Updated: May 2
Lady Luck; She Who Brings
Fortuna is the spirit of opportunity, fortune, fertility, abundance, or the lack thereof. Although now not as well-known as Juno or Diana, she was an extremely significant deity, beloved by the masses. Augustus Caesar claimed that she had adopted him as her favored son. That was perhaps a bit of a threat: if Fortuna favors you, who can harm or defeat you?
Fortuna, the original Lady Luck, genuinely does not correspond to any Greek goddess. She doesn’t fit neatly into mythology books so she is often ignored. Yet Fortuna was widely adored. Roman soldiers carried her veneration to England, where she shared altar space in Gloucester with Mercury and Rosmerta.
Fortuna personifies good fortune. She rules oracles, fate, and chance. She protects married women and is especially venerated by mothers. She controls the energy that leads to reproduction. She does, unfortunately, have a bit of a reputation for being fickle.
Fortuna is an oracular goddess. It was possible to have your fortune told in her shrines. She was not specifically a goddess of gambling, more of the fortunes of life; however, she does bestow luck so it can’t hurt to invoke her blessings for gambling success.
Fortuna’s emblem is the Wheel of Fortune.
April 1 is considered Fortuna’s holy day in her guise as Fortuna Virilis, the spirit that causes men to desire women! Wives traditionally invoke her to retain or revive their husbands’ interest. And the Fortunalia, Fortuna’s festival, coincides with the Summer Solstice.
If you wish to venerate Fortuna, traditional offerings to her were a blend of honey, milk, and poppies, as well as cakes in the shapes of wheels.
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