What is a Spiritual name anyway?

When someone refers to a Pagan name or a Magical name, they are most often referring to the spiritual name that is bestowed upon a Pagan, Witch or magic user upon initiation. This name may have been chosen by a High Priest or High Priestess, but most often it is chosen by the individual him/herself. The name is most often chosen to reflect the person's magical goals or spiritual ancestry or style. Sometimes it is chosen in honor of a God that the person feels particularly connected to or a totem animal or plant that serves as a spiritual helper or guide.

Why choose a Spiritual name?

Taking on a new name marks a transition in one's life. Taking on a magical or a Pagan name marks you as a magical being or a Pagan and separates your new, magical/spiritual life from the old, mundane life. You are still you. You still have your old name. But you also have your new name to mark your progression and growth.

Taking on a new name is a tradition that marks rites of passage in many cultures. Even in modern Western culture, Catholics take on the names of Saints on confirmation and if they become Priests or Nuns, they take on yet another new name. Women, and sometimes men, take on new names upon marriage.

In addition, taking on a spiritual name offers you the opportunity to shed the mundane and take on a more spiritual and introspective persona when you enter a ritual space. Out there, you are John Smith, accountant. In here, you are Talon Aurelius, Priest, Witch, servant of the Gods. It would be completely inappropriate for Talon Aurelius to show up in cubical land, but in the circle, he is not only welcomed, he belongs.

Having a Pagan or magical name also allows you a certain level of privacy. Nobody at the office need ever know you are Talon Aurelius, unless you wan them to. And no one in the Circle need know you are John Smith, unless you want them to.

Are there rules associated with Spiritual names?

The rules associated with Pagan and Magical names vary by tradition. Some feel that the spiritual name should never be used outside the Circle while others toss it around casually. Many Pagans and Witches have two (or more) spiritual names. One chosen when the magical journey begins that is used as more of a public Pagan face that is used on forums, to sign art and writings and at public events, and another taken upon initiation into a coven or a group which is kept private and only used within the Circle. Still others may take on a third, very private name used only between himself or herself and the Gods and shared with no one except perhaps and intimate magical partner.

As far as the name itself, there are no hard and fast rules. It is generally considered in poor taste to name yourself directly after a God, though incorporating a God's name into your name is acceptable. Titles, like Lord and Lady are generally frowned upon attached to anyone who doesn't have years of experience to back them up.

Some people believe that you should choose your spiritual name based on your birth number, while others feel this is not necessary at all.
See Using Numerology to Choose a Name

And the names in this database?

This database was actually first put together to be used by Pagan parents in choosing names for their children. I have also used it for choosing names for pets and familiars and characters in games and novels. It was never meant to be a guide for choosing one's spiritual or magical name. However, I have found that many people have begun using it as such. I am not sure why this surprises me, but it's a very pleasant surprise. That being said, if you are using this site to choose your spiritual name, you may become frustrated that the names here aren't like ones you often see in the community. They are, for the most part, just normal, boring names. But many can be used as parts of larger names or perhaps just to spark an idea.

For more help on this, see Choosing a Spiritual Name