song of the same name: It’s all about young love found in the summer, only to be lost in the fall of September. For many, June means the start of the summer vacation season, BBQ; fighting for a bit of space on sandy beaches. Then there are those hearty souls who love hair-raising rides. Well, June opens the gates of the parks that promise thrills and chills through turns, twists and jaw-dropping descents at speeds that will leave your heart in your throat.

Hot June: when biking, hiking, climbing and running in the great outdoors takes hold; finally shaking off the last bit of winter’s cold memory and spring’s watery “hello.”  June: when the spirit of Queen Juno’s words whispers to young lovers to think about the much ado beckoning them to say those magic words: I do.

I can smell the roses.

Copyright (c) 2015 Roads, Paths & Trails. “Whimsical History Month – June.” All Rights Reserved.

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Greetings to Her Majesty, Mrs. May

Oh, yes!  She’s married. Hubby’s name is Vulcan. Occupation: The Fire-God. Together they bring the heat.  But enough about him (for the moment), he’s out of the picture until August (well almost.)  Anyway, today, it’s time to bow deeply to the Queen.

We all know the Romans knew how to throw a party – through not the kind you wanted to get an invitation to if you were an early Christian, gladiator, slave – or just some poor schmuck who got on the bad side of the Emperor.  I’m just saying.

So it wasn’t too big of a surprise to learn that the “Merry, Merry month of May,” was named for the Roman god of “springtime, warmth, and fertility.”  Back then her email address would have been: Maia maiestas@RomanEmpireGoddess.gods.  Her minions today, would send her a “shout out” at QueenMaytheMajestic@RomanEmpireGoddess.com/flowers, confirming all the details of the two  festivals held in her honor on May 1st and the 15th every year. No doubt she would want to “Spell Check” everything and download it all to her private server in the Cloud.

It isn’t hard to imagine that her main interest would be the flowers and how they looked around the Kingdom; all the old standbys, maybe a few new varieties to enchant the Lords and Ladies of the Court.  Get the Senate’s reaction.  But the Citizens were the ones to please – who would really appreciate the show.  After all, you can’t invite the Empire to breakfast, lunch and dinner and have the public domain looking drab and dreary.  And we all know that beautiful flowers transform the landscape like nothing else can do.  Not to mention the fresh fragrances that fill the air.  And let’s face it, Rome could probably have used some fresh scents along about then.

But the bottom line is when you are “Queen May the Majestic” your reputation is on the line.

Plus, you had to deliver some sunshine and warm weather, too!  I mean free bread and wine – fish and cheese goodies – a couple of lambs to the slaughter is great, but I am of the opinion that no self-respecting Roman Citizen wanted to huddle under some tent or in the arena in the cold and rain.  Been there, done that in April.

What’s a Queen to do?

She got by with a little help from her friend. Some back up. Someone to help turn up the heat.  Who better to turn to than the love of her life.  Mr. Fire-God himself.  Vulcan, you devil!  Sneaking home from winter’s war to the warmth of hearth and home – just for a hot minute, mind you.  Can’t let the Queen’s annual beautification banquets turn into a bust.  Gotta do what a God’s gotta do: and that’s to make sure those flowers start blooming, turning the heat of the Sun up a notch or two, and get the green grass growing all around – all around.

Everything is set to go: its nice and toasty, flowers are giving the Empire lots of color and smelling up the place; the grass, trees, blue skies – and the rest of Mother Earth are all feeling pretty dag gum good. No doubt about it, the Citizens of Rome are set for their annual merry, merry month of May celebrations. Taking time out to stop and smell the Roses, Azaleas, Orchids, Dahlia, Geraniums, and Bougainvillea.

Got your invitation to the party?  Great!  I’ll see you at the Coliseum.  Long live, Queen May.

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