Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Virtuous Names



Name blogs are usually filled with posts about virtue names this time of year. At least the ones written by Americans are. That's because Thanksgiving is coming and many people are reminded of the Puritans and all of the strange word-names that they liked to use. Well, Grace and Hope aren't that strange, but Fly-fornication and  Job-raked-out-of-the-ashes certainly are.

While I am definitely not a fan of the Puritan belief system, I am a fan of many of the names they used. Oceanus and Peregrine are two of my personal favorites. And I do like the idea of naming a child after a core value (so long as they are not weird, sexually repressive values like Chastity and Modesty).

So naturally, I'm inspired to write a list of virtue names. Of course most are a little unusual, but this is me we're talking about here.

Fortitude ("courage in pain or adversity")

Merit

Clemency ("mercy")

Comfort

Concord ("agreement or harmony between people or groups")

Brave

Bravery

Mirth

Charm

Eloquence ("fluent or persuasive speaking or writing")

Resolute ("purposeful, determined, unwavering")

Bravura ("great technical skill")

Virtue

Remember

Remembrance

Silence

Love

Verity ("truth")

Courage

Honor

Independence

Charisma ("compelling attractiveness or charm")

Candor ("honesty")

Freedom

Wisdom

Unity

Noble

Resilience ("the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties")

Peaceful

Makepeace

Reason

Clarity

Revere

Valor

Prudence

Truth

Credence ("belief or acceptance that something is true")

Placid ("calm")

Desire

Jolly

Liberty

Tenacious ("persisting in existence, not easily expelled")

Felicity ("happiness")

Amity ("a friendly relationship")

Gravitas ("dignity or seriousness")

Sage ("wise")

Bliss

Glory

Loyal

Prosper

Justice

Temperance ("moderation or self-restraint")

Merry

Solace ("comfort in times of distress")

Wonder ("desire or curiosity to know something")

Zeal ("great energy or enthusiasm")

Pride

Levity ("humor or frivolity")

Lively ("full of life and energy")

Aspire ("direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something")

Tranquil

Integrity ("the quality of having strong moral principles")

Providence ("the protective power of God or nature")

Radiance

Lucky

Mighty

Gratitude

Ardor ("enthusiasm or passion")

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sagittarius the Archer

"Centaur at the Village Blacksmith's Shop" by Arnold Bocklin
 
"Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
--Jane Austen, author and Sagittarius

Many modern Pagans prefer to pick names based on astrological signs. Yes, I know I just finished doing a series of posts very similar to this on the old blog, but this time I'm not limiting myself to thirteen names. Llewellyn's Complete Book of Names by K. M. Sheard is an excellent resource for finding names to go with specific astrological signs, so if you want even more options than the ones I list here go find that book.

Today, the sun enters Sagittarius. Sagittarius usually runs from November 22 to December 23 depending on the year. The symbol of Sagittarians is the centaur. In Greek mythology centaurs often give into their animalistic impulses, but they are also wise, adventurous, and brave. These are qualities that Sagittarians embody. Sagittarians are generally easygoing people that have no problems making friends wherever they go. They love to learn and have a great sense of idealism. However, Sagittarius is a fire sign, so they can have a nasty temper. Their blind faith in the goodness of the world can get them into trouble, and their need for adventure can make them seem irresponsible.

Archer names:

Archer
Bow
Bowman
Arrow
Artemis
Robin
Apollo
Cupid
Niko
Rama
Arjuna
Katniss (I couldn't resist.)

Horse names:

Eponine
Kishore
Phillip
Phillipa
Rosalind
Lorimer
Hippolytos

Adventure/travel names:

Peregrine
Journey
Odyssey
Rover
Sojourner
Faramond
Rumer
Atlas
Gypsy
Meander
Walker
Palmiro
Palmer
Beatrix

Fire Names:

Draco
Drake
Seraphim
Seraph
Seraphina
Phoenix
Sirius
Blaze

Time names:

November
December
Winter
Yule
Solstice

White, blue, and purple names:

Blue
Azure
Sapphire
Turquoise
Bianca
Albus
Leocadia
Gwen
Albion
Haku
Lavender
Plum
Viola
Violet

Attribute Names:

Admetus ("untamed")
Noble
Junius ("youth")
Wilder
Wilde
Cleo ("fame, glory")
Verabel
True
Truly
Verity ("truth")
Fortuna ("lucky")
Prosper
Fabrizio ("craftsman")
Fabrice
Wisdom
Joy
Lively
Allegra ("cheerful, lively")
Levity

Other Ideas:

Gita
Snowden
Isotta
Ballad
Wolf
Juniper
Raphael
Franco
Onyx
Jove
Venice
Fifer
North
Romulus
Romilly
Fern
Ganesh
Aisling
Edward
Malachite
Reverie
Otter
Paris

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Witch's New Year


"Faust" by Luis Ricardo Falero

A Blessed Samhain, or Witch's New Year, to you!

