Walking In Your Spirit Name
It's an interesting concept to 'walk in a name' isn't it? I mean we take our given names, our nicknames, even our surnames and look into their meanings, sometimes we find some very connective implications into our personalities and lineage, traits within the family, etc. but even there we tend to brush them off. By brushing them off I mean we may commit those references to memory and if asked we could recite the meanings, but don't otherwise really walk with them in our conscious awareness daily. I don't think most of us think about our names much. Oh, sure, we answer to them all day long, but we don't think about how we represent that name consciously on a daily basis. I was talking with a friend about this not long ago and began to wonder to myself, since that is something that I am conscious of, just how often is that the case with others? And why not somehow address that to the community here at the Lodge? I wondered if others started their day with them as I do. Did they see it as an important part of how they walk through their day…walking their talk? For those newer to this subject the Spirit Names often remain a mystery for awhile and I'd like to share a bit about that mystery and how I came to solve it.
In my wandering mind I began to wonder how many of us actually take them beyond the receiving, the initial understanding of how they were given and what came with them by that very experience? How many go beyond the surface of the symbolic meanings into BE-coming One with the name itself? I wandered through a lot of questions then, thinking about how I am (today) so aware of mine, how I feel it is so important to walk consciously in them. I thought about how I work with them, and the what-when-where-why-and-how of that started me off on a journey into the unfolding of my understandings. I explored my methods and what I've learned by experiences along the way. I wondered how many others worked so closely with theirs too so I guess that's as good a place to start this article as any…I'm curious and thought I'd share my own insights to give others an idea of what their names might hold for them. I'm hoping those of you who have worked consciously and closely with your Spirit Names will share as you see fit as well.
I'm going to talk about that process a bit, a process of BE-ing with the sacred names consciously and in that how I BE-came with them. In many cases people receive them, know them, but do little with them in the sense of the first-person, they become more like a third-person entity. I've seen others (and in the early days, myself among them) saving them or restricting them only to spiritual matters. I think so much is lost when that happens, at least for me it was like that until I discovered more. Now I start my day with mine but I didn't always do that, in the beginning I received them and grew into them by experience, I embraced them as parts of me but not as the whole. It took me years to see the connections, and it didn't start to happen until my second name was given.
Now sometimes our Spirit Names are used in public, sometimes they are not. I respect that so I'm not going to ask anyone to share them unless they are comfortable doing so. I have four Spirit Names, each very significant in its own right and all of them have come to be connected for me so there is a way in which I walk with each of them daily on the whole. Since I am public with CinnamonMoon I'm going to use that for an example because it is easily shared as a journey in itself. Over the years that name was one in which I learned the Medicine behind it, the pathwork attached to it, and I literally grew into it…then it began to grow with me. I'm talking a span of some 40 years here and the same process has happened with each of my other names too. Each name held its own unique properties and a defined journey with it; but then they came together during the process of unification that I underwent. At least that's what I've come to call it as the spiritual path and mundane path came together as one for me.
At first I received the name and came to understand its meaning from other than a Native perspective. I took the name in a sacred manner and only used it in ritual or ceremony, it was a pagan path I was walking back then, I'd become a High Priestess in witchcraft but was feeling unfulfilled there, something was missing for me, a spiritual depth that felt lacking. I had no other path to follow back then, it was the only one that had come close to touching on the abilities I had and how they were used. Because of that I kept walking it for a few more years before coming to the Native path and in that a deeper understanding would unfold. As time went on I shared it with other Pathwalkers that I met, used it in certain magical or mystery circles only, but it became a name by which I was known and I grew very comfortable with that. Guidance came to me and I was told to take it more public. At the time I didn't know why exactly but I did that. I began using it when I posted on message boards and over the internet, in my email address, just little ways that had no real significance that I was aware of at the time. I was simply using it. A few years later guidance came again and told me to use it as a pen name for my manuscripts and I felt quite comfortable doing so. I published my book under that name and opened Spirit Lodge with that name and have used it professionally as a Spiritual Advisor. Suddenly that name became equated to my path and represented so many aspects of myself and what I did.
