Hera – Goddess of Marriage
The great goddess Hera, the wife of Zeus, patronizes marriage and preserves the sanctity and inviolability of marital relations. She sends numerous offspring to the spouses and blesses the mother at the birth of the child.
After the conquered by Zeus Cronus brought back to life the great goddess Hera and her brothers and sisters whom he had devoured, her mother Rhea took her to the ends of the earth at the white-haired Ocean; there Hera was raised by Thetis. Hera lived a long time away from Olympus in silence and peace. The great Zeus the Thunderer saw her, fell in love with her and kidnapped her from Thetis. The gods celebrated the wedding of Zeus and Hera. Iris and the Charites dressed Hera in sumptuous attire, and she shone with her youth and majestic beauty in the midst of a host of gods of Olympus, sitting on a golden throne next to Zeus, the great king of gods and men. All the gods presented gifts to the mistress Hera, and the goddess Earth – Gaia, brought out of her bowels as a gift to Hera a wonderful apple tree, which gave birth to golden apples. Everything in nature glorified Queen Hera and King Zeus.
Hera reigns on high Olympus, she commands, like her husband, lightning and thunder; at just one word, dark rain clouds covered the sky, and with a wave of her hand she raised terrible storms.
Wonderful is the great Hera, the lily; under her wreath wonderful curls descend in waves, power and calm majesty burn in her eyes. The gods worship Hera, her husband, the cloudman Zeus, honors her, and often consults with her. But quarrels between Zeus and Hera are not uncommon. At the meetings of the gods, Hera often objected to Zeus and argued with him. Then the thunderbolt gets angry and threatens his wife with punishment. Hera pauses and holds back her anger. She did not forget how Zeus whipped her, how she chained her in gold chains and left her hanging between heaven and earth, tying two heavy anvils to her feet.
Hera is powerful – there is no goddess equal in power. Majestic, in a long lavish robe woven by Athena herself, she descends from Olympus in a chariot drawn by two immortal horses. The chariot is made of silver, the wheels are of pure gold, and the brass of the spokes shines. Fragrance spills on the ground where Hera passes. All living things bow before her, the great queen of Olympus.
Hera, Zeus and Io
Hera often takes insults from her husband Zeus. This happened, for example, when Zeus fell in love with the beautiful Io and, in order to hide her from his wife Hera, turned her into a cow. But with this the Thunderer does not save Io. Hera saw the snow-white cow and asked Zeus to give it to her. Zeus could not deny this to Hera. And she, becoming the mistress of Io, gave her to the stoic Argus to protect her. The unfortunate Io suffered, but could not tell anyone about her suffering; turned into a cow, she was deprived of the gift of speaking. The eternally awake Argus guarded Io, she could not hide from him. Zeus saw her suffering. He called his son Hermes and ordered him to kidnap Io.
Hermes quickly arrived on the mountain, where the stoic guard was guarding Io. He put Argus to sleep with his talk. As soon as his hundred eyes closed Hermes grabbed his curved sword and with one swipe cut off Argus’s head. Io was released. But even with this, Zeus did not saved her from the wrath of Hera.
She sent a monstrous hornet. With its terrible sting, the hornet chased from side to side the unfortunate sufferer Io, driven mad by torment. She found no peace anywhere. In a furious run, she drifted farther and farther away, and the hornet flew after her, driving its sting into her body at any moment. The hornet’s sting burned like a red-hot iron. Wherever Io ran, wherever she went!
Finally, after long wanderings, she reached the rock on which the titan Prometheus was nailed in the land of the Scythians, in the Far North. He foretold to the unfortunate woman that only in Egypt would she escape her torment. Chased by a hornet, Io kept running. She endured many hardships, many dangers before reaching Egypt. There, on the banks of the gracious Nile, Zeus restored her previous image and she gave birth to a son, Epaph. He was the first king of Egypt and the ancestor of the great generation of heroes, which included the greatest hero of Greece, Hercules.