Saturday, July 14, 2012

Names, Magickal Names

IT'S FINALLY FRIDAY!!! I've been leading up to this post all week and now I'm finally get to talk about Magickal Names. I love discussing magickal names because it is such and intensely personal and complex process (if you do it right).

Taking a magickal name means choosing a name other than your birth name to use during ritual and other craft practices. Magickal names are not required but they do add dimension and mysticism to your work. I took on a magickal name as part of my spiritual dedication to the craft and my deities. When part of a coven, it is often traditional to study for a year and a day before deciding on ones magickal name. Being a solitary practitioner, I had no limits or guidelines to how or when I chose my name. It was a long time before I discovered my name, and I do mean discovered because I never made the conscious decision to take on a magickal name.

There are many ways of discovering your magickal name. It can be revealed to you through meditation or dreams. It can be bestowed upon you by you High Priestess or coven. You can create it by combining certain traits and aspects of yourself along with your totems or spirit animals. Some choose to name themselves after their patron deity. A rare but possible phenomenon is where your patron deity reveals themselves to you in a vision and reveals your name to you. Some people believe that names received in this manner are actually our true names. True names are different than magickal or craft names because it is believed that ones true name is part of that person and can be used to control them. Therefore it s tradition to never reveal ones true name to others unless you trust them with your life.

I have not yet discovered my true name (and I am a little apprehensive to know it). However I have discovered my magickal name Phoenix Starfire. Like I said I never really decided to choose a name, but like many things: my name chose me.

I began my journey into Paganism in response to a pretty traumatic stretch of years where I lost many people close to me. The breaking point was when my uncle passed very suddenly of drowning with suspected foul play. No we have never determined what happened. I had been floundering as far as spirituality went for awhile before this happened. I was raised Baptist but had long turned my back on the Christian beliefs. There were some moments when I lost all faith in the divine. After my uncle's death, I began to search for answers, for any connection I could get to a higher power. I felt raw and empty, kinda burnt up and destroyed. I wanted to have faith, faith that I was not alone and that there was something or someone watching, faith that there was something after death, but I knew that I could not find what I sought within the confines of the Christian faith.

So I started digging, and the more I dug the more I was drawn into the Pagan community. I began to believe again, to have faith again. I found my spirituality and in so doing, that burnt and destroyed feeling began to fade. I still feel the flicker of flames, but instead of a destructive inferno within my soul, I feel the cleansing burn of my Goddess. I am the newly born phoenix rising from it's predecessors funeral pyre to greet the new dawn. I am something proud and graceful and rare. I am unique and powerful. I am a firebird who does not get burned. I am Phoenix.

After I discovered my magickal name, I decided that I would pair it with another name for when I am at functions and group rituals. I guess I just don't like doing the whole one name thing: it's too Madonna :). So I began to combine certain words that I felt connected with and that paired well with Phoenix. Of course I tried various forms of fire combined with bird or eagle, but that never worked, it never felt RIGHT. So I did a little more soul searching and the word star kept sticking in my mind. I liked the idea of having star in my name because stars are symbols of achievement and authority as well as symbols of protection, balance, truth, hope, and the heavens it just fit so well with why I started my spiritual journey: a search for balance and hope.

But Phoenix Star just doesn't have a ring to (at least it doesn't to me). So I tried to think up another word to pair with Star that would represent another trait of my personality. Again I tried many things and it didn't work. Then I decided to go back to fire, after all Phoenixes can only be reborn after they have died by fire.

Besides, I have always had a connection to fire (technically I should be diagnosed as a pyromaniac), I am an Aries whose element is fire, and the symbolism of fire fits with my personality: passionate, spirited, intense, creative, and untamed. So I tried several different forms of the word: flame, blaze, ember, inferno, and of course fire. Starfire really popped out at me, it sound better than Starblaze or Starflame. 

I really convinced myself that Phoenix Starfire was my magickal name when I began studying numerology. It is a widespread custom to use one's Life Path number (usually referred to as Birthday number but it is the same) to determine whether the name you have chosen is acceptable. How it works is you first determine your Life path number: mine was 1. Then you determine the number of your name in a manner similar to calculating your Expression number. You assign a number to each letter based on the Pythagoras chart (the one I included in post two of the Numerology cycle). After that you compare the two numbers and see if they match. If they do, great you have found your magickal name, if not you can try alternative spellings (wytch vs witch) or possibly another form of the word (fire vs flame) to see if you can get the right number.

I went a step further than just matching my name's number to my Life Path number. I divided my name into three parts: my "first name" Phoenix, my "last name" Starfire, and my whole name Phoenix Starfire. I found the number for each part and then compared each one to the numbers in my Numerology chart.

Phoenix = 7+8+6+5+5+9+6 = 46 = 4+6 = 10 = 1+0 = 1

Starfire = 1+2+1+9+6+9+9+5 = 42 = 4+2 = 6

Phoenix Starfire = 1 + 6 = 7 (I took a shortcut hear by adding the already reduced numbers from above)

Phoenix corresponds to my Life Path number. This is fitting since my Life Path number influences my attitude towards life as well as acting as a road map to how that life will play out. The name Phoenix was chosen for me based on roadblocks and speedbumps that I have had to overcome in my short life as well as for the outlook I have gained based on those conflicts. Instead of letting life overpower me and letting those obsticales become my funeral pyre, I chose to be like the mythical Phoenix and use destructive forces as a means of cleansing myself of negativity and rising above them with my head held high and a song on my lips.

Starfire corresponds with my Personality number. To me this is also fitting because my Personality number reveals the outward aspects of my personality, that which I can reveal to the world. Surrounded by Starfire, I show my personality to be one full of hope and balance as well as passion and creativity. I am a blazing comet, scorching the night sky. I am compassionate and confident. I stand as a symbol of protection and romance. I am both domestic and wild.

The combination of both names corresponds with my Sun number. Your Sun number acts as your anchor in the tumultuous sea that we call life. Just like how my Sun number is the starting point of my personality, a doorway which you must cross to uncover my true self, my magickal name is the starting point within my magickal journey. It is the culmination of both who I am and what I have experienced. It is the first impression other practitioners get upon meeting me. In it's whole form it only reveals some of me, you must cross that threshold and inspect the individual pieces to see all of who I am.

Finding one's magickal name should not be a simple process, it should be a spiritual journey of self-discovery. Don't take the shortcut and clump together some cute or magickal sounding words that you think sound good. Take the time to actually find a combination of words that touches your heart and your soul. Your magickal name should reflect who you are and what you have learned thus far in your life. You don't want to wake up in five to ten years and regret ever calling yourself Lady Fearietwinkle or Panther Strongclaw (that's ones not so bad actually). Plan on keeping your magickal name for a long time, possibly until to time you cross over the veil into the Summerland, I do.

Yay! So that concludes my magickal names post. I know I got kinda serious and poetic in there a few times and I apologize if your not into all that but I really like this topic and I get carried away. Well I am done for the weekend 'cus we're leaving for the beach tomorrow. Yep!Yep! I promise to post again on Monday though. Maybe I'll finally do those Core numbers I've been promising (cue conspiratorial eyebrow wiggle.....I have no clue what that means). I don't know, we'll see what the Muses have in store for us on Monday.

Bye Bye everyone and as always Blessed Be!

P.S. Please, Please, Please start commenting! I really need the input. Luv you guys!

1 comment:

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