Sunday, March 29, 2009

contemplating a change

Something's awry.

It just doesn't fit. It bugs me, even though it's a superficial little thing.

I've grown to really dislike my blogger url. I can't stand it, actually.

I updated my profile this morning. I found it a bit more fluffy than I am - somehow, after a year of searching and incredible change, the term "just coming out" doesn't seem to apply any more. After all, it's been a year. Not a year of blogging here, but a year of awareness, a year of opening, a year of coming out - slowly, gradually, in circles that started with the safest people in my life, and will soon end with my extended family.

I picked the name Arial because I was toying with the idea of using it as a magical name. Like Catholics at confirmation, pagans often pick their own magical names. The difference being that we can change our name whenever we want(or not have a magical name at all), and that it's not written somewhere in St Peter's holy book so that God can call us or whatever - because I (and some pagan beliefs may vary) believe in neither heaven or hell, nor do I believe that any guy named Peter has my name written in his book, anywhere. We use our magical names in circle, during ritual, when doing sacred work.

I've had three magical names over the course of my pagan life. I wasn't ready for the first one, it being a little more powerful than me at the time. The second one never really fit, and the women in my coven were forever calling me by the first name, thus engendering much confusion, which worsened after one of our coven sisters gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and gave him the same name I had claimed magically.

Arial aligns with the element of air (most would write it as Ariel, but I had lost my ability to spell on the day I set up this blog). Air is the element associated with the dawn, with intellect, with breathwork, singing, talking. With visualization. I was closely connected to those things, and I always will be. Writing is air work. But every time I look at my blogger name, I uncomfortably connect it to a Little Mermaid, a Disney creation. Aside from the fact that Ariel and I both have red hair, and I like to swim, I have no desire to be anything like a Disney mermaid. The "Ray" part seemed to fit - a ray of sunlight reflected on the water, or so I thought at the time. Except that I didn't have much sunlight in my life, and there was nothing really light and fluffy about what was happening for me at the time. Still isn't. I have my moments of lightness, but I will never be fluffy.

Last Imbolc (February 2, also known as Candlemas, or Groundhog Day) I chose a new name. A name that fit, a name that I didn't need to grow into, a name that was just - right.

Here I must give my sister credit. The name was her suggestion. She suggested a gaelic word that meant "crooked river." I liked the sound of the name, very gender-neutral, and I liked the idea of a crooked line - yeah, I know - why is it that everything in my world somehow relates to the Indigo Girls? I love old rivers, how they turn in upon themselves, how they undulate like snakes across the land, carving valleys and channels into the landscape that they cross. Over time the river shapes the land so that each is indelibly linked with the other. The town I was raised in sits at the bottom of a deep river valley. I like how water and earth connect on a riverbank, how they are both linked with the element of air. I am very earthy these days, grounded, sure of myself and the world I am creating.

But crooked also means "not straight, " and when I looked up the etymology of the word, I learned that the first syllable of the name I chose actually means "gay" in Irish Gaelic. How cool is that?


That's who I am. And while there may be any number of Butterflies or Cedars or Grasshoppers at your local witchcamp (my apologies to those people who've taken those names, they are beautiful, but there can be some confusion when it comes to identity sometimes). I wanted a name that no one else was likely to have, a name with a deeply personal meaning, a name that resonated with all I am, and filled with the potential for who I may become.

Yesterday at ritual, my coven walked a local labyrinth. As I walked, I began to shed the things I no longer needed. I set intentions for the year, what I want to sow, what I want to harvest at year's end. And somewhere in the middle of the labyrinth I became Camlin.

This morning I staked out a new blogger url. I don't expect that what I write will be much different than what I write here, but it feels like I belong there, somehow. This blog will stay up - but I hope that when I start posting over at the new site that you will join me there. All the comments that I leave will be signed as "anna" so as to avoid further confusion. Many of you know me well enough to recognize my given name.

I'd start now, but I need to walk the dog while it's not raining. And before Emily comes home.

I hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday.

4 comments: said...

Updating my google reader... :)


My word verification word is:


oddly fitting...

Avril Fleur said...

I love the new name and the meaning behind it. I think it fits you very well.

Propane Amy said...

I am now following your new blog. But you know have an award to pick up on mine.... so go to it...LOL

Caustic Cupcake said...

I like the new name, too.