Sunday, June 22, 2014

M is for Magical Names

Magical names, Craft names, Witchy names – whatever you want to call them, have a special significance to many.    While not everyone chooses one, many do prefer to take on another name while practicing or attending events.  There are many reasons for this. 

Some people choose a special, new name because they feel it fits their newfound selves. Others may choose a magical name because they don’t want to be ‘outed’ by having their real name in groups, on forums, or associated with Paganism in any other way.  There are also a few who just wanna be ‘cool’.  Come on…you know it’s true.

Names, preferences, and beliefs and practices change over time, so it isn’t unusual for a magical name to be changed once it no longer ‘fits’ its owner.   There is also the phenomenon of Ravens, Morganas, Willows, Wolves, and Ambers in the Pagan community.  I can’t tell you how many people I’ve encountered who went by Raven or Wolf or had a name that included one (or both, ahem) of those monikers.

There are many, many methods for choosing a name.  Numerology is used by some.  Magical names that reflect the owner’s path are also used.  Yet another method is meditation and allowing the name to just come, perhaps as a message from a personal deity.   Whatever name you use, it should be one that is carefully chosen and not just a “flavor of the month” that you’ll grow out of before you’re ready to change your socks.  Of course, if that’s your style, far be it for me to judge, of course!  

This brings me to my name.   When I first embarked on my path to the Divine, I had a different name.  You’ll probably laugh.  One day, I was in that state between asleep and awake, and a name came to me.  It reflected my personality and my intentions.  My brain said to me, “Greenlady”.   Not Lady such-and-such, mind you, but adopting a Lord or Lady title is something rookies tend to do.  It resonated with me…sort of.  I didn’t really use it, though.   I felt strange having another name.  I didn’t feel it the way I wanted to feel it 

 So I went without for a long time.

I don’t believe magical names are necessary at all.  In fact, for a lot of people, they may not even be desirable.  I never thought I HAD to have one, but I did like the idea of being called something other than by birth name, which I consider rather boring.  It doesn’t really fit me either.  I like my surname, but my first and middle names are just ‘meh’. 

Fast forward a few years to a non-practicing Pagan-flavored Agnostic woman living in Istanbul, absorbing local culture and customs (and fooooood!).    Wait, let me go back again.  Further back, to middle school English class.   We read the myth of Persephone, and I became enamored.  The name Persephone was – and still is – very beautiful to me.   I explored this story a bit more and read more about mythology.
Later, I became a huge fan of one of her symbols – the pomegranate.   I had had a few pomegranates before moving to Turkey, but there they are plentiful and more flavorful.  Juice stands press these gorgeous fruits into a dark red juice that is tart on the palate.   I began to connect with this symbol of Persephone, of the womb, of  life and rebirth. 

I couldn’t just call myself ‘Pomegranate’ though, now, could I?  That would be silly (she said facetiously). 
Nar.   The Turkish word for pomegranate is nar.   Now, I may not be Turkish, but I consider that just an accident of birth.  It’s a country that I really love, a beautiful country with a long and colorful (and often bloody) history.   I was learning the language, and food vocabulary is what we learned first.  After all, teachers gotta eat, right?  

The pomegranate is a sacred symbol in many belief systems, and I identify with its season of fall.  I explored the symbolism a bit more, and it just felt right.  I am Nar.   Nice to meet you. 

1 comment:

wickedwiseowl said...

I just love this post. A magical name is something I thought was very silly until one day I realized I had one. Haha. I love your name choice and the story of how you became Nar. Turkey sounds like a wonderful place to visit. As always thank you for another insightful post. :)