On Giving up a Name

When I gave up my name, I began by gathering with friends in a sacred circle around Lake Michigan, the night was a full moon, in keeping with my Creation Based Spirituality.

Another way to create a Sacred Circle could be singing:


Everyone had received an assignment before coming — to write a few words about the name that used to be mine. Who that person was to me, and to not spend much time on it.

At the center of our sacred circle we had a candle, and we were surrounded by the lapping waters of Lake Michigan, or the waters of baptism, as we were reminded of and remembered who I had been, and I knew who I did not want to change.

With incense and candles burning, each person said their peace, burned their paper, and at the end, the ashes were returned back to Lake Michigan — or the font — or perhaps the ashes become something important to carry with them as a reminder of where they come from.

This ritual is important for two reasons: First, Closure for everyone — both the one who has the changing name and those who have a new name to learn, and Secondly because it — in contrast to the other ritual allows for human agency to be part of the commemoration, r1ather than G-d who uses human elements to make the promises of Baptism.

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