Cinnamon is a spice, I love it, always have, and I like ingesting it as much as I do smelling it burning or in a fragrance. It also has spiritual properties that reflect my own focus in the 3-I's and the work I do ritually. I was given this name at a time I was leaving the path of witchcraft to pursue the path of shamanic practices and learn the ways of Medicine People. It marked a significant turn in my life taking me deeper into the spiritual side of things and Grandmother Moon (whom I was very familiar with in witchcraft) came forward from the pagan path to usher me toward the Native one. There she continued to walk with me and teach me as the years cycled through. Cinnamon has been used for centuries by different cultures to cleanse and purify temples and therefore it is considered very sacred. I was honored to take the name CinnamonMoon and walk in that essence. As I grew through the years the sharing I was doing began to grow too, Grandmother came to me and showed herself as the Harvest Moon, she addressed the harvest itself and the Give-Away. This was not necessarily of worldly goods or sustenance though that was part of the giving heart, but more of the Self and how my path was and had been calling for me to do that…how I walked in the harvest of the knowledge I'd gathered and how I shared it to create a bridge and help others find their way to their paths. It was indeed a big part of the work I was doing professionally and privately, work that came from my heart and spirit.
Cinnamon is empowered with the spiritual properties of purification and cleansing, of healing, giving, clairsentience, dream enhancement, raising psychic abilities, stimulation and inspiration. It also contains essences that attract achievement, success, prosperity, as well as love. In this there is a higher awareness, a very natural state of self-empowerment that calls for one to responsibly walk within that context.
As many of you know, Grandmother Moon reflects the Inner Self to us, she helps us with our lessons in life, our relationships, our emotions and deep inner journeys as well as attunement to our sensory abilities. She is the essence of the feminine within us and the nurturing love and healing that we need as well as need to share with others. She will show us our fears and help us conquer them, she will show us our visions of the past, present and future, the bigger picture and the smaller one are with her. She teaches us about giving, receiving, calling to us and sending away, the phases of woman and of nature and therefore life. She brings us to our in-sights and understandings along the way and through our assimilations as we come out of our experiences. Steeped in her own lore, it was an honor walking with her too and learning all about her that I could.
CinnamonMoon didn't stop there with its meaning for me though, I have taken it legally and did so about 10 years ago when my manuscript went to the publisher and my book came out. This was done through the court system and I am officially aka Cinnamon Moon. As I expanded my business it became tied to dba CinnamonMoon and is on my income tax filings as such. It is the name I took in my ministry as a Tribal Minister and later as a non-denominational minister. I walk in that name very consciously every day, it is so much a part of me and who I am, what I do, and where I am heading in both spiritual and mundane terms. The duality of my separate mundane and spiritual paths have become one under that name. I hope in sharing the meaning behind it and what it has taught me that I will in a small way help you see more depth into your own names. Perhaps it will set you to exploring that if you haven't already. Where is your name taking you? How do you walk with it? What has it taught you? How have you become it and it you? What's that been like to grow with it?
Many people are given their Spirit Names containing an element, herb, mineral, animal, location, perhaps adjectively implying their Medicine attached to it. So they look into the creature-teacher, totemic symbology, or related lore and add in their own experience in relation to it so they understand the name. But where does it go from there? In my case Cinnamon is a spice with magical properties to it-it has its own Medicine in that sense. Moon is an object with much mystery, magic and mythology behind it, all of which have been a very big part of my life. It is one part of me, a large part but only one part, there are 3 other names I hold.
One reflects my personal journey of learning and the many paths I've taken to get where I am today, as well as who guided and accompanied me. This name grew with me as I wandered the paths of different teachings. To this day I have a deep respect for them all; they taught me the universal truths and foundations that are present everywhere. They took from me bias toward other teachings into honoring and respect for what they each offer. I received that name about 4-5 years into my walking the way of Native teachings and even there I could look back and see where it was with me from childhood. I recognized it as I searched growing up, and in the Native teachings as I passed through different tribal teachings in my early adulthood up to today. I saw it in my formal education studying world religions and in my ministry process too as I grew older. We all have our own languages and semantics we gravitate to and there is need of many paths so all can find their way accordingly. I came to see the beauty in that, and the Oneness of them all. The name grew with me and I grew with it to understand it is very much a part of who I am.
