Janus and the Unity of Apollo (Apollo) and Artemis (Diana)

I have spoken before of the cosmic unity between Apollon and Artemis. I have spoken of this in reference to their interlocked domains and in comparisons to Apollon and Siva. Recently I read a passage that speaks of the work by Macrobius from his work Saturnalia in which he ascribes Janus essentially as being the composite whole of Apollo and Diana, stating the providence of Apollo and Diana over the doorway and streets. This makes quite a bit of sense to me and has been something I have been leaning towards. I have read two descriptions of Janus’ two faced somewhat aniconic form. One describes him as bearing a youthful face and a bearded face representing youth and age and thus the passage of time and the doorway of which he oversees. The other descriptor states that the two faces are gender opposites, one masculine and one feminine.

I have often wondered why the imagery of Apollon Agyieus persisted in Rome and through the Roman Empire when I have never seen any evidence of the domestic worship of Apollon. In fact, I had always assumed that with the adoption of Apollon that their Apollo was adopted simply lacking the domestic features that were so important to his Hellenic cult. However this was something that struck me as particularly odd given just how important it was that it would be so abandoned, and even more so when I came to see how many Agyieus representations were present in that part of the world. For years I have simply ascribed to the simple explanation that the household cultus was not adopted because the providence of Apollon in the domicile was already covered by Janus. This conclusion was reached after formerly abandoning the identification of Apollon and Janus with each other on the assumption that this identification in branch of stregheria I was familiar with may have been an assumption of later folklorists from which the founder drew. That said, now reading this material from Macrobius I am forced to reevaluate those assumptions of my youth when I prayed to Apollon and hailed him in the same breath as all-seeing Janus. That these prayers that would flood my mind’s eye with light and heat are something precious. That just perhaps this instinctual alignment and association was perhaps containing something worthwhile.

According to Macrobius Janu was the universe itself, holding to my associations of Apollon/Artemis with Phanes, whose name was derived from eundo given that the heavens are always in motion. This has a stricking similarity to Socrates discussion on the inherent meaning on the name of Apollon in which  he suggested that Apollon referred to him as the god which keeps the bodies of the heavens (and really all things) moving together harmoniously. Even the Neoplatonic view of Janus as the god of the doors of the heavens and hell aligns with Hellenic worship of Apollon not only as gatekeeper and his celestial associations but also his khthonic ones as funerary god of the cemetery. Given that Artemis shares in all  the same prvidences as Apollon we can link her to nearly all of these same designations as well.

Associations of Janus with the compass of the world is also quite familiar in my own thoughts regarding Apollon, although ones that are likely not shared given that they are my own doxa and conclusions. Whereas I generally ascribes the directional winds  Somewhat related, although not quite the same, Marcus Messala indicates that Janus unifies the opposites and brings together the four elements in the compass unifying the elements where they meet. While the texts giving this information is neo-Stoic which had a high emphasis on Apollon as god of gods, this does not discount the close undeniable association of Apollon and Janus….and kind of amusingly that Jarilo whom can be identified as a Slavic possible origin of Apollon possesses a name that bares similarities to both the names of Apollon and Janus, although that is just my amused speculation there.

In many ways I am seeing Janus as kind of Parasiva, or perhaps symbolically more accurately comparable to Ardhanarishvara in which Parvati and Siva are unified, as the unified form of Apollon (Apollo) and Artemis (Diana), nurturing and consuming presider over the heavens and the earth, binder of things, ensarer, unifier, destroyer, guardian.

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