Yesterday, we opened the door to yet another new year, and Naos Antinoou observed the Festival of Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings.
There’s been a lot of talk about how awful 2016 has been. There were several prominent celebrities who passed away – Prince, David Bowie, George Michael – and in the political realm, we have seen an increase in white supremacy and fascism across Europe and in the the United States. Many LGBT people, women, people of color, and religious minorities feel less safe than ever. Still, life came into the wold. For those that died, there were also births. For those that spewed hate, there were also promises of love. One of our own Magistrates, Sister Krissy Fiction, was married in October in a fabulous wedding full of fun, laughter, love, and an Antinoan blessing. The rise of fascism we have seen is alarming, and there is no attempt here to pretend that we shouldn’t be very upset at what we’ve seen in the last year, but we will also add that we have seen renewed commitments to stand together and fight oppression. The year brought us some highs and some very low lows. So we move into 2017 with some sadness, some apprehension, some fear, some gratitude, some hope, and a lot of devotion to our Gods, primarily Antinous, and all the other Gods associated with Him. May they look favorably on us as we open the door to this next yet.
On a personal note, the last year saw some big changes in our group as the Ekklesia Antinoou ceased to function and Naos Antinoou was established on Foundation Day. The Naos is being built from scratch, stone by stone. We’ll be doing our best over the next year to fill in resources for daily practices and prayers, and also for the primary festivals, but like those contractors you hired to remodel your bathroom, our timetable might go beyond the deadline at times. Alas, this is one of those times. Look for an update to the Festival of Janus page sometime later today or tomorrow. This is technically past the actual festival date on January 1st, but if you want to do something during the first few days of the year, I think we can say we’re still within the “window” of that time. And, there’s always next year!
This was written last year by one of Magistrates, Merri-Todd Webster. I think it’s just as fitting, if not more so, this year.
Open the door, I pray you, Father Janus:
Open the door of this year to what is good
but close it to what is ill.
Open the door to friendship and community
but close it against bigotry and hate.
Open the door to prosperity and generosity
but close it against both greed and deprivation.
Open the door to inspiration
but close it against distractions.
Open the door to courage
but close it in protection.
Open the door of this year, Father Janus,
to blessings for me and my beloveds,
and I will return blessing to you
throughout this year.