This month: June

It is usually believed that June got its name from Juno, though Ovid’s Fasti gives an alternative explanation based on iuniores or youngsters, as opposed to the maiores or elders for May. The Calends, sacred to Juno, are on the first day of the month, the Nones fall on the 5th and the Ides, sacred to Jupiter, are on the 13th. The first Wednesday of the month is dedicated to Mercury, the 19th day to Minerva and the 21st to Ingui.

June 1: Junonalia
The Festival of Juno, for lack of a better name, is my annual feast to the Queen of Heavens. I don’t have much of a personal connection with Her and, apart from Her ritual relevance in the Calends, the only reason why I include Juno in my pantheon is my mother – who incidentelly was born in June. So the first day of this month is a bit of a Mother’s Day for me.

June 9: Vestalia
Vesta’s holiday is an old Roman celebration, though not one of the easiest to adapt to modern day and especially by a man. A lot of what was done in ancient Rome was focused on Vesta’s aedes and performed by the Vestal Virgins, so a healthy amount of creativity is necessary. Ideally, I start with a morning offering of incense and a candle and then a formal ceremony. In the afternoon, I clean up the house or finish the cleaning I started a few days before so as to conclude on June 9th. Then I finally light candles and incense in as many rooms as possible, thus honouring the goddess of the hearth.

June 20-22: Inguinalia
Oh Midsummer! This is one of the high-times in my religious calendar and one of my favourite celebrations. It’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s joyful, full of plenty and physical activity. Or at least that’s what I aim for. And it’s dedicated to Lord Ingui. It starts on the morning of solstice’s eve and goes all the way to sundown of the day after midsummer. The god’s shrine is decorated, His image paraded, offerings made to Him in multiple places, a pole erected and crowned with a wreath, the eve’s sunset is marked as well as solstice’s sunrise and candles are lit during the night in-between. There’s food, there’s sex, there are tributes to the earth beneath our feet. And there’s a commemorative wreath hanging on the outside of the door. One day, some day, this too will happen.

June 21: Votum Dianae
When I fulfilled my vow to Diana a few years ago, I did it on June 21st because that was the only time I could find to be in my home town. And even though my pet dog has recently passed away, I nonetheless plan to leave a wreath on Diana’s altar, as I’ve been doing every year.


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