Ganymede


Ganymede is the young, beautiful boy that became one of Zeus’ lovers. One source of the myth says that Zeus fell in love with Ganymede when he spotted him herding his flock on Mount Ida. Zeus then came down in the form of an eagle or sent an eagle to carry Ganymede to Mount Olympus where Ganymede became cupbearer to the gods.

Ganymede

Ganymede

Upon hearing that Ganymede was to be cup bearer as well as Zeus’ lover, the infinitely jealous Hera was outraged. Therefore Zeus set Ganymede’s image among the stars as the constellation Aquarius, the water carrier. Aquarius was originally the Egyptian god over the Nile. The Egyptian god poured water not wine from a flagon.

All of Zeus’ scandalous liaisons have allegorical meanings. Some sources say that Zeus’ affair with Ganymede was a (religious) justification for homosexuality within the Greek culture, yet others state that this is merely a reflection of Greek life at that time. Before the popularity of the Zeus and Ganymede myth spread, however, the only toleration for sodomy was an external form of goddess worship. Cybele’s male devotees tried to achieve unity with her by castrating themselves and dressing like women.

Ganymedes was frequently represented as the god of homosexual love, and as such appears as a playmate of the love-gods Eros and Hymenaios – the gods for love and marital love respectively.

Apollodorus argued that this myth emphasized the victory of patriarchy over matriarchy. This showed that men did not need women to exist, therefore they did not need the attentions of women. The philosopher Plato used this myth to justify his sexual feelings towards male pupils.

In our present-day astronomy, the name Ganymede is honoured as one of the satellites of Jupiter, the largest moon in the Solar System.

June


June is the sixth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with a length of thirty days.

The Roman poet Ovid provides two etymologies for June’s name in his poem concerning the months entitled the Fasti. The first is that the month is named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and equivalent to the Greek goddess Hera, whilst the second is that the name comes from the Latin word iuniores, meaning younger ones, as opposed to maiores – elders for which the preceding month May is named.

At the start of June, the sun rises in the constellation of Taurus; at the end of June, the sun rises in the constellation of Gemini. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes, June begins with the sun in the astrological sign of Gemini, and ends with the sun in the astrological sign of Cancer.

June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.

June in the Northern Hemisphere is the seasonal equivalent to December in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa.

In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological summer is 1 June. In the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological winter is 1 June.

June is known for the large number of marriages that occur over the course of the month. According to one etymology, June is named after Juno, or Hera. Juno was the goddess of marriage and a married couple’s household, so some consider it good luck to be married in this month.

In Iceland, folklore says that if you bathe naked in the morning dew on the morning of June 24, you are supposed to keep ageing at bay for longer.

In both common and leap years, no other month begins on the same day of the week as June. This month and May are the only two months that have this. June ends on the same day of the week as March every year.