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Author Topic: How secret is your craft name?  (Read 15759 times)
Merithyn
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« Topic Start: May 25, 2008, 09:08:44 am »

For the first time, I'm working with a circle of people to learn and to celebrate. As I've been solo for years, I find myself in a weird position when it comes to my craft name. I've NEVER shared it with anyone, believing that there is power in a name. Now, however, it is expected that I share my craft name during rituals and workings, which I suppose makes sense.

Now, I know that there are a dozen different names that a person can have - legal name, public craft name, private craft name, working name, etc. - but I have no idea which name is best used in which realms of my life. Obviously, my legal name is used in my regular, mundane life, but what about craft names? What is commonly used where? How does one protect one's craft name while still using it with others to do work?
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« Reply #1: May 25, 2008, 09:35:36 am »


I can only speak for my own trad, and my own personal practice.

In the Gwyddoniad, we have a craft name, which is shared within the group, used in ritual, etc. We have opportunities to change this name and often do, at various times throughout our work with the group.

Then there's the Secret Name. The Secret Name is told to no one-period, end of story. No one is to know my secret name besides me, myself and I, and the deities.

In my own work (before joining the Gwyddoniad) I had a "public" craft name, (which I now use within the Gwyddoniad) and a "private" craft name, which wasn't really private, but very few people knew it. Then there is an 'extension' of my "private" craft name, which is known by even fewer people, and is only used in very specific certain company. Grin

Clear as mud?
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« Reply #2: May 25, 2008, 10:03:40 am »

Clear as mud?

Cheesy

Just about. I have a terrible time with remembering names - including my children, whom I named - so trying to come up with the least number of names I can so that I don't forget what goes where. Seriously, I'm that pathetic.  Embarrassed
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« Reply #3: May 25, 2008, 11:47:37 am »

Now, I know that there are a dozen different names that a person can have - legal name, public craft name, private craft name, working name, etc. - but I have no idea which name is best used in which realms of my life. Obviously, my legal name is used in my regular, mundane life, but what about craft names? What is commonly used where? How does one protect one's craft name while still using it with others to do work?

It's not secret at all.  What passes for my craft name is the name everyone here knows me by, Aisling or Aisling Faa.  It's the name I use whenever my focus is more spiritual/craft-related than mundane and is the name that most resonates for me on a personal level. 

I don't do anything additional to protect the name than I would to protect any other part of my being.  Then again, I don't subscribe to the belief that giving someone your craft name grants them power over you.  Relinquishing control over myself, my thoughts, my emotions, or my actions is what, IME, gives someone else power over me, not the label by which they refer to me.
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« Reply #4: May 25, 2008, 02:24:26 pm »

Obviously, my legal name is used in my regular, mundane life, but what about craft names? What is commonly used where? How does one protect one's craft name while still using it with others to do work?

Four names:

The legal one, which these days, I use pretty much only with family, friends from college and before, and at work. (That's Jennifer: I answer to it pretty badly in crowded settings like a large-group gathering or a public space, so...)

Jenett: Which I started using when I started seriously exploring Pagan settings, and now use almost everywhere in my social life. Most of my localfriends these days forget that my legal name is Jennifer, and never use it with me. (They do use 'Jen' periodically, but when they expand it, expand to Jenett, not Jennifer.)

I wanted a public Craft name because my last name is pretty uncommon in the US, and first+last+region of the US narrows it down to me pretty quickly. That's more public than I wanted to be online, and my religion, religious thoughts, etc. are also *not* the first thing I wanted a potential employer to find out about me (and I'm in a field where doing quick Google searches on applicants is fairly common.)

Initiation name: At my 1st degree, I took an initiation name: this is the one I keep private, and you will only hear me use it if you are going to step into a small group ritual with me somewhere (or are someone I would do that with if the opportunity came up, in a very few cases.)

I was given the option to change/take a new name at my 2nd degree, but didn't. I did take a new one at my 3rd degree, which I use more publically (not that I've had huge opportunity for that, mind you: but I'd use it in a larger public ritual, or similar settings. That one is Althaea). However, since most people know me as Jenett, I don't so far use it much.
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« Reply #5: May 31, 2008, 06:33:29 pm »

Now, I know that there are a dozen different names that a person can have - legal name, public craft name, private craft name, working name, etc. - but I have no idea which name is best used in which realms of my life. Obviously, my legal name is used in my regular, mundane life, but what about craft names? What is commonly used where? How does one protect one's craft name while still using it with others to do work?

My magical name is my LJ username.  Smiley   Ariana Dawnhawk.  I don't sign or use the full form very often - it's the most "formal" usage.  Just plain "Ariana" is slightly less formal, and tends to be how I introduce myself in pagan/OTO/magical settings.  But common usage in magical settings or with people I know from them is Ari.  It used to be an endearment that a few people used, and now it's the standard.  Smiley

Amusingly enough, it's also what my Pea Hater calls me all the time, because I met him at a Feri workshop.

My username here is different because at the time I started posting here, I wasn't talking on my LJ about pagan things.  So I wanted something that wouldn't link my LJ with my presence here.  That's not an issue now, but I still like Garnet as a name. Smiley

I sent out party invitations recently to various friends I know from various contexts, and signed it [Legal Name]/Ari.  Smiley
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« Reply #6: June 01, 2008, 04:14:12 am »

Reading through this thread I wonder if people use their legal first names in large pan-Pagan festivals and in other open settings or if they use a craft name?
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« Reply #7: June 01, 2008, 07:30:42 am »

Reading through this thread I wonder if people use their legal first names in large pan-Pagan festivals and in other open settings or if they use a craft name?

