The High Priestess, the Hierophantess,

  She was the goddess of all power and empire, and she was also the patroness of riches. She is represented sitting on a throne with a diadem on her head and a golden sceptre in her right hand. Some peacocks generally sat by her, and a cuckoo often perched on her sceptre, while Iris behind her displayed the thousand colours of her beautiful rainbow. She is sometimes carried through the air in a rich chariot drawn by peacocks.


2. L'aspetto la indica sposa di Giove; col capo velato all'uso della matrone, l'ordini della corona indica il numero dei regni. E’ ornato riccamente; le sue belle vesti colorate sono però evanescenti. Il carro e le armi, a lei assegnati da Virgilio, sembrano qui da tralasciare.

II. Her aspect indicates the spouse of Jupiter; with head veiled in the manner of matrons, the order of the crown indicates the number of reigns. It is richly adorned; her beautiful dress somberly coloured, but evanescent. The chariot and arms, assigned to her by Virgil, seem abandoned.

Note: I am not sure what “ordini della corona indica il numero dei regni” refers to. The last clause is also obscure.

  Treatise of Marzianus: Description of the Gods
Tarot-Document: The Oldest Tarot Cards


The lady is Iris, the rainbow, Juno's messenger and the harbinger of death to women, as Mercury is to men. To release the souls of women, in alchemy, means to sublime the volatile parts of the residue after the nigredo, thus producing the rainbow colouring which is called the Peacock's Tail.


Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Alchemy,The Secret Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1973, Plate 57.


We thus see Juno:


quae pingitur:


vertice velata, iride sertata,

unguentis afflata, sceptro decorata

et auro ligata . . .


avibus vallata

humore rigata et luce lustrata 99


99  Liebeschütz, op.cit., p. 88. (. . . “who is depicted with a veil on her head, wreathed by a rainbow, fanned with perfumes, decorated with a sceptre, bound by a golden chain, surrounded by birds, moistened by dew, illuminated by light . . .”) Liebeschütz reproduces the miniatures.


Seznec, p.106.



The colors which herald white are spoken of as Iris and the rainbow, as many flowers, and mainly as the brilliance of the peacock's tail with its multiple eyes.





In the Cucurbit is the figure of a Queen with the upper part of her body naked, but with a pale blue robe thrown loosely round the rest of the body except the feet and ankles are bare. Around her is an oval shaped halo like a blue and yellow rainbow. Beneath her feet is a golden side face of the Sun, Flowers are painted on the golden margin of the niche which is surmounted by the blue figure of a man upon a blue car, holding in his hand a radiant caducean rod, the car is drawn by two cocks, on one wheel are Gemini and on the other Virgo. Mercury in Gemini and Virgo.




In the Mutus Liber, we also find:

Juno with her peacock of many eyes; below her, in the iris, is Ceres with her flowers and the ram and bull of the Spring, and above both is Jupiter, who oversees the operation and is to bring Delos, the island of revelation, to the surface of consciousness.

Julian Huxley, The Eye. Thames and Hudson, p.68.


Juno, Palazzo del Te in Mantua.

Juno suspended in Memory Theatre.

Juno suspended in Camera di San Paola, Parma.

1 The scene is described in Iliad, XV, 18 ff., where Zeus, in order to restrain his refractory spouse, reminds her of the punishment inflicted upon her on a previous, unspecified occasion :


"Dost thou remember how I strung thee up aloft ?

I hung two golden anvils on thy feet and tied

Thy hands with golden bands, unbreakable; and thus

I strung thee up amidst the ether and the clouds".

p.26, note 1, Panofsky, Camera.