Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names

12 Nov 2015 03:44 #1 by Ladon
MM all,

in the "How did you get your pagen/craft name" topic, Daughter of Selene wrote:

I am in awe of every one who has a craft name. I do not and never have. My name here is simply what I am.


So I thought I would open a separate topic to discuss the sense or nonsense of a craft name. If the moderators feel this should be merged with the original topic, please do (if possible?).
Do you have one or not? Why? Do you use it online and in real life? Do you use it in magical work?

A little history about me:
I first started using this name as an online alias. I started using it because it is a wiccan tradition to use a magical alias, supposedly stemming from times where witchcraft was "dangerous for your health", and it was easier to keep your true identity hidden as it is today. Later, when I joined a traditional craft coven, I learned a deeper meaning of the magical name: I was ritually reborn as a child of the Goddess, adopting the name Ladon in stead of the name I was given. I present myself as Ladon in wiccan gatherings, but in general pagan, more open gatherings I use my mundane name sometimes. It depends on how the group feels to me.
In my second degree initiation, I received another magical name that I only use among other second degree initiates of our tradition. This may sound elitist to some, but it isn't meant to. Like the first name I chose myself, this new given name also has it's own deeper meaning. Difficult to explain without breaking oaths :oops:
In most magical work requiring me to write my name, I use Ladon because this is the name I have chosen myself and it has the longest history with me.
All in all, I feel connected to the old magical tradition of the power of words and names, and the notion that knowing something or someone by name gives you a magical power or advantage over it/them, so I am pretty carefull about who I share my name(s) with.

I have many friends in different traditions who do not use a pagan name at all, especially more shamanic or nordic inspired people. They don't see the point of a pagan name and see it as an unnecessary embellishment, taking away authenticity in stead of adding to ritual experience. Certainly a valid point. We are who we are and the Gods see us as our true selves no matter what name we use.
Others only use it privately in magical context, not in public gatherings. They feel that the magical name is between them and the Gods because it describes them as they really are and not how society percieves them. Also good point.

I was a member of a forum once where someone pretended to have passed away to radically break away from that forum. Because reactions were more emotional than she expected, she came clean and explained that to her, that online persona had really died, she had moved on to other things. Needless to say this created quite a fuss. This was perceived to be a very schizophrenic train of thought and I agree there are far better ways to handle a situation like that. Just to show how far people can go with a craft name...

Ok, so sorry that turned out longer than I expected ;) . What are your views on the need of a magical name in today's society? Do you still use it for personal safety? Do you use it because it is tradition in wiccan circles? Do you use it publicly or privately or both?
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12 Nov 2015 07:57 #2 by AthenaD
Replied by AthenaD on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
Well, for me, I think it should be someone's personal preference whether or not they want a magical name or to be called a magical name. One of the reasons why I am not a part of any coven is because I don't want to be given a magical name that I may not like. That's why I call myself Athena Druid. I chose it. Nobody else did.

Athena Druid is my alias name for both personal and privacy reasons, but it is also my magical name. I only use it privately. In pubic, I use my given name.

Merry Meet and Merry Part. Until we Merry Meet again.
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15 Nov 2015 00:06 #3 by Phyre
Replied by Phyre on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I feel like I was present during the pretending to pass away story you were talking about Ladon... But I don't jump on line on many forums so probably not.. I had a strong reaction to the story though!!! It was a chaotic mess it felt like!! Anyway.. I have no practicing name... Phyre is an online identity only.. Which is still very much my real personality but more distinct then my given name Sarah that I share with 5 billion other women!! I don't identity myself with any one certain tradition that has a calling for such... I resonate the most with Native American Tradition but not following with a medicine man or woman... and therefor don't see myself ever receiving a practicing name... But who knows what the future holds!!! I communicate well enough today with my creator as Sarah! :D

--enjoying the journey--
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16 Nov 2015 14:49 #4 by Airmid
Replied by Airmid on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
When it came time to dedicate somewhere along my path, I went up into the mountains, waited til midnight, and skyclad I went down to the river and cleansed, annointed and began my pleas for guidance and promises to walk my path with dedication and an open mind among other things,. The name Airmid came to me and when I researched the name it was a perfect fit! I am Solitary, Eclectic and against any form of organized religion so the self dedication seemed the right way to go about it. While up at Tower Rock, I gathered some flat rocks, and other mementos and took the memory of what had happened there with me and I've kept the name ever since.
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22 Nov 2015 05:17 #5 by Otatara
Replied by Otatara on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
A very interesting topic Ladon.

