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"Witchy" Names

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I saw some pretty good reviews of Paul Hudson's Mastering Withcraft in the Book Reviews section, and I came to the section on choosing your "witch name," and from reading the section, I can see that in his mind, it's pretty imperative. I believe the exact quote had the word "must" in there somewhere. Different parts popped out at me:"Assuming you have embarked on your career as a practitioner of the Black Arts, you will have to take a new, magical name to supplement your old, mundane one... It is, in fact, an important part of your newly burgeoning witch personality, and henceforth you will be known chiefly by it to your fellow practitioners... Having settled on your witch name, you must keep it very, very secret, as it will eventually become one of the keys to your deep mind. You will be using it whenever you wish to "switch on" to perform a spell; this will be partly accomplished by pronouncing the name silently to yourself whenever you begin your use of [the arts]."

So, I have a few questions. First, would a "tool" (if I chose to use one) be more powerful inscribed with a name of my own choosing rather than the one that I was born with, identify with and answer to? (Not that I think I have a miraculously amazing name, I don't - I think it's pretty boring and common - but it is the name my mother chose for me). Second, how many of you have adopted the practice of choosing your own "new" name? And if you have, why was that an important decision to you?

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So, I have a few questions. First, would a "tool" (if I chose to use one) be more powerful inscribed with a name of my own choosing rather than the one that I was born with, identify with and answer to? (Not that I think I have a miraculously amazing name, I don't - I think it's pretty boring and common - but it is the name my mother chose for me). Second, how many of you have adopted the practice of choosing your own "new" name? And if you have, why was that an important decision to you?

 

1. It really all depends on you. Would you rather stick with your original name (which you seem to like a lot, as far as I can see) or would you rather seek out a different name that relates closer to your craft? You don't have to come up with an alternate name, but for some people, it's a psychological tool, or switch, that helps them get into the witchy mood when they're about to do magical workings.

 

2. My username is my alternate, witchy name, but it is also the name my mother gave me. Let me explain: my first name is Holly. I love that name, and it's the one my parents picked for me, and it could probably stand as a witchy name in itself, since I'm named after the prickly evergreen tree whose bows are emphasized a lot around Yule time. However, if you were to look at my full name, you would find one of the most common names known to man. lol. So I decided to put a unique spin on it. I took the Linnaean genus of the holly plant (ilex) and outfitted it into a name. So, as you can see, the first part of my witchy name IS my real first name, just re-translated. 'Morighanan' is a bit more complicated than that. My last name is Moore; very common, Scotch-Irish name, and I THINK the 30-something-th most common family name in the United States. So I looked to my Irish roots, and my obsession with crows and ravens and death and blood (scared of me yet? lol), and I met the Morrighan (raven goddess of war), who is probably one of my favourite deities in Irish mythology. I substituted my surname with hers, and I got 'Morighanan'. It just rolled off the tongue perfectly. Been with it ever since. :)

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1. It really all depends on you. Would you rather stick with your original name (which you seem to like a lot, as far as I can see) or would you rather seek out a different name that relates closer to your craft? You don't have to come up with an alternate name, but for some people, it's a psychological tool, or switch, that helps them get into the witchy mood when they're about to do magical workings.

 

2. My username is my alternate, witchy name, but it is also the name my mother gave me. Let me explain: my first name is Holly. I love that name, and it's the one my parents picked for me, and it could probably stand as a witchy name in itself, since I'm named after the prickly evergreen tree whose bows are emphasized a lot around Yule time. However, if you were to look at my full name, you would find one of the most common names known to man. lol. So I decided to put a unique spin on it. I took the Linnaean genus of the holly plant (ilex) and outfitted it into a name. So, as you can see, the first part of my witchy name IS my real first name, just re-translated. 'Morighanan' is a bit more complicated than that. My last name is Moore; very common, Scotch-Irish name, and I THINK the 30-something-th most common family name in the United States. So I looked to my Irish roots, and my obsession with crows and ravens and death and blood (scared of me yet? lol), and I met the Morrighan (raven goddess of war), who is probably one of my favourite deities in Irish mythology. I substituted my surname with hers, and I got 'Morighanan'. It just rolled off the tongue perfectly. Been with it ever since. :)

 

 

Haha - it's not that I particularly love my name - I've asked my mom a million times - Why Ashley? and more specifically - Why Ashley Marie? There were 26 Ashleys in my high school - and almost half of them were Ashley Marie. And I also have a very, very common last name. I had a boyfriend try to google search me once and he got like 4 million hits and none were me.

