Thoughts: Janus the god of transitions

January – the Romans consecrated the new year to Janus.

Janus the Roman god of time, gates, doors, beginnings, passages and transitions. He marked the beginning of war and peace. Temples to Janus opened doors during conflict and closed during peace.   He turns one face to the past, the realm of traditions, heritage and cultural achievements. The other face looks into the future, anticipating new horizons and  opportunities. As a combination of these two perspectives, Janus represents new beginnings and cognitive change. He captures the ambiguity of turning the page of a history that we don’t want to end.

This makes him OSMOS’ chaperone of change and helps remind us never to separate context from opportunity.  Looking both ways – future and past – is how we frame vision making. We ask stakeholders to bring their values, their resources and their socio-cultural sensibilities while exploring possibilities that may sit beyond their field of vision.  In this way we draw on the capacity and drive existing locally while connecting potential and enthusiasm that was not there before.

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