Pagan Baby Names

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How do you decide on a Pagan baby name?. Photo Credit: Hinterhaus Production/Taxi/Getty Images

The selection of a baby name is a topic of many emails and discussions on this site, so let's talk about the subject of how to find a Pagan baby name. First, let's remember that the word "Pagan" encompasses a variety of cultures - Celtic, Germanic, Egyptian, and more. Not only that, there's no Big Book o' Pagan Stuff to get names from, like the Christian bible. So, how do you decide whether a name is Pagan enough for you?

Sure, you can name your kid Moonshadow or Ravendancer, and follow traditional guidelines for selecting a magical name… but what if your child decides later on that he doesn't want to be known as Moonshadow, when everyone he goes to school with is named Josh and Cody and Austin? Many people feel that magical names should be chosen by an individual who is old enough to choose the name themselves. What may be more practical is to choose a name that reflects the culture of your spiritual path instead, and if your child wishes to be known as Moonshadow later on, that's his prerogative.

Another option that a lot of Pagan parents follow is that of giving their child a more mainstream name combined with something spiritual. Therese is a Celtic Pagan who lives in Florida, and her son's father is a Norse Heathen. She says, "We really wanted to give our child a name that reflected who we were, and our beliefs, but on the other hand, we recognized that in our community, kids with unusual or different names get singled out and targeted.

We didn't want our son to have to deal with that, so we made the decision to give him two names. His first name is Liam, which is kind of hipster but still traditional, especially since our last name is very Anglo. His middle name, though, is based in Norse mythology, and is kind of badass sounding.

If he decides later that he wants to embrace a Pagan path, and likes his middle name, he can use that, or he can just be Liam all his life. We're kind of leaving it up to him."

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if it's too complicated for other people to pronounce, chances are your three-year-old won't be able to say his own name. Also, try to avoid overly cute or super-unusual spellings of traditional names. I met a couple who really liked the name Aidan, but they wanted to do something "different" with it, and spelled it Aydhyn. This can be a really bad idea, unless you want to spend many years correcting the way people spell and pronounce your child's name.

Ultimately, you'll want to select a name that not only sounds good with your last name, but also that your child will be proud of as he or she grows up. Check these out to get some ideas for your own little one's naming!

Once you've decided on what to call your new little one, you may want to hold a special Baby Naming Ceremony, so you can welcome your child into the community of family and friends.