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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: magical name


Magical Name: A magical name is more than a mere name-word. It is a name to which much thought has been given. Found at the end of a search of one's heart, mind, and self, it is the result of a quest for the perfect name.... It can be more than a name; it can be a tool. A tool for transformation.
source: The New Book of Magical Names, by Phoenix McFarland

Magical Name:

It is likely that the original purpose of taking on a name used while doing magick was for protection. If others only knew you by this name, they couldn’t reveal your true identity to those who would harm, kill, or imprison you. Later, family mottoes rather than names were adopted for this purpose. Outsiders, seeing the spiritual value of such a name, changed the protective concept to that of something representing your highest ideals or spiritual views, such as Aleister Crowley’s Perdurabo, “I shall endure to the end.” Today, many Pagans take the name of animals or colors, sometimes because they have a meaning, sometimes because they are simply a sort of disguise. Many people spend hours considering their magickal name. They then use this name only within a magickal context. Its use represents their magickal persona, and they use it much as putting on a magickal robe indicates they are no longer in a mundane world, but are entering the world of magick. Magickal names are often taken from a variety of historical or mythic sources, and may be in one’s native tongue or in a foreign language, especially Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Enochian, Sanskrit, etc.

Magical Name:

It is common practice with magical orders as well as Wiccan, neo-Pagan, and other "secret" groups that members will adopt a magical name or motto for use within the group. In many magical groups, the name is in Greek or Latin, whereas in others is may be a name derived from mythology, folklore, Sanskrit, various African languages, etc. The purpose is both secretive and a declaration about one’s personal goals or sense of inner identity.

The meaning of C. F. Russell’s Hebrew name, Genesthai,is somewhat confusing in the absence of a statement from him. It is generally interpreted to mean "To cause to be" or "to become," or even "to become again." From a purely magical perspective, it may be better translated as: "to become," a statement of intent to be transformed.

Carl Llewellyn Weschcke


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