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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 13,917,863  

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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 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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,


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

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.

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

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.

I'd Been Using The Name "stormy" For About Five Years Before I... Feb 14th. at 11:27:12 pm EST

Stormwind (London, Ontario CA) Age: 23

I'd been using the name "Stormy" for about five years before I learned about wicca. I'm a private pilot, and after taking my plane through a thunderstorm during flight training, I was immediately given Stormy as a callsign. I use the name a lot, as much as I use my RL name. When I began thinking about magickal names, incorporating "Storm" was obvious--up there in that raging tempest I find myself wholly and completely in control of my own life for the first time in my life. I held my life in my hands and I did what I needed to do to make it through safely. I wanted to use something slightly different from "Stormy" that I'd been using so long, and I also wanted to minimize the possible destructiveness inherit in the storm, since I didn't want to give my magick a destructive bent. I thereby decided on Stormwind--the smell of the storm on the rising breeze...a name that conveys power without necessarily destruction.

I Feel That "magickal" Names Are Important Because They Allow Me To... Feb 14th. at 7:47:38 pm EST

Enid Muse (Cleveland, Ohio US) Age: 42 - Email

I feel that "magickal" names are important because they allow me to establish my own identity, seperate from others expectations of me and "Untouched" by the mundane world. I just feel good knowing that I can create my own identity and allow it to evolve and grow and change over time. And I can be more than one aspect of myself.

I have two "Magickal" Names. The first is one I only use in my home coven's rituals. It was actually given to me by an 18 month old Pagan child, the daughter of fellow coven members. Every time she saw me she yelled this sound and we couldn't figure out why for months. Then one day we were discussing "Magickal" names and where they come from, and lo and behold, the child was calling me by an obscure goddess name, that just "happened" to be numerologically correct for me. And after I thanked her, she stopped yelling it at me. She must have wondered what took me so long.

My public "Magickal" name took much longer and I chose it for qualities that I would like to nourish in myself. I chose Enid Muse. Enid is celtic for soul or spirit and muse is for inspiration. So I am "Inspired Soul". And it feels right.

The Selection Of A Magickal Name Was, For Me, Fairly Easy. Shortly... Feb 14th. at 2:16:08 pm EST

Blackwhite Crow (aka "Mike") (IA City, Iowa US) Age: 20 - Email

The selection of a magickal name was, for me, fairly easy. Shortly after I became Pagan and started to worship the God and Goddess, I felt the need to have a spiritual name. I thought about it, and the firt thing to come to me was "Crow." Unlike most people, I think crows are beautiful birds, and for reasons that I can't explain myself, I feel some sort of kinship with them. I don't know, maybe it's the whole "social outcast" thing :) So I chose "Crow."
Shortly after that, I chose to add "BlackWhite" to my name. To me, it represents the need for balance in life, and the dichotomy of life - sun and moon, God and Goddess, male and female, etc.
So far, no one but me (and you reading this) know my maick name. I don't have any close Pagan friends, but I have some very open-minded Christian friends who know that I'm Pagan, and I might tell them sometime. But otherwise, this name is more me and my spiritual life.

If We Do Not Laugh At Ourselves, The Universe Will Do It... Feb 14th. at 12:45:57 pm EST

Sia (Santa Clara, California US) Age: 42 - Email

"If we do not laugh at ourselves, the universe will do it for us." With that in mind, I knew my Pagan name could not be something pompus. Such a name just wouldn't be me and my Pagan friends (who all have a wicked sense of humor) would never let me live it down. Being American, I don't find titles impressive or meaningful (except, of course, titles like "friend" or "Cat Slave"). So, I waited years before I found a name that suited me. I finally found it in Peter S. Beagle's book titled "The Folk of the Air". I recommend this book to anyone who loves magic, music and the SCA.

In that book, there is a character named "Sia". She is a Goddess and she lives in California with her younger lover who is a professor of Nordic studies. Sia is round and short and she is not beautiful. She lives in a magical house where the rooms keep changing to match her mood. She wears an old bathrobe and ratty slippers. She is not all powerful but she's a real good cook. Her familiar is a scruffy, cowardly dog. Sia has made mistakes in the past and one of them comes back to haunt her. In her present, she is a Counselor and a Muse. I like Sia. In fact, I'd like to be Sia when I grow up (I've already got the lover and the house and I'm looking for the dog). So, I've got Peter S. to thank for my name. It makes me laugh. It keeps me humble. It gives me something wonderful to shoot for - all in all, that's a lot to get out of a name.

Where I come from other Pagans will give you a magickal nickname out of sheer fondness. But it goes both ways. If you are mean spirited, silly or rude you run the risk of being called something like "Neurotica", "Running Mouth" or (and this has been used to describe me on a bad day) "Sidhe Who Must Be Avoided".

Wishing you laughter and good books,

I Had An Earth Shaking Experience Related To My Magickal Name. I... Feb 14th. at 9:38:37 am EST

Gaelan Thorn (Northport, Alabama US) Age: 36 - Email

I had an earth shaking experience related to my magickal name. I had been studying the Buckland "big blue book, " and meditating on the numerology concerning a magickal name. I went outside and meditated before a beautiful moon in the freezing night. I had started chanting and invoked the Goddess when I felt a wave of warmth wash over me. I invoked the God, and from a wooded area behind the facility where I work, came the largest Male deer I have ever seen. His antler rack was HUGE. I was startled and kept very still, and was overcome with a sense of calm. The Deer started grunting in unison with my chants and I started laying my thoughts under my chant. I was thinking of the Magickal name and how I wanted to be given one, not just "make one up." The Deer (whom I have now become completely convinced was a manifestation of Pan himself, ) grunted louder, staring right at me. His next sounds could not have been more clear, than if it were with a human voice. He said "Gay-lin." I had no idea of the spelling, but as I have a Celtic bend, I decided on Gaelan. I thanked the God, quietly, and as I did, he grunted one last time and slowly walked into the forest. I thanked the Goddess, and the warmth slowly faded as the Moon slipped behind a cloud. As I returned to my studies, I calculated the numerological equivalent of Gaelan, in relation to my Muggle name. It was a perfect match. Thus, I am convinced that my magickal name is more than just one picked from a hat, it is how the God and Goddess know me. It is, and was, their gift.

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