Working with Goddess Hera: Offerings, Herbs, Crystals & More

The Goddess Hera gets a bit of a bad rap. To many people, she’s known as Zeus’ jealous wife who’s forced to endure his infidelities. This jealousy is also the driving force behind a significant number of Greek myths and legends.

But what lies beyond her reputation as an embittered spouse?

About Hera

The name Hera has several potential origins. Some scholars believe it comes from the word “hora,” for seasons, indicating that she was in a marriageable season of life.

According to Plato, her name derives from the word “erate” (meaning “beloved”) because the marriage between her and Zeus was a love match.

Still other sources deduced that the name Hera was intended to be a feminine counterpart to the word “heros,” meaning “master.” A hypothesized Proto-Indo-European origin may come from “the woman who is attached.”

Hera is the Greek Goddess of marriage, families, and women. She’s said to protect women in labor and preside over marriages. This is reflected in her iconography — she’s usually portrayed with her hair veiled, like a married woman of the time.

She’s also the Queen of the Gods and Mouth Olympus, and a serious survivor.

For someone who became Queen of the Olympian Gods, Hera’s life didn’t start easily. The daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, Hera met the same fate as most of her siblings — swallowed whole by Cronus shortly after birth.

It had been prophesied that one of his children would overthrow him, and he wasn’t taking any chances. Rhea eventually grew tired of her husband’s cannibalism, so, after giving birth to Zeus, she hid he baby away and tricked her husband into eating a stone instead.

When Zeus grew up, he returned to slay his father and free his siblings from Cronus’ corpse.

Another version of this story says that Hera escaped being eaten just like Zeus did. Rhea instead gave her daughter either to Tethys, another Titan, or Macris, a nymph, to be raised.

Though she’s the Goddess of marriage, Hera is portrayed a sexual being. Zeus is infamous for his libidinous ways, but Hera is sometimes said to be the one who first seduces him.

Other versions describe Zeus starting a terrible storm and transforming into a cuckoo to trick her into sleeping with him, or otherwise sneakily seducing her. In those versions, Hera is hesitant to sleep with him because their mother, Rhea, is against it.

Hera and Zeus’ marriage wasn’t all just Zeus threatening and cheating on her, and Hera getting her revenge against the women Zeus slept with.

At one point, she left him. Nothing he did could convince her to come back, so he set up a fake wedding with a wooden statue for a bride. Hera, enraged, returned to disrupt the wedding. When she discovered it was a farce, she and Zeus reconciled.

One of the ways Hera sought her revenge against Zeus’ offspring was by delaying their births. As the protector of women in childbirth, she has the power to cause Eileithyia, the Goddess of childbirth, to hasten or prolong a delivery.

She made Eurystheus be born quickly, so he would beat Heracles and become the subject of Zeus’ prophecy that his next son would be a great king.

She also forbade Leto from giving birth to Apollo and Artemis anywhere on the mainland or islands surrounding it, forcing Leto to labor until she was able to reach the floating island of Delos.

Hera is mentioned heavily in The Iliad. After competing with Athena and Aphrodite for a golden apple marked “To the fairest,” she’s left annoyed that Paris, the judge, didn’t deem her worthy of winning it. Paris was Trojan, so Hera sides with the Greeks during the Trojan War.

In one version of Typhon’s birth, he is born from Hera through parthenogenesis — a process by which an organism gives birth asexually. She did this out of jealousy when Zeus birthed Athena from his forehead. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, this is also how Hephaestus, the God of smithing and the forge, was born.

There’s a theory that Hera may have been a holdover from a pre-Hellenic people that occupied Greece. If this is true, it’s likely that she held a role akin to a Great Goddess creatrix deity among a matriarchal people.

This theory holds that her jealousy over Zeus’ infidelity isn’t just jealousy, it’s Hera asserting her right as a matriarchal supreme Goddess. Unfortunately, while intriguing, there isn’t much evidence to support this idea.

A somewhat more supported theory connects her to cattle, like a Greek version of the Egyptian Hathor. Before her portrayal as the Queen of Olympus, she may have been a cow goddess of particular importance to areas that survived primarily by raising cattle.

Symbols & Associations

Hera is associated with the cow, peacock, and cuckoo. She’s often referred to as “cow-eyed” or “ox-eyed” to describe her large, beautiful dark eyes.

Her connection to the cuckoo comes from Zeus using the form of a cuckoo to trick her. Her chariot is said to be drawn by peacocks.

