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Author Topic: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy  (Read 1041 times)

Riothamus12

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Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« on: June 09, 2017, 06:10:13 am »
Pardon me if this is the wrong section, but I'm not entirely sure where this might go.

As with many people who follow one of the pagan traditions, I have a craft name. However, of all the things, I have not revealed, including the specifics of certain spells, and certain dealings with the ancestors which I consider a family affair first and foremost and thus a private matter not to be shared except when deemed absolutely necessary, there is little I consider to be bound by silence for I will share every bit of my theological perspective if asked. However, one thing I have not shared with anyone is that craft name. If I have ever spoken it aloud to another person, I do not recall. However, that is something I keep between myself and the Divine. For some reason, when I "received" it for lack of a better term, it seemed as if it were something that I should not reveal to just anyone. I don't think it makes me anymore important than anyone. It's just what seemed proper when it came to me. Which led me to this question. Is there any tradition where that is the case? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?
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ehbowen

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2017, 06:27:47 am »
Pardon me if this is the wrong section, but I'm not entirely sure where this might go.

As with many people who follow one of the pagan traditions, I have a craft name. However, of all the things, I have not revealed, including the specifics of certain spells, and certain dealings with the ancestors which I consider a family affair first and foremost and thus a private matter not to be shared except when deemed absolutely necessary, there is little I consider to be bound by silence for I will share every bit of my theological perspective if asked. However, one thing I have not shared with anyone is that craft name. If I have ever spoken it aloud to another person, I do not recall. However, that is something I keep between myself and the Divine. For some reason, when I "received" it for lack of a better term, it seemed as if it were something that I should not reveal to just anyone. I don't think it makes me anymore important than anyone. It's just what seemed proper when it came to me. Which led me to this question. Is there any tradition where that is the case? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

Hardly the same tradition, but I was reminded of this:

Quote
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” ’ [Revelation 2:17 NKJV]

If you feel as though you should keep this secret, by all means do so. Your friends and family have other ways of picking you out of the crowd, I'm sure.
--------Eric H. Bowen
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MamaThistle

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2017, 10:18:20 am »
Pardon me if this is the wrong section, but I'm not entirely sure where this might go.

As with many people who follow one of the pagan traditions, I have a craft name. However, of all the things, I have not revealed, including the specifics of certain spells, and certain dealings with the ancestors which I consider a family affair first and foremost and thus a private matter not to be shared except when deemed absolutely necessary, there is little I consider to be bound by silence for I will share every bit of my theological perspective if asked. However, one thing I have not shared with anyone is that craft name. If I have ever spoken it aloud to another person, I do not recall. However, that is something I keep between myself and the Divine. For some reason, when I "received" it for lack of a better term, it seemed as if it were something that I should not reveal to just anyone. I don't think it makes me anymore important than anyone. It's just what seemed proper when it came to me. Which led me to this question. Is there any tradition where that is the case? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

I don't know about names specifically, but I do believe that the craft has traditionally had secret aspects that is believed to enhance power. I believe that magic is really about symbols, in that sense, keeping your craft name secret makes a lot of sense to me. More recently, secrecy is not practiced as often, but I think that is really more about the generation and technology/societal changes.
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Jenett

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 12:47:00 pm »
Is there any tradition where that is the case? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

So, the thing about names and secrecy is it depends what the name is doing.

In my tradition, we take magical names at different points to reflect the people we're trying to become (something to grow into, in other words) - usually that's a name at dedication, a name at first degree initiation, and a new name or an addition to the first degree name at third, possibly with another at 2nd degree.

The dedication name is often what someone uses as a public Pagan name (Jenett, for me). The third degree name is often shared in a wider Pagan space (like public rituals, other times someone's acting explicitly as a priest/ess of the tradition, etc.) The first degree name is often not shared beyond people we do intimate small group work with.

This turns it into an interesting tool: if someone calls me Jennifer (my legal first name, which I basically only use at work these days), then I mentally automatically know that this is probably not someone I'm discussing more personal things with (Pagan stuff, but also chronic health stuff, more personal details, etc.)

If someone calls me Jenett, those things become something I'm likely to talk about at least some (if relevant) of those things.

If someone calls me Althaea (my 3rd degree name) I immediately shift into priestess mode. If someone uses the 1st degree name, I am immediately, reliably, securely in priestess + this is a person I am very close to, what can I do to be helpful.

Now, obviously, if you are working by yourself, some of these are not relevant. That's where the 'trying to become' part comes in. Some people do take private ritual names (I don't know that I've ever seen this as a "this path or this tradition always does this" - it's always been a "some people find this useful, but if you don't, don't bother") that's used for the development of what my tradition refers to as a magical persona: creating the shape of what we want to become

(Which includes the name but isn't just limited to it - it can also be reflected in things like jewelry, clothing, hair style, etc. For example, an explicit part of my magical persona is that I normally let my hair loose during ritual and rarely at other times, and that my toenails are always painted some shade of medium to dark blue. Those are anchors for feelings, commitments, or other important things in my spiritual and magical practice.)

