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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in magical names

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Your Coven Have a Secret Name?

Even after 40-some years inside, the Craft can still surprise me.

A friend was telling me about her group.

“What are you guys called again?” I asked.

She looked a little embarrassed.

“Well, the real name's secret” she said, “but we go by N.”

Like most good ideas, the notion that a coven should have a secret name seems perfectly obvious—once someone else has thought of it. People have secret names, cities have secret names. (Rome's, for instance, is Flora.) It makes perfect sense for a coven to have one too.

Now, when it comes to covens, I feel like I've won the jackpot in the Paganistani lottery. I'm part of the oldest continuously-operating coven here in Witch City; this year, we'll be celebrating our 38th Harvest Home together.

But in that moment I'll admit to having felt some envy.

“I wish we had a secret name,” I whined to myself.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
When Names Bore Meaning

Once our names bore meaning.

We worshiped in the Old Way then.

Ælf-win, “elf-friend.”

Os-gar, “god-spear.”

Æthel-ræd, “noble counsel.”

New Ways came, but still we held to our old and meaningful names.

Then came Billy the Bastard with his Franks, and soon our names were outland names, empty names with stories, but meaning nothing at all.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Why don't I have a magical name?

Another year gone. So much broke last year. My last-ditch effort to save my business proved futile. Communication with a friend broke so badly that I hired a mediator. My community nearly broke in half. Broken friendships, broken trust. To top it off, my housemate and I totaled the car when a stoned driver smashed into us.

So much brokenness and now a new year is upon us. Things will mend, our community is already healing and growing, I love my job, the bruises are gone, and we’ll get a new car. But I often wonder what it would be like to draw a clean line between the past and the present by taking on a new name. A magical name.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • J'Karrah
    J'Karrah says #
    Where is it written that the name you are given at birth cannot also be your magical name? Yes, the name above is not my birth na
  • Meredith Lull
    Meredith Lull says #
    I have the same situation with my own name. When I was a child I had not grown into Meredith Ann, in fact I hated it. My family c
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    I don't have a magical name either, but magic isn't really part of my tradition. But I underwent a similar experience/challenge af
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Thank you for sharing your story, Linette. I also married young, when I was 20, and while I did take my maiden name back, I unders
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Like you, Ann is a name I'm partial to, and I've stuck with variants of it for decades. (I've never had a magickal name, either.)

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What’s a magical name? How do I get one? And why are so many Wiccans named Raven?

A magical name—or craft name, as they are sometimes called—is a name you take on when you become a Wiccan, and it’s the name other Wiccans in the community will know you by and that you will use in Wiccan rituals. Some people take on a name when they first become interested in Wicca. Others wait until they dedicate themselves to the path through a self-dedication ceremony or when they are initiated into a particular Wiccan group. Some Wiccan traditions (traditions are kind of like denominations in Christianity) have special rules for when someone takes a name and what kind of name it can be, and others don’t. And in some cases your name might be bestowed on you by a teacher, but this practice is not very common anymore.

Most Wiccans who have magical names only use them in the Wiccan community, and use their legal names elsewhere. Having a second name can help protect your privacy in case there are people you don’t want to know about your Wiccan practice. However some Wiccans use their magical names all the time, even outside of the Wiccan community, and some only use theirs when they are in ritual space.

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