Within Druidry, and indeed in modern Paganism, it is usual to adopt a craft name within your tradition. It is not necessary, and if you feel that you don’t need one, or one doesn’t appeal, then by all means forego the craft name. However, choosing a craft name, or having one bestowed upon you can enhance your connection to your tradition, if you allow it.
Craft names can provide an air of mystery and magic. We can choose something that reflects our work, such as Oak Seeker, Coll (hazel, if working with ogham), or Pathfinder. We can choose something that reflects a part of the environment that we love – Alder, Willow, Rain. We can put two words together that express a deep part of our soul, or a deep love that we have, such as Gentle Bear, Running Horse, or my craft name – Autumn Song. We can adopt names of the gods and goddesses that we love, such as Nehalennia, Freya, Lugh, Branwen, Rhiannon, Bridget. There are also mythological names like Merlin, Morgan and Nimue that might strike a chord deep within our hearts. We can even choose names from fantasy books that we love – Gandalf, Radagast, Arwen, Goldberry, Eomer, Eowyn, Faramir (all Lord of the Rings names). What matters most is that our name expresses a deep part of our soul; that when we utter it, write it, exhale it into the twilight it means something to us, connects us to the awen.
You can inscribe your craft name upon your altar, or your tools. You can sign correspondence with it. You may even change your name to your craft name if you feel that better reflects who you are. I like having both names, as I can honour my two grandmothers for whom I am named after, and honour my tradition with my craft name. Besides, it took me long enough to learn how to write my own name, and I’m sticking to it…
We might choose our craft name, or we might be gifted it by another. We could meditate, commune with the local spirits of place, or deity, and ask that they bestow us a name. In some magical traditions, a craft name is given upon initiation into the tradition, or upon completion of various grades. When working alone, we do not have to wait to have a name bestowed upon us – we can seek it out ourselves from whatever inspires us whenever we feel ready. We can ask our ancestors, our spirit guides, even friends and family for ideas and inspiration.
Our craft names may also change with time. As we grow and develop in our spirituality, we might find that we outgrow our name, and thereby be inspired to choose another that better suits our current work. We can include our naming in ceremonies, whether it is our first time or our fifth time in choosing a craft name. Taking on a name is not something to be done lightly, however. It requires much thought and meditation if you wish for it to be important to your work.
Whatever name you choose, or however you decide to be named, honour that name with all that you are. Find ways of being that reflect your name in deep and compassionate ways, working to create peace and harmony in your life and in all life around you.