Anyway, the one trick with a name is that a name that's *never* referenced isn't a really useful tool. And so keeping it entirely private may make it less useful unless you design your ritual language to include name references, periodically.

For example, most of the time, I don't go up to a friend and say "I, Jenett, am doing this thing". They'd look at me really funny. But in ritual, sometimes I do "I, Althaea, priestess and witch, call on the powers of [whatever] to be present in our circle [for reasons]." and the same thing can sometimes apply in solo ritual.
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Faemon

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 10:34:53 pm »
Is there any tradition where that is the case? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

I picked up on the sentiment that you're not supposed to let fairies know your True Name in case they're inimical by nature and can Use your True Name for their own Purposes. Conversely, if you figure out a fairy's true name, you have some control over them no matter how technically powerful in any other way they are? No citation, here, just osmosis that may be intractable or impractical but I consider interesting to contemplate.

Because...I read someone ask what that would mean for them to be trans and a believer in folkloric fairies. Which name should be hidden?

(Spoiler for transphobia.)

Spoiler:  
And I thought if, say, Andrew March were her birth certificate name and Darla her chosen name, then Darla should be her True Name because that's where the soul is and where Darla invested relationships. Ask around for Andrew March, and ideally nobody would get anywhere—because, who is that? Did you mean Andre Conlan? Did you mean Andromeda Sayers? There's a Darla March, but that's not even close and March is kind of common...

But...for someone to know "Andrew", to tell Darla's employers "Darla used to be Andrew", to look up the March family in the phone book or the Facebook to figure out where they work and where they live and then throw bricks at their window until this family decides that Darla should move out with money they don't have because Darla lost her job...

...makes it awfully like Andrew is actually the name by which someone wields power over Darla, not Darla. Even if Andrew is not the name that's True to Darla's soul.


This isn't a fairyland, though. At least I think the laws of physics and rules of society are much stranger here.

Rather than simply True Name = Power ; False Name = No Power, it could depend on how much of exactly what is invested into that signifier, how it's used both by whomsoever is the referent of that name and the ones who recognize and reinforce the name for that purpose, and what can be the consequences of using that name in the context of relationships with self, friends, larger community, and so on...so, I consider it parallel in the sense that the power in a name is much much much more dynamic.

(But caution is always in context of how this information can be abused, like there is no good faith anywhere, it's all always only a powerplay—which gets me staring at the wall with the corners of my mouth downturned.)

So, the thing about names and secrecy is it depends what the name is doing.
Basically this, I agree!
 
Quote
But in ritual, sometimes I do "I, Althaea, priestess and witch, call on the powers of [whatever] to be present in our circle [for reasons]." and the same thing can sometimes apply in solo ritual.
Heeey, that's one of the names of a fairy priestess I work with! From the genus name of the marshmallow flower :D

And that's another thing, too, when it comes to fairies, in my experience...the names are in a human language because I am a human speaking human so I put the name/word there?

I watched a lecture on YouTube by a Philippine ethnomusicologist where the Q&A portion included a question about how to reconcile this indigenous understanding of sound-word-spiritual relation with what linguists know, and I considered it interesting, the answer, that according to indigenous knowledge, human language came from the spirit world and not the other way around (so, not that features of the otherworld or spirit world have the language of mere mortals imposed upon it.)

But...that hasn't been my experience...very fascinating idea, and certainly applicable where it obviously is, but where I am at...words are just words. (On a tangent complaint that the world is so horrible: I keep reading that Words Mean Things, and in the case of deadnaming someone that is also true when it shouldn't be, though, it really shouldn't be that people bereft of insight or integrity and lacking in pertinent life experience can overwrite far more meaningful words, but at many levels of the world today I think it definitely happens, where attention and validation is invested and meaningfulness/power contrived without principled honest or true basis, or without critical thought.)

In a way, then, I've got to wonder what gets lost in translation between worlds, that a True Name over there in some fairy otherworld can't help but remain secret because here it can't even be parsed.

But if it's your name, Riothamus12, and you feel it should be private to you and/or a very select whoever else should know it, then I would say you're right, and maybe the context in or reasoning by which to parse that specific action would fall into place after?

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Altair

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2017, 12:06:30 am »
Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

I do. I don't even speak it aloud. Instead "Altair" is my public-facing name, and I've grown rather fond of it.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 12:08:53 am by Altair »
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Dynes Hysbys

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Re: Craft/Magic Names and Matters of Secrecy
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 06:44:36 pm »
? Is there anyone else who keeps their magic/craft name a secret?

I have an initiatory name that is known only to other initiates of my tradition

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