When people ask you about your spiritual practices, how do you respond? More importantly, how does it make you feel?
In my hometown, beautiful though it may be, people aren't always open to the sacred arts. Yes, I felt safe being an astrologer or tarot reader, but I was something deeper still, and I didn't know how to express that in the larger context of my spiritual belief system. Until recently, when people asked me about spirituality I'd flinch, wondering how to reply with integrity without making anyone uncomfortable or causing a scene.
This year, I'd had the pleasure of participating in Briana Saussy's Miracle Tree Sessions, a year-and-a-day intensive program for anyone "who desires a deeper relationship with their spiritual allies, the living land, the world between worlds, and the Divine within and without." The course has been a catalyst for many discussions of magical lineage and the importance of names. She reminded us that coming into alignment with your spiritual work, whatever that might be, is your sacred right.
Under the Virgo full moon, I decided to sort out what to call myself once and for all. No more flinching, and no more fear.
I know I'm not alone in this experience, especially not within the metaphysical community. So, I've decided to share my ritual with you.
This is the exercise I used to claim my rightful names and right spiritual work. I hope it helps you find a name that feels like home.
First, grab your favorite divination deck and a notebook. I recommend using a traditional tarot deck for this exercise.
Next, you’ll want to write a list of all your possible rightful names. Be sure to include any religious or spiritual traditions you were raised with and from your specific ancestry, in addition to any metaphysical practices you feel pulled towards. You may also want to include any work that feels like it’s a part of your life’s calling. For example, my list included Catholic, mystic, and writer.
Know that your list will be completely unique to you. Only you have your special blend of family heritage, past experiences, and intuitive leanings. Be open to names that might feel strange to you at first. You may be surprised what you find.
If you’re still unsure where to begin, feel free to try a few of the names from my personal list:
lover of mystery
lover of wisdom
There’s no limit on how many names you can ask about. My list had 35 names! Just make sure you’re able to stay focused for the entire exercise.
At this point, you may want to light a candle or some incense. Make this experience as sacred or as simple as you want. Again, it's all about what feels right to you.
Deep breath in. Deep breath out.
Now, ask this question: “What are my rightful names?”
Or, you might ask: “What is my right spiritual work?”
One by one, pull a card for each name on your list. Make sure you record the card for each name as you go, especially if your list is long. Also pay attention to how each card makes you feel, because that will make a difference in how your interpret it.
Here's how I interpreted the results:
Major Arcana cards are a "hell yes". The only ones where this doesn't apply are The Tower and The Devil. My reading of these cards was that there's power in that area, but it may be dangerous, or it may not be something you want to pursue.
Aces are also a definite "yes".
Court cards may represent roles you play at different times in your life.
Minor Arcana cards depend on the individual card meaning.
I shared this ritual with my magical partner-in-crime and all-around megababe Paige Zaferiou, and she said that positive reversed cards are an area of potential that needs development.
Once you've completed the ritual, let the results simmer for a while. Come back to them after a day, and again after a week, and see how you feel. In my practice, a few names that came up felt perfect right away, while others needed more time to sink in. Both are totally valid.
After you're done, if it feels good to you, I'd absolutely love to hear your experience with this practice. Feel free to send me an email or contact me on Twitter with your results!
Finally, my wish for you is this: