Today, I’m going to answer another question from a reader.
Reader ddmoonsong asked—among other things that I will be writing about in other posts—”Also, do you have a spiritual name, i.e a name you use only in relation to rituals/prayer? If yes, how did that come about, and if no, why not?”
I chose this one to write about first because it’s a little complicated.
The answer would be yes and no, but mostly no.
I know that’s not very helpful, so I’ll try to explain.
Celestine Day is not my birth/legal name, and I believe that’s pretty obvious. For many years, I’ve used variations of the name “Celestine Angel” on the Internet, because that name had some spiritual significance for me, but could also be used as an online persona. When it came time to create this blog, though, it didn’t seem appropriate for this new leg of my spiritual journey. The “Celestine” part is still important to me for a variety of reasons, but the “Angel” part isn’t so important anymore, and is more connected to non-spiritual things now (I wrote an absolute ton of Harry Potter fanfiction under that name).
So I wanted to keep Celestine, but replace the Angel part with something that seemed more appropriate. “Day” almost immediately came to mind, and sounded right, and while I’m still not entirely sure why I’ve chosen it, I went with it. I’m sure I’ll understand it eventually.
Much of what I’m about to say will sound silly to some, or most of you. Heck, one of you will know exactly what I’m talking about and probably think me insane. But it is what it is, and I’m going to tell the truth.
When I was in high school, and into my early years of college, I was very into anime. Sailormoon was my original gateway anime, and like many fans before me, I created my own Sailor Senshi and wrote about how she fit into the canon world. I even played her in an online, anime-based role-playing game. For many, many years, I used her as an online persona, and wrote anime fanfiction under that name.
Her name was Sailorcelestial.
Also in my early college years, I was involved in a very intense relationship. My first serious relationship, with a young man I almost married. Not marrying him was the best thing that ever happened to me, because the relationship was warped in a lot of ways I won’t go into detail about here or anywhere.
It is important to this story, however, because he and I often did energy work and other spiritual exercises together, and in the throes of what we thought was love (and maybe it was, at least for one of us), we created an elaborate fantasy that involved multiple lifetimes of very romantic and tragic drama, that only proved we were soulmates and destined to be together. Well. That didn’t work out very well for us, but during one of our sessions, he informed me that in a past life, as he died, he’d called out to me by the name “Celestine,” which was not my “true name,” but more a description of my “true nature.”
It seemed to fit, especially with the Sailorcelestial online persona I’d already had for a couple of years.
If you’re wondering why I still use it today, even though this was more than a decade ago, and this person is long out of my life… partly it’s because even though the name came from him, it’s like I already owned it. Despite how false most of what he and I did together was, I feel like that name might be the only true thing to come from it.
Also, while remembering where it came from, I use it detached from him. I am Celestine, at least in part, and that has nothing to do with him.
Angels are often called “celestial beings.” Once, years after my ex and I broke up for good, I spoke to another friend of mine, a very intuitive woman with whom I had had many conversations about a variety of spiritual topics, and asked her if she could tell me anything about the true nature of my soul. Perhaps I had in mind that previous conversation about “Celestine,” which had left the seed in my mind.
After a pause while she gathered herself and her insight, she asked me, “Do you ever dream about flying?”
“Yeah. Pretty often. Not every night, or anything, but pretty often.”
“… when you have these flying dreams, are you in control or not?”
“I’m in control, usually. It’s pretty cool.”
Another long pause. I think she knew what my reaction would be. “I think you know the answer,” she finally said. “I mean… Celestine.”
“No. Oooh no. No way.” All I could think was, isn’t that a little out there, even for me? Even for us?
Not long after that, this friend also held a guided past life regression session for myself and a mutual friend. The guided meditation seemed to confirm what she’d not-quite told me over the phone, because I very distinctly remembered being a messenger, and a very intense, uncontrolled fall.
So, later, when I wasn’t so into anime anymore, and wanted to move away from “Sailorcelestial,” I chose a new online persona: “Celestine Angel.”
I think much of the reason I’m moving away from Angel as part of my name now is that I have begun to look back on much of my beliefs and practices from that time frame of high school to around the age of 23-25 or so, and wonder how much of it was true, and how much of it was a very convincing form of teenage and then adult role-playing. I am pretty certain that anything from my relationship with my ex was two young people being dramatic and, frankly, stupid. The other friend turned out not to be very reliable for anything to do with life in the physical world, and years of growth and maturity of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual variety, has me doubting. Not Paganism, but many of my early experiences, especially those that had anything to do with someone else telling me something about me.
So What’s the Point?
From Sailorcelestial, to Celestine Angel, to Celestine Day, I’ve gone through three variations of a similar name, but until the third one, none of them were overtly spiritual in nature. Sure, there were connections to my spirituality and my beliefs at the time, but I didn’t use these names spiritually. Neither Sailorcelestial, nor Celestine Angel, were ever magical names for me. I never introduced myself to the gods as either. I never initiated into any circles under them.
I did belong to a coven around that same time period, and when I first introduced myself to the woman who would become the high priestess, I introduced myself as Aislin Makalani, a name I’d constructed clumsily to mean “Dream of writing,” which was indeed my dream for much of my young adulthood. It was a name I had purposefully intended to use as a magical name. However, it didn’t last long. I pretty quickly revealed my legal name to the coven members, and as the coven never had any official initiations or coven birthing rituals, I never had to decide on a true magical name.
In fact, I only really remembered the name “Aislin Makalani” just now, before I wrote that paragraph. That’s how important it was to me: not very.
So now we come to now, and to the newest iteration of the name that has meant something to me: Celestine Day. Is this a spiritual name? Hmm, yes, I would say so. I use it only for blogging about Paganism, and my spirituality. In that way, I guess it is a spiritual name.
Is it a magical or ritual name? I would have to say no.
Here’s the thing: I’ve never actually sat down with the gods and said, “Hi, I’m _____________, pleased to meet you.” Not with my legal name, or with a chosen name. I know it’s supposed to be an important step, but I’ve never felt the need. Despite having read about it in a whole bunch of books, it’s just never occurred to me to do it myself. These are gods. One of them sought me out, woke me up in the middle of the night to announce Her presence. I feel like they know me, the true me, and that requires no introduction. I guess this is an unpopular opinion, or piece of UPG, but it wouldn’t be the only one I have.
(Another apparently unpopular opinion: I also feel that while speaking aloud during prayer and ritual can bring an extra sense of reverence to the activity, it isn’t necessary. Some people say the gods can’t read your mind if you pray silently. Why not? They’re GODS. Even if they’re not omnipotent, surely they can handle a little mind-reading, right?)
This is now the longest blog post I’ve written so far, and I hope it hasn’t gotten away from me too badly. And, ddmoonsong, I hope I’ve answered your question thoroughly.