I offer this story to illustrate one woman's journey to find her true name. May it inspire and encourage you on your journey.
When I was 30, I was in desperate need - so I felt - to change my name to something more real to me than what I had "inherited."
When I was searching for my name, it seemed to take forever. I considered all kinds of magickal names - nature names, Goddess names, animal names.., but none of them really felt right. At least, not right enough.
I hunted for a name for years, growing more and more frustrated. The temptation to just grab one, ANY one, was great, but I knew I wouldn't be satisfied with that in the long run.
The turning point in my exploration came when I attended a 3-day Wicca workshop.
Prior to going, I set a strong and clear intention to find my true name during the workshop. And I paid close attention to the images, the events, the beings I encountered, both internally and around me.
I was trying very hard to be patient. By the end of the first day, though, I was really chafing. Was I never going to find it?!
Still, it was a very powerful workshop. Starhawk was leading it, and the group energy was amazing. For example, at one point we invoked Kali. Suddenly we were startled by a huge crash outside. A massive tree had just inexplicably fallen, narrowly missing the cars parked around the building. That was the day I learnt to be very careful when calling Kali!
So I kept up hope that my name would come to me.
Finally, on the second day, we did a long trance journey to visit a Goddess. While with the Goddess, I had a vision. Suddenly I realised that this was a clue to my Wiccan name.
I had caught the first half of my name! I knew it was only half, but I knew this half was true.
A False Start
Anxious to have my true name for once and for all, I thought and thought about what might be the second half of it. I found some ideas I liked, and put them to the test.
This first (and second) version of a name I tried on made my friends wince and my mentor's eyes bulge. The names were much too harsh.
For me, Starhawk's advice meant that even though I was in a place of healing, anger, even rage, fighting the injustices of the world, I could not take on a name that was of the fire-and-destruction variety.
Even though I resonated with it strongly in the moment, it was not something positive to grow into. So I let it go.
I knew something else had to come. I opened my eyes, and my other senses, and like water to the parched, the rest of my Wiccan name did come to me. It wasn't until I spent some time walking in the woods on Day 3, quietly paying attention, listening . . . .
But when it finally came together, it was like a flash of light! It settled right on me. I could feel its fit.
Still, I didn't claim it immediately. I was leery of getting carried away in the excitement and choosing prematurely. I wanted to put it to the test, first. I was going to live with my Wiccan name for the rest of my life (I hoped), so I needed to make sure it was right.
The symbolism was right. It meant something to me and reflected my inner being . . . even better than I knew at the time! Like good poetry, the name revealed itself to be more and more true, as my relationship with it developed.
My friends and mentor didn't seem convinced that this new name suited me, but at least their red flags didn't go up. That was enough to pass the second test, because I was certain that it suited me.
It did seem predestined, too, even though it would be years before I was aware of just how perfectly it fit me!
When I was sure it passed Starhawk's test of being a name I could grow into, I knew I had found my Wiccan name.
And it's been a true name. I've been discovering layers and layers in it, and growing into the Divine as I've grown into the name.
And now, years later, I've all but forgotten the agony of the search, in the pleasure of having my true name.
It was certainly worth the wait to find the right name.
I wish you the same joy.
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