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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: 17,833,201  

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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 

My Magickal Name Is Not Just A Screen Name -- I Consider It... Feb 15th. at 9:34:09 am UTC

Medea (Fort Wayne, Indiana US) Age: 40 - Email

My magickal name is not just a screen name -- I consider it very magickal indeed, and the longer I use it the more I identify with it. I am Medea, after the ancient sorceress whose name means "cunning" in Greek. That word has acquired a somewhat pejorative meaning, but in ancient times the word meant "the faculty of using a skill or craft." I've been drawn to paganism for as long as I can remember. When I was five my parents gave me one of those kiddie encyclopedia sets -- I opened a book at random to "Greek mythology" and I was hooked. Somewhere along the line my love of nature and plants, my fascination with fairy tale witches, and my passion for ancient Greece merged and coalesced into a deep interest in paganism. When I made the decision many years ago to commit myself to that path, there was no doubt in my mind that I would choose "Medea" as my magickal name. Medea is not a goddess, she's very much a mortal, with all the strengths and weaknesses of a mortal woman -- her magickal skill is acquired, her knowledge of plants learned through hours of application. I identify with her passionate nature and her pursuit of magickal knowledge. And like the ancient Medea I am dedicated to the goddess Hekate, so for me the name is a perfect fit. She is my inspiration and my guide.

Here's How I Look At Names: You Have A "mundane" Name Your... Feb 15th. at 2:23:29 pm UTC

Blu Coyote (St Paul, Minnesota US) Age: 22 - Email

Here's how I look at names: you have a "mundane" name your parent(s) gave. It names your physical "this time around" body. Your spirit name goes through every life with you. This name you don't tell ANYONE. Magick is the junction of these 2: your spirit self makes stuff happen, & your physical self feels the consequences. That's why I have a magickal name; it links the 2. My spirit can't hold still long enough to hang out in the "mundane" world; my body is too concerned with toothpaste & electric bills to care about flitty spirits. But provide a link, a name to hang onto, & they get along fairly well.

As to where my own magickal name came from, the Ancient Ones gave it to me shortly after I dedicated myself to them, but I resisted it for a long time. I didn't believe at first the Ancients had given it to me; I thought I had done it myself before I KNEW what magickal names were about & what mine should be. There were signs. My friend walked in on an energy working & said, "What's that blue thing in your hand?" A sense of BLUE surrounded me. I worked for a company with the word "blue" in it! I took minutes of meetings where someone said "coyote" several times at every minute. Songs about coyotes were on the radio. Attempts to find a "better" name tanked. Then, for 3 nights, I went to bed concentrating my name. I didn't dream AT ALL. The message was clear: We GAVE you a name; you don't get another. I FINALLY got the point. The name fits both "mes" & keeps my selves connected perfectly during magick & rituals. And the Ancient Ones got a big laugh out of watching me try to fight it.

Bright Blessings! My Magical Name Is Brisingamen. I "tried On" Several Names... Feb 15th. at 4:07:16 pm UTC

Lori R. Coulson (Columbus, Ohio US) Age: 45 - Email

Bright Blessings!

My magical name is Brisingamen. I "tried on" several names over the course of many years. One day I was reading a novel by Diana Paxson, called _Brisingamen_; and I looked at it, and thought--a goddess's necklace, and I'm a jewelry nut, Why not? I could say that I'm trying to be an ornament to my faith... (Bad joke, sorry!)

This is my "public" name, I have another that is between me and the Goddess. I think "craft" or "magical" names are useful. They help us go beyond our everyday selves and reach the fountain of powers within...Your Maya May Vary.

Never Thirst,


My "magikal Name" Came From A Variety Of Sources, Backgrounds, Etc. I... Feb 15th. at 6:12:24 pm UTC

Ahlaisha Whitfether (Santa Barbara, California US) Age: 22

My "magikal name" came from a variety of sources, backgrounds, etc. I use my "public name" as a pseudonym on the 'net and also in other situations where using my mundane name would be dangerous. My first name, Ahlaisha came from a corruption of Allison. My last name, "whitfether" came from one of my totems and also my habit of using only white feathers when making dreamcatchers. It all has personal significance to me, and that's the way I feel one's magikal name should be.

Hi, I Think Magickal Names Are Important For Developing Yur Spiritual Identity... Feb 15th. at 7:02:22 pm UTC

Amy (Apona Periwinkle) (Vineland, Ontario CA) Age: 14 - Email

Hi, I think magickal names are important for developing yur spiritual identity, although for some people they mean nothing more than just another online name or something like that. I got my name, Apona Periwinkle from my favorite Goddess, Epona. I replaced the "E" with the "A" from Amy. Periwinkle is a word that always makes me smile so I picked it for that last part. Thats how I got it, no special story or anything.

