Hera: guiding me through difficult times

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As a pagan witch devoted to other deities, it came as a surprise when Hera contacted me last year. His interest took me by surprise.

Why? Well, I’ve never really “liked” Hera in the past (blame Hercules: The Legendary Journeys). And I thought she must know that, so why would Hera want to work with me?

Well, there are reasons. But, before we get into that story, let me tell you a bit about the Olympian Queen of the Gods.

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Hera – Queen of the Gods

Who is Hera? Considering that she is iconic in her role as queen of the Greek gods, I will be brief. She is the daughter of Cronos and Rhea, making her the older sister of Zeus who cheated on her into marriage. Yeah. Hera is a literal sister-wife of Zeus.

Some of her traditional areas of influence include family, women, marriages, marriage, childbirth (but not motherhood), children, etc. The ancient Greeks also associated Hera with nature, the sky, the stars and the moon. She has even been confused with Ceres, Diana and Proserpina.

Hera is associated with the diadem, the pomegranate and the scepter. Lilies are her flower. Sacred animals include the cow, the cuckoo (it’s because of Zeus, ironically) and the peacock. But much of her mythology is defined by the troubled relationship with her wayward husband.

Zeus used to sleep and have illegitimate children with humans and non-humans. As a result of her infidelity, Hera raged against children and mothers. Heracles (aka Hercules) is just one example. She also did not tolerate beings crossing her path. Consequently, she became defined in mythology as jealous, aloof, and vengeful.

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Hera – More on her story

However, there is more to Hera than the mythology implies. Its importance in Greek culture and religion cannot be underestimated. She alone holds the seat next to Zeus. She is revered as the equal of Zeus by the other Olympians.

According to a myth, Hera proved her ability to create life on her own without Zeus. Hephaestus, whom she later rejected. Look, she’s not a “mother goddess” for a reason. Nevertheless, its power is proven equal to Zeus, who would have given birth to Athena without Hera.

Indeed, I wonder if her portrayal as a vicious shrew might have more elevated a male deity above a powerful goddess.

Ancient Greece is known to have been patriarchal. Women had no autonomy whatever their position in life. Even so, Hera would not be subsumed into Zeus by their marriage. She retained her voice and her authority.

Its temples are among the oldest in Greece and show that its influence was important throughout the region. Additionally, the Temple of Hera at Samos provides evidence of religious pilgrims coming from places such as Armenia, Babylon, Iran, Assyria, and Egypt to make offerings to the great goddess.

Despite her portrayals in the works of Homer and Hesiod as jealous, vain, or just plain mean, some poets (such as Sappho) record Hera in a different light. Royal. Gracious. A goddess who listens and helps those who seek her help. Revered as a protector. And it is the goddess that I have now come to know.

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My story

A year ago, while shopping at a pagan store in Michigan after attending their annual psychic fair, I noticed a small statue of Hera. She came as part of an Olympian collection. I had seen it among the pictures in the past and thought nothing of it.

However, this time, I felt a strong urge to purchase this small statue of Hera. I learned to follow such guidelines a long time ago. So I bought the statue and found a place for it on the main altar. Over time, I began to include it in my morning ritual of lighting a candle and greeting my deities.

Then the unexpected happened. Finally, I understood why she had reached out to me. My life changed overnight and I prayed to Hera for strength and guidance. Because after 33 years, my marriage has come to an end. We have chosen the path of voluntary decoupling but it remains painful.

And it was Hera who comforted me when my heart felt broken. This is Hera challenging me to stand up and move on with my life.

Hera, who helps me work through complicated emotions, gives me space to express myself in prayer and ritual. The goddess of marriage, overseeing its dissolution. Allowing me to go through the divorce process every day without fear. Remembering that I define my path and my presence in this world.

Goddess for this age

You would think that, as a Hekataen, I’m looking for her. Hecate is the goddess who has helped me since I started a devotional practice with her, as she did when my mother died. Not this time, apparently.

Hera is the goddess guiding me through this difficult time. Yes. His mythology bothered me. Now I see these myths exploring what people experience in life, providing an opportunity to learn from the choices made and the consequences suffered.

I’m glad I chose to follow my intuition in purchasing this little statue of Hera. I look forward to learning more about her, beyond the information provided by Homer and Hesiod.

Thanks, Hera. Great Queen of Olympus, who spontaneously extended her hand to me. You knew the advice I would soon need if I chose to accept it.


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