There are three basic kinds of magick names: craft name, coven name, and true name.
Some Witchcraft traditions have special names and some dont.
A craft name is one that you use when performing magick and/or ritual. You can share your craft name with other witches that you are working with. You do not havve to share your craft name with other witches, even ones you are working with. It is your choice.
Some Witches are open with their craft name, placing it on their web sites and using it all the time. Other Witches are more private, being careful who they share their craft name with.
A craft name is known by other Witches who work with you on spells or ritual. In some traditions a craft name is given to you by a high priest or high priestess. In some traditions it comes to you in a vision or a dream or as the result of a spell or ritual. In some traditions you pick your own craft name (and can change it over time as you grow and change).
A coven name is the name you use with your coven. It can be the same as your craft name, or it can be different. This is the name that you use while working ritual and/or magick with your coven and the name that the other members of your coven use for you while you are working together.
In some traditions the coven name is assigned by the high priestess or high priest. In some covens, the members work together to help each other pick a coven name, something that everyone in the coven can agree on and that helps belnd everyones magickal energy together. Helping each other come up with coven names can bring a coven closer together.
You never reveal your true name to anyone else (unless you trust them with your life), because a Witch who knows your true name can use it for powerful naming magick. You can discover your true name through a vision, dream, spell, or ritual.
Normally you find out what your true name is through a vision or dream. Sometimes you find out your true name through a special ritual.
Some Witches believe that you cant know your own true name until after youve been a Witch for at least a year and a day.
In modern times, many religions believe in the three-fold human, made up of mind, body, and spirit. The ancient Egyptian religion believed in the seven-fold human. The true name, or ren, held the other six parts together.
Isis and Ra
An important ancient Egyptian myth highlights the importance and power of the true name.
Isis (or Aset) was very skilled at magick, the second most powerful of all the Egyptian neteru (gods and goddesses) in the magickal arts. Her grandfather Ra was the most skilled at magick.
Isis was jealous of Ras magick knowledge and figured out a plan to gain Ras knowledge and power.
Because Ra had become old, he sometimes would nod off and drool. Isis secretly collected some of his spittle and mixed it with some earth that Ra walked upon. SHe used the clay to make aserpent, then used her magick to transform the serpent into an arrrow. Isis said words of power and then hid the arrow at a crossroads.
At dawn, Ra set out on his regular walk, accompanied by other neteru, walking from horizon to horizon. When Ra reached the crossroads, the magick arrow sprang up and bit Ra in the leg.
Ra fell to the grround in a great deal of pain as the poison raced through his body. The neteru gathered around, confused about how the father of the gods, creator of all things, could be harmed by something of his own creation.
Ra beckoned all the neteru to his side, whispering to each (one at a time) to use their magick to heal him. But none of the neteru could heal Ra.
Isis whispered into Ras ear that she could set him free from the magick if he would reveal his true name. Ra agreed to tell her his true name if she promised to tell only her son Horus (Heru Sa Aset) and that Horus keep it a secret until the end of time.
Ra tried to tell her some of his titles, such as creator of the heavens above and the earth below, the one who made the waters flow and caused the air to move, lord of the horizons of dawn and dusk, and the origin of time. Ra said that he was Kherpi in the morning, Ra at noon, and Atum in the evening.
Isis told Ra that he was only delaying his own healing. Finally Ra hid himself and Isis from all the other neteru and caused his true name to secretly move from his heart to Isiss heart.
Isis said a magick formula and the poison seeped away from Ras body. He was fully healed, but Isis was now the most powerful of the neteru, greatest at magick, and she had knowledge of all things.