The name that reflects my Inner Spirit and a path of destiny I am walking has also identified 3 past lives to me. I learned those lives all connected and lead me to this one. It is a name that came through during a series of soul retrievals I underwent. Three of them to be exact, and in that process it came forward showing me the past, why I am here presently became much clearer to me, and where I'm going in the future in this life and in the next has been glimpsed..I'm still working on that. It took me three Retrievals to find her and heal a wound that went way back to my early childhood. In that process I reclaimed Old Memory too, and I connected dots left, right, and center-in all Seven Sacred Directions and the journey of my spirit was shown to me and I understood why I walk the walk I'm walking. It is my honor, devotion, and conviction. It is my courage and strength to draw from when I feel weak. It is my connection to the whole of my Self and the merging process that transpired during those years.
In the process so many long confusing pieces of my present life started making a whole lot of sense to me, understanding came as I examined my personal mythos, archetypes, symbolic cues that had come through repeatedly over the years and why they had stood so strongly before me. I came to understand my human journey as well as the journey of my spirit and the two became one, suddenly the connections of dots scrambled into place. Some might say I completely understood my soul's purpose…the destiny of my spirit and what it needed to accomplish as well as why and how that had always tied into the life I led as a human being. I understood the harsh lessons and the gentle ones and in that I learned to appreciate both, to see the paths of others that way as well. That ability grew with me teaching me tolerance for what I and what they had or hadn't learned, for where I could or couldn't assist them, where my 'place' was and why. That didn't mean that the human side of me didn't need to get through some ugly hang-ups and environmental/social conditioning or biases. Reluctantly I realized those contrary and Shadow Lessons were so many to work through, I had a lot of dense areas to clean up. It became a process and in that a part of me consciously; I Knew that embrace for the totality of Self, and even today I'm still learning and growing with these names. Something I've come to love about them are those endless lessons and the awe they bring with them.
As I undertook my Vision Quest nearly a decade ago another name was given to me to mark the four Medicines I received, the ceremonies and the permission to work with the Gifts of Spirit I was given. That name holds a reflection of my strongest abilities combined with instruction on how to apply the knowledge that was shared with me then. I was taught to use the different energies for different purposes than I'd formerly considered possible. I was taught to summon them and weave with them and the consequences of being careless about that were very apparent from the start. So much so that for awhile I was afraid to use that knowledge or employ it in any way…until I got a nudge from guidance I couldn't refuse. I learned to hone them then, to tune into them and flow with them, to increase or decrease their strength as needed…and to give back to the world around me with them. They became a part of me, I grew with them and in that they grew with me…together we became stronger and more stable. Today I walk confidently with the name as well as the responsibility for those gifts its essence reflects.
When I arise in the morning I put the names together as I address the Seven Sacred Directions, I present my Self fully this way and open myself to be scanned. I ask that in my greeting, ask to be scanned and then led to what is needed to become a better person and fulfill my pathwork. I greet the SpiritKeepers and my Guides, the Elemental Forces and the Keepers of the Three Worlds, Spirit, Mother, Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun. Together we join in the Oneness and the day begins, and I watch as it unfolds and asks what it will of me. I watch to see where I am to grow or change or improve or touch another as best I can. I use the Medicine behind them, use the essences they contain, walk consciously aware that all they represent is at my fingertips to share with the world around me and I'm conscious of how I do that. Not everyone is going to walk that intensely perhaps, and there will be some who walk even stronger than I do, but I strongly believe awareness is important if we are to walk *in* the names we are given. I don't mean that in just in the spiritual sense or in our rites of passage and our ceremonial or journeywork, but in our daily lives too. No one else needs to be aware of that walk *in* the name other than ourselves, but we do need to so we can BE-come them fully.
