On this day, March 1st, in ancient Rome women would be called to the Temple of Juno Lucina on Esquiline Hill in Rome to celebrate the festival of ‘matronalia’. Juno Lucina is an epithet for the goddess Juno in her role as goddess of women in childbirth, mothering, fertility and all things connected with the sacred act of feminine birthing. The title Lucia (from the Latin lux, and lucis which means light), connects this goddess with lunar light and the cycles which are used to track female fertility as well as the measure of the duration of pregnancy.
During the Roman festival of martonalia all women from the highest born to serving girls would be excused from their duties to celebrate and honor Juno. They would wear loose dresses and untypically let their hair fall free. They participated in rituals unobserved and unknown to the men of the town. As with many of the ancient rituals the details remain a secret however it is thought that the loose clothes and freedom from knots and ties allowed the powerful feminine essence to rise and flow in the body, generating energy similar to what we might recognize as kundalini, or dragon power, an energy that when activated leads to an expanded state of consciousness and spiritual awakening.
As every man had his genius, so every woman had her Juno, a guardian spirit that represented the female principle of life.
In Roman mythology, March 1st is also the birth of Mars (March is named after Mars), who was birthed by Juno Lucina. This was a parthenogenesis birth (an egg that is fertilized without sperm), akin to the birth of Christ by the Virgin Mary in Christian mythology. Juno Lucina was able to perform this sacred feat after being given a flower from Flora, goddess of flowers and the season of spring. The power of spring, birthing, kundalini, Mars, the god of virility (Italian god Mars was the protector of fields and the ripener of fruits and grain) are all connected to early spring and fertility rites. It is no coincidence that the zodiacal symbol of Aries, ruler of Mars, is a ram’s head which strongly resembles the female reproductive organs.
This is a time when female fertility and creation is at its zenith; the power that facilitates this sacred life is the ovaries. Juno Lucina goddess of celestial light is often depicted with her sacred lily, a universal emblem of the yoni. The three-fold lily (the fleur de Lis) is a symbol of her parthenogenic power- this is the true meaning of the fleur de Lis in Christian symbology, particularly when it is connected to the Virgin Mary.
Take time to consider the deeper, esoteric meaning of a parthenogenic birth… what is the awakened feminine really birthing? She is birthing solar consciousness, Christ consciousness- the ability to be in the world as a creatrix and manifestor, through the womb and heart centres.
What does this mean for modern women? For me it suggests that there is an open door into the female mysteries of fertility, creation, birthing on all levels, and the raising of kundalini energy for the purpose of spiritual and physical healing. Modern women need to return to the temple… while there may no longer be grand and sacred columned structures in our town and cities, we can still connect with our original temple, our bodies, and set aside time and space to honor the ‘biomystical’ power of our physical/spiritual experience. We can meet with and honor other women in sacred space even if that is just the floor of friend’s front room. We can honor birthing in all its magical manifestations from our menstrual cycle and childbirth to the creations we wish to birth, or have birthed, on the physical plane- the spirit we have brought though matter.
We can go out into nature and fill ourselves with earthlight and power. We can observe the expressions of the natural world and learn the essence of the moment and what it offers.
We can reclaim our wholeness.