**This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project. Weeks 5 and 6 are the letter C. For more about PBP, check out their website here.**
I haven’t really written about craft names much here on the blog. Most likely because I don’t use one. “Sita” isn’t a craft name, it’s a pseudonym I use specifically for writing on this blog. I never chose a craft name because I never felt like I needed one.
Craft names can come from a wide array of places. Names inspired by the natural world are pretty common. Animals, birds, plants, trees, stones, etc. are probably the most common source to pull from. The two most popular names I can think of are Raven and Willow.
Another popular source is mythology and drawing from a specific mythological tradition. Using the name of a god or goddess is less popular but also often used. Some of the more popular names I’ve seen are Athena, Rhiannon, Arianrhod, and Brigid.
The key to a craft name (a.k.a. magical name) is to find a name that feels right to you. It should resonate within, maybe strike a chord in your being, that says “yes, this is who I am, this is who I am becoming.” Sure you can choose a super cool name like Silver Athena Stormlord or something, but does that show who you are? Does that name sound like the inner you? Yes, it sounds cool to say, but is it the right name for you, or are you caught up in the flashiness? I think some people do get caught up in the flash of craft names and don’t choose the right name for themselves, and then there are other times where someone has a flashy name and it really is right for them. Sometimes it’s hard to say which is which.
If it feels like the right name, then go with it. Chances are, it’s right for you.
Often I’m told that a craft name will find you. You don’t find it. The right name reveals itself to you. I don’t know how true that is, seeing as I don’t have a craft name. But for the past two or three years, I’ve been feeling a strong pull to a certain name, and it’s not one I would have chosen for myself had I sat down and tried to come up with a name for me. But this word just pulls at me and envelops me in warmth, and makes me feel more complete–so I have a feeling that a craft name has found me after all.
Another concern with names is the energy behind the name. A name, a word, has power. When you speak the name, you are calling on the energy of that word. “Willow” calls on the qualities of the willow tree and brings those qualities closer to the person who bears that name. “Raven” can call in the qualities of the raven and the qualities of Raven, the deity. Both are tricky and cunning. When using a craft name, it’s my opinion that you should also look at the qualities of that name and what kind of energy you would be calling in when you use it. For example, I see people name their pets Loki or Hecate because they think the name is cute for the animal, and then they wonder why little Loki or little Hecate are such a handful. It’s because the name calls on the energy of the name, just as our daily/mundane names have energy. The difference between our birth names and a craft name is that the craft name is chosen by you and may feel more like your real name than your birth name does.
Craft names can be useful, but they aren’t a requirement for a spiritual or magickal path, at least not until you get into the higher levels of a coven or other similar type of group that uses craft names. Then a craft name may become necessary, for a variety of reasons.
Craft names, like pseudonyms, can also be used as a barrier between the mundane world and the magickal world, and can provide a measure of protection.