A Month of Devotional Thought — Hera, Day 3

Todays topic concerns symbols and icons related to Hera. There are actually a fair number of them. One of the most interesting ones for me is a lotus-topped royal scepter as seen in this picture from Theoi.com. k4-7hera

In the picture she is also depicted as being crowned and seated on a throne..

She is probably better known however through her connections to her sacred animals. These include not only the cuckoo and peacock, but also the cow (heifer) as well as the lion. The last of these is interesting to me as the lion is often used as a symbol of royalty and has symbolic meaning in not only Christianity, but Buddhism and Hinduism as well (although in the religions mentioned the lion is typically associated with male divinities).

It is interested to note that Hera shares the lion as a sacred animal with her mother Rhea who was Queen of the Titans before the Olympian Gods began their reign. This, tied with the “wildness” of Rhea when identified with Cybele seems to indicate that at one time there MAY have been a warrior aspect to Hera as well as her matronly role within the Olympian family.

 

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