Happy New Year!!
Published: Thu, 12/30/21
One of our most favorite things is to do is to analyze the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have influenced us throughout history. I guess that would be called "etymology". Did you know that "etymology" is a Greek word? :) I can already hear Tim say -- of course it is! But I digress. :)
During one of our etymology deep dives, for the origin of the names of the months, we were surprised to discover the incredibly significant historic roots of "January".
January is named after the Roman God Janus. And as we said in our previous letter (December 27) the Romans were celebrating the beginning of the new year during the month named in his honor.
In ancient Roman culture, Janus was depicted with two faces, one looking one direction and the other looking the opposite direction. This is because he was considered the God of doorways, beginnings, and the rising and setting of the sun. His name comes from the Latin word janua, meaning “doorway, archway, arcade.”
Fun fact: the word "janitor" originates from the the Latin word for doorway because it was intended to refer to a door attendant. But I digress yet again. :)It is fascinating to read what the ancient Greek historian Plutarch writes about God Janus:
"For this Janus, in remote antiquity, whether he was a demi-god or a king, was a patron of civil and social order, and is said to have lifted human life out of its bestial and savage state. For this reason he is represented with two faces, implying that he brought men's lives out of one sort and condition into another."
The only way to maintain our ability to successfully change and adapt is by not forgetting our past and always learning from it. We always need to operate in the present while looking to both the future and the past.
Looking at the future helps us stay focused while looking at the past helps us maintain our integrity.
Until next time... Happy New Year from both of us!
Na’maste Kala! (Which in Greek means, may we all be well!)
-Tim and Vie | Ayurveda Outlaws