Hera was one of the most interesting figures among the twelve ancient Greek gods. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea, she was the only legal wife of Zeus, the god of the heavens.
As the queen of the gods, Hera is often depicted as a regal and powerful figure. However, she is also known for her jealous and vengeful nature, particularly towards Zeus’ numerous lovers and their offspring.
Hera was the protector of marriage and married people, especially women, and the embodiment of marital fidelity. Hera embodies the virtues and weaknesses of a married woman.
Hera was loyal, devoted, tender, and obedient to her husband, but she was also dynamic, resourceful, quarrelsome, sniveling, oppressive, envious, passionate, and a vengeful wife. She was a woman who wanted her husband only for herself and would think of anything to keep him at her side. She vehemently envies, hates, and passionately seeks revenge.
Hera’s jealousy, an unquenchable flame, burns her insides and torments her mind. Her revenge sweeps everything before her. She fights desperately for everything she is entitled to, and especially for the object of her passion.
- Hera was the goddess of women, marriage, and childbirth in Greek mythology. She was one of the Twelve Olympians and the wife and sister of Zeus.
- As queen of the gods, Hera was the patron goddess of Argos. She had temples and festivals dedicated to her worship throughout Greece.
- In Roman mythology, Hera is identified as Juno, the chief goddess and female counterpart of Jupiter.
Family of Hera
- Parents: Cronus and Rhea (Titans)
- Siblings: Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Zeus
- Husband: Zeus
- Children: Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe, Eileithyia
Symbols of Hera
- Pomegranate – symbol of fertility and marriage
- Lily – purity and fertility
- Cow – motherhood and nourishment
- Cuckoo – Zeus courted Hera in the form of a cuckoo
- Lotus-staff – power and authority
- Peacock – immortality and pride
Mythology and Characteristics
- Zeus tricked Hera into marriage by disguising himself as an injured bird. Their marriage was turbulent due to Zeus’ infidelity.
- Hera was known for punishing Zeus’ lovers and children from affairs, like Heracles and Dionysus. This earned her a reputation for jealousy and vengeance.
- As goddess of marriage, Hera blessed and protected lawful marriages. She was worshipped as a protector of women.
- Hera was depicted as majestic, beautiful and solemn. She valued fidelity and was one of the few faithful gods.
In summary, Hera was an important goddess who presided over marriage, women, and childbirth despite her infamous jealous streak. She was a principal deity worshipped in ancient Greek religion.