Hera is the first Greek goddess, presiding over marriage and motherhood. The name Hera means ‘lady’ while her Roman name is Juno. Hera was the offspring of the Titans Rhea and Cronus and also the wife of Zeus. Hera’s marriage to Zeus is marked by trickery and strife. It is believed that Zeus tried to court her but could not succeed. Then Zeus used trickery to gain Hera’s affection by turning into a disheveled cuckoo. Hera took pity on the bird and held it close to her when Zeus took his natural form and raped her. Hera was thus forced to marry Zeus.
Hera is the Goddess of marriage and considered a protector of married woman and motherhood. She was also revered as the goddess of the starry sky. She is usually portrayed as a beautiful woman adorned with a crown and a royal staff. Hera’s attributes include a high crown (the polo), the peacock, a staff with a cuckoo and the pomegranate. Hera is known for her jealousy over Zeus’s infidelities which led her to take revenge on his mistresses.
Being the Goddess of marriage, Hera presides on the accurate arrangements and union of marriage. Through her union with Zeus she gave birth to Ares, Hebe, Eris, Enyo, and Eileithyia. Hera was often jealous and enraged by the numerous affairs of Zeus and also becoming the father of Athena through Metis. In retaliation, she gave birth to Hephaestus illegitimately. Later Hera was appalled by the ugly appearance of Hephaestus and flung him from Mount Olympus.
Hera took great care of her beauty and was nicknamed as the “white armed goddess.” She visited the spring Canathus every year as Nauplia, where she bathed in the magical waters to renew her virginity. The lotion she used to fragrance her body almost enveloped the entire universe with its sweet fragrance. She draped herself in a beautiful robe woven by Athene which was clasped with a golden pin at her breast and had a veil dropping down from her head. Zeus could not resist his attention towards Hera whose stunning image filled his heart and senses.