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Please add to your address book to ensure our emails reach your inbox. - Monthly e-Magazine - December 2011

A Light in the Darkness: The Light Personal Names Shed on Ancient Paganism
by K. M. Sheard - December 2011

Names. We all have them. They are so integral to our society that few people ever pause to reflect on their cultural significance and what they reveal about our way of life.

These days, in the West, names are largely a label. Most of us possess a hereditary surname, coupled with a name chosen at birth by our parents, largely on a whim. The only rule regarding the naming of children is that they must be named.

But even today, naming practices vary considerably across the world. And the naming practices of our ancestors were equally diverse. And, what’s more, they offer us a unique window through which to glimpse their lives, how they lived, and what they believed.

The names that have come down to us from antiquity are very revealing. The best documented are those of ancient Rome. Roman civilization was by far the most structured, organized—and regulated—society prior to our own, and Roman names very potently reflect this. Citizenship was what mattered to a Roman, and names to Romans were their badges of citizenship. The most important part was an inherited family name, called a nomen—quite literally, this was their "name," so integral that it is the source of the English word "name" itself.

These nomina were quite comparable to our own surnames, deriving from a similar mish-mash of place-names, personal names, nicknames, and occupational names. Some, however, particularly of the oldest and most aristocratic families, derived from the names of deities. The Junii, for example, claimed the Goddess Juno as its namesake, and while the Julii claimed descent from Venus, their name almost certainly derived from that of Jupiter.

A Roman citizen typically had three names. In addition to their nomen was their praenomen, essentially a "first name." It was little more, however, than a formality, a token. By the time of the Roman Empire, there were only a handful in regular use, and the vast majority of men bore one of just three: Gaius, Lucius, and Marcus.

Click here to read the full article.

Back to Top - Author Interview - December 2011

An Interview with Author K. M. Sheard
by Llewellyn

1. Your new book is Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names, which is a compendium of names that are, in general, related to Paganism, Shamanism, and other earth-based worship. What inspired you to research and write this book? Llewellyn's Complete Book of Names, by K. M. Sheard

Ever since childhood, I have been fascinated by names, and naming practices past and present. The first book on names I owned, when I was about seven, wasn’t even a book; it was a tiny old almanac, containing all sorts of useful little lists, such as the Kings and Queens of England, units of weights and measurements, capital cities, etc. The section on names was just three pages long, but I loved browsing it. Even though it was short, there were names on it I’d never encountered in real life, and that captured my imagination: they possessed a kind of magic that carried me from a dreary northern English city to meadows and forests, and a time when the world was a greener, more wholesome place. I was hooked—and, basically, I have been collecting and researching names ever since.

The idea to put it all in a book came a couple of years ago, after a conversation with a friend about the lack of really informative and thorough books on names specifically for Pagans. She suggested I write one, and I thought, Why not? I was dissatisfied with all the name books on the market, and it was clear if I was ever going to possess the book I wanted, I was going to have to write it myself!

2. As noted, the book is Pagan in nature. Does that mean it is for Pagans only?

Not at all. Although it was written from a Pagan perspective with Pagans in mind, it is still a predominantly factual book. The difference is that it has been written through a "Pagan lens," giving the book a "Pagan flavor," which I would hope that Pagans and non-Pagans alike will find a refreshing change to conventional books on names. Most names that have seen use in the English-speaking world over the last few hundred years are included, regardless of origin, as well as many names from other cultures, and they have all been given a thorough—and honest—treatment. I have taken a "warts and all" approach, so people can make up their own minds about the worth—or otherwise—of a name.

3. As it is a book of names, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Names is a great resource for Pagan parents. How about other uses aside from baby names?

Click here to read the full interview.

Back to Top - Llewellyn Journal - December 2011

Can Witches Really Fly?
by James Endredy

For untold centuries, the stereotypical vision most have of a witch includes a broomstick and flight. But, can witches really fly? James Endredy, author of The Flying Witches of Veracruz, has experienced the flight of the witch, though no broomsticks were used. How is this possible? What secrets do the witches of Veracruz hold?

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Invoking the Egyptian Gods
by Judith Page & Ken Biles

Begin a soul-level transformation and awaken to your own strength, power, and divinity by communicating with the Egyptian Gods. Judith Page and Ken Biles, co-authors of Invoking the Egyptian Gods, discuss how and why these energies are so powerful and restorative.

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Sex Magic for Beginners
by Skye Alexander

Most of us want to lead better lives. We want to be happier, healthier, wealthier, and so on. We’d like to take control of what happens to us, instead of being at the mercy of chance, fate, or the agendas of other people. That’s why most magicians do spells in the first place, and sex magic is an especially effective way to accomplish your objectives. Skye Alexander, author of Sex Magic for Beginners, discusses just exactly what sex magic is and how to begin using this potent form of magic.

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Back to Top - Try This! - December 2011

December: A Tarot Rite for Winter Mornings

Create Your Own Unique Yule Wreath

Candle Spell to Welcome the New Year

Save up to 50% on hundreds of new releases, books, and decks during Llewellyn's Holiday Sale! Shop Now! - New Releases - December 2011

Chaldean Numerology for Beginners, by Heather Alicia Lagan
Chaldean Numerology for Beginners
by Heather Alicia Lagan

Doors to Past Lives and Future Lives, by Joe H. Slate, Ph.D. and Carl Llewellyn Weschcke
Doors to Past Lives & Future Lives
by Joe H. Slate, Ph.D. & Carl Llewellyn Weschcke

Invoking the Egyptian Gods, by Judith Page and Ken Biles
Invoking the Egyptian Gods
by Judith Page & Ken Biles

Sex Magic for Beginners, by Sky Alexander
Sex Magic for Beginners
by Skye Alexander - Reader's Top Picks - January 2011

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