What's in a name?
I have been thinking a lot lately about names and the power that they have.
When I was born I was gifted a first and middle name by my parents and took on their surname then as I grew older I gained one or two nicknames, from my parents and friends at school - each one unique and each one bearing different meanings and evoking a variety of emotions. When I married the first time I changed my surname...then changed it back by deed poll after my divorce. Then I married a second time and changed my surname again, thankfully I have had that same surname for a good many years now! Each name has power and each one makes you feel different. And of course I have a magical name, I didn't for a long while after starting on the path to witchiness because to be honest I didn't feel I was 'qualified' or experienced enough at first to even call myself a witch. But...I was visiting a local Roman palace that was holding a Celtic re-enactment day, they were all dressed in period costume, battling each other, painting woad tattoos and there was a Celtic cooking tent which obviously drew my attention. I was fascinated by the methods used and the array of ingredients but one in particular stood out...the herb Tansy, it was used in a lot of the dishes but especially in Tansy pudding...it just felt right so that became my magical name there and then. I felt it needed something more so I thought about all the things that I feel connected to, dragons just had to be in there because they have been a part of my life since I was a child and fire just seemed to fit as it is the element I work with most. So there it was... Tansy Firedragon...and I have used that name for years now. At first it felt a bit weird but gradually it became so comfortable that it even felt on occasion more 'me' than my given name... But time passes and situations change, we grow older and hopefully wiser...ahem...or perhaps we just mellow? I think the turning point for me was when I wrote my first book...I had to make the decision to use my given name or my magical name...and I found myself leaning more strongly towards my given name and ever since then I realise that I use my magical name less and less...why? I actually don't know...maybe I have out grown it? I think it is more likely that my magical side now works so much in tandem with my everyday life that I don't feel the need for the power of a magical name perhaps? Names do have power, magical or otherwise. There are some that never give out their magical names, using them only when working privately because of the energy that the name can have, it makes perfect sense to me. If you are part of a coven then everyone has a magical name, especially if that coven is online as our Kitchen Witch School is and every forum or chat room requires a 'user name' and I bet most people use a nickname rather than their given one. Does it give us the chance to be someone else for a while I wonder? Don't get me wrong I am not trashing or knocking magical names or nick names, I think they all have a place and a use and I still use my magical name on theKitchen Witch forum and it still 'fits me' but I am interested in understanding why it has been stronger and more fitting during certain stages in my life or perhaps that should be stages in my path? I guess the spiritual and magical pathways are always fluid and ever changing the key is to allow yourself to flow with it... Yours Rachel/Tansy Firedragon/Tansypants