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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: 13,688,116  

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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 

The Story Of My Magickal Name Is A Simple One. I Was... Feb 12th. at 9:36:18 pm EST

Owen Cindereagle (Concord, North Carolina US) Age: 18 - Email

The story of my magickal name is a simple one. I was looking through a book on magickal names and saw Cinder, which almost everyone knows is a fire word and represents a lively personality. That word then struck a cord in me like it was my name but it didnt feel whole like a part was missing. Then one day i was standing outside a cool breeze went by and i semislowly closed my eyes to enjoy the breeze for it was a hot day, and then i saw it an american bald eagle flew by in my minds eye and then landed thats when i knew my name Cindereagle, but still it didnt seem right then i found out another pronunciation of my birth name which i love ian which used to be owen, finaly my name seems whole Owen Cindereagle

Moonsong You May Think This Weird, But I Got My Name From... Feb 12th. at 9:27:58 pm EST

Moonsong (Watertown, New York US) Age: 20


you may think this weird, but I got my name from a bad poem attempt and my agnostic boyfriend. we were sitting outside on a night near the full moon, and we like to stretch our minds by spontaneously making poems. I always found the moon inspiring to me, the several aspects of the Goddess and its beautiful light, and I always observe the full and new moons.. is impulsive for me.

anyways one of the first lines that came to my head was "listen to the moon's song"

the poem fizzled from there, but one thing that stood out to me for a while afterward was the comment my love made after that line. he said "honey I always do, you are a living moonsong to me" (awwww isn't that sweet??)

before that I had began searching for a magical name, and that one just wouldn't leave me alone from then on.

There Is Only The Smallest Of Stories Associated With My Magickal Name... Feb 12th. at 9:01:22 pm EST

Vivhianna (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario CA) Age: 18 - Email

There is only the smallest of stories associated with my magickal name. Two years ago, when I was first starting out, I was toying around with various names. None of them seemed to suit me, although I certainly liked the way they sounded. Eventually I decided to combine the names of characters from two of my favourite books. This I did, and after modifying the second name slightly and adding the "h" in, I had created a name which suited me perfectly. It was pretty but not overly dramatic, and reminded me of the better qualities of the two characters whose names I had mixed and adopted.
In my opinion, magickal names aren't just "screen names", though doubtless some people also use them as such. I've always been taught that words have power, and when you think about it, isn't a name a kind of word? And because I chose a name for myself which I in part created, it has a special significance to me which is at least as great as my given name. It's part of who I am now. So no, I don't think that *all* magickal names are only "screen names". Otherwise (and I hope I don't offend anyone with what I have to say next), what would be the point in calling them "magickal" names?

My FortŽ In Magick Is Names And Words, And Their Meanings And... Feb 12th. at 8:46:08 pm EST

Awena Llwyndyrys (Murray, Utah US) Age: 23 - Email

My fortŽ in magick is names and words, and their meanings and uses. I am a collector of names. So I keep many names for myself, for different aspects of me. I don't think I could ever pick just one to sum up.

But I did, in this past year, decide I would like a "magickal name" to use and be recognized by, with my fellow Pagans. I haven't done much ritual magick yet, and so I don't exactly need a formal magickal name in the traditional sense. But hey, any excuse to find myself another name! =)

Since I love Welsh mythology and lore, and since Taliesin is sort of my mentor (greatest of bards!) I chose to find a Welsh name. I had been using Angharad (beloved, free from shame) since the first day I got online, and I love it, but I felt I wanted something a bit more magickal. So I found an online Welsh dictionary, and looked through it. I finally chose Awena Llwyndyrys.

Awen: the breath of poetry; prophecy; inspiration
Llwyndyrys: tangled grove

These appeal to me because of my bardic aspirations, the thought of being an oracle, wisdom...and grove because of my forest home (like you, forestchilde!) and tangled because inter-connectedness and synchronicity play a large role in my life, as well as the weaver of words aspect. So it combines the new (creation, art) with the old (old growth tangled woods).

I don't know how long I will be keeping this one, but I do enjoy it, and folks do know me by it now. I think it lacks the essential fey-ness of me, but perhaps I'll adjust it later. I already have other fey names (Sylvan Fae, Faelinn, etc.)

