And as my son Mike is marrying his fiancee Cherise on Saturday, the thought of love and marriage is well in the upper part of my mind at the moment.
The month of June is said these days to have been named after the Roman goddess Juno, the spouse of Jove or Jupiter, and they are said to have wed this month, and thus give their special blessings to any couple who follow suit in June. However it could also be named after Junius or Juventas the goddess of youth - although this goddess name can also be the maiden form of Juno, and thus the month celebrates the goddess as she moves from Maiden to Mother.
There are several traditional verses which tell us the possible fortunes of those who wed in the various months of the year, and these can be quite radically different. The one most often quoted is:
Marry in the month of roses - June,
Life will be one long Honeymoon.
But the Irish version of this monthly rhyme is very different and for June we are told:
Marry when June roses blow
Over land and sea you'll go
The Irish really don't want a couple to marry in May, June, July or August, and it is speculated that this is because these are the busiest months of the farming year and you don't want people shirking work at this time - or to lose a worker if they go off to live at a spouse's farm.
Another monthly rhyme simply tells us about the character of the bride:
A June bride will be impetuous and generous
Juno is generous in many ways this month, she is sometimes called Juno the Moneymaker, so this is also a good month for starting a business or for working a wealth drawing spell, addressed to Juno Moneta. However, when you get a result from your working, remember to give some of the proceeds back to the goddess, buy her some flowers or candles and say 'thank you'.
Oh and if you are given a piece of wedding cake you can use it to see your own future spouse. Ideally it should be a small slivver passed nine times through the wedding ring. You then sleep with it beneath your pillow - and your dreams will be ominous, as the old fortune books say.
You can repeat this rhyme:
I put this cake beneath my head
To dream of the living, not of the dead,
To dream of the man/maid that I am to wed.
Not in his/her best, or Sunday array,
But in the clothes he/she wears each day.
You ask to see them in their normal clothes as this would indicate the kind of work they might do, or how prosperous they might be. Your 'Sunday best' clothes would give a false impression that you might be more affluent than in reality. You can also make the spell more effective if the moon is waxing to full, and you do the spell on a Friday night, the night of Venus
Of course this spell would be done with a nice, dense old-fashioned fruit cake. I don't think I would want to try it with a modern piece of sponge cake.