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Magikal Names

What Is A Magik Name?
A magik name, craft name, coven name, a name of spirit, a spiritual name, witch's name, Shamanistic name, or spell name; are all labels to describe a name taken by an initiate of the religion of Witchcraft at the time of initiation or dedication.
This is much like taking on the name of a Saint in the Catholic Church for a Priest, Nun or Sister at their ordination. Or for the common Christian who is given a church name at a Baptism. In the Catholic Church, a saint's name is given so that the new Christian will have a patron in heaven to aspire to and to ask for help from. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it." (2156-2159)
To whoever is victorious I will give...a white stone with a new name written on it, which no one will know except the one who receives it (Rev 2:17).
Just like Pagan traditions, Christian Orders (more often Catholic Orders) have different rules for taking on a name. In some orders a Nun or Priest can continue to use their first or given names as their names in the religion. They may also have a patron Saint and take that name in addition or in place of their given name. But in some orders, custom would NOT allow a young woman to keep a non-Saint name when she takes her vows of Sisterhood. It very much depends upon the order involved as to what happens.
Some actually believe this practice in the church is based on pagan influence. There is no direct evidence to prove this concept however. But the similarities between a Christian/Saint name during Ordination or Baptism is very much the same as taking on a Magik name in Witchcraft Pagan Traditions.
Just like the Christians, rules for taking on a magik name depend on the pagan Tradition or even the coven involved. In some Pagan Traditions, the spirit name is directed to be the name of your patron God or Goddess. Much like the Christians utilize their connection to a Saint. But this is not a common practice. In other Traditions, the name is given to you by spirit. This is the more common practice. The idea is that you are not ready for a magikal name until the Divine Universe gives it to you. It can be given in meditation, dream or it "just comes to you". The most common method is through meditation. And still other Traditions provide practitioners with the freedom to devise their name on their own. This is less common as following this method is somewhat contrived.
In addition some craft Traditions require a person to develop a spiritual name within the coven or clan to distinguish their spirit from the physical world. Some Traditions require the taking on of a craft name at each level of initiation within the coven. And some Traditions allow non-clergy participants to chose their name, while anointing a magikal name on students of clergy at the time of their ordination/initiation within the coven.
Some Traditions require the magik name to be secret and utilized only by the practitioner. Others invoke two names, one to be used in private during rituals (especially spell rituals) and another to be used in public within the Coven. And still others have no restrictions on the name at all.
There is no limit to how many names one can take on. You might prefer to use a name during magik rituals, another for Divination, and still another for Healing rituals. Again, this rule is up to the Tradition and/or Coven you follow. But keep in mind, fewer names is the better rule. Too many names can indicate someone who is unsure about their practice, or who expresses scattered energy.
Your name, whether it's given at birth, a nickname you are fond of or a name given to you in a spiritual ceremony, can describe a lot about who you are from a spiritual perspective. It is your "calling" card for how people interact with you, how you connect to others you practice with and most important how you connect to the Divine force(s) around you.
For instance, are you a Charles, a Chuck or a Charlie?
When you step onto the path of magik, be it Celtic, Wicca, Druid, or some other variation, you are creating a new extension of yourself. A part of your being that knows no bounds, where everything in the universe can be attained and accomplished.
The Purpose Of A Magik Name
So why do you want to create a magikal name, why isn't your given name good enough? Well, actually it is. You don't need to create a magik name in order to practice magik. Many people feel very attached to their given name and desire to be known and referred to by that name. There's nothing wrong with that. But some people feel a pull or desire to take on a name of spirit to distinguish their practices from their every day life. And there's nothing wrong with that either.
When a person reaches the level of Priest/Priestess or Shaman, it is typically customary to refer to that person with their initiated or accepted ordained name.
Like other religious organizations, Pagans have labels for their clergy. A priest who is ordained in the Catholic Church can become Reverend, Father, Cardinal or Pope. In the Jewish church, clergy are often known as Rabbi. These titles are often used in conjunction with the ordained name taken at the time of their vows. Such as Father Michael, or Sister Mary.
In the Witchcraft pagan faith, clergy earns the title of Lady or Lord. And in similar form, the title is used in conjunction with their magikal name, such as "Lady Ardain", "Lady SpringWolf", "Lord Finnian or "Lord Tullus". But it's important to note that these titles are earned, and not just taken on by an individual. Some Traditions further these titles denoting the level of the initiate. I know of one Clan who uses Priest/Priestess for the lowest level of Clergy, Lord/Lady for the advanced level, and Dame/Duke for the highest level of Elders.
So the creation of a magikal name means many things to many people.
  • For some it means nothing and that's fine.
  • To others it is a symbol of shedding the old ideas that can bind your growth and hold you to old restraints or restrictions.
  • It can also mean a sign to the self and the Divine that you have stepped onto a path with a strong and sincere commitment to spirit.
  • It can be the essence of your true inner spirit that you share with the Divine forces around you. As a connection between you and the Divine Universe.
  • And to some, and in some Traditions it is part of an initiation ritual into a coven, or as an acceptance or celebration of reaching a certain level within your tradition. Such as the ordination into Priest/Priestess, Mage or Shaman.
What ever your reasons, if you chose to find your magikal name, it should be approached with great thought and reverence.
Using A Magik Name?
You can use your magik name at any time. Introducing yourself to other pagans, as your signature or pen name, or as with most people during magikal ceremonies and rituals.
In ritual, you call out your name to begin the ceremony, or when you call your guides, Gods/Goddess' and/or elements of the four directions to you. A solitary witch may use only one name in each of these cases. Where a witch in a coven may use a "Coven" name (a name that is know within the circle), and a "Magik" name (a name used only in ritual and ceremony). Some people establish a personal or private magikal name they use in private. And some establish a magik name to use only during healing rituals.
Some people take their name after initiation and perform a Consecration ritual with the name to empower it for specific workings. Much like the use of a Sigil. This is actually a very good idea, especially if you're using different magikal names for different workings, such as spell craft, Divination and Healings. But it's also a way to claim a name as your own, even if you chose to use only one name for all workings.
In this way you can pack a lot of intent and energy into the saying of your name. Or you can consecrate your name to release energy for different uses.
For instance, you can consecrate it to release compassion, kindness and friendship when it is said by someone else who is calling you. Or you can empower it to release strength, focus or concentration and spiritual connection or dedication to the Divine spirit(s) you work with when you say it in a ritual. You can establish it to invoke a certain feeling of energy or expression of energy when you say it in coven practices, or healing practices. Such as connecting your spirit to Divine energy, to channel healing energy through your name, to you, to who or whatever you are trying to provide healing to.
If you want to use your name for a healing ritual, you can consecrate it to hold Divine green healing light as if it were a receptacle. You'd do this by connecting yourself to the center of Mother Earth and to the depths of Divine space to balance your energies. Then envision the Divine energy of healing coming into your name as a bottle, holding the green light within it. Seeing it glow and pulse with the heart of Divine compassion and caring.


