31 May 2012

What is in a name?

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to what exactly is a "magickal" (or "Craft") and its actual usage. The following are just some pointers I offer from a more traditional point of view ...

Let us begin by explaining exactly what a “magickal name” is. Ultimately this "special name" represents the true or the essence of your magickal or spiritual self, one’s “Holy Guardian Angel”. Within Wicca, a magickal name is used as a means of separating the mundane from the magickal – similar to the wearing of a magickal robe.

It is also believed that during the times of persecution, the Wytch Burnings of the 14th to 16th centuries, magickal names were used so that should a person be arrested and accused of practicing Wytchcraft, they were not able to disclose the names of the other coveners.

These days people tend to consider such names as alternatives to their birth or registered name. On the internet, it seems common practice for people to use what they consider to be their magickal names as non de plumes instead of revealing their registered names. Exposing a true "magickal" name in such a manner, can actually detract from the very purpose of what such a name is about. An internet non de plume should then be treated just as such – an alternative to one’s registered name.

Within ceremonial magickal orders, practitioners often choose a motto that becomes their name. One of the more famous names is that of Violet Firth - aka Dion Fortune. She adapted her family's motto Deo Non Fortuna (translated as “by God and not by luck”), as her magickal name.

Within some traditions a magickal name is given to a person upon either dedication or initiation. This name is usually considered by an elder of that coven or tradition in much the same way that within the Native American tradition a tribe elder would name a child. The naming of another carries with it great responsibility and should never be taken lightly.

So before you choose a magickal name, you may wish to give it a bit of thought as to what it actually represents ... and I haven't even discussed the numerological value of names yet :) But that is another article in itself.

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