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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,883,296  

Vox Q Stats

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Question of the Week: 28 - 2/12/2001

Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name?

The tradition of taking on a magickal name is an old one in many Pagan paths. Once used to protect themselves and their covenmates or to create equality among members, magickal names are now often individually chosen to reflect or project certain traits, pantheonic allegiances or just because it sounds cool. How did YOU get your magickal name? What is the story behind it, the meaning of it and the reason that it was either given to you or you chose it?

 Reponses:   There are 93 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

Aloha, I Did Some Reflection, Some Investigation, And Some Meditation In Order... Feb 12th. at 11:23:52 am EST

Pitch (Concord, California US) Age: 50


I did some reflection, some investigation, and some meditation in order to arrive
at what seemed to be an appropriate "magical" name. It's literary antecedents
are the Mabinogion. I took up The Pitch Black Witch.I began to sign my writings
that way.

But no sooner had I started using this name than it became shortened in use to what it is now. Folks and friends call me Pitch.

Long and elaborate names are difficult to use in speaking. They get pruned down
to their pith.

Musing Better Pitch Than Sludge, I Guess! Rose,


Merry Meet, Where Did I Get My Magickal Name? From Alot Of... Feb 12th. at 11:36:18 am EST

Amaris Nightwind (Atchison, Kansas US) Age: 29 - Email

Merry Meet,
Where did I get my magickal name? From alot of places.....I am a moon child, I love the moon and the comfort and ease the moon gives me, so Amaris means moon child and since the moon is at night and the night time is where my spirit comes to life, Nightwind, gives my name a more picture to me...thus my name Amaris Nigthwind...cant get anymore beautiful than that!

Brightest Blessings on your enjoyable day

*~* Amaris Nightwind*~*

Hey There. My Name's Deagan, You Can Use It As You Like... Feb 12th. at 12:46:14 pm EST

Deagan (jacksonville, Florida US) Age: 21

Hey there.

My name's Deagan, you can use it as you like. :) It was given to me by another who thought it fit my eyes and face! Little had i any idea it was an actual historical name. turns out it's really quite an old surname of a now long dead family, guess i get to start it up again eh? It means "well born" and you can take that how you like it as well.

Safe journeys

Magical Names. I'll Tell You, I'm Not Sure That I Even Have... Feb 12th. at 12:49:47 pm EST

Cat (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 34

Magical names.

I'll tell you, I'm not sure that I even have one, because I think almost any name is magical; a name you've had all your life, one which has defined you, is more so than a new one, for me at least. (But then my parents did all right by me--if they'd called me Tiffany or something similar I might feel differently.) And honestly--no offense meant to those who feel otherwise--I don't think I could tell anyone, even a fellow pagan, "Well, I've changed my name to...(let's say) Blackbird" or "Silverwing" without bursting out laughing. So I use what I do, when there's any need to use anything, because it's what the family called me back in the day. It's one of the first ways that I recognized myself, and a tie to my nearest and dearest, and, what the heck, I'm fond of cats (they being neurotic, disinclined to violent activity as a mode of normal existence, and real prone to liking things the way they like them.)

But it's true that I don't often feel much need to use it, other than in conversation with those nearest and dearest I mentioned. Like John, I think what you see is pretty much what you get, and what I am in the circle, I am in the office too. If anybody's read Le Guin's *Tehanu*, you'll know that she speaks well of "those who wear their names openly", and while I haven't the gumption to do that on the open web, I admire those of you who can, like Wren and Trish. Maybe one of these days.

My Name Came For A Few Reasons At First, Before I Had... Feb 12th. at 12:50:34 pm EST

Rhiannon Daughtermoon (Sherry) (Seattle, Washington US) Age: 34 - Email

My name came for a few reasons

At first, before I had studied the Craft very long, it was partially because of the Fleetwood Mac Song...(tell me Stevie Nicks isn't a witch ~wink~) It was the first name that just "came" to me. Straight away, without any real thought.
Then of course I came across the Welsh Goddess Rhiannon. The white mare she rides, the mystery of her, the deeper secrets of the underworld she represents to me, it just fit. I am celtic, and I always loved horses growing up, the ravens that travel with her I had always been fascinated with as well. Then I listened to that song again, and for the first time realized what she was really singing about (well at least to me) I have never changed it, it's been my name for about 6 years. I use it on the computer always, and I even used it when I was in a band, that's how I introduced myself. Stage name as it were. As far as Daughtermoon that I use as my last name at times, that's pretty self explanatory. I am in love with the moon, and I certainly feel like her daughter a lot.
I had a secret name once that I had combined from three goddessess with aspects that pertained to me....but I never use it. This one for now, still fits. It's just so lyrical to me, as well. I feel I have grown more into the name rather than outgrowing it. Rhiannon still fascinates me, there is not a lot written about her that I have seen so far, but that only deepens the mystery for me.
I always liked a good mystery!

