Saturday, September 05, 2009

Remembering, Reclaiming, Renaming

Today is the natal day of my firstborn, a son, 47 years ago. He is no longer on this plane, but I always remember him, especially on his birthday. His name, given to him by his adoptive parents, was Nicholas, who is the patron saint of children. (They were a childless couple before Nicholas came into their lives.)

Today is also the day that I return to using my birth name, Aline O'Brien. From now on, I am either Aline or Macha, whichever is preferred by the person addressing me.

Aline has always been a perfectly fine name. I opted for using Macha when I first published because I was appealing to a Pagan readership and I figured no one in those communities would know who Aline was. I also tend to use Macha in interfaith, which is fine except when you get to the NightMare part. Some don't know what to make of it. Sometimes I myself don't know what to make of it. But I do know NightMare is I. It's not unusual for religious folk to have religious names; they get that. And at this point those in interfaith who know me are not discomfited by my name. Further, unlike some religious folks, I dress in street clothes except for rituals. I'm guessing that makes me a little more "normal"-seeming to others.

Aline and Macha both hope your Harvest Moon is an abundant one.

11 comments:

Beth Owl's Daughter said...

I think I will always think of you as Macha - such a powerful, beautiful Goddess name. But Aline is lovely, too. How is the "i" pronounced?

I send you gentle peace and loving remembrance on this day, in honor of your son. And it is good to see you posting.

Blessings,
- Beth

Anonymous said...

And your September, too. Blessings to you on this day, Aline and Macha.

Good to see you gain here in blog-land.

Robert

Broomstick Chronicles said...

Thanks to both of you for kind comments. Beth, it's Aline, as in "a lean to the left, a lean to the right," or "a lean piece of bacon." (I am not lean.)

Lisa said...

Lovely names, all of them.

Good to see you back.

Cosette said...

Blessings to you, Aline. Hugs from the other side of the country.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I think I am most used to "Macha." But I had not known that your son was called Nicholas.

d.a. said...

And may your Harvest Moon be abundant, too!

HR Mitchell said...

You will likely always be Macha in my mind - but that's just because that's how my mind works.

Iritar said...

Your remembrance is an honor to your son and I know he is smiling. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

Carol Maltby said...

We never forget our births, or those we birthed. The cord is never completely severed, though it may appear that way in outward appearances.

I can see that while people do understand the concept of having a religious name, Nightmare might be more than they can handle.

tavthe said...

In response to what you logued regarding the usefulness of colour in clothing and in the ritual environment, this has absolute value. I had studied the craft for years before finding these same references mentioned by anthropologists versed in studying religion from their own lens. Since then, the same ideas have reverberated in readings on both traditional and alternative religious and spiritual practices. Now I find myself noticing this usage among priests and priestesses of different faiths, not just Pagans.