First of all, how does one pronounce Samhain? I still occasionally slip into pronouncing it like "sam-hain," which is embarrassing. Neil Gaiman went on a talk show and joked about "Sam Hain: Private Eye" and now I can't get it out of my head. Anyway, I've heard that in Ireland it's "sow-in," in Wales it's "sow-een," and in Scotland it's "sav-en." And that's not even all of the ways to say it. Personally, I try to do the Irish pronunciation.

Samhain (Gaelic for "summer's end") is the most important sabbat for Wiccans and the most magical time of the year. It is the third and final harvest festival on the Wheel of the Year. It was a holiday celebrated by the Celts as a way to herald the coming winter and honor those who had passed. It is believed that the dead walk amongst the living on this holiday, and the tradition of leaving offerings of food for them is very old.

There is no specific deity for this season like there was for Lughnasadh and Mabon. In Wiccan tradition, the Horned God (a.k.a. the sun) dies on this day, so generally Samhain is all about the Goddess. Pagans honor crone goddesses on this season, and also various deities of death.

A lot of the time, Samhain and Halloween traditions are mixed together. Aside from the more common Halloween traditions that everyone is familiar with, here are a few ways in which Pagans celebrate Samhain.

  • Samhain is a festival in which Pagans honor the ancestors, or the "beloved dead." Altars usually include the photographs and belongings of those who have passed away. Candles are left on windowsills to show loved ones the way back home. Apples are left on grave sites and at cemeteries.
  • It's also time for yet another feast. Traditional foods in a Samhain feast include pumpkin, turnips, beats, apples, pomegranates, potatoes, popcorn, gingerbread, beef, poultry, and nuts. Some people prepare food that their beloved dead enjoyed. One plate of food would be left for the dead, either at the altar or the head of the table.
  • Samhain is considered a great time for divination and meditation. Fun fact: using divination to find out who your future husband will be used to be so common on Halloween that at one point it was considered a "women's holiday." The game of "bobbing for apples" comes from an old divination practice. The apples would be hung from trees or the ceiling instead of floating in a barrel of water.
  • You know, if it's a Pagan holiday you should just assume that fire is going to play a role somehow. One of the things that the Celts did on Samhain was light bonfires, and that tradition still survives. Sometimes Pagans write habits, feelings, or activities that they wish to let go of on a piece of paper and cast them into the fire. Other times they simply circle around and tell stories.
There are a lot of wonderful, witchy names that can be inspired by this season, but here are just a few:

Mythical beings associated with the season:

Lilith (Jewish)

Hecate (Greek)

Pluto (Roman)

Aradia (Italian)

Cerridwen (Celtic)

Odin (Norse)

Nicevenn (Scottish)

Anubis (Egyptian)

Pomona (Roman)

Persephone (Greek/Roman)

Kali (Hindu)

Nephthys (Egyptian)

Morana (Slavic)

Osiris (Egyptian)

Morrigan (Celtic)

Thanatos (Greek)

Rhiannon (Welsh)

Other suggestions:

October

Octavian

Ottavia

Octavie

November

Hallow

Autumn

Autumnus

Harvest

Night

Nox

Nyx

Midnight

Raven

Luna ("moon")

Apple

Marigold

Sable

Noir

Ebony

Jet

Crimson

Orange

Spirit

Circe

Evening

Menos ("spirit")

Remember

Remembrance

Opal

Cypress

Hazel

Enid ("soul" or "life")

Dusk

Faline ("cat-like")

Onyx

Silver

Jack

Dittany

Thistle

Belladonna

Vaidote ("ghost-like")

Elder

Mist

Grey

Secret

Surrender

Melanie ("black, dark")

Rowan

Shadow

Obsidian

Esmeray ("dark moon")

Samantha

Isra ("night journey")

Olaf ("ancestor's descendent")

Alma ("soul")

Miyako ("beautiful night child")

Fun combo time:

Sable Pomona

Jack Silver

Rowan Grey

Lilith Esmeray

Samantha Rowan

Octavian Nox

Aradia Raven

Rhiannon November