This method allows you to fully engulf the name in energy before a ritual, so you don't waste time, or get side tracked during a ritual ceremony.
Later when you are conducting the healing ritual, you can write your name into your working and when it is invoked, the bottle is opened and the healing energy is released to the person or whatever is being healed. The important part of this is to always see your 'bottle' as full of energy. No matter how much you release, the bottle remains full of the unlimited Divine healing energy. You can use your name similarly for your other workings during private and coven rituals.
In most cases, a new practitioner should only work with one name to begin with. As you grow and expand, your personality will also grow and in some cases outgrow your magik name. It's important to note that using a special name and the period which you feel connected and comfortable with it, is entirely up to the individual.
Finding A Magik Name
As with anything spiritually significant you don't need to set a time when you must have a name or nor. You can wait and allow your guides to bring the name to you, or you can conduct a ceremony with the sole purpose of finding your name. If your interested in the ceremonial approach, you might like to take a look at the Name Ceremony as an example or a method to follow.
You can also ask your guides to bring your name to you in meditation or dream. Let them know you have a desire to have a name at this time. And explain why you feel this desire. They may explain to you why you're not ready for it, but then again it never hurts to ask for help. The worst they can do is say "not now".
And if you are part of a coven who anoints a name to you, remember it's up to you to accept it or not. Don't be afraid to speak up and speak your mind to the Priest/Priestess or teacher. This is your name after all and you should feel connected to it. Without that, the name has no meaning or value. Don't argue about it, but voice your concern or impression and offer alternative suggestions. Ethical clergy and teachers will work with you to establish the appropriate name for you.
The important thing is to not think on this too much. You can over analyze and over think this very easily. Your preconceived ideas about what you want your name to be can also sell you short and create limitations for your workings as well. Your name should come to you like a gift from the Divine Universe in your life. Just relax and let it unfold as it may.

Source: 1, m1, m4, m5, m7, m8, m9, m10, m13, m14, m16, m18, m19, m23, m24, m25, m36
Created: 10.2.1996         Updated: 01.01.2009


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