Monday, January 2, 2012

Janus Is Honored First As We Enter The New Year

     Having taken a cue from my cultural ancestors, each New Year I "Honor First Janus". This, I've found over the years, is a good way to formally "close out" the previous year and simultaneously usher in the new in a traditional, ancient way which honors the Gods of my own earliest ancestors. From time immemorial, Romans venerated Janus as the patron of all beginnings, and was to be named first in all sacrifices for it was through Janus that the other Gods and Goddesses were to be approached. In Ovid's Fasti, he writes "See how Janus appears first in my song, to announce a happy year for you, Germanicus. Two headed Janus, source of the silently gliding year..." 

     Rather than delving further into the history of this God and the custom of opening the New Year through his Magick, I will present my own method of doing so, adapted from the traditional sources and made both practical and familiar for the modern Magus. Though the new year has already come, this rite is still valid for use in the coming week. 

     Take the ritual bath, purifying yourself throughout with the words "Haec aqua a corpore impuraties! Purga mentam, purga carnem, purga animum!"*

     Stand facing East, in front of your altar on which you've placed two white candles representing the two faces of Janus, and the censer in which you burn frankincense or abramelin incense. On the altar, place 2 small cakes, the cake being a traditional offering to Janus. Before you, visualize a door, secured and impenetrable. Behind you another door, open wide.

 Invoke as follows:

     Ianus, Pater! Hear Me!
     Ianus Consivius, Hear Me!
Ianus Bifrons, Hear Me! 

In all matters, beginnings and ends are the vital factors, therefore I honor first Ianus, the beginning and end! 

"Iano, Pater, te hac strue ommovenda bonas preces, precor uti sies volens propitious mihi liberisque meis domo, familiaeque meae"

Ianus Clusivus, as the passing of the year has come, I invoke thee, Janus The Closer, that by thy mighty nod I may proceed! 
(Visualize the door behind slamming shut at the will of the God)
Ianus Patulcius, The Opener, I invoke thee that by thy mighty nod the New Year may be opened unto me! 
(Visualize the sealed door before you being opened and the God Janus welcoming you within)
Ianus Matutinus, Dawning of The Light, I approach thee!
(Visualize the troubles and difficulties of the passing year fading as the light of the new overpowers them)


*Religio Romana uses a longer version of this in the Ablution Prayer, which is also of value and can be used here interchangeably

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