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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Power of Naming

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
How Not to Rename a Lake

“Then turn right when you get to....”

The clerk pauses in her direction-giving. A year ago, she would have said “...when you get to Lake Calhoun.” But last summer the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) decided to change the official name of Minneapolis' largest lake back to its original name.

“...Bde Maka Ska,” I say. She nods, gratefully, and continues with her directions.

Really, you can't blame her not being able to remember the “new” name. She doesn't speak Dakota. Most people don't.

I applaud the DNR's decision to shed the imposed triumphalist name, and to call the Lake formerly known as Calhoun what those who originally dwelt on its shores called it.

But I think that they've gone about it wrong.

It's a little much to expect most English speakers to wrap their tongues around a word that begins with bd-. (When's the last time that you used the word bdellium in a sentence?) To most non-Dakota speakers, Bde Maká Ska reads as gibberish: hard to pronounce, hard to remember.

So they end up calling the lake “Calhoun” anyway, which rather defeats the purpose of the change.

Here's what I think that the DNR should have done. The Dakota-speakers who lived on the southern shores of the lake named it Bde Maká Ska, “White Earth Lake,” for the deposits of white clay found on its banks.

White Earth Lake”: that's the new/old name that the DNR should have chosen.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Greetings fellow Twin Citizen, and thanks: blessed are they that do their research. Luck to the work of language preservation: the
  • Mary Lanham
    Mary Lanham says #
    Fellow Twin Cities pagan here! My initial reaction to the name change was also that the English translation would have been more e

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Of the following rituals, which would you rather attend?

a) Main Ritual or b) The Passion of the Harvest.

c) Beltane Ritual or d) The Marriage of Earth and Sky.

e) Men's Ritual or f) Men's Ritual: The Wild Hunt.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My friend Stephanie, who's in advertising, always tells me, "A good ad is about one thing." The same could be said of ritual. Havi
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    Right you are Steven. Giving a title to the ritual helps those who prepare and lead it as well as those who attend.

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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A New Glossary for Crete: The Power of Naming
The words we use affect our thinking. In the case of ancient Crete the repetition of the terms “Palace,” “Palace of Knossos,” “King Minos,” “Minoan,” “Priest-King,” and “Prince of the Lilies” shape the way we understand history–even when we ourselves know these terms are incorrect. We must engage in “new naming.”

Ariadne. May have been a name of the Goddess of pre-patriarchal Crete. The ending “ne” signifies that Ariadne is not of Greek or Indo-European origin and thus predates the later Greek myths.

Ariadnian. The name I have given to the Old European pre-patriarchal culture of Crete, from arrival of the Neolithic settlers from Anatolia c.7000 BCE to the Mycenaean invasion c.1450 BCE. Arthur Evans named the Bronze Age (c.3000-1450 BCE) culture of Crete “Minoan” after King Minos of Greek mythology, son of Zeus and Europa, husband of Pasiphae, father of Ariadne, whose gift of the secret of the labyrinth to Theseus led to the downfall of her culture. Evans assumed that Minoan Crete was ruled by a King.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    with my blessings
  • Ariadne Weaver
    Ariadne Weaver says #
    Carol, I have long been impressed by your scholarship, but this brief blog is mind-boggling. So much re-information in so few para
  • Paola Suarez
    Paola Suarez says #
    Names do have power! Thank you Carol for the work you are doing to reclaim the truth and power of Ariadnian Crete! Will be sharing

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