August – Laurel

August (Mensis Augustus) is named for Augustus Caesar, the first Emperor of the Roman Empire. He was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus (Octavian) on September 23, 63 BCE. On March 15, 44 BCE, Octavian learned that Julius Caesar, his great-uncle, had been assasinated and had adopted Octavian as his sole heir. Octavian inherited the title Gaius…

July – Date Palm

July (Mensis Iulius) is named for Gaius Julius Caesar (b. July 12, 100 BCE – d. March 15, 44 BCE). Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman, scholar and orator. He was the last dictator of the Roman Republic as well as the first Roman to attain “divine” status. Caesar’s interest in his own divinity…

June – Oak

June (Mensis Junius) is named for Juno, an ancient and complex goddess of love, marriage, motherhood and protection as well as the cycles of the moon. In Roman mythology, she and her husband Jupiter were the divine King and Queen of the gods. Juno and Jupiter were equated with Hera and Zeus in Greek mythology….

May – Magnolia

May (Mensis Maius) is named for Maia, the Roman “grand mother” of spring, fertility and flowers. Magnolias are considered to be the ancient “mother” of all flowering plants on earth. In Greek, Maia means “lady or elder mother. In Latin, Maia is related to the words maius, maior, majus, magnus and maiores meaning “larger, greater,…

April – Apple

April (Mensis Aprilis) the second month of the ancient Roman calendar, received its name around 738 BCE. At that time, it followed March, Mensis Martis (named for Mars, the Roman god of war and agriculture), which was the first month of the year that aligned with the Spring Equinox. The word Aprilis comes from the…

March – Fig

March (Mensis Martius) is named for Mars the Roman god of war and the guardian of agriculture. In Roman mythology Mars is the son of Juno and Jupiter and father to Romulus and Remus. Fig trees were sacred to Mars, Juno and his children. According to legend, Mars impregnated Rhea Silvia, the virgin daughter of…

February – Cypress

February (Mensis Februarius) is named for februum, which in Latin means “purify”. Februum is based on Februa, an ancient Roman purification ritual that honored the primordial Mother (Gaia, Isis, Hera, Rhea, Tera Mater, Cybele, Juno). Februa was originally held on the full moon before the new year, which began in the month of March. The…