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Juno Februtis

By Thalia Took

Juno Februtis is an aspect of that great Roman Goddess as a purifier and fertility Goddess, who was especially connected with the month of February and the festivities in its latter half. She would seem to be related to Juno Lucina as a childbirth Goddess. February was the month of purification to the Romans because in their early calendar it was the last month of the year, and so considered an appropriate time to get rid of the bad, stale, or unclean in preparation for the new year. The references to Juno Februtis are few, however, and much of the information about Her would seem to be of more recent derivation.

February takes its name from the Latin februa, meaning “religious purification”, and so means “the month of purification”, or “the cleansing month”, referring to the numerous festivals of that theme held then, especially the Lupercalia. In the early days of the lunar calendar, March, as the month when spring takes hold, had been thought of as the first month of the year; and so many holidays in the last half (the waning half) of February centered around the theme of endings, including the Terminalia on the 23rd, honoring Terminus, the God of boundary stones.

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