And that's pretty much it, it conjures many images for me.

My Name Had No Special Meaning To Me When I Chose It... Feb 12th. at 12:54:12 pm EST

Venkah (Rutland, Vermont US) Age: 20 - Email

My name had no special meaning to me when I chose it 5 years ago. It was a name I made up, indeed to hide behind, both off and online. As time passed though people (myself included) began to associate all the things that I am with that name, and it became less an anonymous signature, and more of an identity. Now I cannot hide behind it anymore than I can hide behind my given name, and the once meaningless arrangement of letters now has a very deep and personal meaning to me. Therein I think, lies the magick of names.

Personally, I Think A Magickal Name Is A Very Useful Thing. To... Feb 12th. at 1:25:43 pm EST

Drea Reznor (Fort Mac, Alberta CA) Age: 19 - Email

Personally, I think a magickal name is a very useful thing. To me, it's a symbol of beginning. When you are born, you are given a name, I think when you are "born" into the Craft, you should recieve another name. Wether it be chosen for you or by you. I do realize a lot of Pagans use it as an alter identity almost. Something to cover up what they are. But your magickal name shoud accentuate who you are, not hide it.
I am currently in the decision-making process for my magickal name. I've been practicing/studying for almost 4 years, but never really used a Craft name. I went to a site I've found that shows names of other languages along with their meanings. I wrote down those that appealed to me, and now I'll meditate, ask my Tarot, or just ask the Lord and the Lady for assistance in choosing one. I think it's hard for someone to just pick a name. I believe it should reflect some aspect of yourself, at the very least. I hope I find one that suits me.

Spirit is love,

I Dont Have One. When I First Got Serious, I Really Considered... Feb 12th. at 2:15:48 pm EST

JLP (columbus, Ohio US) Age: 28

I dont have one. When I first got serious, I really considered the question at length. To be honest I could never find one that I thought was appropriate. So I never picked one. I like my birth name my mother gave me and and happy to honor her by using it. Although not everyone likes their birth name or had parents who picked something meaningful in some way, I was lucky to have one who did.

I Am Currently Using Jenett Silver As A Craft Name (and For... Feb 12th. at 2:39:37 pm EST

Jenett Silver (St. Paul, Minnesota US) Age: 25

I am currently using Jenett Silver as a Craft name (and for Craft related writing/purposes) There's a couple of reasons for this.

First, I'm not out as being polyamorous or Pagan to my family of origin (and while I'm working on being in less and less contact with them, three of them are quite capable net-searchers.) Likewise, I'm working on my Master's Degree in Library Science, and wanted to keep my religious searching separate from my legal name (since I'm not yet sure which kind of library work I want to end up in, and am currently interested in both public and school work. I also just plain think keeping my personal interests not readily checkable from my legal name is not a bad idea. Not that I'm embarassed by them, but because several of them (Paganism, polyamory, role-playing gaming) are often stereotyped, and I want the first connection someone makes between me and those things to come via talking to me, not via an internet search on my name)

Secondly, I wanted something consistent I could use as I did more writing online (the same way the name I use for poly stuff has been consistent for a while).

Thirdly (and finally), I don't care much for my given name (Jennifer), but I do like a whole lot of the related names. (The name I've been using on Usenet postings - Gwynyth - is a composite spelling of two variants (Gwenyth and Gwyneth) I've been using for over 10 years now for various purposes).


I thought about this a little, and settled on Jenett, which is a variant of my given name (which means I stand a slightly better chance of answering to it. However, I don't answer all that well to 'Jennifer', either - there are too many people named it in most of the places I spend much time, and I spent a lot of time turning around to find it wasn't me that was being called after)

But the second reason is that Jenett is one of the alternate names for the heroine of the Tam Lin ballad, whose tenacity (and willingness to follow through on dealing with the consequences of choices of action) I've always admired. I felt uncomfortable thinking about a Goddess name, but a ballad heroine is about right. The fact that it's uncommon enough in almost any context (mundane, Pagan, etc) is a plus.

Silver comes from my rapidly silvering hair (and I'm only 25), and from the fact that it has turned up in my life in several other aspects in recent years(my car, my cat...)

