January is the first month of the Gregorian calendar. On average, it is the coldest month in the Northern Hemisphere and the warmest month in the Southern Hemisphere. January is named after the Roman god Janus, the god of doorways. Janus is typicalls depicted with two faces, so he could see both what was behind him and what was in front of him. The side that faced the past was shown as mature and bearded, whereas the side that faced the future was youthful and full of hope. Janus’ name came from the Latin word for door, ianua, and so January is the doorway into the new year. January is a quiet month after all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. For those who follow the Wheel of the Year, it falls between Yule when we celebrate the slow return of the light, and Imbolc, when we anticipate the first stirrings of spring. For many, it is a long, dark, cold month, but one that allows us to turn our focus inward and to prepare for the journey that is the year to come. Like Janus, may we turn our faces forward with hope and youthful enthusiasm.

—-Deborah Blake

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