N is for Names

Craft Names and other religious names come up a lot in Pagan circles. The idea of taking a new religious name as a way of ‘being born’ into your new path isn’t one that’s unique to Wicca and Paganism. I’ve heard of similar traditions in Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, at least with regards to converts, though there are probably others too that I’m not aware of.

Taking a new religious name is a way of naming yourself. Most of the time, we’re given names by our parents, ones we don’t choose and have to live with unless we decide to change them and pick something else. Choosing your own name can be a powerful experience, and it can bring a lot of confidence with it. ‘This is who I really am’, ‘this is what I want the world to call me’, these are powerful things one can do, and sometimes give a sense of control over your own identity. Sometimes, too, it’s a way of escaping a name you were given but have never identified with for whatever reason. People choose names for themselves for a variety of reasons, and this extends to choosing religious or Craft names for Pagans. Because names are such a personal thing, I try not to judge people based on their chosen Craft names, even if they sound daft. You never know, that person calling themselves Merriweather Moonshine might have some very good reasons for using that name that you might not be aware of. So I try to respect that.

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