Most are familiar with the Greek Goddess Hera as the angry and bitter wife of the patriarch of the Olympians, Zeus. In the evolution of Hera, the marriage to Zeus (obviously a mythographic indication of arranged marriage) was actually quite late and superseded her earlier forms and traditions. She was only know as the “Goddess of Marriage” in the Olympian myths.
In pre-Greek antiquity, she was known as “Parthenos” and was a great virgin creatrix Goddess with no consort. She held rule over the skies, the earth, and the Underworld. Her oldest centers were at Samos and Argos. There are ancient traditions of her “tying” herself to a willow tree (later carried to the Olympian myths as her chained to her throne on Olympos) and another ancient tradition of her annual ritual bath and renewal to restore her virginity – her whole self within herself.
She was the eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea and granddaughter to Gaia. Birds are sacred to her, particularly the Peacock, hawk, and the dove. Some of her sacred items reflect her pre-Olympian influence as a Goddess of earth and abundance – the willow tree (under which she was born), asterion, lily, pomegranate, and wheat. As Queen of Heaven, she had command over the seasons, earthquakes, the atmosphere and weather, rain, wind, moon, and stars. Some stories say that her lactation created the Milky Way.
One of her epithets was “cow-eyed mistress” and cows were votives at her cult sanctuary at Samos. This was actually a compliment :). She also has ties to the Mistress of the Beasts in her early forms with lions being depicted on her coins and seated in her lap. Other votives discovered at Samos have included sphinxes, griffins, lions and other animals.
For some, Hera can become the warning label for a bad marriage, a husband who is unfaithful, or a tendency to give up their own identity.
Hera reminds us she came from was a place where she belonged to herself wholly and completely. She was parthenogenetic – symbolizing abundance and creativity from within herself. The project or dream that you have put on hold? Bring it to light, to birth and Hera in her ancient form is standing solidly behind you in the creation of these dreams.
A call to make yourself whole – to heal is Hera’s ancient reminder – She at once represents the primordial ability for women to renew themselves and a warning of being “tied down” if we do not guard our own sovereignty. She is the Goddess with whom to connect for healing the “wounded woman”.
The word “virgin” in relation to her and other Goddesses was a wholeness within themselves – a belonging first to themselves. This does not prevent a relationship in the future, it simply calls for you to put yourself first and to hold your dreams and ideas for the future as creative, abundant, and important.
Connect with Hera as the mighty ancient Goddess that She IS, before She became the wife of Zeus.
Hera Renews Her Youth by Patricia Monaghan
Now is the time that I choose. Hermit
winter is over, my widow season.
I want lust now, endearments,
longing and song. The trees on
the hillside renew themselves
as I do. Oh, my grand thick trunk
that holds me stiff so my tassels
and catkins can fly! Oh, I’m drunk
with my greenness again! Every branch
has budded before, has flown
into leaf and then blanched
into fall. But I’m new in my bones
when I choose, I’m blood-young again,
I rise fresh as washed granite
from foam, I love whom and when
I choose. Here I stand, pomegranate
in hand, ripe as a bud but old, old
as rock, unshakeable now, a power
essentially female and free. Hold
my ripe breasts. I’ll be gone in an hour.
by Patrician Monaghan – Seasons of the Witch
To Connect with Hera:
Place items that are sacred to Hera in your meditation space or altar. The peacock is one of her most sacred birds – although feathers of any of her birds are good.
Willow branches on the altar and time spent meditating and doing creative brainstorming under a willow tree will be fruitful for you.
River rocks are symbols of her annual renewal and a great way to pick power words and write them to place in your space.
Using the sacred bath as a tool to connect with her and the idea of healing yourself will be effective as well.
Meditate and invite ancient Hera to come to you to share messages of strength and abundance.
The Glory of Heraby Philip Slater
Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda-Bolen
GODDESS VENDORS WE LOVE!
- DaughtersOfIsis.com with Gwen Barry – Magical Essential Oil Blends & Incense
- GailJessenDesigns.com with Gail Jessen – Sacred Jewelry Design
- MurphysEssentials.com with Kim Murphy – Healing & Magical Essential Oil Blends & CBD
- Red Priestess with Brandi Auset – Goddess Sprays and Crystals
- SacredWell.com with Yeshe Matthews – Crystal and Treasure Shop
MOTHERHOUSE GODDESS TEMPLE – Goddess Calendar & Free Community Events
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