Craft name

Craft name

A Craft name, also known as a magical (or magickal) name is a secondary religious name often adopted by practitioners of Wicca and other forms of Neopagan witchcraft. Craft names may be adopted as a means of protecting one's privacy (especially for those who are "in the broom closet"), as an expression of religious devotion, or as a part of an initiation ritual. The idea of using an alternate name as an attempt to develop a different persona is not restricted to Neopagans: Samuel Clemens' adoption of the name Mark Twain has been described as the adoption of a magical name.[1] Before the emergence of Neopaganism similar pseudonyms appear to have been used by writers of grimoires such as The Book of Abramelin, attributed to the Rabbi Yaakov Moelin.[2]

In traditional forms of Wicca, such as Gardnerian or Alexandrian, Craft names are typically adopted primarily out of regard for their symbolism. Craft names may be carefully guarded and used only with members of one's own coven. Some Wiccans will use two different Craft names, one with the general public (or the Neopagan community) and one with their covenmates.[3] Wiccans who choose to conceal their religion to avoid religious discrimination may use a craft name when speaking to the press. The use of Craft names as online handles for Neopaganism- or Wicca-related groups and discussions has become increasingly common.

The use (or over-use) of "outer court" Craft names (to be used outside of initiates-only or "inner-court" settings) is the subject of some debate. Some treat the choosing of a name as a solemn and significant event[4] while others regard the practice as an affectation to be ridiculed.[5]


Craft names of well known individuals

Craft names of some famous Wiccans and other Neopagan witches include:

See also


  1. ^ Cardwell, Guy A. Samuel Clemens' Magical Pseudonym. The New England Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 2 (Jun., 1975), pp. 175-193
  2. ^ Georg Dehn (ed.) Book of Abramelin: A New Translation by Abraham von Worms, (2006),Nicholas Hays. ISBN 0-89254-127-X
  3. ^ Lady Shyla, Craft tools, Tryskelion website. Accessed 18 May 2007.
  4. ^ Hazel Dunlin, Your Craft Name, Earth Dance website. Accessed 18 May 2007
  5. ^ Pete Bevin, Pete's Craft Name Generator. Accessed 18 May 2007.
  6. ^ Heselton, Philip, Gerald Gardner and the Cauldron of Inspiration: An Investigation into the Sources of Gardnerian Witchcraft (2003). Capall Bann Publishing. ISBN 1861631642
  7. ^ Gardner, Gerald. Witchcraft Today (1954) London: Rider
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Melissa Seims, Elders of the Wica. Accessed 18 May 2007.
  9. ^ Robert Muller, The Private Life of A Witch, The Daily Mail, Monday November 3rd 1958. Available here
  10. ^ Philip Heselton, Barbara Vickers - Gardner's First Initiate? Originally published in The Cauldron May 2006, available here. Accessed 25 July 2008.
  11. ^ Melissa Seims, A Wica (sic) Family Tree, available here

Further reading

  • McFarland, Phoenix. The Complete Book of Magical Names (2002), Llewellyn. ISBN 1-56718-251-8
  • Seims, Melissa. A Wica Family Tree. (Shows initiatory relationship and craft names of several early members of the Wica (sic). Available here.)

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