So I'm curious about our community along these lines, as to whether or not you walk in your names with this level of awareness, or if you're now moved to explore that a bit more? Please feel free to share your views and experiences with us on whatever level you're comfortable with. Share, please, how you came to connect with the Medicine they contain or the attributes they reflect within you, won't you? Perhaps how you found other connections through experiences. And for those of you with questions do feel free to ask and we'll try to answer them. Spirit Names, as a rule, aren't a topic of public discussion when it comes down to the name itself, generally they are kept very private. Here at the Lodge we can take a respectful and serious look at them and how they hold so much meaning about our journey in life as well as along our spiritual pathways. I'm not by any means perfect, there are days I don't manage to stay on track well at all, but for the most part I do and I find it very self-empowering. I have to wonder, how many more of us might benefit by taking their names to awareness and consciously walking in them? So many of us hold them as sacred, many of us here at the Lodge have them; and some of us share them openly, but what do you really know about them? How do you walk with them? What do they mean to you in light of who you are? Or in light of your growth and developing abilities?
Some suggestions: When you take your Spirit Names, the Medicine they hold, and what you've learned about working with that knowledge and those skills you'll begin to see which name situations fall under. Where do you stand with each name working with Spirit, working with Mother, working with your Guides-it is the same but a little different with each of them, jiggled into place according to the interactions and relationships. It is there with people in the mundane too. See where the specifics are in play and you'll see how you walk in those names and what you're being asked to learn about yourself in the process. You'll see as well as how you serve others through them…and yourself. *Soft smile* See where they fit in with the mundane matters. Pay attention to how you're growing into wearing those names and using the abilities they represent. In work, play, family, friendships, and in your spiritual relationships on the other side of the Veil too. Look everywhere for them.
Your Spirit Names will tell your story too, in many, many ways they will tell it to those who have the eyes to see them, or the ears to hear what you share with them…to those you entrust them to. We don't put them out there to brag, not that you would but we have a public identity and the rest remain sacred, shared with those who understand the sacred work we are doing and who walk with us-those who would have need of knowing them. They are used only in a sacred way so that they remain pure and untainted. Your names are very important to you, and I felt the strong nudge to bring this to your attention so let's discuss them a bit now and see what their meaning has taken on for you, see where they are in use, see where they are serving. Okay? *Soft smile*
How are you wearing and walking in your Names? I want you to be aware of how they come into play, not just that you have them. There's much more to it than that. Having a Spirit Name means we have to learn to use and hone the Medicine that it holds responsibly, and in that gain a deep understanding of all that Power because there is Power in those names. So take those Spirit Names and tell us what they are truly saying about you, what have you learned, what have you mastered, what are you working on? Share with us some of your Medicine Story…you see, as you tell it you're bringing that into your higher conscious awareness. I know it's different to look at things this way but I want to encourage you to see the way things flow in and out of each other with such beauty. And in that how we weave both consciously and unconsciously. If I can get this perspective in place for you with the Spirit Names I know you'll have a stronger connection to the path you are walking whatever unfolds and wherever it takes you. The plain truth is that we are meant to walk with and use our Medicine and the greater our understanding of it the better we weave with it. Hopefully by the time we're through discussing this you'll see what I'm trying to accomplish here. I have no need to be in control of your lives or your paths through them, but you do and that means self-empowerment needs to come into being and that comes through the Spirit Names that reflect that power.
Our gifts start to show us where they apply in layers in many ways, and they will shift focus or be jiggled in some manner to serve within the capacity of each Spirit Name we carry and in that they will continue to evolve as we use them. They're like muscles and grow stronger with use. And how did you learn to walk in your name? Where did the teaching come from to show you how to go about it in the first place? Was it a Guide working with you? One you can name? Who our Guides are when we learn more about our Medicine tells us who is teaching us to walk with our Spirit Names. Sometimes they address us by them, sometimes they don't, but when we see which name/s the Medicine fits and who taught it to us we learn more about our Spirit Teachers too and we see who we can call on for answers if we need to develop more in that area. The Guides will just as often overlap as not with our manifesting growth into our Spirit Names. It all ties together, not in an overwhelming sense, but in a beautiful orchestration and harmonious flow of deep and abiding love. When we can see this, when we can flow with it, we float in that energy rather than trying to create the current of it. We are BE-ing. When we direct that energy we are touching in some form because the molecules move to manifest intent. They respond to our thoughts and our rhythms. Think of a pebble in a pond and the ripple effect. Our touch is a ripple through time, space, dimensions, and the physical reality too.