I use Jenett (which is theoretically a public Craft name, though since I use it far more widely these days, sort of has gone beyond that). I use it for Pagan Pride, for festivals, etc. Why that and not the legal name? I actually turn around when someone uses it to get my attention Smiley

These days, if I were in ritual circle in one of those settings, I'd use Althaea (the name I took at 3rd.)
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« Reply #8: June 01, 2008, 09:44:04 am »

I use Jenett (which is theoretically a public Craft name, though since I use it far more widely these days, sort of has gone beyond that). I use it for Pagan Pride, for festivals, etc. Why that and not the legal name? I actually turn around when someone uses it to get my attention Smiley

These days, if I were in ritual circle in one of those settings, I'd use Althaea (the name I took at 3rd.)
But I guess it's optional for Pagan Pride and other open festivals? Does even every Pagan has a second name? (Sorry that I reveal how inexperienced I am.) *blush*
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« Reply #9: June 01, 2008, 09:54:09 am »

But I guess it's optional for Pagan Pride and other open festivals? Does even every Pagan has a second name? (Sorry that I reveal how inexperienced I am.) *blush*

Names are a strange thing. Really.
I don't like my legal name at all. I answer to it, but it always felt and feels like that is not really me.

Tana was in fact thought as a nick at the start. For a while I used Raven, which I was very, very fond of, I loved that name. But then the spirits showed me that I had to give it up, together with a certain time in my life. By then Tana felt so normal and fitting that I realized it had become my other name.
The full form would be Tana Adaneth, that's my witchy me Wink

One could call it a craft name, but it is just my name. And if the germans wouldn't be so über-correct I would add it at least to my legal name as middle name or something.
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« Reply #10: June 01, 2008, 10:50:40 am »

But I guess it's optional for Pagan Pride and other open festivals? Does even every Pagan has a second name? (Sorry that I reveal how inexperienced I am.) *blush*

Nope. Not everyone has multiple names. For our trad, ritual names are something like ritual clothing: they help trigger the ritual mindset. If someone calls me by my initial initiation name, or Althaea, it immediately kicks me into that mindset (in large part, precisely because I don't use them otherwise.)

In practice: go by whatever name makes you happy, and that you'll answer to. If you end up, somewhere in the future, in a group that has a specific requirement for ritual use, you can figure it out then.

There's so many women named Jennifer in my age range (it was the most popular girl's name in the US for 10 years around my birthday, and it remained popular before and after) that I just don't answer to it anymore. That makes it a really bad choice for someone to use if they want to get my attention.

For me, public Pagan events sometimes include that - someone might be trying to get my attention across a room, across a field, etc. I actually answer better to "Hey, you!" than "Hey, Jennifer" (and have since high school), but that's not very helpful for everyone else. "Hey, Jenett!" is far better, since  other people will just keep going.

At the same time, I don't want everyone at a big event to be kicking me into formal ritual mindset just because they wanted to ask what I was doing for lunch, or where I was going to be next. So having something that *isn't* the name I use in ritual is also good.

There is one odd other benefit: my initiation name has a specific meaning. It turns out that deities, when we're doing aspecting/Drawing Down work, often refer to me based on that meaning (and they've consistently used very similar phrasing), even when the priest/priestess involved didn't know my ritual name or what it means. I've found that to be a surprisingly useful tool a couple of times in evaluating what was said in that setting.
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« Reply #11: June 01, 2008, 11:03:19 am »

I don't like my legal name at all. I answer to it, but it always felt and feels like that is not really me.

Oh I hate my legal name. I always have.

I am Danmara, or Dania (depending on context. There is one person who insists on calling me Danmara 'as a sign of respect' and I know he's pissed at me if he actually calls me Dania. Cheesy) That is me, through and through. I'd change my legal name if it wouldn't sound so darn silly with my last name. Tongue
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« Reply #12: June 01, 2008, 11:04:39 am »

But I guess it's optional for Pagan Pride and other open festivals? Does even every Pagan has a second name? (Sorry that I reveal how inexperienced I am.) *blush*

I have a second/craft name giving to me by my patrons, but I rarely use it.  I usually use my first name. I LIKE my name and see no reason to use another name.  What gets me is all these people who call themselves Lord and Lady and try and insist you call them that too.  I've had people get very pissed off when I refuse to call them Lord or Lady. 
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« Reply #13: June 01, 2008, 11:22:46 am »

I find myself in a weird position when it comes to my craft name.

I am naimh here, there and well just about everywhere. I have friends who I met using my birth name, who have overtime even started to call me naimh, I answer to it as readily now as I do my birthname. So for all intents and purposes you could call it my public craft name.

I do have another name, which is used during magical working, it is known to my mentor and a small group of trusted people. But even that is not the full name that was given to me, only me, my mentor and my closest friend (who happens to also be training with the same person and as a result of participating in a joint working became aware of it), know the complete name. I suspect it will stay that way.

I cannot imagine changing my name at any point in the future, my private name bears some level of responsibility within the arena in which I am being trained, and I had to prove myself to recieve it; so it is a name very very dear to me. I suppose it is possible at some point in the future I will have to undergo another period of "proving" and recieve another name, stranger things have happened, but at the minute I am not sure I could even imagine recieving another one.
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« Reply #14: June 01, 2008, 12:56:00 pm »

But I guess it's optional for Pagan Pride and other open festivals? Does even every Pagan has a second name? (Sorry that I reveal how inexperienced I am.) *blush*

I don't, not in the sense of a magical name.  "Star" is not my legal name, but it's not a "magical" name either.  It's just a nickname that someone gave me in high school (or what survives of that nickname, anyhow) that happened to stick.  Some Pagans have magical names, for a lot of different reasons, and some don't.
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