I'm so touched by the support my existential angst stirred up; it's good to know I'm not alone. Reading some of the comments, I came to one possible conclusion (well, a question leading to a possible conclusion): does the naming of a thing make it so? When Bambi called the skunk 'Flower', it didn't make the air any fresher, but both Bambi and skunk were comfortable in that truth. Then again, Shakespeare's rose is a rose no matter what it's called; call it skunk if you will but it's still a flower with all that entails, and there's little correlation between the odiferous mammal and the perfumed blossom. So we're back to square one....
Thirteen years ago, I changed my name. In the early days of my newly recognized spiritual path, I relentlessly sought out a magickal name, one for rituals and spiritual writing and such. For awhile, Rainwalker served the purpose, but it started to feel....awkward, a tool like an athame or wand, something I donned for the occasion like a ritual dress, separate from my soul. A random conversation in which I discovered that not one, but two of my adult friends, had changed their names years before got me thinking. If my spiritual path was part of me, if it defined who I was/am at my core, why have a name I trotted out only for special occasions? There was no question the name my parents had given me, while a fine one, was as poor a fit for me as Yeti the Australian sheepdog/collie mix sleeping on the cat bed. And the adult me was already so very different than who I'd been (and that metamorphosis was just beginning...).
So the search began for a name that would reflect my soul, remind me always of the Goddess-worshipping spiritual path I'd chosen. I considered then tossed in a pile dozens of names until I found the one. The name was Aisling (which I spell phonetically). Aisling is the Irish word for dream/vision, and also refers to a form of poetry that personifies the land as a womon. Yeah, an internet search now brings up numerous variations of what constitutes an aisling poem, but in 1999, that definition was the most prevalent and spoke to my soul. And so, I became Ashling, devotee of the Goddess, especially in Her aspect as Brigid. It was a growing up, a commitment and initiation on a life path.
I named myself, and it became my truth, my reality. My truth.
You see where I'm going with this, yes?
So to Pat and Tammy, to those who question what right we have to name ourselves as writers or artists, let's do it anyway! Let's own who we are--or aspire to become. Let us revel in the freedom of doing rather than worrying the bars of self-made cages debating our worthiness to be in the company of those who share the name.
Hi! My name is Ashling, and I'm a writer and novice fiber artist. Who are you?