Bright blessings and good dancing,

Hi All, I Began By Reading All I Could Find On Being... Feb 12th. at 6:28:04 pm EST

Rain BrightStar (Moore, Oklahoma US) Age: 40 - Email

Hi all,

I began by reading all I could find on being a Witch.I decided I'd like to have a craft name, for my dedication of a year and a day as a Dedicant.I meditated for a long time, under the trees behind my home.After a few days I found an old English meaning for my birth name.It's Robin, and the meaning I found was Bright Fame.So I went with BrightStar, as I felt a little Fire was needed. As I got closer to Beltaine, the day I would dedicate myself in 1999. I felt the need for water in my name. River, stream, pond, ocean.None seemed to fit.But each day it rained.Finally i kept repeating the word rain, and it seemed to fit.So Rain BrightStar was the name I chose after 2 months of meditation.Or did it choose me.I feel the goddess whispered it in my ear.I used the same name last year for my initiation.I'm still a Solitary, and very eclectic.I feel this name describes who I am as a Witch, and some non witch friends now call me Rain too.They tagged me with it for my knowledge of trivia, felt it reminded them of Dustin Hoffman in Rainman!How odd, huh?

I've also adopted a middle name I only use with the Goddess.I won't say what it is, but it comes from the literally hundreds of quartz crystals that cover the ground in my backyard.I used to think they were just shiny rocks before I became a Witch!

Well, that's the story.I'm sure I left some things out(I usually do). But the name seems to fit me perfectly!

Peace and Love

Rain BrightStar

My Magickal Name Came To Me In Stages. After Searching For A... Feb 12th. at 5:25:18 pm EST

Shadow WinterMoon (Angela) (Holland, Michigan US) Age: 16 - Email

My magickal name came to me in stages. After searching for a name for awhile, part of my name came to me while I was day dreaming riding home from the mall with my parents one night: Winter Moon. I've always loved the night sky, and the full moon reflecting off the snow in the winter is a beautiful sight to see here in Michigan. On the night of the full moon, I've always slept with my curtains open so the light could shine onto my bed :-)

The other part of my name came through another day dream. I was riding home from somewhere else and glanced out the car window at the full moon and saw in the shadows not the man in the moon, but a woman holding something up in one of her arms. For the life of me, I couldn't make out the man in the moon, only the woman (who I believe was Goddess showing herself to me) so I took the shadows into my name, making my full magickal name Shadow WinterMoon.

I Have Several Magickal Names- Public And Private. In A Way, They... Feb 12th. at 5:21:32 pm EST

Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) Age: 40 - Email

I have several magickal names- public and private. In a way, they are markers that indicate my progress on my path. My earliest Pagan name, Sunfell, is a Nordic name, meaning 'rainment of sunlight' or 'sunny hill'. It has become my public Internet name and pen name for my writing. The name was given to me by a teacher of mine who worked in the Nordic tradition of the Craft. He felt that it was a fitting description of me both physically and spiritually.

Sunlight seems to play a large role in my life, although ironically, I get very little direct exposure to it personally. But I am a Solar person, and even my private Native American name, given to me at an authentic Naming Ceremony, reflects that.

One thing I like about my name(s) is that they are rather uncommon. Like my 'mundane' name, Lorie, they stand out.

If you are looking for a name for yourself, here is a little ceremony that was used on me to get my own name. The rite is called 'seining', and it involves placing the querent into the center of a circle of friends. A circle of seining is raised, the watchtowers activated, and the group sings 'Evohe' while the querent mentally 'seins' for his or her name on the etheric currents. When the name pops into the querent's mind, he or she announces the name, and the singing stops. The HP/S then takes the querent around the quarters and introduces him or her to the Watchtowers with the magickal name. Each member then greets the newly named member with a good wish, and the circle ends. Quite a lovely little ceremony.


I Do Not "save" My Magickal Name Strictly For The Circle. It's... Feb 12th. at 5:18:38 pm EST

Armis (Cape Girardeau, Missouri US) Age: 27 - Email

I do not "save" my magickal name strictly for the circle. It's become much more than a secret name, it's become me in full. More than 10 years ago, I was given the name Armis, by the very person who first made me look beyond what I had known. Latin for arms or better stated weapon, it took the meaning that I was a symbol of mental strength. Even though I didn't see it that way.

After much thought and eventually learning the meaning of the word it became clear to me why she chose that name. And when I'm feeling vulnerable, weak, I call on this side of my personality to guide me thru. The name has become an archtype for me of sorts, and the "word" itself has taken me on a journey of self discovery that I might never have entered otherwise.

The spoken word has the power to heal, unite, empower and most important of Inspire!

Blessed Be,


Hello Everyone, My Magical Name Is Laineestar And I Just Recentely Picked... Feb 12th. at 4:50:12 pm EST

Elaine Chupick (Minersville, Pennsylvania US) Age: 25 - Email

Hello everyone,
My magical name is Laineestar and I just recentely picked it. I have been a wiccan for about 6 six now and i could never find a name that suited me until now. My husband got me a Star from a place called Starsearch as a gift.It is pretty wild to look up at the stars at night and realize that you have one up there somewhere with your name on it.So i decided that since i love to look up at the stars at night, I decided to call myself Laineestar. Now half the fun is looking up in the sky looking for my star and the best thing is it will be there forever.

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

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 "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!)

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