Festival of Janus and Concordia
Janus, the Roman God of Doorways and of The Turn of the Year, along with Concordia the Goddess of Peace and Civic Harmony, were honored at this time. Even in the ancient world, March was a time of change-turning from darkness to light-a time of equality, peace, and harmony. In Norse tradition, this day begins the runic half-month Ehwaz (the horse month), a time of partnerships between humans and Nature, as represented in the relationship between rider and horse.
“Mabon — Dark and Light
Mabon bring day and night into balance with the Autumnal Equinox. Harvested fruits and vegetables seem alive, yet are cut from their roots. Leaves drop from the trees, which look dead, yet remain alive.
This holiday relates to matters of balance and paradox. Contrasts reveal themselves through duality and polarity. Explore the mysteries of dark and light, earth and sky, female and male, flesh and spirit, mortal and divine; as above, so below–all is connected. The equinox is a liminal time that draws power from being neither one thing or another, and yet both.
Honor deities with dual aspects. Janus is the Roman god of thresholds, also the past and future. Hella, the Norse underworld goddess, is half beautiful and half horrible. The Greek deity Hermaphroditus is both male and female. For decorations, choose strong color contrasts like black and white or brown and gold. For officiants, consider a priestess and a priest, someone old and young, or any divergent pair ti manifest the dual aspect. Marginal locations, such as a beach or edge of an ocean, draw power from different realms. Twilight is an in-between time that lends it energy to your ritual.”
Copyright 2014 Elizabeth Barrette Lleweylln’s Witches’ Datebook Page 105
Posted in Articles, Coven Life, Daily Posts, The Goddesses, The Gods, The Sabbats
Tagged Autumn Equinox, Autumnal Equinox, Fruits and Vegetables, Hella, Hermaphroditus, Janus, Mabon, Twilight
Celebrating Spirituality 365 Days A Year
Festival of Jana and Janus
On this day the ancient Romans honored Jana, whose name means “luminous sky,” and her husband Janus, the guardian of all passageways. At their festival, a ram was sacrificed to Janus for his continue protection and Jana was invoked to shine her light on the New Year. To the Romans, who believed that the spirit of Janus hovered over all doorways, gates and passageways, this was a time of great consequence.
Deity of the Day – Janus, God of New Beginnings
In the mythology of ancient Rome, Janus was the god of new beginnings. He was associated with doors and gates, and the first steps of a journey. The month of January — of course, falling at the beginning of the new year — is named in his honor. He is often invoked together with Jupiter, and is considered a high-ranking god.
In many portrayals, Janus is depicted as having two faces, looking in opposite directions. In one legend, bestows upon him the ability to see both the past and the future. In the early days of Rome, city founder Romulus and his men kidnapped the women of Sabine, and the men of Sabine attacked Rome in retaliation. The daughter of a city guard betrayed her fellow Romans and allowed the Sabines into the city. When they attempted to climb the Capitolian Hill, Janus made a hot spring erupt, forcing the Sabines to retreat.
In the city of Rome, a temple known as the Ianus geminus was erected in Janus’ honor and consecrated in 260 b.c.e. after the Battle of Mylae. During periods of war, the gates were left open and sacrifices were held inside, along with auguries to predict the results of military actions. It is said that the gates of the temple were only closed in times of peace, which didn’t happen very often for the Romans. In fact, it was later claimed by Christian clerics that the gates of the Ianus geminus first closed at the moment that Jesus was born.
Because of his ability to see both back and forward, Janus is associated with powers of prophecy, in addition to gates and doors. He is sometimes connected with the sun and moon, in his aspect as a dual-headed god.
Posted in Articles, Daily Posts, Deities, The Gods
Tagged Battle of Mylae, Christian, Janus, Jesus, Jupiter, Roman, Rome, Sabine
Celebrating Other Spirituality 365 Days A Year
Blowing the Midwinter Horn, Agonalia
The Netherlands festival of Blowing the Midwinter Horm is more than 2000 years ol and takes place annually on this date. All around the countryside, farmers take out their birch-wood horns and blow them. It is hoped that the sounds emanating from the horns will frighten away any evil influence that may effect the settle upon the land during the Winter season.
