How To Choose a Bad Magickal Name
There's a standard joke in the Pagan community that, at a gathering, if the loudspeaker were to announce, "Will Raven, Morgan, and Rhiannon please come to registration?" half the attendees would show up.
Like most good jokes, it has a lot of truth in it.
So rule number one of how not to choose a magickal name is: pick one that's already been overused.
Rule number two: pick one that's unpronounceable. I can't even begin to tell you how many times people with magickal names like Aistiranpaistinfionncoinini have gotten really pissy with me because I can't pronounce their moniker. Um, sorry. I don't speak Gaelic/Antarean/Klingon/whatever.
Also, if you are determined to never be taken seriously in the Pagan community, choose a popular deity's name, add a title in front of it, and introduce yourself as, say, Lady Diana. First of all, general consensus agrees that naming yourself after a God or Goddess is hubris. Second of all, unless you're a) British nobility, b) a member of a traditional coven, initiated, and in ritual, or c) an artist or performer who's been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, titles like "Lord" or "Lady" will make people laugh at you. And not always behind your back. For what it's worth, people who have been initiated by British traditional covens tend to go by a completely different name in ritual than they do in Pagan public. And a lot of them use their legal names, like Bill, in Pagan public. I'm just sayin'.
Another really bad way to choose a magickal name is to pick one - for a couple of months, then pick another one...and another one...until everyone in the community is so confused about what you're calling yourself this lunar cycle that they just give up on calling you anything at all!
Any well-known name from a work of science fiction or fantasy is, in general, a really bad magickal name. This means that Frodo is right out. So is Aragorn. And Gandalf. So is Luke, Hans, and Leia. And Yoda. A Yoda in the community will be laughed at - trust me. Unless nine hundred years you really are, taken seriously you will not be.
Also, avoid names and words that have a different connotation in the 21st century than they originally did. I had a friend who got stuck with the unfortunate magickal name of Nimrod. Nimrod is the name of a God. However, today the word "nimrod" basically means "idiot." You have been warned.
If you want a really bad magickal name, enthusiastically embrace cultural blending faux pas. If you have red hair and blue eyes and you're legally named after your grandmother Bridget O'Malley who came directly to America from Ireland, it will be really hilarious to your fellow Pagans if you choose to be called Big Buffalo Woman.
Oh, and those Pagan name generators on the Internet? They're a joke. They're meant to be funny. They are not for real! You'd think everyone would know that, but I've run into about one too many Lavender Mermaid of the Sands who got her "special" name from one of those sites and took it seriously. But that's okay. I needed the laugh.
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