Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, symbolizing change, movement and transitions. He was the god of gates and doorways, entrances, exists and passageways. Janus is the ultimate doorkeeper who holds access between worlds, for instance entry to heaven.
He also rules passages and journeys as humankind (and gods) progress from one condition to another, from one vision to another, growing and maturing into conscious adulthood. Janus is associated with the transition between peace and war as well as the transition into life, pertaining to birth.
Janus is the initiator of human life and new historical ages, making this archetype important to us now as we stand on the threshold of birthing a new consciousness and world paradigm.
His dual nature could also be understood as looking inwards as well as outwards. This flexibility, of seeing forwards and backwards as well as inside and outside (and not being stuck in a single viewpoint), may very well be the archetypal pattern we need to embody during our exponentially changing of our times.
Janus holds a staff or branch in his right hand in some portrayals, symbolizing his role of guiding travelers along the correct route, while in his left hand he holds the key to open gates.
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Photo credit: Steve Best CHIUSO / CC BY-SA 2.0
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica