As pagans, we are quick to see the importance of a name. We are so in tune with the idea of a name holding power that we anoint ourselves with monikers that we feel suit our spiritual self and even petition our patrons to reveal a sacred name to be used only in ritual. We are very careful when we name our children, seeking names of power and significance. Still, even we may occasionally under estimate how much names mean. Let's take my youngest daughter for example.
Little Bitty Baby who is no longer so little bitty and probably deserves a more fitting screen name was named very specifically pagan. Her full name very literally translates into "dark moon." It is a beautiful, powerful and witchy name, but it has it's draw backs. Our Little Moon as I will refer to her from now on loves the night. At nearly six months old she still wakes up multiple times a night to just hang out. She want her mama to come sit on the couch and talk to her while she half heartedly pretends to nurse. It is exhausting for me, but thankfully it is not consistent. Her nocturnal habits follow the moon phases. When the moon is small and dark like this past week, she sleeps very little during the night. Last night alone, she was up six times. Then as the moon waxes to full her sleep time increases and I am only wakened twice during the night. Some times exhaustion makes me want to grumble and fuss over the situation, but in my heart I know that I brought it upon myself. One does not name a child for the great power of the night and expect her to sleep soundly from sun set to sun rise.
Another prime example is Miss Busy. Besides driving me crazy in new ways every day yesterday we had an ongoing debate over rather or not making cat food soup was an appropriate activity for a toddler she has an intense fascination with anything magickal. She is constantly digging in my magickal cabinet bringing me incense cones, thumbing through my books, and trying to add to my stack of notes. Just the other day, I caught her sitting on the kitchen floor sorting through my Oracle Cards as if she were reading them. Please note that none of these items are left where she can access them with any ease, she is simply determined and continually finds ways around my solutions intended to keep her out. Once again, it's my fault. I named her. Her given name means "woman with great magickal power." She accepts the fact that my sewing table is off limits and that certain drawers in the kitchen are not for her access, but she stubbornly refuses to stay out of my magickal cabinet. She is so obsessed with my pentacle necklace that Superman has suggested that I make her one of her own.
The power of names hold true even when the child is not named with the careful thought that most pagan parents put into choosing a name. The older children from our first marriages were named with totally different perspectives and still live up to their names. The child named after greenery and plant life loves flowers. The one who's name is means "a feminine warlike bird" is small, graceful, and lethal in any verbal match. The one who in utero was already named for his grandfather, is a small version of the man he was named for. It goes on and on to even include Superman and myself. When I pause to consider, names are far more powerful than I ever realized. It is as if they are a life long spell we place on our children.