Jana, Goddess of Doorways and Seeing

Jana is not a well-known Goddess. We know better her husband and brother Janus, who gave name to the first month of the year. An interesting tidbit here is that Jana gave the name to June through her reincarnation as the Roman Juno. I think about the Hebrew tradition by which the year consists of two half-years, one that begins at Rosh Hashanah, at Autumn, and the other at Pesach, at Spring. Maybe they Romans had a similar tradition, one year from Midwinter to Midsummer, Janus’ year, and another from Midsummer to Midwinter, Jana’s year.

Jana is the Goddess of doorways. One could say the saying “when God closes a door, She opens a window” fits perfectly on Jana. There are many kinds of doorways in life. Some take us to a completely new life, and these should be celebrated, like we celebrate graduation. Jana is also the Goddess of initiations. Some doorways have no doors, and passing through these just widens the life. These doorways can be used to both directions. One example of these is the journey from a role we have in life to another role. Journeys are yet another of Jana’s dominions.

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She is the Goddess of beginnings, among them The New Year. She is two-faced, facing the new and old year at the same time, future and past. Jana’s role as the guardian of doorways reminds me of the High Priestess of Tarot, sitting with Her moon in front of the doorway and like a sphinx, expects you to answer correctly to the question before she lets you enter to Empress’ paradise.

In the Italian tradition, the new year starts at Midwinter. In Finland the Midwinter is a time for divination. There are especially two kinds of divination practiced; mirror divination and divination with molted tin (Molybdomancy). Both are sacred to Jana, because she, Goddess who sees all, uses every reflecting surface as Her window. She is the Moon Goddess, and what is Moon anything else but a huge mirror reflecting the Sun’s light to Earth?

Jana is the Goddess of divination as well, and if She likes you, She will allow you to see things through Her eyes. Hers are all kinds of mirror divination and scrying.

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Her animal is the peacock, and Jana’s eyes are on peacock’s beautiful tail. This is the reason why peacock feathers bring luck. Jana can see into your home through the eyes. In some countries peacock feather bring bad luck – people don’t want a Pagan Goddess to see into their homes.

Jana developed into Diana and Juno, and both these Goddesses still have her qualities. Diana kept the moon and Juno peacocks. The Holy Spirit of Christianity is also Jana transformed.

When the Greek Gods took over the Roman Pantheon, Jana lived on as Juno Lucina, which is Juno’s name as the Goddess of childbirth. Childbirth is just another beginning, entering through a doorway, and Lucina means “The Light One”. Juno Lucina became St. Lucy, who is being celebrated on thirteenth of December. That was the winter solstice day according to the old reckoning (the Julian calendar), and St. Lucy is the patriot Saint of the blind people.


by Ketutar Jensen