Agonalia, called dies agonales, was held four times a year in ancient Roman, possibly got for Janus, although even the Romans seemed to be unsure exactly which deities were actually involved. However at each of the celebrations a ram was sacrificed at the Regia and a different God, honoring, including Janus, Vediouvix, and Sol Indiges.
Posted in Articles, Daily Posts
Tagged Agonalia, Janus, Midwinter Horn, Netherlands, Regia, Roman, Sébastien Perrier, Spirituality, University of Sydney, University of Warwick
Calendar of the Sun
Terminalia: Janus’s Day
Color: Dark Blue and Black
Altar: Upon cloth of dark blue and black place a ruler, and on one side things of the past, and on the other side things for the future, including a goblet of wine.
Offerings: Measure something accurately. Any work requiring measuring is honored today.
Daily Meal: Any old-fashioned recipe.
Invocation to Janus
Hail, Lord Who Looks Both Ways!
Hail, face of the past
Turned towards memory!
You see all that has been,
Not only our beginnings,
But our past deeds
Which have brought us to this day.
May we learn to take responsibility for them.
Hail, face of the future
Turned towards possibility!
You see all that might be,
A multitude of choices,
Yet that multitude is pruned
Back to a likely few
By the deeds of the past.
Hail, Lord who stands at the boundary
Of then and now, of there and here.
We stand also at that boundary.
Teach us to see how the past
Shapes the future in its hands,
That we may not be blind to our own divinity.
Measure the line
Stand on the line
(Pour out the libation of wine and exit. Work today should concentrate on making or mending things. See especially to fences and gates. Planning for future events is also acceptable.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]
- 7th Moon of the Celtic Year – (June 10 – July 7)
- Latin name: white Oak – quercus alba; red Oak – quercus rubra; black Oak – quercus velutina; etc.
- Celtic name: Duir (pronounced: dur). Duir means ‘door’.
- Folk or Common names: Duir, Jove’s Nuts and Juglans.
- Parts Used: Wood, leaves, bark, acorns.
- Herbal usage: Oaks are known for astringent tonics and therefore tea made from Oak is a good remedy for hemorrhoids (EWWWW!). White Oak bark tea helps in sinus infections since it helps unglog congestion. Acorns can be peeled and used to make various homeopathic potions used to treat alcoholism, bad breath and constipation.
- Magical History & Associations: The word Duir, comes from the Sanskrit “Dwr” meaning “door”, and is the door to the three worlds of the Shaman. The Oak is associated with the element of fire and is ruled by the sun. The bird associated with this month is the wren, the color is black, and the gemstone is white carnelian or moonstone. Oak has been considered sacred by just about every culture that has encountered the tree, but it was held in particular reverence by the Celts and the Norse because of its size, long life, and acorns. The Druids were said to have worshipped in Oak-groves in Gaul. In Druidic times at “Yule” all fires were extinguished, the Druids then lit the new season fires using Oakwood as Yule logs, and all of the people would start their fires from this source. The Oak tree is sacred to Brighid, the Dadga, Dianus, Janus, Rhea, Cybele, Hecate, Pan, and Erato. In the Vatican, there are statues of the goddess Artemis (often as a perpetual youth) wearing a necklace of acorns. The acorn was under the protection of Cybele (the goddess of Nature). The Oak is also frequently associated with Gods of thunder and lightening such as Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, and the Lithuanian God Perkunas. This association may be due to the oak’s habit of being a lightening-magnet during storms. Specific oak trees have also been associated with the ‘Wild Hunt’, which is led by Herne in England and by Wodin in Germany. King Arthur’s Round Table was said to have been made from a single slab of a giant oak tree.