 

my obsession with crows and ravens and death and blood (scared of me yet? lol), and I met the Morrighan (raven goddess of war), who is probably one of my favourite deities in Irish mythology.

 

Not scared at all - in fact, she's one of my two favorites (I'm Scottish - and I've always felt the most strongly about Celtic deities); . Morrighan was also described as a prophetess - and from my research her prophesies/predictions were usually pretty scary/bloody - and as a precog (just learned the actual term for it - and i like it a lot better than what i'd been using) that typically sees some pretty awful things, I identify with that. Crows/Ravens are both also usually associated with a third sight of some kind as well.

Rhiannon being the other.. and i don't know, between the two of them, it's kind of like a balance between light and dark parts of me (and I say dark in a very odd way - i don't find the darkness inside people bad, necessarily). I know -

I'm a weird one.

 

But i like what you did with your name - besides being beautiful, the reasoning behind it and the thought put into it was amazing.

Edited by ashley

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Guest Magdalena

My name is me and the very essence of me, what name could be more powerful for me than that.

 

 

 

 

I can see that in his mind, it's pretty imperative.

 

Because someone else thinks/believes it, that doesn't make it so. smile.gif

 

 

 

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My name is me and the very essence of me, what name could be more powerful for me than that.

 

thumbsup.gif i like this answer. :]

 

 

 

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I've encountered three sorts of names (from a witch perspective at least)

 

My name which also goes on all that lovely paperwork and various friends and family will shorten and mispronounce over the years.

 

Then my gods seem to have a different name for me which I've just gotten used to to be honest, it's an actual name at least, no just "Hey, you. The chubby one, yes you."

 

Then there's the odd one inbetween.

 

You know in sign language when you refer to a person you tend to give them a pseudonym? Sometimes just the first two letters of the name sometimes a particular word or couple of words combined (So you can sign "This is Red-Hair I spoke to you about" rather than sign every letter of the name each time you addressed them. It's generally descriptive.) Well some spirits in the past (has been a while actually) seem to use a little pseudonym like that.

 

The similarity makes me wonder if certain entities communicate in a way based on blocks of 'gestures', as some spirits are able to articulate many names I wonder if perhaps (like a soul-song as Celtic-Gypsy has brought up in another thread) there is a 'gesture' for each persons name.

 

Does that make sense? It does to me but I know I'm kooky, to put mildly.

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I've never felt the need for a witch-name, my real name has enough meaning for me. :) Also, since my parents gave me one name but then called me by a nickname that everyone picked up, my real name already has a different feel to it.

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Guest Elfyd

I've never felt the need for a witch-name, my real name has enough meaning for me. :) Also, since my parents gave me one name but then called me by a nickname that everyone picked up, my real name already has a different feel to it.

 

 

Wow Aloe - how interesting. I have had more than one name, I was "baptised" by my birth mother with the first, after she gave me up for adoption as a tiny human my adoptive parents then gave me a new one. My replacement name contained two Xtian names, the most common ones in England over the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries my surname was also VERY common. Even with the new given name I was not referred to as this by my parents or anyone else, eventually my nickname took precedence. Then some years ago I followed my heart and impulse and changed my name to reflect my self and my path, never having been held by the tentacles of the Xtian Octopus.

Hence I have had differing feel and resonance with various names i have carried.

 

One caveat here is when I passed through my Stregheria period I adopted a secret name, this was, and can still be, a very powerful ally if needed. No one knows my secret name, no one can use it against me or to hold power over me.

 

I feel so happy and content to have the name I attach to myself at this time, and it has value and meaning.

 

FFFF

Elf

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Wow Aloe - how interesting. I have had more than one name, I was "baptised" by my birth mother with the first, after she gave me up for adoption as a tiny human my adoptive parents then gave me a new one. My replacement name contained two Xtian names, the most common ones in England over the 18th, 19th & 20th centuries my surname was also VERY common. Even with the new given name I was not referred to as this by my parents or anyone else, eventually my nickname took precedence. Then some years ago I followed my heart and impulse and changed my name to reflect my self and my path, never having been held by the tentacles of the Xtian Octopus.

Hence I have had differing feel and resonance with various names i have carried.

 

One caveat here is when I passed through my Stregheria period I adopted a secret name, this was, and can still be, a very powerful ally if needed. No one knows my secret name, no one can use it against me or to hold power over me.

 

I feel so happy and content to have the name I attach to myself at this time, and it has value and meaning.

 

FFFF

Elf

 

I agree. There is no point in sticking with a name you do not like.

