January 4, 2014

January – The Start of a New Year

By Eloise Graham

January is named for the Roman god, Janus. Janus was the pagan god of doorways and gates. He had two faces: one that looked back over the city, the past; and one that looked ahead to the outside to see what was coming. Maybe it is from the Roman civilization that the current civilization spends New Year’s Eve (and the weeks leading up to it) reminiscing of the past year, decade, lifetime and then spends New Year’s Day looking forward, making new resolutions, new changes to our lifestyles.

The flower of the month is the carnation. With a history that dates back more than 2,000 years; it’s not surprising that carnations are rich with symbolism, mythology and even debate. While some scholars suggest that their name comes from the word “corone” (flower garlands) or “coronation” because of its use in Greek ceremonial crowns, others propose that it’s derived from the Latin “carnis” (flesh) referring to the flower’s original pinkish-hued color or “incarnacyon” (incarnation), referring to the incarnation of God-made flesh.

Today, carnations can be found in a wide range of colors, and while in general they express love, fascination and distinction, virtually every color carries a unique and rich association. White carnations suggest pure love and good luck; light red symbolizes admiration, while dark red represents deep love and affection. Purple carnations imply capriciousness, and pink carnations carry the greatest significance, beginning with the belief that they first appeared on earth from the Virgin Mary’s tears – making them the symbol of a mother’s undying love. *

The gem for January is garnet. Garnet is found the world over, and though commonly known to be red, it is in fact found in a variety of colors and chemical formulas. Legends and folklore place the garnet among the most ancient of talismans. Not only was it prized as an ornamental jewel, but also its strong curative powers and protective energies made it invaluable.

The distinctive title Garnet is derived from the Latin name Granatum, a pomegranate, because of the resemblance the granular varieties of Garnet bears to the seeds of that fruit. Garnets vary in size from a grain of sand to the size of an apple. *

Today, Garnet is not only worn ornamentally as a beautiful gem, but is used widely in industrial markets, from watch gears and scientific instruments to sandpaper and abrasives. *

* Info taken from web – Teleflora.com and crysalvaults.com