What is a Wiccan name?
Many Wiccans take on – or are given – a secret soul-name. This is the name they use only in ritual – their magickal name. This name is believed to hold great power. It encapsulates your Essential Self. It is your “true name.”
To know your true name is to know a great deal about you. For this reason, your Wiccan name is held sacred and secret, generally divulged only to those who are held in perfect love and perfect trust. In most cases, this means those you Circle with.
Plus, names have magickal power.
The Power Of Naming
There are tales and myths about the Power of naming in every culture, as far as I know. Even in the West, where we don’t put much stock in these things, this belief survives in stories like Rumplestiltskin. People spend months, even years, picking the perfect baby names. When people get a new pet, the names they bestow tell us much about the person, if not the animal.
Many traditions around the world speak of the power of names. The Bible vividly demonstrates the Power of naming. In the creation story, God named earth and light and so on, and they immediately sprang into being. When He gave Adam the ability to name the creatures, Adam gained dominion over them, which is to say, he gained knowledge of them, which grants Power over them.
In everyday life, we don’t “know” a person until we know their name. When asked about a stranger, we say, “I don’t know them.” We don’t reply “I don’t know their name ” – not unless we know other things about them. If we don’t know their name, we feel we don’t know them. Conversely, if we know their name, we feel we do know them. “Who is that?” “That’s Bonnie.” Knowing her name implies an insight into at least a little of what Bonnie is about.
Why Do Wiccan Names Convey Such Power?
Naming something is identifying it. And once you identify it, you know some things about it. “That’s mint.” Immediately you know the flavour, that it’s good for bad breath and upset tummies, that it grows like a weed, and perhaps much more. To know about yourself is a source of immense Power.
“Know Thyself” is more a Commandment than a command. When you know yourself, you know God. And to name yourself, you must know yourself. Or be open to the Divine telling you . . . . That’s Part 1 of the power in names.
The Power of Names: Magick
Part 2 is the magickal component. Remember that speech is an incredibly powerful magickal tool. Taking an intentional name is like working a spell or setting a positive affirmation. Every time you say it or hear it, you’re reminded of Who you choose to be. And every time someone else says it, the energy moves within both of you. And then the Universe shifts to help you be that person. This effect is increased when it is a Wiccan name that you take, because you’re using it between the worlds, where magick is natural.
The Power of Names: Magick
The third reason that Wiccan names are powerful is because you are very conscious when you invoke them. The more consciousness you bring to choosing your Wiccan name, the more alignment with your Divine Essence you are creating. And the more you are aligned with the Divine, the more magickal power you are accessing. So a magickal name that is aligned with your Divine Essence – your true name – of hold great magickal power.
When we are Wiccan, baby names and pet names take on even more significance, because Wiccans know that a name has power. So when you choose to take a magickal name for yourself, give it at least as much thought as you might give to finding just the right baby name. Like this hypothetical baby, you will keep this name for many years. Others will know you, by your magickal name. It will be something, ideally, that you can grow into, as you age.
Choosing Your Wiccan Name
Choosing a Wiccan name is not just making one up. It must be discovered, like bones and baskets on an archeological site. The Divine gave your true name to you at the moment you chose to come to birth. It has been covered up with the years, but it is still there, waiting for you. And like the ancient bones and baskets, it holds great power and beauty within it. So all you need to do is access it. Like Michelangelo, all you need to do is take away whatever doesn’t belong to you . . .
- Masks and labels,
- History and wounds,
- Desires and fears that you’ve collected over the years
When you remove the dust and debris of ages, you will find your Wiccan name shining there like a jewel within you. But this is only one way to choosing your Wiccan name. Many Witches choosing a Wiccan name that represents things that are sacred to them, that inspire them in some aspect of life, or that represents their matron Goddess.
Journey Through Sacred Space
Ritual, spell-casting, prayer, and meditation are tools that help you clear away the debris and find yourself. These are the tools that will help you uncover your Wiccan name.
The process is the same as any magick . . .
- Set a clear and strong intention to choose your Wiccan name
- Send that spell/prayer into the quantum realm
- Open and allow the universe to bring this desire to fruition
- Attend to the signs and gifts you are given.
- Offer your thanks in return.
Journal every day about what you experienced and felt and noticed during the day. This practice of reflection is very useful in finding your witch name. Pay particular attention to the unexpected, the synchronistic, the startling. What messages did you receive this day? Now is the time to notice them.
What symbols were used to convey these messages? The Divine will certainly send you hints of your Wiccan name, but if you don’t take the time to notice what you’ve seen, it’ll go right past you. In fact, She has been all along, and you just haven’t noticed yet. A person with a stuffed-up head can’t smell the flowers right in front of them. You need to clear some inner space, so the message can get through. This is where meditation is incredibly useful. Clearing the mind, you can perceive what is in front of your nose.
Where To Find Your True Name
True names may come from any source.
Commonly, as inspiration for choosing a Wiccan name, witches use things like . . .
- Plants, such as iris, sage, rowan
- Elements, such as wind, rain, river, mountain, moon, star, forest
- Gems, such as topaz, ruby
- Animals, such as wolf, raven
- Goddesses and Gods, such as Tara, Brighid, Artemis, Mary, Pan
- Gifts, such as singer, dancer, weaver
But anything can provide you with your Wiccan name. If you have special gifts, they may influence your true name. (Sometimes the name points to a gift you may not yet realise you have! That was certainly my experience.)
You may look for symbols of things that you resonate with. You can research the meaning of names and the names of deities. You can even get ideas from baby names books. But in the end, choosing your Wiccan name doesn’t involve your brain. That’s been kept out of the secret. A witch can name herself, but it is really a recognition of something she already has. A magickal name must come from the Divine, and be recognised in your heart.
Well, I Guess You Can Make One Up
You weren’t going to let me get away with telling you what you can and can’t do, were you? Of course you can choose any Wiccan name you want. You can call yourself Stinky McPheeblefossy if you want to. (It does have a nice ring to it.) The point I’m trying to make here, though, is that a name that rings of your truest Essence will be a name of Power for you. It will be one you can aim to live up to, for the rest of your life.
It’s worth taking your time to find the perfect Wiccan name for yourself.