What’s in a Spiritual Name?

Many people have been given a spiritual name or devised a spiritual name for themselves. A definition of spiritual is “relating to religion or religious belief.” Spiritual can also mean “relating to or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.” I like the second definition. A name is what you are known by in this world and carries significant influence on the flow of energy in one’s life. Kundalini Yoga says that “a spiritual name is the designated destiny that becomes your identity on the Earth.” I want to give credit to Google for giving me the quoted phrases. Spiritual names encompass all those definitions and more. I even consider one’s trail name – given or earned on the event of hiking a long distance trail – a kind of spiritual name. That name will always bring back memories – good or bad – of the journey taken.

It is true that the sound of a person’s name carries an energy with it. I believe that energy is what helps manifest the designated destiny that becomes your identity. Therefore, the energy of your name is as important as the name itself. But how are spiritual names chosen? I don’t know for sure. I do know that some names are given based, in part, on numerology. Other people choose their own name based on what feels right to them. Some are given them in initiatory experiences of meditation, or healing, or crisis. In the case of a trail name, it could be something that describes you to the other hikers. If you don’t like the energy of your name, and it is no longer in alignment with your mission in life, consider going by another name. It can be as simple as a nickname. You don’t have to change it legally unless you want to.

For some, the legal route is the only way that will satisfy an urge to give up a current identity by claiming a new one or reclaiming an old one. Even in the course of taking on a new spouse’s name, all name changes, legal or not, are spiritual statements. That makes any new name a spiritual journey as the vibration of the new name will begin to influence your presence in the world.

Say your name. Does it fit you? Maybe it used to but maybe now you want something different for yourself. I’ve participated in name deconstruction exercises and found them powerful in understanding how my names influenced me. This led me to recreate myself a few times over. You could say this was an identity crisis, but I don’t look at it that way. I consider this a “What is my lifepath?” challenge and where do I want to go from here. My life’s direction hasn’t always been clear. I’ve been given the opportunity, as many others have, to decide which direction to go.  What new name to pick? That can be a challenge too while for some it might be easy.

For example, I was initially reluctant to take on the identity of StarLightworker even though it spoke clearly to my desires of being a spiritual person doing good works in the world. I have an affinity with the stars and work of the Light is what I discovered I am here to do. The indigenous elder leading a drum making ceremony encouraged me to use it for the first time. We journeyed through the process of creating the drum and each person was asked how they wanted the inside inscribed. I just said my birth name, Kelly. Everyone else was using some given or chosen name. The elder asked me if I was sure because he was insightful enough to know me better than I knew myself at the time. He then encouraged me to use the name I had only recently devised for my work but afraid to own – StarLightworker. I hadn’t even had time to try it on. Well, that sealed it. It was like the Universe telling me to get to work. The name now represents the healing and spiritual work I do in the world. It is me. I had to take the name in order to allow myself to embody the name. That was a big lesson.

At that same time, I realized my old married name no longer fit me. I hung onto pride when I kept it by refusing to return it to my prior spouse. He said I had to give it back. My children had that name and I stubbornly felt right to keep it. I later regretted my decision and had to live it until I either remarried or got the courage to go through the hassle of changing it legally. Even though StarLightworker was a part of me now, it wasn’t a name I wanted legally. After several years of wrangling with this issue, I chose a new last name and began using it anonymously to try it on. In the meantime, I was dating a man whom I thought I could be with for a long time. Therefore, I waited. And waited….three more years. I’m grateful to say that within a few months of deciding to proceed with the legal paperwork, my current husband proposed marriage and I gladly accepted his last name to replace it – Stewart. The new name felt right. So, on a personal and legal level, I am Kelly Stewart. The vibe of it fits me for now. I see myself as a steward of the property I take care of. Professionally, I market my services as StarLightworker. However, there is another part of me whose mission calls to be fulfilled.

When people are given a name, no matter how it is given, some will take it and run with it and use it in all aspects of life. Kundalini Yoga has given out many names and encourages people to use them professionally and personally. Many have changed their legal names to match. I too have been given a Kundalini Yoga name some years back and only recently began using it in some of my spiritual practices. I have enjoyed the process of owning the name Jiwan Saraswati. I didn’t think I would, but as I work with it, I can feel the effects of it bringing good things into my life. Perhaps one day I will share more about the journey with this name.

In the meantime, if the vibe of your own identity doesn’t suit you, I encourage you to try something else. Be bold! Sometimes you have to wear it to start embodying it. Sometimes it better describes who you’ve already become. Do whatever it takes to be comfortable in your skin. Don’t worry about offending others as can happen at times. It’s not a personal attack on them, it is just you exercising your will to become a bigger and better version of you! If it be in alignment with your mission, Spirit will support you. Trust me on that one.

By the way, who wants to join me on a long distance trail hike someday so we can acquire another name? Shoot me an email if you dare.