What’s in a name?
Simple: POWER! You read that right, there is power in a name. Think about it for a moment. There are traditions all around the world that focus on the power of naming. Look at how much thought new parents put into choosing names for their children. When the princess guessed Rumpelstiltskin’s name, she broke his power over her and took power over him, right? When we meet someone new, we exchange names, which is the first step to learning about each other. By the time you’re done reading this article, aren’t you going feel like you know something about me (Rain)?
So, if a name brings us knowledge, and knowledge is power, then a name is powerful, right? This is definitely a reality in the magical world! Many Wiccans and Witches take on a new name when they self-dedicate or initiate into the craft. Any witch can tell you what a powerful magical tool simple speech is, so intentionally choosing a name is like working a spell. You set your intention with your choice, and every time your name is spoken energy fuels that intention, helping you become who you want to be.
Many of us, whether we’re talking about Witches, Wiccans, or people on any number of Pagan paths, choose craft and/or ritual names for both directed growth and protection. Unfortunately, some of the ancient misunderstandings and dangers still exist, so there are many of us who are forced to conceal their true beliefs. Like any other tool at your disposal, having a name you use specifically for your craft and/or one you use for ritual can move you deeper into spirit by helping you pour your full attention and intention into the moment. This practice can help you grow in your craft while protecting your legal identity.
You don’t have to take on a new name to walk this path; it’s a very personal choice regardless of what you decide to do. If you do decide to take on a new name, there are a variety of ways to find it. Meditation, asking the God and Goddess (if that’s your path), numerology, and so on. Many Witches draw inspiration from nature or animals, or even their ancient heritage. If you’re part of a coven, your coven leader or mentor may choose a name for you. I write under the name Rain because it was a name my mom had chosen for me before my grandmother convinced her to go with something more traditional; I also have a secret name that I’ve only shared with a select few.
Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to decide on a spiritual name for yourself. I would just advise you to choose a name that represents your higher self. A magical name aligned with your divine essence (your true self) will be filled with immense power, and it will be as much a part of your identity as your given name (your first gift from your parents).