Magickal Names Are Definitely Important To Me. They Give You A Sense... Feb 15th. at 7:29:50 pm UTC

Lady Tempest Azuldancer (aka: Michelle) (Largo, Florida US) Age: 16 - Email

Magickal names are definitely important to me. They give you a sense of inner self. Your parents get to pick your name when you're born, but this is a name that you pick for yourself... a name that you want other to know you by... a name that really accents your character. You can also have friends pick your name. It brings you close if you pick each others names because that shows what you observe from their character.
These names are also good conversation starters. It's interesting to find out how you got your name. Here's how I got mine:
Mine is Lady Tempest Azuldancer. I get the 'tempest' part because I am an air sign, and so I thought I'd have a name that expressed that. I didn't just want to be called storm... because it didn't fit me right. So, with the help of my trusty thesaurus, I found a word like storm... tempest! The 'azul' part is from Spanish (my family is Cuban). Azul means blue... and that's my favourite colour... and it's also my personality colour. The 'dancer' part is because, well, I'm a dancer! I love the theatre and being on stage... and I love dancing more than anything!

So, there's my interesting little story.

I've Never Chosen A Magical Name. The Ones I've Used Have All... Feb 15th. at 9:27:54 pm UTC

Sena (OKC, Oklahoma US) Age: 55 - Email

I've never chosen a magical name. The ones I've used have all been given to me, and they all have fallen by the wayside because my own real name has always been stronger. My birth name is a good one for me. It means many things, depending on the language from which it derives: Kiowa Apache = Desert Spring, Lakota = Warm Blanket, Japanese = wood fairy, Latin = dinner, Hindi = heart. My mother actually meant it to be from the Latin. When I was a beginning student, my mentor named everyone for dragons, and I was known then as DragonButter. As I advanced, I was given the name Starsight. But for the last 25 years, I've been known as Mama Sena. I'm not a particularly nurturing type of person, the name wasn't given out of my kindliness and ability to 'mother' someone. It wasn't given to me because I have children. If you were to ask the various people who call me that, it's because I share a lot in common with the stereotypical "Jewish Mother". Except for inducing guilt. Somehow or other, I've never managed to learn how to make other people feel guilty. They (friends, acquaintances, co-workers, fellow volunteers, my banker, my own kids, and their friends) make fun of me for that, and that, I feel, is the real reason they call me 'Mama Sena'. It has nothing to do with the fact that I'm short. After all, my feet do reach the ground when I'm standing up.

Hi, All!; One Thing About A "magical Name", .... Never Allow Your Initiator... Feb 15th. at 9:43:24 pm UTC

Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 58 - Email

Hi, All!;

One thing about a "Magical Name", .... Never allow your Initiator in the Craft to
choose one for you.

Being young and dumb and full of ... (you know what rhymes), I got stuck with
the name Antinous; the Emperor hadrian's petulant queeny boy friend, because my initiator said I looked like statues of said Antinous. Thanks loads!

I just never used that name publically, or otherwise, as I never felt an affinity
to that historical character.

Years later, in the appendix of the third volumn of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy,
I saw a list of the Kings of Gondor.

Since the Elves and Men used two languages in the epic, the Kings would have two names. Romendicil/Tarostar meaning East Conqueror.

As Tarostar could also mean Ace of Pentacles and I was an Occult Supplies Dealer and a Tarot reader, I took it for my own and copyrighted my manuscripts under that pen name.

I have been the nemesis of Neo-Paganism ever since. BB Tarostar

Black And Silver Are My Two Best Power Colors, And I've Always... Feb 15th. at 11:16:11 pm UTC

Blacksilver Moonsdotter (Sacramento, California US) Age: 39 - Email

Black and silver are my two best power colors, and I've always considered myself a daughter of the Moon Goddess; so I became Blacksilver Moonsdotter.

Merry Meet And Blessed Be! I Think That Names Are Tools...they... Feb 16th. at 12:53:40 am UTC

Yvonne (W Paris, Maine US) Age: 36

Merry Meet and blessed be!

I think that names are tools...They can be mundane or spiritual; doesn't matter, they work their magic either way. For the fad and popularity conscious, it may seem truly important to find a cool sounding name, but that isn't the point to having a Craft name.

My truth is that a word has a resonance, a vibration, a rhythm. The power of the name ( or any word for that matter) is the power to alter your vibration. It is the power to manifest. Your vibration could be seen as your mood. It may also be seen as your psychological and spiritual maturity too. So you may effect your maturity or life long frame of mind through use of your name each day. I feel that you can even attract event to you because of your choice.

