Hera was the Greek Goddess of Love and Marriage (also known as “Juno” in the Roman pantheon). She was the wife of Zeus and the Queen of the Olympians. She was also considered the Goddess of the Sky and the Starry Heavens.
Hera was usually depicted with a crown on her head and holding a staff with a lotus tip. She is also seen holding a hawk or a cuckoo bird.
She is considered to embody the Triple Goddess – Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Hera as Maiden was unmarried and virginal. She then was married to Zeus, after being raped by him when he tricked her by posing as a cuckoo bird to get closer to her. As time went on, Hera became a jealous spiteful person because Zeus was cheating on her. On the outside, Hera showed herself as the loving wife and mother – everything in the marriage was perfect. But on the inside, Hera was jealous. In private, Hera made Zeus’s consorts pay. As time went on, Hera got tired of chasing around Zeus’s consorts. She was getting older and decided to live her life out with being in solitude. This was the crone aspect.
Hera’s sacred animals are the peacock (pride) and the cow. Many pictures will show her with peacocks or peacock feathers. The crow and the pomegranate (symbol of marriage) were dedicated to her.
Hera reminds us that we must age gracefully. As we grow older, we grow wiser from our experiences. Hera has been described as a bitter woman but her experiences brought her to protect herself because of the betrayal by Zeus. She also lived in a loveless marriage but she still managed to stay strong. Hera is telling us no matter what we are presented with, it’s important to stay loyal to our commitments.