Just to begin with let me state that a witch does not have to have a magickal, or so-called witch name, in order to practice their craft. It is purely a subjective choice for most witches. Some people choose a witch name because they are being initiated into a coven or group, which requires them to have one. Other witches choose them for secrecy sake if they live in an area where they do not feel safe coming out of the broom closet. Some others choose witch names as a way of signaling their rebirth to a new, spiritual path or a new mystical way of living. Whether you wish to choose a witch name, or practice under the same name your parent(s) gifted you with upon your birth and that you have had for decades, the choice should be yours.
|“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose|
|By any other name would smell as sweet” – Shakespeare
Some people choose not to have a witch name at all; some choose to have a common witch name to share with coven members, group members or in public forums. Others of us choose to have a common witch name as well as a private witch name shared only with our deities.
As for myself, I choose the common name Treehugger, because I have been a treehugger since my very early youth, from what my family has always told me. I have a love and affinity for trees, which has been life-long and will never change. I think they are some of the most beautiful and wonderful creatures on the face of the earth. They are unique, long lived and by their very existence, they are making the world a better place for all breathing creatures that need the oxygen they create. They inspire me to remember that by my existence I should be striving to make the world a better place for my having been here.
My late husband, Azrael, gave the name Heather to me. He said that he believed that I was like the heather, which thrived and bloomed among the rockiest paths and in the midst of the most acidic soils, such as would destroy most plants. Yet even so, I thrived and bloomed in the household and family I had. He said that I was as delicate as the flowers on the heather and as hearty as the plant itself. That I would thrive no matter the circumstances because it is my nature.
When choosing a name, you may choose on your own, ask for help from others, wait for the inspiration from nature, seek a name from your deities, or even choose one via numerology and any other magickal means necessary. The most important thing is that you feel at home in the name, that you feel it suits you. If it does not feel right to call yourself by the name, then choose another. You are the one who has to live and practice your craft with the name, so make certain that you like the feel of it as it tumbles from your lips.
A few things to consider in choosing a name:
- Make a list of descriptive words that call to you.
- Use a thesaurus to broaden the choice of words beyond those that you are familiar with, if needed.
- Make certain the name suits you and feels comfortable.
- Make certain it is not so common that using it will confuse you with others in your area or group.
- Choose a name that represents your chosen pantheon if any.
- Choose a name that expresses your path or goals as a witch.
- Choose a name from the culture that your pantheon belongs to for harmony.
- Choose a name by meditating or by communing with your chosen deity (ies), if any.
- Choose a name based on a part of nature you feel drawn to, be it an animal, plant, tree, etc.
- Choose a name you have seen in a dream.
- Choose a name you feel may have belonged to you in a previous life.
As with all things magickal take your time and do it right. There is no more rush to choose a witch name, than there is to choose a spiritual path. It needs to be right for you. It needs to speak to your souls as much as your path. As such, take the time to write down several words to choose from as portions of the name or even names as a whole to combine as you see fit. As you think of them, ponder them, meditate on them, combine and recombine them in various ways until you find the one that is right for you. Take a few out for a “test drive” as it were and use them aloud a few times to see how they feel. You will know the right name when you find it.