Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Aquarius the Water-Bearer

"Aquarius IX" by Endre Bartos
 
"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."
--Francis Bacon, philosopher, statesman, scientist, and Aquarius

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.

Aquarius lasts from approximately January 20 to February 18, depending on the year. It is no coincidence that the 1960's are associated with the "Age of Aquarius." This sign is all about advancement and progress. People born under this sign like to defy social convention and throw out old ways of thinking and living. They tend to be "quirky" and "different." This being an air sign, Aquarians are very intellectual, witty, and curious. They're very honest and will always be very open with everyone they meet. Idealism runs strong with these people, and they value equality. Although some tend to be aloof and standoffish, Aquarians are generally well liked by everyone they meet.

Water bearer names:

Coventina
Chalice
Wells
Ishtar
Grotto
Spring (as in a spring of water)
Bath
Lourdes
Nerthus
Fontus
Juturna
Saraswati ("possessing water")

Air names:

Anemone
Zephyr
Notus
Boreas
Sirocco
Breeze
Feather
Gossamer
Bird
Kestrel
Kite
Dove
Whisper
Aria
Vayu
Caraway
Vox ("voice")

Time names:

January
Janus
February
Februa
Winter

Yellow and purple names:

Saffron
Amber
Goldenrod
Lemon
Yellow
Xanthe
Blaine
Flavia
Lavender
Amethyst
Lilac
Iolanthe
Violet
Plum

Attribute names:

Amity ("friendly, pleasant")
Nova ("new")
Neo
Novella
Novello
Dreamer
Prosper
Sage ("wise")
Fortuna ("fortunate, lucky")
Bellamy ("beautiful friend")
Bonamy ("good friend")
Pax ("peace")
Paz
Salem ("peace")
Liberty
Placido ("placid")
Placida
Enoch ("dedicated")
Saoirse ("freedom")
Justice
Justin
Eurydice ("wide justice")
Thrift
Cosima ("order, decency")
Cosimo
Quiterie ("peaceful, calm")

Other ideas:

Waverly
Pandora
Hallow
Garnet
Charles
Charlotte
Olivia
Olive
Tycho
Lysander
Lysandra
Wolf
Cleopatra
Francis
Saturn
Wendy
Shiloh
Delphine
Clover
Maple
Raphael
Raphaella
Sappho
Noah
Fabrice
Parvati
Onyx
Lennox
Aloysius
Ulysses
Poe
Silver

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Reminder of Comment Etiquette

I know this isn't pleasant or fun, but I need to lay down the law my least favorite thing about blogging so I don't have to talk about it again: comment moderation. This turned out to be a big problem with the original blog near the end. To be fair, most of the comments I'm talking about weren't mean, just spammy. But it was draining and not fun to deal with all the same. Which is why on this blog I now screen all the comments before they're published.

Let's get one thing out of the way first: if I choose not to post a comment that doesn't mean that I'm "censoring" the commenter. I'm ignoring him. There's a difference. It might hurt your feelings (which is not my intent), but that is my right.

Now the reason why I delete a comment is not because I don't want to hear views that challenge mine. I have never deleted a comment because I disagreed with what they wrote. Everyone is allowed to state an opinion so long as they are nice about it. I usually wind up deleting comments if a) they're not relevant to the original post or b) the language comes across as antagonistic. So take note on those two points.

In short, my dear readers, you are not entitled to be heard and agreed with by everyone. That's life. So keep comments on topic and be kind. It's not that hard. If you don't pay attention to the way that you comment, then you're going to slowly kill a blog you love.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Name Profile: Janus

Janus is the god that gave us the name for the month of January. Although according to documents from the Roman time period, Juno was actually the main deity for this month. So it might actually be named after Juno. But for the purposes of this post we are assuming that January comes from Janus. Juno already has her own month, okay?

Janus is the Roman god of doors, gateways, passageways, and (if we're thinking more metaphorically here) beginnings and transitions. His name means "covered passage" in Latin. He is usually portrayed with a face on the back of his head, which represents his ability to see both the future and the past. There is no Greek equivalent to Janus, although he might be related to an earlier Italian oak god named Dianus. Regardless, he is distinctly Roman.

Janus was a very important god in his day. There were rituals preformed in his honor at the beginning of each year, each month, and each day. The Romans believed that the way in which a person began a new project was critical to it's success, which seems like good common sense to me. Naturally, they wanted all of the divine help they could get.

Janus might seem like a very unusual name, but if you look through history you can see many instances of usage. The variant Januarius was a given name during the late Roman period and is the name of several saints. There is also an identical surname Janus which according to Llewellyn's Complete Book of Names comes from John. This is why there are many instances of Janus used as an alternative name for John (King John II of Cyprus was also known as Janus).

But as far as recent history goes Janus is definitely an uncommon name. I could see it having a chance. It fits in nicely with the Atticus' and the Atlas' and all the other lovely -us boys names from mythology that are becoming fashionable at the moment. There's just one practical problem with this name: it sounds like Janice. One could see how that could cause some confusion. Overall, it seems like January is getting more attention as a prospective name.

Some modern Pagans have a reluctance to using names of deities. But Janus could be a meaningful name given during a time of transition. A new year definitely qualifies.

Some Combos:

Janus Palmer

Janus Yule

Janus Wilder

Related Names:

January

Januarius

Ianos

John

Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Fond Farewell

I was greatly stunned and saddened to hear of the passing of Kay M. Sheard. She ran the blog Nook of Names and wrote the amazing Llewellyn's Complete Book of Names that I use for reference in my astrology posts. She used to post regularly in the old incarnation of this blog and her insights were always invaluable. I wish peace for her family and friends. May she be embraced in the arms of her chosen gods.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Best Books I Read in 2014


Cover design is copyright Jim Tierney
 
What is the New Year about? Well, if you're anything like me, it's about promising to read X number of books before the year is out. Last year my goal was 75. I made it to 67. That's a very good number, but it is not the number. I try to give myself some credit. Many people don't even read half that much in this country.

Out of all those books, these are the ones I believe are the best:

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
The First True Lie by Marina Mander
Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Hopeless Savages by Jen Van Meter
Kabuki: Metamorphosis by David Mack
True Grit by Charles Portis
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter

I have a sneaky suspicion that all name enthusiasts are also book nerds. Here are a few inspiring monikers from the selection up top:

Terry

Susan

Teatime

Albert

Violet

Sun

Sprout

Ruth

Nao

Twyla

Herman

Siddhartha

Marina

Luca

Katherine

Abdul

Zehrunisa

Kehkashan

Asha

Manju

Sunil

Sunita

Fatima

John

Green

Hazel

Augustus

Isaac

Rat Bastard Hopeless-Savage

Arsenal Fierce Hopeless-Savage

Twitch Strummer Hopeless-Savage

Skank Zero Hopeless-Savage

Ginger

David

Mack

Kabuki

Charles

Rooster

Mattie

Markus

Liesel

Rudy

Max

Witi

Kahu

Paikea

Koro

Flowers

Ransom

Alma

Peregrine

Jacob

Emma

Millard

Bronwyn

Claire

Abraham

Victor

Cheryl

Angela

Carter

Alice

I'm going to try for 75 books this year too. Wish me luck!