By Mike Gleason
The New Book of Magical Names, by Phoenix McFarland
Llewellyn Worldwide, 0738703958, 415 pp. (incl. bibliography, list of names, and index), Second Edition, Revised, 2003
Quite honestly, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into when I opened this book up. Of the 364 pages which compose the body of this book 39% (143 pages) are simply lists of names, many of them without meanings attached or associated with them. Information is provided on mythological, herbal, and mineral sources. Many of the names are drawn from other cultures, however, and it would be beneficial to have a bit of background on what they may mean in their original context.
Phoenix provides some nice meditations and “evaluations” to help you narrow down your choices. There are amusing anecdotes and quotes to brighten your reading, as well as historical background on some sources.
She offers suggestions to help you in your search for a name. It is important to realize that not all these names are intended to be used in the “outer” world. Some, like the pet names lovers have for one another, or the nicknames used by close friends and family, are simply intended to help forge tighter bonds between individuals, or between various levels of your own personality and/or psyche. Some of them are intended to be adopted, for longer or shorter time frames, to help us with our own development.
After reading this book, and thinking about the premise, I have to say that I am really glad I got it. You may find names here which will inspire you in the naming of your coven, your child, and your own stages of evolution.
At $19.95, the price may seem a bit steep for a spur of the moment purchase, but trust me on this one, unlike the “Lady Pixie Moondrip’s Pagan Name Generator” found on the Internet, this one will give you some real inspiration.