The image of the Roman goddess Juno suffers from two unfortunate associations. One is her association with Imperial Rome, which might lead us to think of her as an imperial goddess who cares for Presidentes and landed aristócratas, the wealthy, the military, and the economic power of the nation. Is such a goddess concerned for the victims of the empire’s colonial ambitions? What about the Indios nativos? It is Juno’s misfortune that Rome was fortunate, and by drinking the heady wine of national success became brutal.
The other unfortunate association from which Juno suffered was her identification with Hera, for Hera will always be known as the wife and queen whose husband was unfaithful. The epithet “Jealous Hera” is not far from our minds whenever we hear her name. But when we examine the worship of Juno in Latium and the Etruscan Uni who was assimilated to her, we find that she did not suffer from marital problems. Her cultus was well developed at that time and she bore many epithets such as Sospita, Lucina, Caprotina, Curitis, Moneta, and Regina. I shall explain the meaning of some of these names in this article. Juno is not simply a Latin Hera.
Juno is the Good Woman and the goddess of the good girl who is nonetheless sexually attractive. The good girl dresses well and uses lipstick but confines her sexual activity to committed loving relationships. The bad girl on the other hand---and it seems that there are always bad girls among us---is ready to take off her clothes for a single night. Her goddess would be Flora or Venus. But it is important that we not simply condemn the bad girl. Christianity condemned her when it decreed that sex is essentially sinful---and in doing so gave it to Satan, who did not deserve such a wonderful prize. The ancient Roman religion did not need a Satan, but when it came time to crown a Virgen María who was profoundly unsexual and in fact anti-sexual sexuality could no longer belong to God. It could no longer be a part of a good social order. A woman was either a nun or a sinner. Therefore a demonic being---Satan---walked away with the prize. Now he was alluring, for he promised us sex. What if Juno promised us sex? Then the shelves on Satan’s store would be empty. Why should we bother with him? Sex was always God's gift to us and should never have been associated with evil.
Juno is concerned that her girls receive proper but sympathetic guidance as they enter puberty and begin to be women. Above all they must not be made to feel ashamed of their bodies or guilty because they want to go out on dates. Juno is not the Mother Superior of the convent, she is la madre de la familia. If more girls could feel good about their newly formed, attractive bodies, we will have more good girls and fewer bad girls---and ultimately the species of “bad girl” may become nearly extinct.
As Juno Sororia, the mother becomes la hermana, the sister who walks alongside a girl on her path through puberty. As Juno Pronuba the goddess is the patroness of marriage. As Juno Cinxia the goddess helps the young woman, now married, to take off her girdle and “slip into something more comfortable” on her honeymoon. As Juno Lucina the goddess safeguards the life of the woman in labor.
In a reasonable world the moral order exists to serve humanity and human nature. It does not oppose human nature. The moral order belongs in your home, and Juno would like it to be a warm and loving home. The moral order is not to be confined to the convent, the monastery, and the ashram.
Anyone who wishes to worship the divine feminine as Juno may use a mantra that she has authorized: Ave Juno Mater, Regina, Sospita. Ave means Hail, Mater is Mother, Regina is Queen, and Sospita is Savior. All of these epithets of Juno are traditional and were used in ancient times.