The intention behind owning a name also effects the vibration of its use. (Good reason to pick it for a better reason than to impress someone) It makes perfect sense that if you have a spiritual, a mundane desire or aspiration, even a need of healing, that you could use a name to help you create that. Every time it is spoken, it invokes the quality or meaning of that word to you and that is a very powerful invocation that can change your whole life.

My own experience with names is varied. A part of that experience is to have made a bad first marriage and to have had some real crappy people in my life who gave me names that I have prudently rejected. When I divorced, I decided to pick new names that were not associated with all that negativity. I chose a name that means 'healed by God'. I chose another that means 'she plays all the time'. My first name means 'archer' or 'warrior'. I've happily kept that. It has stood me in good stead through much hardship in my life. (I am especially glad now, since this seems such a good name for a priestess who feels so very drawn to Diana.)

Just before my divorce was final, I recieved a name at my Sufi initiation that means Divine Revelation. This describes my tendancy to recieve sponteaous visions and intuitive knowledge. This brought the total of my legal names to four. The result of these names being in my mundane life has been a profound healing, both physically and spiritually. My life has grown larger with the number of my names and I have unconsciously been letting go of a strong tendancy to be so serious that I couldn't play at all. Happilly too I have finally gained mastery over my psychic gifts that had been running me by the nose for a long time.

I also have a Craft, and two magical names. My Craft name is the one that I use in public. Recently I changed it to Starspider. It is a name that came to me by happenstance and when it did, I had one of those incredible 'ding' moments where the world pauses and says, 'Pay attention!'. I did and I like the way it describes my heart felt connection with the spider and the awakening on with the Star Goddess.

One of my magical names is used only in circles with other Wiccan elders. This was chosen in order to define a step in my personal evolution and this is a custom in the tradition that I am currently finishing my training in. My High Priestess uses her magical names as a way to speak to her subconscious about how much to let her magical hair down. Each name she has is only used with certain groups, according to how knowledgeable the group is. I respect her way of looking at it. This is quite often a custom for those Wiccan traditions that embrace the degree system. Though I respect this way of looking at it, I am not interested in that being a part of my use of my name. I feel that it is too much like a status symbol when used this way.

I actually was given this name by the Gods to teach me to shut up. I have a tendancy to speak of things that I have no business opening my mouth about. Keeping this name to myself is a very good lesson for me. The name also gives me a quality to work with and aspire to that will extract a new level of maturity and skill as time goes by. It is becoming a great blessing. Besides I really love it which is a truly good reason to have a name!!

The other magical name is never to be said allowed at this point. I have not yet earned the right to call myself this name aloud. It is held in my heart and is a name that I aspire to with great desire and as much humility as I can generate. Frankly, the Gods use it to keep my ego in check.

There is one other kind of name in my way of looking at things. That is the hidden name. This is the name that is never spoken aloud except with those you know would give their life for yours in this reality. It is the key to your soul. It is best kept only between you and the Gods. This name isn't open to choice as it describes the very essence of your soul. It is YOU. A very helpful way to use this one is with use of your personal power song. Chanted or sung, it can be used to raise energy for your healing and wellbeing. Helpful hint: Make sure your power song remains a secret too.

My 2 cents...

My Native American Adult Name,"crowfeather" Was Given To Me At A... Feb 16th. at 1:16:43 am UTC

Luke/CrowFeather (Quincy, Massachusetts US) Age: 39 - Email

My Native American adult name, "Crowfeather" was given to me
at a Naming ceremony by a local Chief.( The name given to
me at age 5 was "little laughing fox"and trust me it no longer fits)
The name came about from a poster idea to promote a memorial for a local
site honoring those slain in a mass murder over land.
The chief and several council members asked that I draw up posters with a picture of a spear in the ground wrapped in leather with crow feathers (a sign of respect for those on the path of the dead)The name seemed to click with
anyone who knows me personaly for one obvious reason, ( I seem to always know
when someone's about to or has crossed it's a gift..surrre)

Well hey! you asked!

Luke (Crow Feather)

I Am 2nd Generation Irish-american On My Fathers Side And 5th Generation... Feb 16th. at 5:03:14 am UTC

Dawn Fontaine (Schweinfurt) Age: 32 - Email

I am 2nd generation Irish-American on my fathers side and 5th generation Irish-American on my mother's. Once I decided to follow the pagan path, I also knew I wanted a connection to my Irish ancestors and have been doing research on Celtic traditions. The local library had the Enclyopedia of Celtic Myths & Legends and it was there that I learned of Aoifa (pronounced EE-fa). She was the daughter of Ard-Greimme and an Irish warrior-princess, skilled in martial arts and other war tactics, in the Land of Shadows. There were times in the past when I would give up something/someone because I didn't think I deserved it. Now, with Aoifa inside, I'm much better at sticking up for myself!

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