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Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds
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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
How I Found My Craft Name (and Tips on Finding Yours!)
Article ID: 13460
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: September 20th. 2009
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Names have always held special meaning to me. When I meet people, I automatically ask their full name and begin calculating their numerology in my head (“And how do you spell that?”, “That’s S-C-H-M-I-D-T, right?”) . It has always fascinated me that my name (Erica Heath) just happens to be the Latin name for the plant heather, especially because my parents had no knowledge of this until after they named me; I literally collect names from public monuments, contact lists, roll calls, and fiction. Babynames.com is tagged as a favorite in my web browser and, possibly most importantly, I have picked at least ten different names for myself during my lifetime.
In elementary school, it was Bat, among a group of friends, all of who had an animal name (This drew on my ability to do the monkey bars with my knees) . Then, among the three close friends I am so lucky to call my sisters (however unrelated we may be) , we picked princess titles, Ya-Ya Sisterhood style: I, Princess The Amazing, am proud to say that I am named after a clear, strapless push-up bra.
Next, weaving in and out of various Harry Potter online role-plays, I called myself Reed Azen, Laoise d’Averie, and Liza Suthers, (roughly meaning peaceful and earthy, radiant winged girl, and blessed fire, respectively) .
I picked my stage name, Lovely Wednesday, from the daughter in the Addams family and the musical ring it gave when spoken. To top it off, at one point in time I had a dream of publishing critiques anonymously and planned to do so under the pen-name Lafayeti, although I am forced to admit that I have no idea where that came from—if you can come up with a satisfactory explanation, I will be more than happy to accept it.
However, when it came to picking a craft name—and I knew I wanted to, not only because I could not yet weld together the person I was to the world to the person I was alone (if that makes any kind of sense) , but also because I had already experienced several times over the immense power that a name can have—the decision was not so easy.
For a time, I called myself Quartz. It was the most all-encompassing and unbinding name I could think of: it contains both the first and last letter of the alphabet, is regarded as fairly neutral in crystal magic, is regarded as completely neutral in color magic (and is yet magical still) , and invokes the element earth, the element of which all things are born, for she is the mother.
However, as you have likely already surmised, Quartz did nothing for me in the way of inspiration, creating a new world, a new identity, perhaps because I regarded it as such a neutral name. In a way, it did exactly what I expected it to: I asked that it not limit me nor lead me, and it did absolutely nothing. Fair enough, I suppose.
Thus, I began the hunt for a new name.
The first thing that I did was listing the things that were important to me, that were a part of who I am. Three things came to mind immediately: firstly, earth. I have always felt a connection to the earth, from which I assume must spring my deeply-grounded stubbornness/willpower and barely noticeable (though ever-present) fear of heights.
There is something, some feeling for me, that comes only from lying flat on my back, anywhere, on the ground: in an airport, on the sidewalk (it is rare that I get to do this, as you may have guessed) , in a meadow, or (best of all) in a forest, surrounded on all sides by the music of the wind in the leaves of the trees.
The second thing that came to mind was music: I am sure that little explanation is necessary to justify the importance of music in life, and if more were needed, I do not think I would be able to supply you with sufficient evidence of such, not because it lacks importance, but because the power of music is so profound, so directly in contact with the soul, that it skips the brain stage entirely.
The third thing that came to mind was rain. This may sound confusing to claim that earth is my element and then that I am in my element when it rains, but rain is something purely magical for me, in every sense of the word. When it begins to rain, no matter how horrible of a day (or wonderful, for that matter) I have been having, my spirits rise: a smile appears on my face, and my walk becomes a dance. Rain also has its own music, which is the other thing I love about it—I can hardly be happier than when I am crafting under a flat or tin roof and listening to Tom Waits’ Alice.
So, these were three things that I knew simply had to be included in my name. However, Earthmusicrain was not exactly what I was looking for, or any permutation of the words.
So I brainstormed a little more: I thought about my passions, my prides, my hopes and dreams, my history, my favorite things, and eventually I narrowed it down to the following: my conviction to never stop learning, especially when it comes to completely useless information; Spring, for that is the season of new life, and I am a maiden to the craft, and also because it is the season of my color (green) , of rain, and of growth, especially of blossoming from the earth; and my passions, inclusive of all things creative.
The synergy begins!
I first experimented with my love for languages and information (especially the relatively useless) , translating the words I had come up with into Latin. I though Spring Rain might work as a name, or whatever that was in Latin. However, I got no further than the translation of Spring to Ver, that it hit me: Ver Rain. Vervain. It was satisfactorily close to the meaning Spring Rain, and was also a plant, of the earth. By using rain I had incorporated music, and by using spring, or ver, I had incorporated the same again, along with growth, opportunity, beauty, earth, and fulfillment.
Further research told me that Vervain was regarded as an intensely magical herb, used for centuries by poets in a tisane developed specifically for stimulating inspiration. Thus, the overarching Vervain itself incorporated the earth and growth again, along with my lust for knowledge and my creative passions.
Although this essay tells my personal story, I have attempted to be as explicit as possible in describing my methods, and I hope that they may be of use to you. On the long and winding road to discovering my name, I also discovered that occasionally, you are granted a gift for no seeming reason, simply for having utilized your present knowledge: mine was the happenstance of finding vervain from spring rain and the use of a passion or two.
Don’t be worried if your name does not seem right for you, or if you do not have one yet. I would suggest reviewing the elements and times (of year, day, and even of life) that resonate with you most, even colors, animals, places—anything that you feel intensely “vibrating on the same frequency as your soul”, so phrased. Also, your passions, your family and personal history, if you know anything about your past lives—also your dreams and experiences.
Vervain is, for me, all of these, and from all of these; Vervain is me.
Now go, go and find yourself!
Location: Austin, Texas
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