Finding Your Magical Name

A young woman doing yoga in a field
Gary Burchell / Getty Images

The topic of the magical name is one that comes up often in discussion in the Pagan community. So many people find Paganism or Wicca and decide right off the bat that they’re going to name themselves Lady Such-and-Such or Lord Whatsis. Go to any public Pagan event and you’ll meet more fifteen-year-old Lady Morganas than you can shake a stick at. And it’s virtually guaranteed that within about three months, at least one of those Lady Morganas will decide her magical name, sometimes called a craft name, is really supposed to be Starfluffle or Moongypsy, and she’ll change it. In fact, she might even change it two to three times a year.

What's a Magical Name, Anyway?

Many Pagans adopt a magical name upon their initiation into the Craft. This can be a name you select for yourself, or one given to you by someone else. The magical name is usually only revealed in a ritual setting, and often isn't used outside of the coven or group. Some Pagans have two magical names — one which they use in public, and one which is known only to the gods and members of the person’s coven.

Keep in mind that not all Pagans, or even all Wiccans, choose to have magical names. Selecting one is a personal decision, but it is not required of people in all traditions. If you don't feel called to have one, or there's nothing that resonates with you, don't feel obligated to create something.

Think Long-Range

Try not to be part of the Name-of-the-Month Club. This typically happens because a practitioner hasn’t taken the time to research and learn, which is crucial to finding the right magical name. A magical name is unique to each of us, and there are several ways to find yours. When you find the right name, you’ll keep it for a long time. In some traditions, it‘s customary to wait until you‘ve studied a year and a day before claiming your magical name. In others, it is selected at the time of initiation, but still after significant thought has been put into it.

One method by which people sometimes find their magical name is to simply choose something they like. This isn't a bad idea... until you realize that the name you liked a few months or years ago is one that you now find silly or obnoxious. If you’re going to choose a name based on whether it sounds cool or not, stop and think about it. What is it about the name that appeals to you? Ten years from now, are still going to feel comfortable saying, “Hi, I‘m Fairypuddle,” when you meet a new person?

Names with Meaning

Choose a name not only for its sound, but its attributes as well. For example, someone wishing to convey strength in their name might include “oak“ or “iron“ as part of their moniker. A person who is highly creative might select a name that reflects their art or craft, such as "weaver" or "painter." You may want to choose a name based rooted in folklore or mythology. Many people include the name of an animal that resonates with them. A cautionary note here: in the Pagan community, certain animals pop up all the time. You’ll meet two dozen Ravens and just as many Cats, but it’s unlikely you’ll encounter anyone calling himself Wombat or Penguin.

Sure, you can use a Random Magical Name Generator, or go down the standard list of Pagan Magical Names that appears all over the place, but for most people, it's more gratifying to find one that's unique and speaks to our personality and our values. Really, do you want to go to a festival and be one of nine people with the same name standing in the circle?

Names to Avoid

Another bit of advice — generally, the titles Lord and Lady are reserved for people who are elders or have a significant amount of leadership experience under their belt. To name oneself Lady So-and-So without any credentials is considered presumptuous by many Pagans. Likewise, in many traditions it’s seen as hubris to give oneself the name of a deity. You may want to choose a name that indicates your dedication to a god or goddess, but don’t co-opt their names. It’s just rude. If you're a dedicant to Apollo, don't call yourself Master Apollo, call yourself something like Apollonius instead. You could save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.

Using Your Birth Number

Another popular method of finding a magical name is to choose one that corresponds with your birth number. To find your birth number, begin by adding the digits of your birth date.

If your birthday was September 1, 1966, you would start with the numbers 911966 = 9 + 1 + 1 + 9 + 6 + 6 = 32.

Now take those two numbers (3 and 2), and bring it down to a single digit: 3 + 2 = 5. That number — in this case, 5 — is your birth number.

Use the list below to find a name that corresponds to the number 5, by calculating the sum of the corresponding letters.

  • 1 = A, J, S
  • 2 = B, K, T
  • 3 = C, L, U
  • 4 = D, M, V
  • 5 = E, N, W
  • 6 = F, O, X
  • 7 = G, P, Y
  • 8 = H, Q, Z
  • 9 = I, R

Let’s say you’ve decide you like the name "Willow." Using the letters in “Willow” you would take the numbers 5 + 9 + 3 + 3 + 6 + 5 = 32. From there, 3 + 2 = 5. If the name you like doesn’t match your birth numbers, try some creative or alternate spellings to see what happens.

A Gift from the Gods

In some cases, you may be fortunate enough to have your new name bestowed upon you by a god or goddess. In these instances, you may encounter someone in a dream or a vision who tells you, “Your name is Such-and-such.” While you may choose to add to it or come up with a variation on it later, if this happens to you, accept the name as the gift that it is.

Whatever method you end up using, think carefully before you finalize your new name. While it’s okay to change your name later on as you evolve spiritually, changing your name every few weeks or every time you see a new episode of “Charmed” is probably not the best course of action. Find the name that is right for you — and when it IS the right one, you will know.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Finding Your Magical Name." Learn Religions, Aug. 27, 2020, Wigington, Patti. (2020, August 27). Finding Your Magical Name. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "Finding Your Magical Name." Learn Religions. (accessed March 26, 2023).