I’ve heard it said – and I agree – that a good magician has many personas or personalities from which to draw. In fact we all have a multitude of personalities, according to basic psychology; typically one for each other person with whom we have a relationship in this life. Awareness of our various “settings” and an ability to shuffle through these as needed can be a powerful skill that we use in many interesting ways.
Pair this notion with the idea of new beginnings, and you have the concept of one or more magical names, or names for your magical self/selves. Let’s keep it simple for now and go with the singular name.
Wiccans and Pagans may refer to this as the craft name. I call it the magical name, but whatever the label it’s the same concept at work.
Choosing a magical name for yourself (or being given such a name by a mentor) is a helpful and powerful process that I recommend.
Doing this makes it easy to approach your magical initiation ad ongoing study with a very convincing “clean slate” attitude. Not only are you embarking on a new journey, but you are also doing so as a totally new and different person.
Much like a pen name, the magical name frees a person from the constraints and expectations associated with their “mundane name”. You are granting yourself license to operate creatively with a whole new set of values and ideals, and absolutely cutting away any restrictions or limitations you think may hold you back from peak performance.
Going a step or two beyond the power of a simple pen name, or written identity change, a magical name – like everything else in the magical universe – is imbued with a spirit and intelligence all its own, and indeed can possess a life quite vibrant and independent of anything your conscious mind believes or is even aware of.
Your magical name is a persona you assume when you step into the magic circle, or when you recite an incantation or meditate, et al.
Hence, it’s no longer Donna the single mom and retail manager who is banishing the negative influence from her son’s day, but R’shelzis the sorceress, with whom dark spirits know better than to trifle. Steven may sometimes have trouble believing in himself or his magic, but Ohdalek isn’t from this ho-hum reality, and he knows his word and will are as good as law to the forces that operate the manifest world.
Think of your new name like an empty vessel into which you pour all the qualities you desire. Over time and practice, the contents of this container will grow ever stronger, until the simple speaking of the name fills you with an instant rush of aliveness and potency.
Magical names may also be useful for concealing one’s identity under certain (probably written) circumstances. Or they could be a way for people who don’t know one another in the mundane world to correspond without the prejudices or predispositions attached to “real world” names.
There are many ways to arrive at your magical name. These include:
- Basing a name on a character from fiction or history with whom you have an affinity or for whom you have great respect and admiration.
- Using a sound that is intuitively pleasing to you.
- Receiving a name through inspiration, a dream, or synchronicity. In other words the name is somehow given to you without your needing to think it up.
- Using numerology to express, via the name, a quality or qualities you prefer or desire.
- Using Tarot, Runes, or other divinatory methods to determine a name that is right for you.
I encourage you to sit with this idea for a while and see what it stirs within you. It’s important that you feel good about and strong with the name you choose.
You may have come up with a name as soon as you saw the headline for this post. Or you may experience similar inspiration pretty soon. Don’t be afraid to go with spontaneity.
You can always change your magical name at a later time, and then change it again if you like. Do not allow limitation to creep into this process, for the point is expansion and empowerment!