sixth month’s blessing

When it comes to the etymology of June,
as with May, we have options to consider.

And some look back to the ancient Roman goddess Juno,
daughter of Saturn,
thus both sister and wife of Jupiter,
queen of gods,
goddess of marriage, fertility, and childbearing—
the goddess of beginnings
(and so the first day of every month was hers).
She was the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman empire,
and thus, goddess of politics, power and war.

So particularly fascinating about Juno
is the sheer diversity of epithets, names,
titles, roles, and functions attributed to her.

Actually less interesting than what they all are,
is how many there are,
and how many contrasting even contradicting ones there are
(shouldn’t come as a surprise from someone
who is both sister and wife,
and who has one month dedicated to her,
but the first day of every month!).

You can look past Juno though
to find June’s etymological proto-indo-european roots
in words associated with a vital force—
with youthful vigor—indeed with youth.
So in direct contrast to May’s
possible derivation from the word meaning “elder,” maiores,
June might come from the Latin word, iuniores,
meaning “younger ones” or “juniors.”

Another ancient etymological strand
goes back to words meaning “aid,” “benefit,” or “rejuvenate.”

So may June bring rejuvenation.
May you sense through the days of June a vital force—
a youthful vigor.
And may June’s thirty days bring celebrations of the young we know—
the youth, the children—the young at heart!
May this month begin your summer well,
and bless, as well, all we begin.
And finally, may June bless the diversity,
the contrast and even the contradictions
that are are part of the richness of what we believe
and part of the richness of who we are.

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