Fortuna is the Roman form of Tyche and the Roman goddess of Luck. While the Greeks envisioned Tyche as beneficiary but a random being, for Romans, Fortuna was a major cult goddess and was honored her with a celebration known as the Feast of Fortuna which takes place on June 24th and is a tradition still followed by the campers of Camp Jupiter.
She was a very popular goddess, and was worshiped under many epithets depending on the type of luck one wished to invoke or the circumstances in play.
She had many temples in Rome itself, as well as having important cult-centers in Antium (the modern Anzio), a city on the west coast of Italy about 30 miles south of Rome, and Praeneste (modern Palestrina), about 20 miles south-east of Rome, both of which were cities of Latium, the land of the Latini tribes. Her many temples in Rome, and the various aspects of her worship are a reflection of the manners in which she was honored: from personal goddess, overseeing the fate of the individual mother, young man, or soldier, to a goddess of the state, ensuring the fortune of the population, the luck of the emperor, or the glorious fate of the entire Roman Empire.
The Emperor Trajan (97-117 CE) dedicated a temple to Fortuna, at which offerings were made to the goddess on the 1st day of January, at the start of the New Year, probably to ensure good luck and success for the coming year. This temple was dedicated to Fortuna in all of Her aspects.
It is mentioned that Fortuna is highly respected by Romans and they have a feast in her name. The Feast of Fortuna is held on June 24th. This day of the year will show whether Camp Jupiter will have good or really bad luck for the rest of the year. When it was first mentioned, Percy frowned and asked, "You have a feast for tuna?" Then Hazel corrected him and said, "Fortuna. She's the goddess of luck. Whatever happens on her feast day can affect the entire rest of the year. She can grant the camp good luck… or really bad luck."
Fortuna was usually depicted holding in one hand a cornucopia, or a horn of plenty, from which all good things flowed in abundance, representing her ability to bestow prosperity; in the other she generally has a ship's rudder, to indicate that She is the one who controls how lives and fates are steered. She could also be shown enthroned, with the same attributes of rudder and cornucopia, but with a small wheel built into the chair, representing the cycles of fate and the ups and downs of fortune. Sometimes she is blind, as an acknowledgment that good luck does not always come to those who seem to most deserve it; at other times she is described as having wings.
Various Aspects of Fortuna
- Fortuna Annonaria: Brought the Luck of the Harvest
- Fortuna Belli: Brought the Luck of war
- Fortuna Primigenia: Decided the Fortune of a first born child at the moment of birth
- Fortuna Virilis: Attended a Man's Carrier and also of a Woman in marriage.
- Fortuna Redux: Brought one safely home
- Fortuna Respiciens: The Fortune of The Provider
- Fortuna Muliebris: The Luck of a Woman
- Fortuna Victrix: Brought victory in Battle
- Fortuna Augusta: The Fortune of The Emperor
- Fortuna Balnearis: The Fortune of the Baths
- Fortuna Conservatrix: The Fortune of the Preserver
- Fortuna Equestris: Fortune of The Knights
- Fortuna Huiusque: Fortune of the Present Day
- Fortuna Obsequens: Fortune of Indulgence
- Fortuna Privita: Fortune of the Private Individual
- Fortuna Publica: Fortune of the Public
- Fortuna Romana: Fortune of Rome
- Fortuna Virgo: Fortune of Virgin
- Pars Fortuna
- Fortuna makes an appearance on card 10 of the Tarot Major Arcana, the Wheel of Fortune, and she is still to some extent honored today, for she features in gamblers' prayers to "Lady Luck."