PaganSquare


PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in name

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Tale of Tarzan the Sled-Dog

I grew up hearing stories about my father's boyhood dog Tarzan.

Tarzan was big and black, and loved kids. Tarzan also loved to sled.

When the kids went out to sled down Pittsburgh's icy hills, Tarzan always went along. The best part was, after a ride, Tarzan was happy to pull your sled back up to the top of the hill for you.

But Tarzan was no fool. He didn't mind doing the work, but there was a price to be paid.

Tarzan wanted another ride, and he wouldn't let go of the drag rope until you let him back onto the sled.

 

My youngest aunt and oldest cousin were born in the same year. Those two were Tarzan's babies, and he willingly took on the role of nanny. Both of them learned to walk by holding onto Tarzan.

When they were both upstairs, Tarzan would lay at the head of the stairs, and nothing would move him. Those kids were not going to fall down the stairs, and Tarzan made sure of it.

One day my grandfather got home after a long shift at the steel mill. (He operated a crane at J & L for more than 30 years.) Tired and irritable, he trudged up the long, narrow flight of stairs, only to find the dog lying across the top, blocking the way.

“Move, Tarzan,” he said.

The dog looked at him, but didn't move.

“Dog, get out of the way,” said my grandfather.

Tarzan didn't move.

“Dammit, dog, move!” said my grandfather, and kicked him.

I can remember the look on my grandfather's face as he told this story. He was a gentle man, really, and—I think—ashamed of having lost his temper.

Last modified on
Why the Term 'Wiccaning' Doesn't Work, and What to Replace It With

I always cringe when I hear the term “wiccaning.”

Moral of the story: Let the borrower beware.

...
Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Wiccaning makes me think of weaving a wicker basket. Naming sounds right.
On Not Mentioning the Malefactor's Name

Announcing the perpetrator of the most recent mass shooting, the police chief of Virginia Beach said pointedly: “I'm only going to mention his name once.” It's been gratifying to note other news commentators following his lead.

This restraint fulfills an ancient and ancestral urge: why reward ill-wreakers with fame?

Case in point: the Troll-in-Chief. We've got a geis in place against mentioning his name at our coven meetings, and I note that, even at other times, we do the same. I've noticed the same practice among other Lefties.

To speak the name gives life, said the people of ancient Egypt. To this end, they spoke of You-Know-Who—the heretic pharaoh—not by name, but as the Criminal of Akhetaten.

Why give life to the undeserving?

The ancestors were driven to deeds of heroism to make their names live after them. As for those who do the opposite, let their names die with them.

"The dead are pleased when their names are remembered," say the Kalasha, the only remaining Indo-European-speaking people who have practiced their traditional religion without interruption since antiquity. The bale-workers, let us deservedly forget.

On the day that Alexander the Great was born, the most beautiful temple in the world—the temple of Artemis at Ephesos—was destroyed by a massive fire. When they caught the arsonist, they asked, unbelieving, “Why did you do it?”

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Hear, hear!

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.

Last modified on

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.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It's Your Name, Pagan

 We've got the honor of the coven to uphold, after all.

Magenta Griffith

 

There's the name that you're given, usually by your parents.

 

And then there's the name that you earn.

 

And, as the ancestors knew, living by name—reputation—is a long-sum game.

 

Name is vulnerable. Everybody screws up or makes a bad decision now and then. One mistake can destroy a name that you've spent years building.

 

But that isn't necessarily the end. It all depends on what you did before and on what you do after. Name is about consistency.

 

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What's Your Name?

What will they remember about you when you're dead?

1300 years ago, the Anglo-Saxon Hwicce—the Tribe of Witches—called it nama. 5000 years before that, it was *nomn. But they both meant the same thing.

As one whose concept of afterlife is the Grand Sabbat of the atoms, I've sometimes been asked: What, then, is your motivation for moral behavior?

The ancestors had a name for it: Name.

What's your name?

Call it name, or reputation. Name is what they know you by.

What do they say about you? What's your reputation among those that know you?

Last modified on

Additional information