Hera Greek Goddess of Marriage

Areas of Influence: Hera is the Goddess of marriage.

She has been linked with these areas of life despite her relationship with her husband Zeus being no bed of roses due to his constant infidelity. Whilst she stood by Zeus this Goddess punished her rivals and their children.

This Goddess is also described as Queen of Heaven and Queen of the Olympians.

There were regular festivals held near Argos to honour this Goddess. Woman competed in a race, they were split into three different age groups, representing the Maiden, Mother and Crone aspects of the Goddess.

Birth and Genealogy: Born to Chronus and Rhea, she is one of several siblings who are swallowed at birth by her father and later rescued by her brother Zeus.

Hera's other siblings were Poseidon, Hades, Demeter and Hestia.

Hera initially resisted the attentions of Zeus as he had been married and had several different consorts before, including: Metis, Themis, Euroynome, Demeter, Mnemosyne and Leto.

He was vain and unused to being turned down and tricked her by changing himself into a poorly Cuckoo.

Hera's nurturing instincts were triggered and she took the cuckoo to her breast to keep it warm.

Zeus then changed back into a God and raped her causing the Goddess so much shame that she agreed to marry him.

She was so disgusted by the rape that each year she bathed in the sacred waters of the Kanathos spring and renewed her virginity.

With the shame and her rage at the constant infidelity of her husband she eventually found ways to have children without sex.

She had several offspring including: Ares, Eleithyria, Eris, Hebe, Hephaestus and Typhon

Strengths: Leadership and a loyal wife.

Despite her husbands affairs she stays with him and rules by his side.

Weaknesses: Vindictiveness, vanity and jealousy.

She often misused her position and powers to punish the Zeus's lovers. Her retribution was also extended to the women's children.

When Antigone boasted that her hair was more beautiful than Hera, the Goddess became so enraged that she transformed the long locks of hair into snakes

Hera's Symbolism

This Goddess was usually shown as a matronly Goddess. In her youth her great beauty attracted the wandering eyes of Zeus.

She carried a staff tipped with a floral decoration, suggestive prehaps of the fragrant aroma that exuded from her skin.

Often pictured with a lion denoting her royal status or a cuckoo in remembrance of Zeus's trickery.

Sacred Animals: Her beautiful big eyes led her to be linked with cows. lions are also associated with this Goddess.

Sacred Birds: Cuckoo's and ducks. In later iconography she is shown riding a chariot pulled by peacocks.

Sacred Plants: Apples of immortality, Gaia gave her a garden of these golden fruit as a wedding present. Priestesses called hesperides protected them.

The pomegranates which is a symbolism of marriage.

Iris, oranges and willow are also linked to the Queen of the Greek Gods.

Temples:Her first major temple complex was the Herian on the Island of Samos where she spent her three hundred year honeymoon. Another famous temple is found at Olympia where the Herian games, an athletic competition for woman was held.

Roman Equivalent: Juno

Hera's Archetypes

The Queen:

In the positive aspect the Queen represents the regal feminine. Using her benevolent authority to protect others. This Archetype can signify the power of women who rule over anything from the office to the home environment.

The shadow aspect reflects the tendency to become arrogant, controlling and aggressive when challenged.

Hera is known as the Queen of the Olympians. In art and sculpture she is depicted as a regal beauty. She uses her position and power to punish her rivals.

The Companion:

This stereotype is loyal, tenacious and unselfish in their service to a more authoritive figure. In this relationship she provides the with emotional and practical support to enable her partner to concentrate on his mission. This was long considered the traditional role of the wife.

The shadow Companion manifests as betrayal, breaking confidences and loss of identity through constantly suppressing your own needs.

Despite her husbands numerous affairs Hera remained loyal to her him. She likes the power and the prestige that that her marriage gives her.

Please follow this link to the Archetypes page to discover which other Goddess Archetypes resonate with you.

How to Work With These Archetypes

The Queen:

The Queen asks whether you rule over your domain fairly, protecting everybody’s rights and feelings.

Or do you need to look at patterns of trying to control others to protect your own emotional and personal position?

If this is one of your patterns, you need to ask yourself what are you afraid of losing and where does that fear stem from?

The Companion:

Do you have a long history of playing the loyal Companion to other people?

Are you happy with this role? Or do you feel that the partnership is unequal, and resent the fact that your needs are not being met?

The shadow aspect of the Companion suggests you look at ways at achieving a better balance. Begin to rediscover who you are and what you want in life. Allow time to follow your own interests.

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