What’s in a name? Does a name make the person we are? To quote from Romeo and Juliet “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” However if a rose were instead called something like “rotting cadavers” I doubt anyone would go near to see if it smells sweet or not! A name has meaning because we give it that meaning. We give life to words through association and memory. These associations can give some words power, for instance, “pie”; reading or hearing the word “pie” can give you certain responses, such as imagining the smell, sight, taste or even warmth of a pie while you eat it which in turn can lead to salivation without a real pie even being near you! This power a name has, we ourselves have given it – much like the names we call ourselves.
It’s normal to go by many different names, to my mother I’m Susie, to most of my friends and other family members I’m Susan, to my boyfriend I go by several pet names, to the gaming community, Magpie and to my magickal workings I’m Willow Eudaimon. Some of these names have been given to me, others I have given myself or worked up to. Working out how to give yourself a name can take much research, self reflection and intuition – or it could literally come straight into your head without much thought, it completely depends.
Most people say you should choose a magickal name when undergoing initiation, although I didn’t chose mine until seven years after that, although I might not have been practising often, I still considered myself a Wiccan. When choosing your magickal name, it’s essential to choose a name that feels right for you. Maybe something that associates with your magickal side, the element, season or animal you feel closest to. If you’re in a coven, the High Priestess will often give you your magickal name which lifts the strain of trying to find your own – but it also could be unfortunate if the Priestess doesn’t know you as well as she may think and gives you a name completely unrelated and without any personal meaning.
The name I chose as an example, is as such because willow trees are my favourite type of tree that I feel a connection to, as well as having the water element associated with them. The “eudaimon” part however is linked with Greek mythology, also spelled “eudaemon” and “eudemon” eudaimon means to have a good spirit which in turn causes happiness. This can be translated roughly, “eu” meaning good and “demon” meaning spirit. Because of this, it can be mistaken to literally mean “good spirit” – although this is what I intend for my name. I hope in my life, both magickal and “normal” to help and guide as many people and animals as I can and to make everyone happier in their lives. Although I wouldn’t normally suggest using a name of a deity for your magickal name (to prevent that name from losing it’s own meaning) but sometimes, it just fits.