My "magickal" Name, By Default, Is Iko. (pronounced Eye-ko.) It Comes Not... Feb 12th. at 3:30:47 pm EST

Iko Starr (Chicago, Illinois US) Age: 36 - Email

My "magickal" name, by default, is Iko. (Pronounced eye-ko.) It comes not from Japanese animation as some have suggested, but from the an old creole/cajun song called iko iko, iko aiko or one of probably hundreds of other deviations in the spelling. I love the song (I used to follow the Grateful Dead around the Midwest - and they did a great version of the song). When I first joined AOL I was looking for a screen name, and I created one that is one of the derivations of Iko Iko, and people started calling me Iko. Belive me, it sounds a whole lot cooler than my real name. My husband first knew me as Iko before he knew my real name - since we met in AOL chat room (I kid you not). But he calls me by my given name now. I am a new lawyer, and though I have been out of the broom closet for years to most of my family (and they call me by my given name) I am just now starting to emerge from the broom closet to my friends (who also call me by my mundane name). Yet Iko is magickal to me. It is not magickal for any of the usual reasons (being given it for initiation, or after an exhaustive search etc, etc), but because it was originally a non-magickal name that stuck with me through my early exploration of Paganism and Wicca, and then through my courtship and eventual marriage to the man of my dreams ("soulmate" to use another overused term). Its "magickal" properties have developed with me as I have grown. It is as magickal to me as any name ever could be. I have seen the jokes that have circulated through the Pagan internet community over the years that poke fun of all the "usual" Pagan names, and the Lord and Ladies so-and-so. And I have also heard voices saying people should emerge from behind these names if they use them not as their "real" names and be open with their Paganism. I don't think that is a decision that anyone should be guilted or cajoled into making. As for all the names that are out there, no matter how simple sounding, or downright silly we may think someone's magickal name may sound (I know that mine sounds REALLY silly to some folks), I do believe that we should respect the person's choice. I am in my 30's and if I had started a quest for my magickal name when I was a teenager, or in my 20's I am sure I would have come up with somthing totally different than what I have now. But I am comfortable with Iko, it fits me, it is me. (By the way, my last name REALLY is Starr - sometimes you can marry into a "magickal" name!)

How Delightful That This Questions Should Come Now When I Have Decided... Feb 12th. at 4:11:49 pm EST

Greg, a.k.a. Dragon hawk (Mesa, Arizona US) Age: 24 - Email

How delightful that this questions should come now when I have decided to use my magickal name only sparingly. My birth name is "Gregory" which means "vigilant wathcman", and I really love this! My magickal name, "Dragon Hawk", came to me after a bit of a search, and once I happened upon it, I got shivers. After that, I really began to learn why this name was so applicable to me. For me, my magickal name has become something that compliments my spiritual journey, and my given name helps to identify the sum of my experiences.

My Story Actually Starts Out Pretty Funny. My Real Name Is So... Feb 12th. at 4:48:50 pm EST

ƒowyn Forestchilde (Western, Massachusetts US) Age: 28 - Email

My story actually starts out pretty funny. My real name is so unusual that when I went to join a coven, the high priestess asked me if my magickal name was Jane Smith. (I still get a kick out of that) I actually went through a couple of incarnations before I chose one. The first was right at the time. But when my life changed dramatically, I knew that my magickal name was no longer applicable.

As I searched for a new identity to go along with my new life, I knew that there was only one that would both define and empower me: ƒowyn. The name comes from Tolkien's heroine in the The Return of the King. She disobeyed her uncle ThŽoden and went into battle disguised as a man. It was during this battle that she accomplished what no mortal man could do - she slew the Lord of the Nazgžl. I remembered the scene from my earliest childhood. It always filled me with pride and strength. A lone woman in the face of the unconquerable who emerges successful where all others have failed.

The second part of my name, Forestchilde, was unavoidable and is pretty self-explanatory. My draw the to the forest has existed since I was little. There is no other place in the world where I am more at home.

This is the name that I use in public, though it is the name on my birth certificate that truly has been the most magickal for me. It has taught me that I am strong enough for the onus of being unique. I think my life would have been quite different if I had a common name.

There is one other name that I bear and only I know it. It is the name that my Spirit Totem addresses me by. This name is sacred and was not chosen by me. It was during a meditation where I was coming to terms with a new totem animal, one that I feared and loathed. I knew that I needed to walk with this animal, perhaps for the rest of my life, and it was time to come to terms with it. It gave me this name and I will have it always, no matter the phase of my life.

So this is me. Call me what you like for I answer to almost anything. A rose by another name.... It is the person who is magickal, not the designation

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