Coven Cocktails: Janus January
by Erica Lee
January is named for Janus, and in our conventional calendar marks the onset of a New Year. The God Janus is one of two faces, but it's not what you think! His two faces face two directions, one forward and one backward. They look to the old and the new. Historically, Janus was featured on door knockers around the world, even as recently as Victorian times (and likely still, for those who favor antique doorknockers). The intention here was for him to look both inside the house, as well as outside: he protects the contents and people of the house inside, and blesses them on their journeys when they leave. So too, as a God of Doorways, he protects the portal between years.
As a medium and a walker between worlds, doorways have a particular significance for me. They represent a portal, one of coming, and one of going. What is inside? What is outside? Janus can guide and strengthen us through this lifetime, as we are entering doorways continually, be it leaving or entering homes, or transitioning from light to dark, or day to night. We weave the weft of our lives through transitions, and even the microtransitions of moving from home to world; from our feet on the ground to our feet on the pedals of our car or bicycle. There is remarkable agency for change at all times, everyday in our lives, so automatic to us that we barely recognize it. Janus protects these shifts, from before, to during, to after, inside and out. And so, our inaugural month of every new year is named in his honor. How fitting.
Saturn is significant here too. Often called the taskmaster, Saturn as God and Planet helps us with shoring up the structures in our lives, wherever he touches. This is a useful influence at the outset of the calendar year, for we're called to review and revise the structures in our lives, edit them as necessary, so we can go forward with a strong foundation. As you engage this coven cocktail, think about it. What conceptions would you like to gestate in this womb of winter, to make manifest in the Spring? Or what are you starting in the Summer, for our Southern Hemisphere witches, to be delivered in the Autumn?
Now, as you chew on that, we'll get to our magic mixology of the moment!
Makes one cocktail, though your "Janus secret sauce" (Rosemary simple syrup) should make enough for at least six! Double the recipe for two cocktails, and so on. My in-house quality control taste tester wants me to make a pitcher and, according to him, he “doesn't even like gin!” Good news for cocktail quality, and in making this pitcher, I plan to keep the proportions the same. Though I'll be willing to play with it to arrive at a desired effect, as with anything magical and creative, and I suggest the same for you! As always, tailor it to your tastes, for you hold the power. As your power is what drives your magic, so too, allow your power to inform everything in your life.
Magical Ingredients for Rosemary Simple Syrup:
-1 cup sugar
-1 cup water
-1⁄4 cup FRESH rosemary (Take the leaves off the branches for the best flavor)
Measure equal parts water and sugar and stir over heat, adding the rosemary and bringing to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Then reduce to simmering briefly for one minute, and allow to cool for thirty minutes. Strain.
Magical Cocktail Ingredients:
-HausWitch Gem Essence Sacred Space Selenite
-2 oz/60 ml Gin (I used Tanquery once and Edinburgh once; use your favorite or what you have available!)
-1 oz/30 ml Fresh Squeeze of Lemon (that's about a half of a large lemon, per cocktail. If you're making many, you can squeeze several lemons ahead or purchase fresh lemon juice).
-1 oz./60 ml Rosemary simple syrup
-Soda water (plain is what I used, feel free to experiment with flavors if you choose!)
Pour 2 oz/60 ml gin over ice (I love how ice itself is such an alchemical marriage of water and air!) Squeeze some lemon in the mix, then pour in the Janus Secret Sauce. I've added 1oz/30 ml to mine but I'd even go up to 1.5oz/45 ml to give it more depth and sweetness. Shake the three ingredients together vigorously, amplifying the vibration. Think of whatever magic you intend for this cocktail and this year, and if you choose to incarnate any affirmation, now would be an ideal time! Once you've finished shaking and your magical ingredients are settling together, top with soda water. I prefer this cocktail, as shown, in a rocks or old fashioned, short glass, over ice. To make the finishing magic touches, add a few drops of Sacred Space Selenite to your potion!
MOCKTAIL: Same ingredients, excluding the gin. Voila! Same magic! You may even try adding the ingredients to a La Croix or San Pellegrino flavored soda or similar, instead of plain soda water, and see what magic you can add with the extra flavor and added associations!
