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Magick of January: How the month sets the tone for 2021

Updated: Aug 22, 2021

Digital collage by Ashley Fontones, using original watercolor artwork (skulls) and images from the public domain.
The month of January is named for the Roman god "Janus." Mythology held that Janus was a god of two faces, and represented the doorway between past and present. Digital collage by me, using original watercolor artwork (skulls) and images from the public domain.

You may find yourself setting intentions every day or once a month, or not at all. Intentions are flexible and can be as ambitions as goals, or as mundane as a habit.

If you're Wiccan, you're probably very familiar with the word "intent." Homegrown rituals may rely on the act of setting an intention. Think of it as adding an extra boost into what you are putting out into the universe. Have you ever said to yourself, "I'm going to do this today" or "I'm going to accomplish this by next year"? Well, you may as well be speaking your intentions to the universe, even if you feel like you're the only one that hears them.

So what does this have to do with January?

In much of the western world, we mark the start of a new year in January. Many people will host a large celebration and partake in different superstitions, as well as drinks, the ring in the new year. A lot of people write new year's resolutions (I've been doing it for years!)

The art of the new year's resolution can be like setting an intention, if you wish it to be.

If you're planning out a few resolutions, you may want to make it your own personal ritual for the new year. Really sit yourself down and thinking about what intentions you want to have for yourself. What goals are you eyeing? What habits need breaking? How do you intend to accomplish this? Write them down somewhere easy to find, so you can refer back to your intentions when you need to.

Be specific about your goals, but allow yourself the breathing room to accept your efforts. You may not meet any goals at all this year, but you shouldn't pressure yourself or make goals that are unrealistic.

What's so great about January?

Did you know that January is named after the Roman god Janus?

Janus was the god of all beginnings and endings, and quite an important deity in the Roman empire. The beginning of months and years were sacred to him, and he was said to guard doorways and archways throughout Rome, and the rest of the known world.

The end of a year was viewed as crossing a threshold, and so Janus' patronage of doorways naturally emerged.

He's unique, too: There are no known equivalents for Janus in other pantheons. However, some see a connection to other multi-faced deities such as the Hindu god Ganesh.

If you're looking for a deity to reach out to for your January esbats, look no further than Janus. Not only does he guide you over the threshold to your next destination (in our case, 2021) he also is a patron for those seeking harmony.

According to Roman Pagan, suitable offerings are: pastries, wine and incense.

After the trying year humanity has collectively experienced together, 2021 is being viewed as some type of happy ending. Perhaps the devastation of 2020 will ease this year, perhaps it will not. We are all hopeful of better things to come.

Hope is a wonderful thing to have, and perhaps "being hopeful" should be our worldwide intention this year. Wouldn't that be a nice door to unlock?



Deity: Janus (Roman) His feast day, Agonalia, is Jan. 9.

Stone: Garnet

Western Zodiac: Capricorn, Aquarius

Flower: Carnation, Snowdrop

Fruit: Citrus, Apples, Pears (in season). Janus' fruit is pomegranate.

New moon: Jan. 13

Full moon: Jan. 28 (Wolf Moon)

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