The Goddess Jana and the Wolf Moon

In the spirit of creating a goddess e-book that I hope to birth by spring, I have decided to blog about a different goddess each month. Sometimes the goddess will be related to the month or season of the year, other times she will be intuitively selected to be the goddess for that particular time.

January is the month presided over by the goddess Jana, wife of the two-faced god, Janus. She, too, is often depicted as having two faces, one facing the past, and one facing the future. Jana is a moon goddess who presides over the great Wheel of the Year, doorways, childbirth, new beginnings and initiations. January comes from the Latin word, janua, meaning doorway, gate or path.

Thus, we walk across the threshold January presents to us, initiating us into the New Year. We are like newborn babes as we leave the dark, comfort of the womb we have known and emerge into the unknown year that stretches before us. Jana helps guide us into the light of dawning awareness and the potential for each of us to reflect the many facets of our True Self in the year ahead.

Jana's totem is the peacock, and it is said that the eyes on the peacock's tail are Jana's, which are like mirrors, reflecting back to us our own divinity. Peacock feathers bring us good luck and a way for Jana to watch over us. If you are closely aligned with this goddess of divination, you, too, can see through her eyes, and intuit the right path to take in the year ahead.

The New Moon cycle began on January 4 and the full Wolf Moon will occur on January 19, two days before my birthday. It is called the Wolf Moon because in days gone by, this was a time when the hungry wolves, desperate to find food in lean times, could be heard howling outside the villages. The people would wrap their blankets around them and draw a little closer to the fire, making sure the little ones were near and the old and weak ones were secure. One can imagine the shiver that would go down your spine as you locked eyes with your loved one while the wolves circled outside, yipping and keening in the moonlight.

The questions Jana asks us as we enter 2011 and the bright Wolf Moon of winter shines above are:

What doorway might I seek to open and enter in the year ahead?

What inner resources do I need to call forth to accomplish the goals I have set for the New Year?

What inner qualities may be lying dormant that it is time to bring into the light of day?

What am I hungry for or longing for in my life?

What hopes and dreams can I begin to manifest from the dark, quiet soils in which they are rooted?

How can I nurture myself in these dark days of winter in preparation for the return of the sun?

How can I balance the need for rest and stillness with the need for energetic pursuits?

For me, finding balance each day by resting and filling myself up with the things that give me comfort are what is needed most now: Sitting by the fire and reading, writing, or quietly creating something; soaking in hot baths lit only by a pink, salt lamp; making delicious soup; connecting with friends over glasses of red wine or hikes through snowy woods; consulting the tarot and other oracle cards; meditating at my altar and communing with images of the sacred feminine; sipping warm Chai lattes and immune-strengthening Kukicha tea; making plans and dreams; and shoring up my strength for the days when the creative fires burn bright.

I have gone back and forth trying to decide what my new word should be for this year. Should it be "play" or "balance"? And then it came to me that the attitude of play is what I need to feel balanced. I am often too hard on myself as I work on birthing my projects, judging or doubting myself if I don't live up to my own inner vision. Or else I get frustrated and find myself struggling against, forgetting to have fun with the creative muse and allow mistakes.

I remind myself of Picasso's words, which hold true for all of us as we enter the doorway of the New Year: "If you know exactly what you are going to do, what is the point of doing it?" Here's to Not Knowing and taking small steps into the Unknown. My word for last year still holds true: Trust.