About the Magical Ingredients:
Gin is our victual of choice here. Why would this be? Gin is usually associated with what is old, stodgy, and traditional. Capricorn, whose season has just ended, is represented by The Hierophant, and also has correlation to the ancestors. It also is engendered by the archetype of The Shaman, which to my mind, connects to the Sea Goat; making the magical materially manifested, which is typically exactly what we want from a New Year – calling forth new intentions into tangible existence. As we say goodbye to Capricorn until next year, we carry the lesson that tradition is significant, building on what came before. And so, we will build this cosmic cocktail with an old guard alcohol, traditional, and strong. I like to think of the gin as assisting me in maintaining what I choose to continue to cultivate from my ancestry and traditions as well as from my preceding years. I recommend Tanqueray and Edinburgh in the recipe above, and it was delectable with both, and I'm sure it will be delicious with your personal favorite gin. Our favorites evoke a strong and positive response in us, whether it's our favorite gin or our favorite movie. Including your favorite in anything amplifies the magic automatically!
Rosemary is virtually a magical all purpose herb. Indispensable in your magical kitchen, it has a myriad uses. It used to be historically placed in coffins at the last minute before submerging in the dirt. Likewise, it was burned in homes after the passing of an inhabitant. You'll notice here two associations with the deceased, but in particular, very close to their time of transition. This is another power portal, that Janus can bless and assist us with. As such, rosemary bears associations to protection and purification, perfect for the new year! Rosemary will help us to purify the old, and protect us on our new journey. Furthermore, with transitions, rosemary was often placed in a Victorian bride's bouquet, to represent taking her old life of family love and traditions into her new life as a wife. More doorways to carry the good, release the unneeded/unwanted, and protection onward. Rosemary is associated to Aphrodite and as such has been used to invoke love and lust. Not too shabby especially if you're calling in an aligned partnership for your new year. Historically, it was placed in the garden or right outside the doorway of the house to indicate and invoke that the woman was the ruler of the home. Also, it is sacred to the Virgin Mary, altogether making it is a powerful herb for womxn. The history of rosemary's power and might is so prevalent and well recorded that we can rest assured, with thousand of years of lore and heritage behind us – like the Heirophant, Tradition, Capricorn archetypes – and throughout many cultures and traditions, that this is an amazing herb to bless us in our current cosmic cocktail. Shakespeare mentioned rosemary in no less than five of his plays. We want to start 2022 off on the right foot. So an herb that is good enough for not only Shakespeare but the Blessed Mother, Charles the Great, and Jesus himself is good enough for me! Talk to your rosemary and caress it. Send it your intentions and listen for its reply. The magic is strong; in you, in your ancestors, in your power, and in the millennia traditional historical associations across cultures. Protective and cleansing, this powerful green herb is also associated with memory, and clarity. Fidelity is also a strong connotation to this herb. Rosemary is also for remembrance, so whatever you wish, will be recorded in the memory of this rosemary you chose, to be kept in this simple syrup of your creation; a secret sauce for magical intent.
Sugar is also magical, as you may already know! It is an attractant, and is great for drawing magic. I love that it's a part of this recipe because of course we're calling things to us, and sugar will aid in that. Also, as one can easily imagine, sugar is used for sweetness in magic. So, stir away, your sugar for sweetness and attraction of any and all things you wish to call in for yourself!
Lemon is another ancient miracle worker. Like rosemary, it is antibacterial, creating a barrier between you and anything you might want to be rid of. Associated, like rosemary, with clarity, purification, and protection, it amplifies these effects in your cocktail and in your life. Similarly to sugar, lemons are used to sweeten things up, and all three have associations to love (if you're looking for that; but seeing as love is all there is, of course, who does it not apply to in some way). This is wonderful, because together with rosemary's associations to Aphrodite, and sugar's power as an attractant and sweetener, associations to love fall under the jurisdiction of Venus. What a wonderful way to honor her this season, calling her back from her retrograde slumber, and acknowledging her cazimi, or very close orb to the Sun. Both transits of Venus happened this month! Finally lemons are also brightening and lightening, and for many years used for a crucial ingredient in any life: happiness! The magic is in you so it is truly up to you.
Soda Water is a great addition to balance out the potion to a sense of completion, which is what we want to experience in our magic and spells and goals for the year. The carbonation in the water is chemical magic itself, and water being a conductor and purifier as well as a transporter, the added bubbles bring amplification, intensity, and speed to whatever magic you now make.
Adding the Selenite Essence is the perfect chef's kiss to finalize the flavor and the magic, because according to my in-house taste tester, the Selenite Gem Essence “makes it smoother,” which is what any selenite always does for me! Very powerful for charging and elevating, like it says on the bottle, I find the stone and essence itself is so helpful for cleansing, protecting, empowering, and clarifying. All things to assist us in our New Years magic under Janus, this January.
Wishing you magic this conventional New Year! Let me know about your magical cocktail experiences and edits, I'd love to hear all about them @ericaleemedium on IG or email@example.com
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