Hera is further connected to peacocks through the story of Zeus and Io. Io was a mortal girl that Zeus desired. Zeus transformed Io into a heifer to hide her from his wife. When Hera discovered her anyway, he pretended that Io was a gift to Hera.

Hera, unconvinced, accepted the gift and set the many-eyed giant Argus Panoptes to guard her. He had so many eyes that he could be perpetually watchful, since not all of his eyes needed to close to sleep at the same time.

To free Io, Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argus. Hermes lulled the giant to sleep, then slayed him. Hera then took each of Argus’ eyes and placed them on the tail of her favorite bird, the peacock.

Veils are also connected to Hera, though this isn’t a symbol unique to her. It’s the dress of a mature, married woman.

She is sometimes shown holding a pomegranate, a symbol of fertility, or a lily.


Like the other Greek deities, Hera has a variety of powers. She can:

  • Change shape.
  • Transform others.
  • Delay the other gods in their duties.
  • Protect women in childbirth.
  • Prolong or hasten childbirth.
  • Preside over marriages.


Hera appreciates many different offerings. You can try giving her:

  • Pomegranate seeds or juice.
  • Wine.
  • Incense.
  • Peacock feathers or imagery.
  • Milk.
  • Bread.
  • Eggs.
  • Honey.
  • Perfume.
  • Lilies.

Signs Hera is Calling You

One sign that Hera is calling you is the repeated appearance of her animals in your life. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an encounter with a wild animal, either — repeatedly stumbling across peacock imagery can be a sign from her, for example.

You may see Hera in dreams, visions, or during meditation. She usually appears as a beautiful adult woman with expressive eyes, wearing a crown and veil.

Another sign from Hera is her repeated appearance in your life. You may spot her in art, books, movies, or other media, or even meet a person with her name.

When a deity is calling to you, signs like these usually appear in clusters. The sight of one peacock probably isn’t a call, but seeing peacocks where you normally wouldn’t, dreaming of Hera, and regularly coming across art of her without seeking it out may be.

Crystals Associated with Hera

The idea of connecting to a deity with crystals is a fairly modern invention, but there are some stones that strongly embody the traits and powers of different gods.

If you want to work with Hera, you can start by wearing or meditating with:

  • Peacock ore. This stone is associated with peacocks, one of Hera’s animals, through its vibrant, shimmering colors.
  • Lapis lazuli. This bright blue stone is associated with royalty, nobility, and truth.
  • Pearls. Pearls represent honesty, innocence, and purity.
  • Garnet. Garnets evoke pomegranate seeds, one of Hera’s symbols.
  • Diamond. Diamonds are amplifiers of energy and symbols of authority.
  • Morganite. This pink beryl is a stone of love and emotional healing.
  • Rose quartz. Rose quartz is similar to morganite. It ties in with Hera’s function as a deity of marriage.

Herbs Associated with Hera

Herbs connected to Hera are great offerings, incenses, and charms for asking for her aid.

Some of the best ones for this goddess are:

  • Lily. Lilies are one of Hera’s symbols.
  • Rose. Roses represent love, marital happiness, and fidelity.
  • Jasmine. Jasmines are used for sensuality and physical love.
  • Marigold. Marigolds are associated with fertility and happiness.
  • Patchouli. Patchouli is used for prosperity, love, and sensuality.
  • Sage. Sage is connected to wisdom and purification.
  • Rosemary. Rosemary is an herb for love and purification.
  • Myrrh. Myrrh is a resinous substance associated with purification and spirituality, suitable as an incense offering to Hera.
  • Frankincense. Frankincense is tied to purification and positivity.

Working with Hera

As with any deity, the first step to working with Hera is to take an interest in her. Read her origin stories, contradictory though they might be.

Learn her history, role, and powers. Discover what makes her appealing to you, and what might have made her call out to you.

Create an altar to her. Choose a table, shelf, or other horizontal surface and cover it with a beautiful cloth. Set it with a candle holder, incense burner, and bowl for offerings.

Visit this space regularly and keep it tidy. If you like, you can adorn it with crystals connected to her and a vase for fresh flowers. Make it a lovely, peaceful, enjoyable place to meditate or just spend time.

You can also work with Hera by taking action. Donate your time or money to charities that help women and children, in particular. You may also want to work with some of her animals, like charities that rescue birds or provide forever homes for cows.

Hera is an often-misunderstood figure. To too many, she is a nagging wife whose misplaced vengeance falls on Zeus’ (often unwilling) sexual partners.

She is also a Queen of Olympus and a powerful, wise entity in her own right, capable of creating gods and monsters even without the assistance of her husband.

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