 

I think 'keep the name secret' is as Elf said, something that came about due to the belief that to name something is to have power over it/him/her, and so the reason to keep one's magickal name secret. But then again, one could get your real name and have power over you (if you subscribe and believe in that).

 

My online name here is Autumn Moon, simply because I like Autumn and the moon seems to be more large at that time of the year. I remember travelling back from B.C at night one year, and the farmers were harvesting at night under the largest full moon I recall. It was a beautiful site, the tractors threshing the wheat, some dust blowing past this large slightly reddish moon.

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Guest Elfyd

It is my firm belief that just as taking something of a person (hair, fingernails, flesh....) to have power over them, a practice extant I may add is no different than taking their name. I am not referring to the actual naming of an individual here though, only naming oneself to deter misuse thereof.

FFFF

Elf

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Not sure I understand what you mean - the difference between a magickal name and the person's real name.

 

The way I understand it is that the taking of a taglock is a physical link to the person, where as a name is just that. Many people have the same given and surname, and so in my belief is not a very strong link to the person or being not one at all.

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I think I agree with everyone else here: change it if it's meaningful to you to do so. Personally, My real first name (which my parents did not give me) isn't comfortable with me. I have never liked it, but I always kept it because it used to be unique. I'm in the process of changing my last name, because it isn't either of my parents names. Oddly, my two middle names make sense and are related to my family. Eon is actually my cat's name, but I adopted it as my online name, and it just feels comfortable to me. I also have a close bond with my cat and she mimics my personality perfectly. I do feel like I am more Eon than I am my real name, over the years we just melded.

 

I wouldn't rush into choosing a name if that's what you want, just let it happen.

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Guest Magdalena

thumbsup.gif i like this answer. :]

 

 

 

 

It works for me ashley, as how it should be. Go with what you feel works for you, if another name is what you feel you want, then sobeit, I myself wouldn't do it because someone else says that is how it should be.

As for someone having the upper hand power wise over me because they know my name, if I believe that, then of course they will, as it is, I do not believe that and they most definitely will not. smile.gif

 

 

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This is a very interesting debate about names.

The name my parents gave me are fine but do not reflect who I truly am.

The online names (username and display name) are both names that have appeared to my mind at some point in my life and I feel a deeper resonance with them.

The name that I think is my secret "true name" has come up at some point of my childhood too.

 

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ISo, I have a few questions. First, would a "tool" (if I chose to use one) be more powerful inscribed with a name of my own choosing rather than the one that I was born with, identify with and answer to? (Not that I think I have a miraculously amazing name, I don't - I think it's pretty boring and common - but it is the name my mother chose for me). Second, how many of you have adopted the practice of choosing your own "new" name? And if you have, why was that an important decision to you?

 

You ask if a tool would be more powerful with a name of your choosing than the one you were born with - that confused me a bit... were you asking about naming your tools after youself or picking new names for your tools? The thing with tools is, it depends what they are to you and what you have made of them. The tools I use have a life of their own, so to speak. I do nt necessarily use them to "direct power" but each tool is a "vessel" for spirit/virtue, a "fetish object" if you will, of the particular power of that tool. As such many of my tools will have names, but THEIR names, not names I give them, names they choose.

 

Re the "witch name" I think the main point there was PH's reference to it being a "key" to your deep self (and your definition of deep self). It is hard becuase so many people defiine things different ways, and many things have more than one definition, but to me the "deep self" is my fetch/shadow self - the part of me that goes on, the part that peers back at me when I pierce the veil, the part that travels, etc. I believe there are "two" - the shadow self and the HGA which is both you and also not you (hard to define, lol) as is my fetch both me yet also separate in the it exists on it's own. Since my shadow/fetch is the part of me that has that connection and works magic, etc., I use its name. I would NEVER tell another that name for it would give them knowledge and access to me on another level than mundanely (i.e. someone could hex me mundanely in this world, but without access to my shadow (the true and real me) it can't go further than that). I didn't name my shadow, it told me its name and a chant (I dreamed them although I had them for a long time before I figured out what they were, lol). I do have a name that I use in coven work (I happen to work with a coven) and that is, for me, a kind of "in between" name between mundanity (is that a word?) and the other realms. It was given to me during a meditation once which is one reason I use it - because it didn't come from me, so it obviously had meaning to "others" whether or not I agreed with the name.

 

There are usually two camps re names - some feel it's a load of claptrap and some feel it has deep meaning. So you will have to decide for yourself on that one, lol, but I would keep in mind the phrase "key to your deep self."