Many years ago now, I walked up to a Pa (Maori fortified village) site near my flat of that time, announced to the Gods that I was going the Pagan route, and took the name of the pa - Otatara - as my "magickal" name, and then used it online when I - almost literally - crashed into Frigga online, sixteen years ago.
Today, I use it only here, because as you and others have said, the Gods know us, no matter what name we use, so I just go by my given name, everywhere else.
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16 May 2016 18:12 #6 by Sporehead
Replied by Sporehead on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I honestly feel like my Pagan name chose ME rather than the other way around. It came to me while I was reading a book on Greek mythology and immediately felt right. I do use it for privacy reasons sometimes -- like on this site -- but more often I call myself "Antaia" to remind myself of who I am spiritually. :2cents:
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14 Jun 2016 07:14 #7 by naomiwatts
Replied by naomiwatts on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I was very confuse before entering in to this forum and crfting a pagan name for my self. I need a name that could reflect me and my sprituality too. I was refering to the sources like babynology and certain names site but was unable to think of it. But , it came through some experiment of my official name.

Follow the pathof Jesus.
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14 Jun 2016 19:36 #8 by Tribul
Replied by Tribul on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
:pent: mine came to be buy use of the algorian alphabet numbers that my name,birthday,& plabetary numbers were in conjunction with the letters in the chart of the algorian alphabet numbers&letters charts!!!And it's Tribul!
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17 Jun 2016 22:35 #9 by Daella
Replied by Daella on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
There are many reasons to take on a name, title, or designation for a large number of religious, social, and cultural paths; not only our Pagan/Craft society and current renaissance. It could be a dedication, growth, or other personal reason like privacy and safety. That by which we are referred to is quite a bit of very personal clothing that we envelope ourselves in. Many are quite comfortable with and proud of what they already wear. Others look forward to donning the stole, sashes, and cords that mark their journeys.

There are also just as many reasons, seemingly, for people to be uncomfortable with the idea of others around them not being in full disclosure or biography form in their presence. I have heard quite a few conversations from those that believe the anonymity a secret name, pseudonym, or alias provides allows behaviors that ordinarily would be held in check by social rules which are regulated through identification. We have to be aware, however, that those occurrences are happening across the board in many other communicating groups just as often as within ours.

All of that being said... I do believe in the tradition of adopting a pagan/craft name (albeit I think it not only of wiccan origins). I think that it should remain a tradition. It serves as a treasured embellishment to wear or adorn, much like your first cords or robes. It is a point of pride. We tend to put a little more effort behind our points of pride.

As for today's society... it's a jungle out there. While we now have a choice of how far back in the closet we store our brooms (in most countries in the free world), society is still mean and bad things still happen to us out there. No amount of discrimination laws or social rules are going to stop someone from creating bad situations for us and our families if those who are capable decide to do so. They don't have to disclose their reasons; any slander or slight that they conjure up will suit. Many of us have already tasted that sour fruit.

If someone walking this crooked little path decides that they don't want to adopt a name, that's fine as well. You be you. Don't disrespect others though. Just because you don't agree with Lady Glitter Bottom's choice of names doesn't mean he doesn't have a darn good reason to have one.

AND, I personally think that "Daughter of Selene" is a perfectly wonderful adornment.

;) Just saying,
Daella
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18 Jun 2016 07:37 #10 by Pagan Priestess
Replied by Pagan Priestess on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I like the idea of a magickal name and have used quite a few in the past...at first for anonymity which I outgrew but am mainly only interested in Tradition.....I was happy that it was Traditional.....my current one I took up a little over a year ago to reflect my degree....I'm a Shadow Worker and that's a diff part of the spectrum from lightworker ....yes it can be for personal safety but I'm not much into purposely hiding...other witches can learn my real name....I also have a pagan penname that was given to me by a fellow pagan.....I have quite a list of pagan names that belong to me but have whittled it down to two so as not to be considered bogus by others....easily recognized and my personality is whatever ppl make of it....Blessed Be!
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20 Jun 2016 16:34 #11 by Ouroboros
Replied by Ouroboros on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I like my magickal name, Ouroboros. It separates my mundane self from my magickal self. It lets me step into an alternate reality where magick reigns. :hat:

love and Laughter
Ouroboros
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24 Jun 2016 04:45 #12 by hvgeel
Replied by hvgeel on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
I mostly use the name given to me by my parents : Hennie. But I've come to be very much a faerie lover and the Silver Elves provided me with a "craft name" : Toryndaryl, which I only use in an Elven context. And then there is the name my Benefactor gave to me, and which will be and stay between them and me.
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30 Jun 2016 20:35 #13 by Sporehead
Replied by Sporehead on topic Sense and nonsense of Pagan/Craft names
As I said in the other thread ("How Did You Get Your Pagan/Craft Name?" -- sorry, I don't know how to link it), I've dropped the name Antaia because I researched it and discovered that it had some meanings/associations I didn't want.

I don't know if I will take another spiritual name. In fact, I likely won't. Having a spiritual name was nice, but sometimes it made me feel as though I was trying to split myself into two people. Giving my "spiritual" self a separate name also gave it a little bit of a separate identity, which sometimes made it hard for me to realize that my spiritual side was (and is) part of me too. So for now, at least, I think it would be best to just use my given name.
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