- Magickal usage: The month of Oak has summer solstice occurring within it, and Oak is a powerful symbol of Midsummer. In general, Oak can be used in spells for protection, strength, success and stability, healing, fertility, Health, Money, Potency, and good luck. The different varieties of Oak will lend their own special ‘flavor’ to the magic: Red Oaks energy is a bit lighter and more ‘firey’ than the other oaks; White Oak is useful for spells requiring strength and solidity; and Brown oak has a very earthy feel, and is useful for grounding. Acorns can be used specifically for magick done to attract the opposite gender, increase income and prosperity, or can be used for their divinatory powers. Oak is the tree known as “The King of the Grove” and was one of the sacred three: ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’. The worship of the Oak tree may have come from the fact that the acorn was one of the main food sources of the nomadic tribes of prehistoric Europe. In mystic lore the acorn often represented the supreme form of fertility – creativity of the mind. Acorns are used to increase fertility (of projects or ideas, or in matters of human reproduction) and to ease pain. Symbolic of immortality, acorns are especially sacred to the Samhain season, and they can be used to decorate the altar in the fall. The Oak is a holy tree and is the lord of truth. There is a tradition that the voice of Jupiter may be heard in the rustling of its leaves. It is said that at the summer solstice the future can be divined by listening to the wind as it blows through the branches of an Oak tree. Oak is also a very powerful herb for protection. The Oak has protected England through the use of its timbers for the building of ships. Oaks are also used as boundary markers for their protective qualities. Acorns placed in a window can ward off lightning or creatures that go bump in the night. Acorns can be carried in a pocket or charm bag to protect the bearer from storms, from getting lost and from evil intent. An oak leaf can worn at the breast, touching the heart, and it will protect the wearer from all deception and the world’s false glamour. A handful of Oak leaves put in the bath water will cleanse the bather both in body and in spirit. Acorns are carried for immortality and longevity, to preserve youthfulness, for fertility, and against illness. Three acorns can be made into a charm for youthfulness, beauty and attainment in life. The three acorns should be tied and bound with the mage’s own hair, blessed under the new moon and the full moon, every month of the year, and then the charm should be worn. It is said that if you can catch a falling Oak leaf you shall have no colds all winter. When a sick person is in the house make a fire of Oakwood and warm the house with it to ‘draw off’ the illness. Acorns can be planted in the dark of the moon to bring financial prosperity. Acorns can also be placed near windows or hung from window shade pulls to bring luck to a house. This custom originates from the Vikings and Druids because of the strength of the oak tree and its ability to attract lightening. They can also be carried to bring good luck. The Oak is a male wood which is ideal for the construction of any tool that needs the male influence such as Athames, certain wands and staffs. The wood of an Oak tree can also be used to make staves, or Religious Idols. The midsummer fire is always Oak and the need fire is always kindled in an Oak log. When gathering Oak, be sure to pour wine on the roots of the tree to thank it for allowing you to take a part of it. Acorns should be gathered in the daylight, and leaves and wood by night. A waning moon is the correct time to harvest Oak.
Day of the Oak Tree
Altar: Upon a black cloth set a vase of oak branches, a single black candle, a pot of soil, seeds of some tree or strong plant, a bowl of water, and a bell.
Offerings: Plant seeds. Stoke fires.
Daily Meal: Vegan
Invocation to the Green Man of the Oak Tree
Hail, Green Man of the Summer!
Great Oak Tree of grandeur,
Tree of the gods of kings,
Royal emblem of Zeus,
Lightning’s tree, struck from above,
Exploder of wrath, dying in flames,
Green shaft of the colossal Dagda,
Mighty-thewed as jovial Thor,
Fuel of the midsummer fires,
Stout guardian of the door,
Throne of two-faced Janus,
Your roots extend as far beneath
As your branches spread above,
Living avatar of the cosmic reflection.
Oak king, you who give your life
Every year at the midsummer,
Teach us when to stand strong
And when to gracefully yield.
We hail you, sacred Oak King,
Green Man of the Summer,
On this your day of greatest triumph.
Song: Oak and Ash and Thorn
(Each comes forward and plants a seed in the pot of soil, saying, “Hail Green Man of the Earth!” Water is poured onto the pot, and then the rest is poured out as a libation. Ring bell and dismiss.)
[Pagan Book of Hours]