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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: 13,700,246  

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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 

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.

It Sure Took Long Enough, But After About A Year Of Deliberation... Feb 14th. at 3:30:59 am EST

Fire Silverfang (Madison, Wisconsin US) Age: 22 - Email

It sure took long enough, but after about a year of deliberation and intense thought after being self-initiated, I finally chose my magickal name. I decided to incorporate both my totem animal, my favorite color, and the element that always called out to me. As a project for an independent art course in high school, I created myself a silver ring that resembles a fang (much like a wolf's). This is really what brought the whole name together, and the name was forged at much the same time as the ring, thus the ring has even more spiritual significance to me than just my goddess ring. Combining wolves, fire, and silver, my ring and my name were created.

Merry Meet! My Name Is Breeze. This Name Does Come From My... Feb 14th. at 2:12:26 am EST

Susan K. Kibble-Foss (Simms, Montana US) Age: 37 - Email

Merry Meet!

My name is Breeze. This name does come from my soul. It provides autonomity but it is so much more than that.

When I found my path in this life, this path, I felt the need for a 'magical name'. It made sense to be safe while conversing with people out here on the net. I was anxious about the whole concept. I asked the Goddess to give me a name because nothing I chose 'felt' right. I had a dream that night. In the dream it was Ostara and I had cast circle in celebration of the holiday. I was calling to the elements of the east and air. I 'heard' the Lady's words that my name would come on the wind.

I new my name would come to me soon. Ostara was only days away. As I was calling to the elements during my celebration of Ostara, I heard the word 'breeze'. It did come with the winds as I called them to the circle.

I have only begun to realize what this name means to me. I perceive the wind (sometimes) as a harbringer of change and I have certainly changed. I have become more tolerant of others and their beliefs, and yet I have learned that I can be true to myself and my beliefs as well. My perceptions of life, of this world, and of how I fit into it have changed. I've realized that there is a purpose for me. I have duties, responsibilities, and lessons. I have talents and gifts to offer in return.

There are other reasons that this name is becoming so important to me, but one of the most comforting and profound became evident in an experience I had recently. There was a storm that day. It was foggy, yet the sun would duck in and out of heavy cloud cover. The moisture that was coming down that day was shifting from a light, misty rain to heavy snow. The winds picked up then died down only to rise again. I should have been worried about the road conditions which were quickly become emergency travel only. I had to be out to take care of business and was thrity miles from home. I was despairing over some things that were changing in my life. Then something within me shifted. I became part of the storm. Shifting and changing. I felt and perceived the balance. I felt the power of the universe, and of the energy. Unafraid and finally able to understand that I need not struggle for control, that I only needed to become one with these changes. The way the wind is part of the storm. The way the energy is a part of me. The way I am a part of the universe.

I believe I was given this name for a reason. I believe that it's an association that I need at this point in my life in order to better understand the changes that need to take place. This association does help me move with these changes. It helps me to both strong and gentle, and it helps me to undrerstand the magic that is within me.

Brightest blessings,


Shadowdancer Is More Realted To What I Am Rather Than Who, Thus... Feb 14th. at 2:01:01 am EST

the ShadowDancer (Tucson, Arizona US) Age: 47 - Email

ShadowDancer is more realted to what I am rather than who, thus I usually say the ShadowDancer. Originally I thought it would be cool to have a magical name, and asked for one while Journeying (shaman style) in an the upper world.
I was given the name by one of my power animals. And, once I received it, I didn't really like it. But I asked and received, and so am stuck with it. I am told that Dances with Shadows is equally correct. I am also told that this is the style of name that Dragons use in non-ordinary reality. I still think it is kind of lame.

My Magical Name Is Anaria. I Chose This Name Before I Knew... Feb 13th. at 8:32:47 pm EST

Anaria (Tucson, Arizona US) Age: 24 - Email

My magical name is Anaria. I chose this name before I knew about Paganism. My cat is Anaria, I named her when I was 14. I was reading an appendix in The Lord of the Rings, and one of the first kings of middle-earth was Anarion. There are only two or three lines about him but the name struck me immediately. I have done the numerolgy on Anaria and it fits perfectly. All of my closest friends know this name is mine. But, I also use this as a screen name. My husband is very wary of the people behind the message boards, and prefers that I use that instead of my legal name. I really feel that this is my true name.

Okay, Go Ahead And Laugh... My Magickal Name Came To Me From... Feb 13th. at 7:20:19 pm EST

Allen *Torin Rainwolf* (Cape Carteret, North Carolina US) Age: 17 - Email

Okay, go ahead and laugh... My magickal name came to me from a combination of the Internet and a dream. How cheesy, I know.

My name is Torin Rainwolf. Torin I found while surfing the net and it was in one of those "Pagan Name Meaning" lists. It's got a double meaning- The page listed it as Latin meaning Tender, as well as Celtic for Chief. Both are appropriate to me.. I'm a soft-hearted guy, whose lineage, if the family stories are true, stretches back to the Celts when they lived in England, before being pushed to Ireland by the Anglo-Saxon invaders. When I saw it twice, Torin just seemed to jump out at me.

Rainwolf came about in a dream. I awoke one night in the midst of a storm from a dream I can scarcely remember now, in which I was guarded by a wolf. When I awoke and got my senses back, Rainwolf was on my lips. My magickal name is, I feel, temporary, until something more appropriate to me is revealed at a later time, though that does not diminish it's importance.

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