via:The Pagan Corner
December 31 – Janus
The Roman God Janus gave his name to the month of January. Janus was the God of doorways to the turn of the year. He was portrayed as having two faces, one on each side of his head, so that he could look both forward and backward at the same time. His wife was Jana, a woodland and Moon Goddess who was also called Dione. In some tales she was also his mother. Janus evolved from Dianus and was the God of the Oak, and in his morning aspect he was called Matutinus. In early Roman times he was a Sun God who opened the gates of heaven. Until the arrival of Jupiter, Janus was the primary God of Rome. His festival was celebrated from dusk on New Year’s Eve to sunset on New Year’s Day, although the dates would have been different from ours as the calendar had not been adjusted at that time. His shrine in central Rome was closed at time of peace, although this was said to be only 3 times during 7 centuries. It was also said that it was closed at the time of the birth Jesus.
The ancient Egyptians also had an Earth God called Aker. He was represented as having the foreparts of two lions, joined together, each with a human head. he opened the gates to the underworld and presided over the place where the East and West horizons of the underworld met. he was invoked to neutralize poison from snakes and flying insects. Like Janus he also looked both ways.
“There is no ending and no beginning, for all life is a circle.”
The Real Witches’ Year – Kate West