As I watched January come to a close, I breathed a sigh of relief. In spite of the festivity at the beginning on the New Year–the dreaming of what we want the upcoming year to hold and the goals we want to meet—for me it has historically been one of the most difficult months. Perhaps it is the cold of winter, or the clouds, or the post festivity dip? I am not sure, but for the longest time I have given poor January a bad rap.
As much as this is the case, I also know that every coin has two sides, and January has its own beauty and symbolism. Added to the calendar in circa 700 B.C., the month is named in honor of Janus, the Roman god of gates and doorways. The image of Janus is depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions.
The symbolism of that speaks to something in the deepest recesses of my being; the part of me that feels such an internal struggle this time of year. One might say that the two faces looking in opposite directions represent the past and future. But for me, it represents two opposing aspects of Self. The first is the aspect that inherently turns inward this time of year; a hibernation of sorts. The other is the part that must continue to operate and exist in the outer world, setting sight on the future.
January is like a long winter’s night. The pull is to delve inward and the yearning to quietly curl up by the fire and simply be with Self, yet we still have the push of daily life- complete with new goals, dreams and aspirations. In that light, my inner conflict with January makes so much sense.
In more traditional terms, Janus has invited us to reevaluate where we have been and set our sights on where we are heading. In order to do that, we must honor both sides of ourselves, each looking in opposite directions.
We now stand at the threshold of Janus’s doorway. Let us each pass through it with wisdom, understanding, and inner peace.