Janus

I was a big fan of Greek and Roman mythology as a kid. When I first read about Janus, he became an instant favorite, though that might have been influenced by the fact that he seemed to be the only god that was uniquely Roman.

 

Janus is a two-faced god that is ever looking forwards as well as backwards. As such, he is a keeper of gateways, and of beginnings and transitions. When studying archival science, I was delighted when I found out the National Archives in Sweden has Janus on their coat of arms. I felt like I belonged.

By Ultima Thule, 1927 (Ultima Thule, 1927) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ultima Thule, 1927 (Ultima Thule, 1927) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I seem to have an affinity for dual-aspect people and creatures. I find myself drawn to the god that looks both forward and back, to creatures that are terrible but also have a benign streak. Even our own publishing imprint “Double Beast Publishing”reflects this.
I’m not sure why this is. I think maybe it has to do with the duality that is in all of us. None of us are what we seem—or rather, we are not only what we seem. I think every one of us has a side that not everyone sees, be this a good side or a bad side.  And I like that. I like that what-you-see is not necessarily what-you-get; that we all have the potential to surprise, and to become more than what people think we are.

 

I think Stephen Hawking touched on this brilliantly when he said, “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” Very true.

 


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9 Comments

  1. Thinking about the quote, can you imagine being telepathic and finding how true that was? People who look so still on the outside having incredibly fast and ever moving minds.
    Tasha
    Tasha’s Thinkings – AtoZ (Vampires)
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    • Sara C. Snider

      Would be scary. There’s probably all kinds of crazy stuff going on in there. 😉

  2. The idea of duality, or indeed, the many faces we wear when we go through life is fascinating. We must all, just like Janus, also always look back to help us look forward, otherwise we would never learn anything from experience.
    Sophie
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
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    • Sara C. Snider

      Very true, Sophie. But we should also try not to dwell too long on either, lest we lose sight of where we are right now.

  3. As a very quiet person, I certainly agree with that quote. I may be quiet on the outside, but there’s rarely a quiet moment on the inside.

  4. djinnia

    Janus! Awesome! He’s one of the gods that make up the names of the months. January! And Norse gods for the days of the week minus I think the two days of the weekend.

  5. Stopping by from the #atozchallenge !
    @JLenniDorner

    Fantastic post. A very interesting myth. Yes, everyone does seem to have a ying going with their yang.

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