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First, hello to all the folks who have been reading my blog. It is your interest that makes me want to continue to provide more information about the pagan lifestyle.
It is in that spirit that I go off-topic from my usual “kitchen witchery,” and tell you a little about my personal growth in paganism. Most recently, this has involved choosing my magical name.
I have been studying and practicing paganism for the last few years, reading extensively and studying with my mentor Bellisana. Through her, I have learned to (try to) control my empathic urge to take on other people’s problems. She helped me to realize that while it is alright to care for friends, I cannot take their problems as my own. She saw me make myself physically ill over other peoples lives, things I had no hope of changing. Empathy can be a gift, but it can also be a curse. I will always thank Bellisana for helping me define the difference.
Another part of my spiritual growth in paganism led me to find out about my true self and to choose a new pagan name. There are many ways to do this, and even on those occasions where a coven or even a parent chooses a magical name, but ultimately, when you come into your own power, you will want to choose your own. Some of the most common are listed below, and then I’ll tell you how I chose mine.
Ways to Choose your Magic
I started by looking to see where my ancestors originated, so I might understand myself. This led me to one of those new DNA tests. I learned from the test that basically, I am 75% English/Irish, and 25% Slavic.
Further research into the origin of my last name taught me that my last name is a Germanic corruption of the Slavic word “karsch,” which was a large communal cooking pot and that “karsch” became the name of the people who tended that pot. These were the cooks of the Slavic villages who served the communal meals for the village.
So, once I knew my real last name, I started to think about an alternative first name reflective of the new person that I have become.
I also found that it’s not at all uncommon for those new to paganism to choose a new name to reflect their new life as a pagan. Historically, many adults did this in reverse when they converted to Christianity, just as the pagans did.
I studied Catholicism for a brief time, and when I made my first communion, I was asked to research the Catholic saints and pick my “communion name.”
As it turned out, I had been a volunteer fireman for a few years, and the Catholic guys I knew had all chosen St Florian. Florian lived in Austria during the fourth century, and among his amazing feats were incidents where he walked through fire to save children. The idea of being able to walk through fire unscathed has always appealed to me. A great ‘superpower’ to have, one might say.
Although my firefighting career ended, and my Catholicism ended, I have always been drawn to St. Florian as a man I would like to emulate. Now, as I release the bonds of Christianity and open my mind and spirit to Paganism, I have decided to take the surname of this extraordinary man.
In that spirit, I would like to introduce my true self, Florian Karsch. I carried on the spirit of the Karsch ancestors unknowingly, and my career path led me to cook for large groups of people regularly and strive to emulate a man I have admired since childhood.
Hello, I’m Florian Karsch, and you are?