What is a Craft Name

What is a Craft Name
A craft name is a name that you create to identify yourself within the pagan community. The term refers to the Craft, which can mean Wicca or witchcraft. However, many pagans have a craft name even if they are only interested in worship and fellowship, and do not practice witchcraft. Think your craft name as an alias, a magical name, or a pen name. With a craft name, you can interact within the pagan community while keeping your legal name a secret. And a well-chosen craft name will express your spiritual side better than a name applied to you at birth before your own personality could develop. Consider the following options when choosing your craft name. (Note: every name that I have placed in quotation marks is a totally made-up example.)

Do you want a single name or a first name plus surname? Pagan author Starhawk has a single craft name. Pagan author Silver Ravenwolf invented both a first name and a surname to be her craft name. Which would you prefer? Or would you like to use your legal first name, but make up a surname?

Do you want your craft name to reflect your type of paganism? This can be helpful if you want your brothers and sisters in the faith to immediately recognize you as one of them. Pagans influenced by New Age concepts may pick cosmic-sounding names or names with a Hindu influence – "Shakti Moonbeam." Wiccans and green witches like craft names that refer to trees, plants, and other nature themes: "Summer Meadow," "Dale Greenleaf," and "Robin Oakheart." The more shamanically inclined may favor names that connect to their spirit animals. To me, many Wiccan craft names sound Native American. For example, three of my predecessors here at the Wicca site had the following surnames: Blackwolf, Ravenwing, and Crowspirit.

Celtic and Norse pagans with their strongly ethnic traditions prefer the first name plus surname construction. They create it from historic Gaelic or Norse names. Ancient names from northern Europe are more strongly patronymic/matronymic than today's names and can look intriguing in print. For example, a male pagan from an Irish tradition today might choose a craft names such as "Aodhagán ó Conchobhair," which means something like "Aidan, son from the Conchobhair line." Norse pagans especially love Icelandic names, and will often include the gods in their matronymics or patronymics: "Ólafur Thorsson" and "Sigríður Odinsdottir." Nowadays, if you have an internet connection, you can easily put together an ethnic craft name by visiting websites specializing in historic baby names.

Should your craft name be easily pronounceable? Imagine choosing that Irish craft name from the above example. Aside from the possible smattering of Gaelic speakers in the pagan community, everyone else would find the name completely unpronounceable. This is fine if the name is just for you. But what if you want to publish or become a community leader? Your craft name will go on lists where others must struggle to read it aloud or remember for future reference. An unpronounceable craft name can hinder your interactions with others.

Blend in or stand out? Would it bother you if the craft name you want is shared by many other pagans? Some might say, "I want a Norse name and I'm dedicated to Odin, and I don't care how many of my heathen sisters have already taken the surname Odinssdottir. There is room for one more!" Others might want something more unusual. Ironically, if you wish to stand out, you might have to choose an ordinary name to distinguish yourself from the countless pagans who have already named themselves things like "Dragon Moondancer." Try choosing a first name plus surname combination that sounds more down-to-earth in today's world. If you do an internet search on modern surnames and their meanings, you can find a realistic sounding name with deep personal significance to you. It might also be a chance for you to choose the surname of your heart and "become" the Anglo Saxon, Russian, Irishman, Frenchwoman, or Hispanic you have always wanted to be.

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You Should Also Read:
Your Craft Name Protects You
Your Craft Name Means Rebirth

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This content was written by Ro Longstreet. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ro Longstreet for details.