What is a name, if not a label with which to identify one person from another?
We are given names at birth. Not always names we like. Often however, we are given a chance to take on a new name. Religious celebrations are one event that often brings with it the opportunity for a new name.
When I joined the Order of St. Esclarmonde, I was excited to take on a new name. I had done so when initiated into Gardnerian Witchcraft (a name which I still love), and was presented with the choice again. I decided on Elena. In relation to H.P. Blavatsky, who’s writings I enjoyed quite a bit. The name Elena has some nice meanings attributed to it as well. So, that was it. When I took my vows I became Sister Elena. Understand of course, I did not HAVE to take on a new name. It was a choice. I chose to do so.
A little over a year has passed since that date. I have traveled a years worth of steps on this Gnostic Journey. I have learned more in this past year on a spiritual level than I had in the many years previous.
I became quite comfortable in Gnostic circles/websites with using Elena as my name. In fact, SO comfortable with it that I made up my mind to add Elena as a legal name when our tax return comes in this year.
Right up until yesterday morning, this was the plan. Change my legal name to include my New Name. Something happened however. We were driving to my in-laws to celebrate my very dear brother-in-law’s birthday, and while we were driving I suddenly changed my mind. I realized that I had been trying to re-invent myself this whole past year. A new name for my new spirituality. Yet, in the past little while … the last two or three weeks especially… I realized that really, what it has been all about, has been about finding my way home. Finding my origins. Finding the true me that has been caught up in the world of the Archons. I’m not done with this task, but at least now I know what I’ve been driven to do. And it won’t be achieved by finding identity in a name that is not mine.
One day, if I am fortunate enough to receive my Holy Orders, then I can see the relevance in taking on an additional name. But not as a new identity, instead it would be an outward showing of inward growth. However, I will always be Shilo. My mother named me Shilo Michelle. Neil Diamond’s beautiful song about his imaginary friend was the inspiration for the first name, and the Beatles were the inspiration for the second/middle name. They both have fine enough meanings on their own. The best reason of all though, was that they were given to me by someone who loves me very much.
I don’t need to ‘become’ someone else, I only need to hone in on what I truly am. A child of the Divine. As we all are. I don’t need a fancy name to be God’s child. 🙂 I don’t need a label to identify with.
So, I’m Shilo Michelle. Pleased to meet you.