Juno is a main belt asteroid discovered by German astronomer, Karl Ludwig Harding, on March 29, 1807. She orbits the Sun every 4.36 years in an elliptical orbit that covers the depth of the asteroid belt and is inclined to the ecliptic by 13 degrees. She's approximately 226 kilometers across and has a reddish color whose spectrum suggests a stony-iron surface composition similar to siderolite meteorites.
Only two Olympus goddesses were legally married, Juno and Venus. Juno, a.k.a. Hera, took her marriage vows very seriously whereas Venus did not. Hera was seen in equal stature with her husband, greatly revered and respected, and always portrayed as a majestic and beautiful woman with her hair adorned with a diadem. She was usually accompanied by a peacock and held a pomegranate in her left hand and a scepter topped by a cuckoo in her right. Hera was seen as the ideal of womanhood, including the three main adult phases of a woman's life, i.e. bride, wife, and widow. She presided over all the rites of marriage and the sixth month of June was sacred to her. To this day, June is one of the most popular times in which to be wed. She also governs the female reproductive cycle including childbirth. She is the perceived ideal of "fascinating womanhood."
However, Hera's marriage to Zeus was far from a bed of roses. The first thing you need to remember is that Zeus was her brother and the two of them had been swallowed by their father, Cronus. Needless to say, this is not the things that blissful unions are made out of. In one version of the myth, when Zeus became romantically enchanted with his sister, he disguised himself as a cuckoo and during a mighty rainstorm fell into Hera's lap, shivering and cold. As Hera proceeded to warm and comfort the frightened bird, Zeus resumed his true form and had his way with her. Entirely shamed by the incident, she married him out of guilt and obligation. There are names for men like that, but they shouldn't be used in polite company.
At first, all was well. Zeus even praised her compared to his previous lovers, recorded by Homer in the Iliad as: "Never has such desire, for goddess or woman, flooded and overwhelmed my heart...never have I felt such love, such sweet desire..." But the honeymoon was soon over. While Hera was prepared to sacrifice herself for their relationship, Zeus was not. It wasn't long before he was once again chasing various goddesses and mortals, leaving Hera frustrated and seething with anger. Hera, however, remained faithful to him, honoring her vows. While Hera and Zeus engaged in some rather brutal activities similar to those recounted in the movie, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," Hera generally took out her wrath on Zeus' other lovers and their children. Remember the quote "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?" That would be Hera. If you can think of a more suitable epithet let me know.
And speaking of children, both of them went on to have them, but not with each other. Zeus procreated with numerous women while Hera's were parthenogenetic, i.e. born of a single parent. Wanting to outdo his feat of birthing Pallas Athene from his head, she first bore the Typhaon of Delphi, a creature with a hundred burning snake heads, then later conceived Ares, god of war, by touching the fertility-inducing May blossom given to her by the goddess, Flora. She later bore Hephaestus, god of smiths and artisans, but he was lame and crippled, which was a major embarrassment. She eventually threw him from Olympus into the sea, but he survived and later returned the favor by trapping her in a throne he'd designed. Not exactly a loving mother - son relationship.
Hera became the quintessential frustrated wife who had given everything and gotten nothing in return. She'd even given up her status as an independent entity and was no longer worshipped as she'd been in the past, the rituals performed in her name gone. She'd hoped to find fulfillment through her husband, their union, and children, yet wound up with nothing but emptiness. She'd go on violent rampages of destructive fury to vent her frustrations, followed by deep despair and months of isolation, but she'd ultimately cycle back and reconcile with Zeus in one way or another, not abandoning him or the relationship. The marriage remained barren until Hera finally adopted Hercules, son of Zeus and the mortal, Alcmene. Whether or not this was accomplished via trickery varies with the version of the story, but ultimately this brought her and Zeus back together, though I doubt it fell under the category "and they lived happily ever after."
If nothing in Hera's story sounded familiar, then let me throw in a few slightly more contemporary examples. Besides the earlier reference to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" there have been various other couples who loved to hate each other. Younger readers may not be familiar with Peg and Al Bundy or Edith and Archie Bunker, but through the wonders of syndication and the internet, maybe they are. These are both examples of couples where one person was quite content and the other wasn't. Hera/Juno is the prognosticator of the frustrated member of a marital union, whatever the reason. Maybe it's unfaithfulness of a sexual variety or maybe it's simply not keeping other vows or expectations, such as being a good provider or housekeeper. Think of any falling-out-of-love story you know, whether it's your own, a friend, neighbor or relative, movie, TV show, or novel, and see how many Juno/Hera elements you can identify.
In the ideal marriage, both partners contribute equal shares and carry fair burdens. Marital sex should be the true merging of two souls who transcend their individuality and transform their identities into a greater whole. Uncommitted sex is purely selfish and does not have the ability to transform a person, no matter how good it may be at the time. Demetra George said it so well in her landmark book, "Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine," that I won't even try to paraphrase it: "Juno symbolizes the yearning for full mystic union that is emotionally, sexually, and psychologically fulfilling." That's the answer to the age-old question What do women want?
Yeah, right. And people in Hell want ice water.
Nonetheless, when a woman goes into marriage, that's exactly what she's looking for, some mystic union. I kid you not. The joining of the man and woman is symbolized by the giving of rings. No matter if they are gold, silver or tungsten wedding bands, the result is the same. They represent the union of the couple. It's been said that a woman expects a man to fulfill her every need and that a man expects every women to fulfill his one need. More truth than poetry, my friends. The younger and less experienced a woman is when she gets married, the more inclined she is to believe she'll get it. Most women will usually give it a good honest try and not give up entirely the first time her beloved farts at the dinner table, but at some point she realizes that it just ain't gonna happen. This is popularly referred to as when the honeymoon is over. A smart women would just turn on a ceiling fan to remove the smell and solve the problem.
Both parties brought certain expectations to the wedding, but more often than not as time goes on, these are not met. Sometimes one party is perfectly satisfied, maybe because they got the better half of the deal or perhaps they simply had lower expectations. At any rate, once a woman realizes things aren't quite up to snuff she'll start the Juno Cycle during which she'll become a bitch. If there's a single man out there who's reading this and wonders why women do what they do, this is your answer. Reread Demetra George's quote above and recognize that you're missing the mark somewhere. It's probably nothing you do on purpose, just something she's expecting that, unrealistic though it may be, all she sees is that it isn't being delivered. Take note, if you're in a relationship with someone who keeps asking for something and you're simply ignoring it, thinking it will go away, rest assured that sooner or later it's going to blow up in your face. Trust me.
That is the core reason for all meltdowns. Guys certainly can be dissatisfied with their partners as well, but they typically handle it in different ways. In fact, everyone is going to handle it based on where Juno is in their Natal Chart. In other words, when a relationship isn't meeting expectations, the denial of these needs emerges in a form and setting that is indicated by Juno's horoscope placement. The triggers for these problems can lie in issues such as infidelity or failure of one party to acknowledge and/or appreciate the sacrifices made by the other on their behalf. Fears in relationships, such as fear of abandonment, betrayal, or losing their identity to the other, can also fall within Juno's purview. Likewise, power plays of all varieties, whether it's withholding sex, imposing guilt trips, responding to requests for something with passive aggression, putting the other down in public, using the children as pawns, regarding the partner as either arm candy or a status symbol, and so forth, are all influenced by Juno, both by placement on the Natal Chart, in compatibility, and by transit. Juno is also the patron goddess for oppressed women of all varieties, though she shares quite a bit of that with her fellow goddesses, depending on the source of oppression.
Major relationship events, whether they're related to courtship, marriage, weddings, separations, or divorce are timed by Juno transits. In synastry, which compares the charts of two people for compatibility, Juno is also a major player regarding both how well their expectations will be met as well as if there are any karmic issues being worked out. Even if a person never gets married, it's likely to relate back to Juno, particularly if she's retrograde in their chart. In a nutshell, she's all about conventional committed relationships, particularly marriage, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Note that it takes Juno approximately four years and four months to complete one trip around the Zodiac, including her retrograde cycles. It might be interesting to look at your relationships, if they last that long, to see if you can recognize any Juno cycles, particularly blow-ups/meltdowns and reconciliations. As she goes tripping through the Zodiac in transit there will be predictable contacts with Natal planets that will probably have a fairly consistent effect, though the location of the other planets at the time will have some influence as well. Major blowups frequently relate back to Juno placement and transits as well. Sometimes Juno is smiling during a transit and others she's snarling. Lisa Nowak, the astronaut who drove over a thousand miles wearing a diaper to accost her boyfriend's new love interest had transiting Venus opposite natal Juno, transiting Juno and Pluto in sextile, Pluto conjunct Juno in her Natal Chart, several Black Moon Lilith as well as Asteroid 1181 Lilith aspects, and a plethora of Chiron aspects on the day of her arrest. As they say at NASA, she was definitely having a bad day.
At any rate, Juno's influence is a pretty simple answer to the centuries old--no, millennia old--battle of the sexes. It's either very comforting or very pathetic that things haven't changed much in thousands of years.
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