Stereotype #6: Magickal Names Are A Must


I haven’t run into this one personally, but I’ve heard about it.  And, I believe, in a number of the newbie pagan books there are some who have the opinion that this is true.  The stereotype is that all/most pagans have a magickal name.

It’s not true.  I highly doubt that even half the pagan population has taken a magickal name.  That number would also include the “fluffy bunnies” who say they have a magicakl name and bandy it about to everyone.  That, in fact, is probably where the stereotype comes from–the newbie pagans who may not understand that a magickal name is a serious thing and a private matter, not a name necessarily for public consumption.

Of course, this may vary by tradition.  As far as I am aware, however, magickal names are usually a Craft name for someone who is in a coven or perhaps a solitary who uses their name in a similar fashion.  Magickal names are meant to express your magickal self, your spiritual self, and is used while working magick or while participating in a spiritual/coven activity.  Usually the name is known only to the coven and/or people who are very close to you, such as family and close friends.  Some of the older generation of pagans have used magickal names as pen names when they write pagan books.  While unusual, as long as they and their covens (should they have one) are fine with the practice, there’s nothing wrong with it (which gets back to how the usage of magickal names may differ among traditions).

Just type in “magickal names” to Google and a bunch of websites will come up on how to find your magickal name, why you “need” one, etc.  There’s probably a lot of misinformation out there on this subject.  I even saw a Pagan Name Generator, to help you find your magickal name.  Finding your magickal name, if you choose to use one, likely isn’t going to happen while surfing the internet.  It’s a spiritual process that should be taken seriously–you are choosing a name that is meant to represent who you are in the Craft, and reflects a side of yourself that perhaps other people do not see unless they are in the Craft.  It is a spiritual name for a spiritual purpose.  Yes, there are a number of common names (Raven, Willow, Cloud, etc), just as there are a number of very common “mundane” names (John, Jack, Richard, Alice, Sarah, etc).  How common the name is doesn’t detract from its purpose if you feel that it truly represents you at the time you choose it and if it fits with you.

(Please don’t misunderstand.  I’m not taking to task the practice of taking a magickal name–rather, I’m speaking of the stereotype that says EVERY pagan has a magickal name, or that we MUST take a name because we’re pagan.)

By the way, in case you were wondering, “Sita” is my pseudonym.  I don’t have a magickal name.  😉

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3 responses to “Stereotype #6: Magickal Names Are A Must

  1. Magick names can be a sort of protection for people in groups, as well. If someone doesn’t know your real name, there is a lesser chance of your pagan life interfering with work and such. Also, it was a practice used back in the older days when witches were hunted. You couldn’t possibly give up the names of other witches if you didn’t know their real names 🙂

    Personally, I have a magick name and I love it. The people who know it I’ve told. It isn’t something I use haphazardly. It is my name and for me more than anyone. It empowers me and when people call me that name my whole mindset changes.

    Good article 🙂

  2. The name I use (Brea) is my public Pagan name. This is the name that people in the pagan community know me by. It is the name that I use in open circles, and it puts me in that spiritual Wiccan mindset.

    It is not my legal given name. That part of my personality is the mundane one, the Mom and Wife, daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter, employee, etc.

    On my blog, I use the name Brea, partly because I am protecting the privacy of the other people in my household, and also, because it deals a lot with my spiritual aspect of life. I am more Brea online than I am the name that is on my driver’s license.

    And, if it is called out on a busy street or in the mall, I do turn around and look. It’s me, after all. *shrug*

  3. I’ve never run into this outside of movies – but then again I usually manage to avoid the bunnies. Though I should point out that the internet can be very magickal indeed – it can also be stupid, pointless and immature, but it can be magickal.

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