The original Roman name for this month was Junoius, after the
Great Mother Goddess Juno; her counterpart among the Greeks
was Hera. The month’s name was originally Junonius.
Juno has may attributes, the chief of which is as the Queen of
Heaven. This is attribute is ascribed to Frigg in the Northern
Tradition and Mary in the Christian. As ruler of the high point
of the year, the time of the maximum light and minimum
darkness, June is the light counterpart of Janus, the ruler of
the New Year period.
Because June is the divine watcher over the female sex, the
month of June is held most favourable for marrying. In
medieval times June was chosen for the month to marry
because the annual baths of the populace took place in May.
From May to the following May cleanliness was not a part of
their daily ritual as it is today. It was an annual event. So,
being that they were relatively clean in June made it a good
time to have a special event such as a wedding.
As Juno Moneta, guardian of money and wealth, the goddess
had a temple dedicated to her on the Capitoline hill in Rome.
This contained the mint where coinage was produced. This
theme of wealth can also be seen in the runic year cycle: the
half-month of Feoh, the time of wealth and abundance, begins
on 29 June.
On or about 21 June is the Summer Solstice, the festival of
Midsummer, the Anglo-Saxon Lith and the Alaban Hefin of the
Druids. The Irish name for June is Meitheamh, while the Anglo-
Saxon name was Aerra Litha, “before Litha.” The Franks called
June Brachmanoth, “break month,” while in modern Asatru it is
The Summer Solstice has been and still is important to many
religions and cultures around the world. Not only was it sacred
to goddesses of fertility, marriage, and love, but it was
considered to be a time when faeries, elves, and many other
supernatural beings were abroad in great numbers.
This Moon has enormous energies for calling upon and working
with elementals of all types. Tides of psychic energy flow
freely, enabling even the most staid of people to experience
The Summer Solstice festival in Slavonic-Russian cultures was
called Kupalo and Jarilo. Other names were Kostroma, Sobotka,
Kresnice, and Vajano. Kupalo/Kupala was the name of an
ancient Slavic deity, originally a goddess, later a god. Special
features of this festival were the lighting of fires, the
sprinkling of water, and foretelling the future.
The Full Moon festival of Edfu in Egypt honored the goddess
Hathor. The cow horns on her head represented the Crescent
Moon. Every year at the new Moon the stature of Hathor was
taken from her temple at Dendera and transported by boat to
the temple of the god Horus at Edfu, arriving on the Full Moon.l
This festival celebrated the frank sexual union of the two
deities. It was a time of great festivities and very likely human
marriages, since it was considered a period of good luck.
The Egyptian festival called the Burning of the Lamps took
place in Sais in the temple of Isis. There, in an underground
chapel beneath the main temple, was a wooden coffin for the
god Osiris. Priestesses, priests, and initiates gathered in this
hidden place carrying lamps. Then they marched in a procession
around the coffin. The Egyptians said it was the light of the
Moon that Isis called upon to bring Osiris back to life. Myth
says that when Osiris ascended to the heavens, he went to the
In Rome, the month of June was sacred to the goddess Juno
and therefore a lucky month in which to be married. It was also
a time for the Vestal Virgins to cleanse the penus (a sacred
vessel) in the Temple of Vesta.
The Roman celebration of the Ludi Piscatari, or festival of the
fishermen, was really a blessing of boats. They believed that
every boat had a personal spiritual entity. If the powers that
went into the boat during its building were not in harmony with
the entity, the boat would never ride easily on the water; it
would always fight with the wind and the waves. The ritual of
blessing the boat harmonized the energies imbued in the vessel,
making it lively, willing, and enduring.
The Celtic Day of Cerridwen and her cauldron may have
originally been associated with the Summer Solstice. Cerridwen
of Wales was a Dark Moon goddess; her symbols were the
cauldron, grain, and the Moon. The white, corpse-eating sow,
representing the Moon, was one of her animal emblems.
In Tibet, this was a time of masked sacred dances and mystery
plays. They had celebrations of the Medical Buddhas and of
the Birth of Padmasambhava, who was considered to be a great
To the Incas in the Southern Hemisphere, this was the season
of the Winter Solstice, since seasons are reversed. They had
the Feast of the Sun, or the Inti Raymi, to celebrate the maize
harvest. Chanting would last from sunrise to sunset. Inti was
the Sun god of the ruling dynasty, represented by a great
golden disk with a human face.
June’s full moon is the Hot or Strawberry Moon. The month of
June is the “door of the year,” the gateway to the inner realms.
The rune Dag that rules the middle of the month, is the rune of
opening, representing the door that excludes bad things and
admits only that which is beneficial. The runic year begins in
June, with Feoh.
The Celtic Tree Calendar month of Huath (hawthorn) ends on 9
June to be followed on the 10th by the Oak month, Duir. This is
a month of strengthening and solidation of gains. It can also be
said to represent the “door” of the year, opening to let the sun
shine in. Duir had the sacred colour of black.
In the Goddess Calendar, the first 12 days of June belong to
Hera. On 13 June begins the month of Rosea.
The precious stone associated with June is the agate, whose
traditional rhyme is as follows:
Who comes with summer to this earth,
And owes to June her hour of birth
With ring of Agate on her hand
Can health, wealth and long life command.
Good weather in “Flaming June” is necessary if there is to be a
good harvest. Conversely, it is said that if it rains on 27 June,
then it will rain for the next seven weeks. But “A wet June
makes a dry September,” and “A dripping June brings all things
in tune.” If swallows fly near the ground in June, it is a sign of
coming rain. Bats flying on a June evening are a sign of hot,
dry weather the next day.