Happy June to all! Over where I live, we're finally getting weather that resembles spring!
There are two different theories about the origin of the name June, according to Ovid. One is that it's derived from the Latin iuniores, which means "young ones." The other is that the month of June is named after the Roman goddess Juno (pronounced "JOO-noh"). Juno is the sister and wife of Jupiter and her Greek counterpart is Hera.
Juno's mythology is perhaps the most complex of all the Roman gods, and historians debate about her theology to this day. What we do know is that she was extremely important. Juno looks after all the women of Rome, is the patron goddess of the Roman Empire, and was often referred to as Regina, meaning "Queen." She was often depicted in military garb, ready to protect her children from any enemy. As the etymology of her name suggests, she is also associated with eternal youth. Although she is not the moon goddess (that duty belongs to Diana) a lot of historical texts suggest that she has a connection to the moon because of it's spiritual connection to menstrual cycles and pregnancy.
Juno is most well known as being the goddess of marriage. It was considered extremely lucky to get married on the month of Juno. This is why this month is still a popular time for weddings.
There are other well known namesakes besides the goddess. The award winning film Juno came out in 2007. In this comedic drama, Juno is a quirky, wisecracking teenage girl who has an unplanned pregnancy. She decides to carry the baby to term and give it to a suburban couple. One real life Juno is the as-of-yet not famous British actress Juno Violet Temple, who appeared in such movies as Atonement.
But it doesn't look like either of these film references inspired that many parents as Juno has yet to appear in the top 1,000. June, on the other hand, was a popular girls name way back when and peaked in the 1920s at #45. It disappeared in the 1990s but is coming back and is now at #597. If you can believe it, June was also used as a boys name. It appeared at the bottom of the charts from the 1880s to the 1930s. I've also heard a new variation: Junella, a combination of June and Ella.
I'm hoping that more people will consider this name. Juno is a confident, powerful moniker for any girl. It also manages to be quirky and artsy. It's a great option for someone that wants to reference this month but wants something less traditional.