In my previous post I have mentioned the difference between Juno and other Divine Forces as Vesta or Diana. One of the main characteristics of Juno is to be a force that binds: in this way, she firstly represents the sacralization of the bonds deriving from the marriage, which is a link. Thus Juno differs from Vesta: the latter is a centripetal force, directing towards the center. Similarly, Juno is the opposite of Diana being a force without constraints - a virgo - without ties: Diana is the Quicksilver.
Being the binding/unbinding Goddess, Juno has complex implications related to the symbolism of knots, rings and necklaces that in Rome, as in all the traditional societies and cultures, had an important symbolic value. It is important to remind that in the past the idea of "decoration" had a peculiar meaning and value: today "decoration" is just synonym of superficial appearance but in the past these decorations had actually a precise symbolic, functional and instrumental meaning and value to communicate and convey a sense anyhow. And this can be found in architecture as well as in clothing or food.
This is therefore a complex topic about which I will try here to briefly mention some aspects.
In the Latin the verb iungere (note the link with the word Iuno) means:
- join, tie, tie tightly, join together, forming a union
- marry, join in marriage
- join with ties of kinship, friendship or tighten an alliance
Marriage is the characteristic and most common bond of the symbology of Juno: it was symbolized as strings with knots. Also a string with knots was used as protection of Juno in the moment of birth.
The bond has a religious, initiation, magic, symbolic, sacred meaning and value. Juno, with the power of binding, detains in particular a magical-religious sovereignty. Sovereignty itself appears as a the result of certain kinds of link. All powers depends on form of bonds and in particular those of Juno are the law, justice, authority, prestige. In the male polarity (Jupiter) we find this same issue highlighted by the bond of the oath.
Juno is a not a simple generating or nurturing Mother Goddess (as Ceres): she is a Matron - in the most Roman meaning of the term - who binds or loosens the constraints in the broadest sense. Juno can lock or unlock, hold or release with positive or negative implications. In short - as tradition tells us - she can do everything. The Authority of Juno is therefore expressed by the fact to be the sacralization of a Divine presence over ambivalent control elements as ties, bonds or nodes which, without this presence, would be out of control, leading then the Universe, Nature, to Chaos. All the forces are unravelled through control points. This takes place in all the dimensions of the Being: in the micro as well as in the macro dimension. The human body - and likewise the spirit in the psychological dimension - is articulated through these points regulated by nodes that can be opened or closed.
Knots, rings and necklaces are hence symbolic tools of control of these points to control the flowing of energy. I will discuss this topic, and its symbolism, in an another occasion.
Juno puts constraints and can remove these constraints. The links sacred to Juno, as mentioned, may be ambivalent. According to tradition they may be:
a) positive, as in the case of the marriage, bonds of kinship, alliances. They may be constraints that symbolically can defend against disease and negativity, bringing healing
b) negative capable to block, impede the flowing of energy, carrying diseases and negativity
To the action of binding is then related a force that can have a positive, beneficial, protective direction or negative, evil, aggressive direction.
In these aspects in particular it emerges essentially the magical symbology of the ties of Juno. However it is important to remind the most spiritual and initiating (and most difficult to describe) power of binding and loosing of Juno: just think of the fact that life is symbolically represented as a string. The Cosmos itself is described as a large canvas, supported by a large plot woven knots. where all beings are con-nected (cum and nexus). Everything is included in this "fabric" and Juno controls the bonds existing between the wires of this cosmic web. Also bonds, links, knots refer to the idea of initiatory death and rebirth, another complex issue to be discussed in another occasion.