As we approach the Summer Solstice, the days are getting longer. It reminds me of why I love summer: time off from teaching, time on the porch swing or in the hammock, and time to think about the gifts the Goddess gives us.
One of these gifts includes the very name of the month when Summer starts for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere: June. Did you know that the name for the first month in Summer comes from Juno, Queen of the Gods and patron Goddess of ancient Rome? Although many myths focus on Juno as being a vengeful goddess, taking aim at any of the nymphs and fairies her husband Jupiter wooed into his bed, Juno was actually revered by women in ancient times as the Goddess of Women themselves, especially mothers. She was our Protector, the Guardian of Women and all things Feminine. Women turned to Juno when they needed help with their husbands, their children, wanted to land a mate (there’s a reason that there are more weddings in June than in any other month out of the year!), wanted to get pregnant, or needed a personal power boost. As Summer represents the height of the Goddess in her Mother form, it only makes sense that we Honor Juno at this time.
So how do we Honor Juno? Juno was a champion of women’s rights and women’s causes, so the best way to Honor Juno this month is to contribute to your favorite charity that centers on women’s rights or women’s issues. This doesn’t need to be a financial contribution. You could write letters to your State Senators to support a bill that a local women’s group is trying to pass, you could volunteer at a local women’s shelter, or you could participate in a local run/walk to help raise money for a worthy cause that affects women.
Another way you can Honor Juno this month is to reach out to your Mother, your friends who are mothers, or any other women that need a little “Thank You!” for all of their tireless efforts. We women tend to give from our cups, not from our saucers, but a little sign of appreciation can fill that cup right back up.
That being said, perhaps the best way you can Honor Juno is to Honor Yourself. Summer is the perfect time to take a little time for yourself – lunch with girlfriends, a trip to a local spa, or some time out in nature. Do what makes YOUR Soul sing and Juno will sing right along with you. Happy Summer!