 

M

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I think the process of inscribing your witch name on your tools is part of a process that gets you in tune with your witchy-self. If your witch name brings you into the witchy zone, i.e. brings forth the energy within you that you will need for the task at hand, then the act of inscribing your witch name onto your tools will effectively charge them with your energy, thereby making them the most effective and powerful tools possible.

 

Scarlet Witch-1.gif

 

 

 

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My username is my name, I like it even if it was inspired by the name of a bad actor (well bad in my opinion). My mum had my name picked out well before I was born and I was 8 weeks premi so she knew what she wanted to call me and I think there is power in that, she knew who I was before she met me.

 

I do have a 'witchy' name, this was the name I chose when I was initiated and it came to me one night out of nowhere but it's my public 'witchy' name so I don't know that I would use it to inscribe tools. There is another name I chose, one I feel very comfortable with and I think suits me and I am working toward this being my private witchy name.

 

To inscribe tools with your name would indentify them as yours, but I think you would always have to work as your 'witchy name' self when working with the tools if you choose to put your name on them (in my opinion). So I think it wouldn't hurt to make sure this is a name you are going to keep for a long time, because I do know that throughout their journey, witches can and do change their name as they grow from their previous name into a new one.

 

 

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As this forum is "starting a Traditional path", It is sometimes necessary to correct misconceptions about Traditional practice and challenge lingering Wiccan assumptions.

So I would like to point out that inscribing tools with your Witch name is a very Wiccan practice. Its not generally done by Trads.

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As this forum is "starting a Traditional path", It is sometimes necessary to correct misconceptions about Traditional practice and challenge lingering Wiccan assumptions.

So I would like to point out that inscribing tools with your Witch name is a very Wiccan practice. Its not generally done by Trads.

:] Inscribing on tools was just the example I used because it happened to be in the text I was referencing.

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Putting names on tools does strike to mind early school years where everyone has the same pencil cases and coats so the parents put the names in big lettering in felt tip on everything to stop squabbles between classmates.

 

Surely when older there is little need to resort to such practices to connect with an object?

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Well if the premise is that my witch name is very secret--I wouldn't write it on anything at all!

 

However, I have a public craft name that I am happy to write just about anywhere.

 

I really enjoy Paul Husson's book, but I pick and choose what resonated for me from it. There is a good portion of ceremonial magic in there--which makes a bit of sense, some cunning folk read old grimoires like the Lesser Key of Solomon and might have incorporated those things into their practices and passed it along. They might have known masons, or been in other secret societies and brought those things into their witchcraft. But ceremonial influences have such a lordy overtone that doesn't connect for a lot of people--and they figure that many witches were illiterate village midwives and such who didn't buy into all those fancy symbols etc, mostly learned their craft mouth to ear and didn't inscribe weird symbols on their everyday tools that doubled for craft tools when needed.

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ok i'm going to be lame and quote Shakespeare, lol "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

 

 

My name is just a title which is applied to the essence which is "me". I have several names that I go by, but all them are me and no matter which name I am called by, I am still the same.

 

In high school we all had fun names that only our circle of friends knew, but there wasn't anything magical in it.

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Greetings Ashley

 

It is my experience that a real magical name is given to you when you embark upon a new thing, level, path, project whatever and that in reality one rarely has the vaguest notion what it means util they have succeeded. At that point they out grow it and understand it - hence knowing some new things about themselves and their new larger world.

 

One other thing - most people have a tendancy to choose names that make them sound like My Little Ponies on Acid and should be teased until they get out of the habit or take the old habit of not telling others what it is.

 

It is true you see if you do really have one it tells those with the eyes far more about you then most would ever be aware - or be comfortable with ... *G*

 

Subsisto

 

Scott

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I had Mastering Witchcraft when I was 13 or 14, and chose a name as Huson suggested.

I don't use it though, I don't even identify with it, because I'd decided long ago I didn't actually like it - it wasn't me. It wasn't as silly as some of the wiccan names I see, but all the same, it meant nothing to me really, I had pulled it outta my ass for the sound of it rather than really think about something with a significance. I suppose one could argue that it had an intuitive value, but, it just doesn't register that way to me.

 

I use the nickname I have here chiefly because I'd prefer not to have my real name out there on the 'net. That said, it's more than a mere nickname, it's a stylized spelling of a real ancestor's surname, so it is really connected to me. I don't use it as a "magical" name however.

 

I could've used the nickname my brothers had for me all the years I was growing up, but "spaz" just doesn't have the right ring to it.. :turned:

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Choosing a witch name never had any purpose or practical meaning for me. I figured the name I was given as an infant is just fine. And nope, I don't put my name on items unless they are items that I take some where that I have concerns with them getting stolen.

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