Friday, May 11, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - J is for Janai, or What's in a Name

Sekmet's Day
LuniSol - Moonth 6, Day 3
Metonic - Year 17, Lunation 203, Day 22
Dreamspell - Blue Solar Night (9 Akbal) - Kin 243
Mayan Tzolk'in - 1 Cib (Yellow Magnetic Warrior) - Kin 196
Mayan Ha'ab - 19 Uo

Thanks, Cool Text!

Janai, Janae, Janay, Janaye, pronounced juhNAY (long A) or juhNEYE (long I). Janai (long A) is my given name, my middle name at birth. After I moved out of my mother's house 16+ yrs ago, I started using my middle name as my first name, kinda like a rebirth. Even though MD has a common law name change, many government agencies either don't know about it or refused to acknowledge it. So 2 yrs ago I paid the government $200 to legally drop my first name.

History & Meaning
Janai is a biblical name from the old testament and appears only once in the entire bible at 1 Chronicles 5:12. Apparently Ja'nai was a Gaddite who lived in Ba'shan with the rest of his tribe. He was 3rd in charge. It is unknown if he had any children or was even married. The Hebrew pronunciation may be jah-NAY-i or yah-NAY. Where I used to work, the Spanish-speaking cleaning lady used the 2nd one.

My name means Jah answers (prayers). Jah is a shortened from of Jehovah as in Hallelujah and many other biblical places and names. I was supposed to be name Donna LeNise to have my mother's initials. I think my father picked Donna (not sure why) and LeNise was the name of one of Mother's childhood friends. So why did my JW mother choose this name? She told me that out of all 4 of her pregnancies, she was the sickest with me. At this point she had been JW for about 5 yrs. I supposed she prayed for healthy pregnancy, baby, and perhaps surviving the end of the world with 3 young children. I was born 4 days after the estimated due date in September. I refused to nurse but otherwise a healthy happy baby.

Magical Name
I have none yet. I read about pagans picking their magical names or having the Divine rename them. They may have 2 magical names - one for public use and message boards and one that's private. I thought about picking one for myself but it sounded too forced. I'm not a dainty flower and I don't want to be another Moon-something-or-other. Maybe my given name is magical enough. Yes, it's biblical but I have my own relationship with Deity. Or maybe I should choose something Kemetic? Should I be Bodhisattva Cool-Name-Goes-Here (examples)? Should I find out why my father wanted to name me Donna (means lady of the house) and incorporate that somehow?

Do you have a magical name? If so, did you choose it or did Deity? Is it public or private? Do you feel that your given name is magical enough?


  1. Beautiful post J! I thought you were kidding! Glad you did it and awesome to know you!

    No magical name here. I'll keep my ole bland Brenda. I thought I about going by my middle name several times, but never went through with it. I'll keep my B! :)

    1. I'm sure your name is magical at least to your parents. Do you know the story behind your name?

  2. The first couple of posts on my blog were about the importance of names.
    If I remember properly, the first was about the name of my blog (I had switched from blogger to wordpress, but hadn't kept the blogger name), and the second was about the importance of my own name.

    I am still searching for my craft name. The one I gave myself so long ago doesn't quite feel right any more, and so I am keeping an eye out for something that feels right, but like you I feel funny trying to find my own name (again). I hope you find something that fits you, as it can be odd feeling like you don't have a name. Know that your name isn't everything, but don't stop searching for it if it is important to you!

  3. I went through a very lengthy process to become "Autumn Damiana," that I've been meaning to write an article about for a long time. Maybe now I'll get on that. ;)

    This is my public craft name, which I publish under. I have another one known only to my coven and my gods that came much more easily. It's a character in a book that I admire. So I would not use this name publicly anyway because of copyright infringement.

    If you want a name, I suggest doing some dream work to find it. That way it will come to you naturally, without you feeling you had to force it. Great post!