This is not a post on the power of names. I wish it were; it’s a favourite subject of mine. But I fear I do not have the words in my head for such a post. Not yet, anyway.
No, this post is a bit more mundane — but I hope y’all will be able to help me anyway.
I’m a writer. You probably know this, if you read this blog — you most likely know my name, as a writer and in my daily life, is Katje van Loon. (Well I still post from the account that lists me as Katje, so it should be obvious.)
However, the name I go by here — technically, at least — is Morag. Morag no-last-name because I’m trying to find one.
Katje van Loon writes fiction and poetry and blogs about her life as a writer and various issues she’s political about. She’s out as a pagan author, but she doesn’t talk about her paganism that much; mostly she just lets it come through in her books and poems.
Morag no-last-name currently blogs about being a pagan, and occasionally devotional poetry, and is thinking that someday she may want to write a non-fiction book about her little corner of pagandom. Morag wants to become one of those pagans that a lot of people read and maybe find inspiration from.
Delusions of grandeur? Maybe.
Regardless. Katje and Morag are the same person, and they are both okay with people knowing they’re the same person — but they don’t want to use the same names. They want the fiction and the non-fiction to be somewhat separate. The connection between the two won’t be hidden, just not blatantly exposed.
Morag Grayheart was my full name, but now I feel grayheart doesn’t fit anymore. It fit before, but it doesn’t fit the person I’m becoming. As a witch, priestess, [eventually] druid.
Morag stays, because I was instructed to take the name by my first patron, and I cannot imagine being anything else.
But Morag needs a last name. As much because she’d like to grab a new email for it and open up another WordPress account to shift this blog to as anything else.
So, without further rambling and pretentious windbaggery, here are some ideas I’ve been tossing around.
You may notice a pattern. You’ll probably figure out what it is if you have some understanding of Dutch [or German].
If you don’t, here are the translations:
Spin = spider.
Vergift = poison.
Heks = witch.
“But Morag, you’re terrified of spiders!”
Well, yes, that’s true. And it’s a fear I must get over. I think that a good way to do that is to become what I fear. To fuck my monsters instead of fighting them. To become Batman.
Also, I am a witch and I am going down the poison path. So I thought those might be good options too.
I’m leaning towards Spinvergift and Spinner, but I wanted to hear what y’all think first.
I like Spinner.
I vote for Spinner.
You won’t have to spell it out so often as the others.
You are a spinner of tales, anyway.
In Dutch, you become the spider, which is a great metaphor for you.
Some spiders are poisonous; some are not. Only those who come to know you well will be able to figure out where you are on the poison spectrum.
Spider silk is the strongest material on the planet (allegedly). I just saw a film about spidergoats, who have been injected with the gene that makes the spider silk that’s stronger than Kevlar and then produce the necessary protein in their milk. The film, *Playing God*, did not say what happens to mammals that drink the milk, but it’s interesting to speculate.
Two plusses is good enough for me. (That and my mom’s comment above.) Spinner it is!
I have this same problem with my names, pagan and pen name. Juniper is hardly uncommon in Pagandom, after all.
*nod* It can be difficult. Especially trying to find a name that a) has meaning for you, b) is uncommon enough that you’re not one of 50 others at a festival or even in the blogosphere, and c) doesn’t make people laugh when they hear it. Something undeniably pagan without being undeniably silly.
I mean, using Lady Celestial Honeyfeather Ironhawk may be fun for a while, but it gets tiring.
I like my name, Satsekhem. I like the fact that it embraces my patroness. My problem is completing it. Aubs Satsekhem Tea is fine, for now, but it needs more. I want to compartmentalize my pagan, my writing, and my online persona. However, what the hell kind of last name works with Satsekhem? None!
And I’ve never known what my pen name should be…
Well, part of my problem is that I’ve always wanted to change my legal name. So whatever name I choose would likely be a legal, pagan, and writing name all in one. At this point, I would probably make my current given name (Katrina) a middle name, but that still leaves the issue of a surname. Especially since Juniper, as a legal name, makes me sound a bit like a hippy.
In the spirit of fucking monsters instead of fighting them, remind me sometime that I owe about seventeen posts on the topic, and another fifty-three on god-slavery, will you?
I will try and remember!
And I would love to read your posts.
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