On Reflection: Witchnames

The idea or concept of a Witchname has never been an appealing to me. However, recent events have forced me to re-evaluate my take on it, and I thought it would make for an interesting, small post. A quick and to the point explanation for those who have not come across the concept:  A witchname is a name taken or given by a witch to describe their magickal self identity.

You can come across such a concept in in multiple places, and I was introduced myself to it through reading different source materials.  It is often approached in several, widely differing ways across traditions, which vastly alters the meaning and reasons behind having having one. Again, to keep it short, I will describe both extremes of the spectrum, although it is to be reminded that most traditions and schools fall somewhere in between these two examples.

At the most extreme, a witchname is said to be the literal, true magickal name of the practioner.  To know somethings true name, is said to have complete control over it, and examples of this type of approach can be found in several older  demonological  texts and other even older sources which predate industrial society. This is said to be a self awakening experience, said to give control over your own self in a much greater, more concious way, and be a secret to hold exceptionally guarded. A witchname is in this sense supposed to  be given or otherwise discovered, and is not self given as its a property belonging to said practitioner beyond their control.

AstarothSigil

The Sigil of Astaroth. Sigils can also be seen as a form of true name in symbolic form.

At the most open, and at the opposite extreme, is where the witchname is self given, and acts as a simple pseudonym. This pseudonym is adopted often for many various reasons, usually to separate or abstract the persons magickal identity or activities away from their regular everyday self. This is said to elevate the magickal side of a person, whilst helping them separate from the mundane when carrying out workings so that they can be more effective. Often, this name is used for all activities, is not kept secret, and is often used in a public space. This can be seen in many online communities, where users often use their witchname, in this sense, as also their viewable username.

Although knowing of it, I have never been one for the concept of the witchname. Although holding some sympathy with the first concept, and believing it is technically possible, I have always regarded witchnames with suspicion. This has come from meeting other practitioners who are very vocal about their witchnames. Many of these people have left me with the impression that such a name was only adopted to fuel the ego – not due to some internal discovery, spirit or god given gift, or for practical application.  Also, from a personal standpoint, I feel no need to outside of ritual to dramatise my belief, believing that this can often do great harm to the path by making it seem frivolous or pure self indulgence.

As such, the whole concept was although not forgotten, certainly not dwelt upon. After finishing my second journal, I was at a loss at how to start the other despite having plenty to actually write up. How would i begin? Locked in this thought pattern for several weeks, I finally had a break through of a sorts. On the night of the Frosty Moon, I was wide awake for the majority of the night time, unable to sleep in any way. Thus annoyed, I continued to try and sleep with little success, until I eventually passed out for a duration of perhaps 40 minutes sometime very late on in the morning as the sun was almost risen.

themightydead

The Mighty Dead, artist unknown

I immediately found myself in a powerful dream, in which I was sucked through and into the spirit box I had constructed for Samhain. I followed this dark tunnel for awhile and found myself standing in a clearing amidst a dark wood, with a pale, sickly blue sky.  In the centre, I could see a figure tied to a stone table that was inclined at a 45 degree angle. Looking closer, I could see that this figure was infact myself, or a form of myself that I often use whilst travelling. Briefly described this form is faun like with notable differences. It possesses horns similar to a gazelles, and large wings that are feathered, but bat like.  Its skin is ivory white, contrasting against the black shadowlike fur and black veins and markings. This was the first time me seeing this body from an outside perspective, and I could see the serpent like eyes vacant –  open, with the colours shifting within them dulled. I moved towards the shell and began to step into it, merging my form with it. Once this weird, but not unfamiliar process was mostly complete, I could see from my new eyes. Removing the bounds of the form that kept it tied to the table, I tried to move off. 

Immediately, I could feel a cool rush of wind and black forms rose up from the base of the pedestal, with a hissing. These forms assumed the forms of shadow like figures, in the main appearing as vaguely female in shape. They surrounded me, touching me across the flesh, being at the same time warm and ice cold, leaving temporary marks across the flesh. Repeatedly, they whispered a name repeatedly into my ear. The word was clear and distinct, penetrating my being as it was spoken. This got louder, and more intense, with several of the forms passing in and through my own body. I was overcome with a feeling that they were calling to me, with a name that refered to me that I had never encountered. This persisted for what seemed like at least ten to fifteen minutes, before they grew quiet, their forms dissolved, and they sank back into the ground.

shadowwoman

Shadow Person, artist unknown

With this, I attempted to stand from my stone support but felt incredibly drained, and fell to the ground. The impact startled me into actually waking back into normal awareness with a large jump.  Analysing this experiment in context, much of my previous assumptions, perhaps unfair ones in light of this event, have been removed.

Having my own experience of what I believe to be the Mighty Dead speak to me what is effectively a kind of witchname has made me look upon the concept with renewed interest and as an avenue for future exploration. The inspiration from this experience cleared my ‘writers’ block, and I plan to make use of the revealed name in future magickal work starting with the beginning of my new journal.

3 Responses to “On Reflection: Witchnames”

  1. Hello sir I know its been a while since this posting ,but yes good job very informative . That was indeed you learning your name I myself was taught mine by a I guess you could say demonic priestess . It heavily affected my waking conciousness aswell as astral travels and I’ve told it to 3 people two of wich.took a heavy toll on my body making me feel ill. Many witches or warlocks that know their true names keep them hidden hence the secondary or possibly more. Than one aliases . Though yes some do fashion themselves names simply to be cool n inflate their ego I suggest taking this post down or removing your name though knowing it is all it’ll take

    Sincerily your friendly neighborhood. Fallen

    • Cheers for the comments, thank you for the post.

      I understand the secrecy regarding witch names, and appreciate your concern.

      I didn’t make it very clear in my post that the name in the post was not the actual name (which i have no intention of sharing, or even remember now, as ive committed it down on paper somewhere safe in my own alphabet for future use), but an example of something similar phonetically.

      However I guess that wasn’t the case, and isn’t entirely needed, so i’ve gone ahead and removed it.

      It’s good to see others having the same experience! Feel free if you wish to elaborate more on the topic. To what level did it affect you after learning it?

      For myself it seems to have heightened my connection to the spirits, especially when working through the spirit box or another actual physical link in various ways.

      Thanks for the feedback, and glad your enjoying the blog!

      ~S~

Feel free to leave a Reply!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: