January Meaning and Symbolism
January can be a tough time for some of us who are profoundly affected by the seasons of our planet. It has to do with ancient themes of both hibernation as well as emergence from deep withdrawal.
I love pulling on the threads of myth and old legend for symbolic answers about our environment, including the flavors and personality traits of the seasons and the months of the year.
The month of January was named after Janus for his ability to turn one face to reflect upon the past and a yet another face freshly pointed upon the future. This is so appropriate. January marks the new year for most of us humans. A new beginning.
“January opens the box of the year.
It brings out days that are bright and clear.”
In essence, the god Janus is kind of a bellhop or doorman for the mansions within our soul. Before us and behind us are endless doorways of potential and possibilities. Janus is privy to all of these potentials, and January proposes a perfect alignment of energies that allow the opening of all these doors so we may view the contents (insights, possibilities, reflections) inside.
I’ll take this a step further and encourage you to initiate your own meditative practice in which Janus might assist you with clarity about your potentials. Here’s an example of one such meditation I ask my meditation students to try for clarification on their own personal January meaning and symbolism:
The God Janus Meaning
A Meditation for Reflecting on Doorways into the Old and the New
♦ Once you’re in your space of deep, meditative suspension, visualize a revolving door – like the kind you might see at the Peabody, the Fairmont, or some other uber-posh hotel.
♦ This is a door exclusive to you, and its propulsion is prompted by Janus, your guide in this meditation.
♦ Pay close attention to this revolving door. Note the reflective glass, and the shimmery brass-work of the doorframe. Take stock of all the intricate details in your vision.
♦ In this free-fall of meditative bliss, reach out your hand and give your revolving door a spin.
♦ Round and round the door turns, the glass spinning off shards of luminous light with each revolution, the metal framework glimmers – become hypnotized by each revolution of this January door of potential.
♦ Hold a clear intention in your consciousness to either see clarity into your future, or gain perspective from your past. Keep this intention clear as you continue to become mesmerized by the rotations of your door.
♦ Now your revolving door begins to slow in its spinning, and you will begin to see one glass pane stand still in the center of your vision.
♦ At this point, (ideally) you should see reflections from your cosmic knowing within the doorway that stopped at the center of your view.
♦ Lightly contemplate the imagery dancing within the glass of the door. Or, perhaps your revolving door is wooden – see if you can discern images within the wood grain of your door. Look on with wonder at each detail within and around the door that has stopped at the center of your view.
♦ If you’re stuck, ask Janus, the god of doorways to clue you in on what you’re seeing and what it means.
♦ Always take notes about your visions once you surfaced out of your meditation. Consult your notes throughout the days ahead. Odds are the pieces come together and your meditative visions become more clear with a little concentrated contemplation each day. In time, the answersbegin to formulate.
My meditation students and I have had remarkable success at intuiting future events for the current year and determining personal January meanings with this Janus meditation.
Other Highlights for January Meaning and Symbolism
The garnet is the a semi-precious stone whose energies govern the month of January. The term garnet comes from the Latin granatus which means “seed-like”. I dig that, especially in conjunction with the theme of January. January is all about sowing seeds (ideas, goals, new year’s resolutions, etc) and nurturing them throughout the year.
Many Native American tribes attribute natural wisdom and phenomenon to the personality of each month. This was done in a number of ways, but primarily, these nature-savvy people observed heightened activity, or key occurrences within their environment to give them a grasp on the flavor of the season or month. The Native moon for each month marked significance and predispositions for each phase of the year.
This flower has a long symbolic history of representing remembrance, innocence, faith and tenderness. In Christian myth and legend, the carnation is sometimes referred to as “the rejoicing flower” because ancient rumor holds the carnation was first seen on earth at the time of Christ’s birth. I like this connection even more when I consider the word carnation comes from the Latin root carnis which means “flesh” (as in the flesh-color of the flower).
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