“When one door closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us”. – Helen Keller
The creation of the month of January is credited to the Roman King, Numa Pompilius in 600 BC. Numa added Inauarius and Februarius to the 10 month-long “Romulus” calendar originally created in 800 BC. Prior to that, the year began in March in honor of the Spring Equinox. The early Romans followed a Solar or circular calendar that was consistent with the seasons.
The months of January and February were “nameless” as this time of the season was agriculturally void. The days were short and the nights were long and cold. Trees were dormant as this was the time of quiet preparation for the new year in Spring. The time of the Spring Equinox was named March after the the Roman God Mars or the astrological month of Aries.
Inauarius was finally celebrated as the first month of the revised 12 month calendar in 200 BC. Inauarius is pronounced Januarius, meaning month of Janus.
The New Year then shifted to the Winter Solstice as this day marked the end of the solar year and the beginning of another.
Janus was the god of beginnings and endings, a gateway or doorway. He was seen as having two faces: one looking to the past and the other looking to the future. His counterpart is Juno, the goddess of June, which marks the halfway point or midpoint in the new 12 month calendar. The Summer Solstice signaled the beginning of June a time of love and abundance.
When Julius Caesar reformed this seasonal solar calendar in 46 BC, he created a linear calendar of 12 months, 52 weeks and seven days. He identified January 1st as the first day of the new calendar year in honor of its namesake Janus. The Roman Senate named the month July after Julius Caesar a month that had 31 days. Under the Julian calendar, the months alternated evenly between 30 and 31 days, with the exception of February with 29 days. This allowed for a year that was exactly 365 days long.
The Gregorian Calendar was instituted in 1582 AD, by Pope Gregory the XIII, as a way to bring order and importance to the “Christian” calendar throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. The Winter Solstice had now shifted from December 25th to December 21st which also allowed the Church to separate the Pagan holiday from the Christian Holiday. As the Conquistadors moved into the Americas during the 1500’s they brought this new calendar system with them, replacing the circular Aztec/Mayan calendar.
The Gregorian Calendar is the calendar that is still used today and it became the standard calendar for commerce throughout the world.
Origin of names for the Seven Days of the Week
Originally the names of the week were inspired by the seven planets which could be seen by the naked eye this also included the Sun and Moon. These seven planets became known as the “seven sages” or seven “heavenly lamps” in Judaic and Christian mythology.
When Aramaic, Greek, Coptic and Latin were translated into the Germanic languages the ancient Celtic Gods and Goddesses the days were named for those associated with these planets.
Sunday/Sun – Sun’s Day – Germanic/Norse (Goddess Sunna) – Roman – (Dies Solis – day of the sun, Sol) Mithra (Persian Sun God) Mitra (Hindu Sun God – partners with Varuna the Moon God to balance night and day.) The Sun also marks the direction of the East which represent the beginning of a new day and consequently a new week.
Monday/Moon – Moon’s Day – Germanic/Norse (Mani – The Sun’s Brother – Origin of the Man in the Moon) – Roman – (Dies Lunae – day of the moon – Goddess Luna, Diana, Selene) Also known as the Lunar Bull conquered by Mithra for Cybelle the Earth Mother God.
Tuesday/Mars – Tiw’s Day – Germanic/Norse (God of War and Law – T’ry or Ziu) – Roman (Dies Martis – day of Mars – Roman God of War Aries) Originally known as Odin/Wodan/Irmin/Yggr in Celtic/Norse mythology.
Wednesday/Mercury – Wodan’s Day – Germanic/Norse (Odin/Wodan/Irmin/Yggr – Celtic God of all Men, Father of all Gods) Roman (Dies Mercuri – day of Mercury – Roman God and leader of souls) Also known as Apollo (Roman God), Hermes (Greek God), Thoth (Egyptian God), El or Elon (Sumerian), Adonai (Chaldean God), Lord (Judaic God)
Thursday/Jupiter – Thor’s Day – Germanic/Norse (God of Sky and Thunder, Son of Odin) Roman – (Dies Iovis – day of Jupiter – Roman/Greek God Zeus, son of Cronus)
Friday/Venus – Freya’s Day – Germanic/Norse (Goddess of love, beauty) – Roman – (Dies Veneris – day of Venus – the Heavenly Goddess of the Love and Life) – Goddess of the evening star, Goddess of the heavens, Mother God also known as Astarte, Ashera, Aphrodite, Eostre, Minerva, Alluza, Athena, etc….
Saturday/Saturn – Saturn’s Day – Roman (Dies Saturni – day of Saturn) Also known as Cronus father of Zeus (Greek/Roman God) or Cerronus (Germanic/Norse God) son of Odin/Woden/Irmin/Yggr.