Pagan Blog Prompts: What’s in a Name?

Do you have a witch/magic name(s)?
If more than one, is one reserved for ritual use, with another that you go by to everyone else?

If you do use a witch/magic name, how did you come by yours? Was it ‘given’ to you? Were you lead to it? Or did you pick it yourself?
If you don’t use a witch/magic name, why not?


Right. So when I was younger I wanted a magic name, because it seemed like everyone had one. Articles I found online usually had an author with a name like “Purple Dragonmouse” (yes, I just made that up. Sorry it is atrocious). Or the ones like “Lady (insert random Tolkien-eque Elf-name here)”. So I thought that I really needed a name myself, though I couldn’t really see myself having any name like the examples there, because it just seemed hoaky. I couldn’t see myself actually calling myself anything like that and taking it seriously. And it seemed like to do witchcraft, or to be a pagan, you had to have a name like this. (To be fair though, most of these sites were probably full of fluffy information, especially since I remember every site that I found these names on always had discussions about how real witches don’t use curses.) However, all the sites and books said to meditate on it, think about it, talk to your spirits/gods about it…and make sure you’re really certain. Because you can’t change it. Now, I’m sure that yes, you normally don’t want to go around changing your name every other week or so, but I think that sometimes people change and their name changes as well. I guess, a bit like nicknames. I had some nicknames from when I was 5 or 6 that no one ever uses anymore. I’ve grown out of them. The whole, you can’t change it ever thing confused me. And I never was certain that I found any name that I would have for “forever”.

So I have the name I use here, “Gamayun”, but that’s just for online. I don’t care if anyone used my real name, Emily, and it’s not like anyone outside of the internet world knows about the name for online. I suppose that means it is not a real name or such, it’s just a way to keep a bit of anonymity from my real life, where most people I know are only vaguely aware of my beliefs. Internet handle I think is an appropriate word to use, because it really is that. All of which is just to say that I do not use a “magic name”.

I’m not sure I even want to anymore. I think that my own personal name is more than fine. Perhaps one day down the line I might change my mind, I can’t say for certain. But now, I just don’t want a new name. It might just be a change to my attitude, very likely, but I’m at a point where I think that if it’s not my birth name, I’m not being myself. Since I’ve been working to figure out who I am and what I am, using another name than my own just does not make any sense to me. I’d rather go with the certainly boring and mundane Emily than use another name that perhaps doesn’t suit me so well. And I’ve actually learned that my name has a pretty interesting linguistic history and meaning behind it, so I suppose it’s actually far more interesting that it originally seems.

But perhaps foremost in my reason for not using a magic name is that my real name is just me. I doubt that another name could show me any better. And so, at this point in my life, I don’t want a name, or see a reason to search for one. I’m more than happy with the one I already have. And if my real name represents me, then I should be more than happy with that. And thankfully, I am very happy with just my usual, daily life name.

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