Thursday, August 1, 2019

Tarot Blog Hop: What's in a Name?


As the heat of the summer bears down upon us, our wrangler Jay Cassels gave us the fascinating question of "What's in a Name?" as a challenge.  He said, "This month's hop is in many ways following on the idea of timing posed in our last hop at the Solstice. The Wheel of the Year now places us at Lughnasadh or Lammas as it also known. The idea of names got me to thinking about the power that names hold and also the confusion that they hold as well. For this hop, I am asking participants to explore this idea; as always I have presented a few talking points/suggestions but also left it open for the writers muses to take them on whatever journey has come to mind as well..." He gave us several options, but the one that resonated with me was "Challenge yourself: Discuss, show and tell us what life would be like through the cards, if you changed your name..."

I didn't have have to wonder if my life would change if I changed my name, because I did legally change my name eight years ago after my divorce. My birth name was Lorraine Carol Collins, I became Lorraine Carol Enos when I was married, and I legally changed my name to Raine Clara Shakti after my divorce because I no longer wanted my ex-husband's name and I wasn't really my daddy's little girl anymore. I wanted a name that reflected the bold and independent woman that I hoped to become. I chose Raine as a nod to my birth name and because it means Queen in French, I chose Clara because she is a saint who helped me gain clarity, and Shakti because she is the Indian Goddess of Female Empowerment. At the time of my divorce, I needed to claim my power and so I deliberately chose a powerful name.

A little research revealed that one method to figure out your tarot card based on your name is to associate each letter with a number from 1 to 26 (A=1, B=2, etc.). After assigning each letter to a card, add up the value for all the letters in your name. If this number is 1-21, the number equates to the corresponding tarot card (1=Magician, 2=The High Priestess, etc.). As there is no way to get zero using this method, if the sum of the numbers equals 22 it equates to the fool. If the sum of the numbers associated with your name is over 22, then add the digits until you get a number under 22. Here is an example using my birth first name.

After figuring out the formula, I decided to see if the numbers reflected my move from my father's daughter, to my then husband's wife, to being my own independent woman and the results were fascinating.

My First Names (Lorraine & Raine both equal 11)

One of the most interesting things I found in my numerical journey through the tarot was that both my birth name and my chosen name equated to 11 which is either Justice or Strength depending upon the deck.  As I was looking through decks this morning for inspiration and to reflect upon the qualities of those two cards, I was drawn to meaning of the Justice card, depicted by cannabis, from Herbcrafter's Tarot.  "Seek the truth, make informed decisions, and consider the consequences of your actions," according to Lathisha Guthrie.  Reading this, I felt as if my existing definition of the justice card as being about balance and truth took on a new meaning.  When I reflect on Justice as related to my personality, I realize that when I am feeling balanced I do work to find an equitable solution and to find what the right action truly is.  However, when I am out of balance, I am more act to seek blind vengeance than justice.  This card serves as a reminder that my true nature is to seek the truth and to really think about things before making decisions.  It is also a reminder of the importance of balance.

The only deck I have where 11 is actually strength is the Tarot of the Sidhe, the deck I usually work
with for shadow work and that is appropriate here because a lot of times I've let my strength reside in the shadows as I let myself and other people convince me that I was weak and needed to be taken care of.  I've been reflecting upon this a lot as I'm contemplating taking a job as a director and the very word director takes me back to a conversation I had with my father when I was in my 20s.  A woman had applied to a director position in the company I was working with and my father said that she should not get the job because there were men who needed that job to support their families.  As I think about that conversation, I realize that there have been times in my life when I have self sabotaged at work because I didn't think I deserved or should have a higher level position.  The strength card tells me that I have more strength than I give myself credit for.  I was also struck by what Emily Carding wrote about this card as she said that finding strength is about facing our own fears and our own dragons.  That rang so true for me as my dragons were the inadequacy drilled into my head by other people, but since I have realized those are illusions, I've been able to claim my strength.

My Birth Name (Lorraine Carol Collins = 9)

The Hermit speaks of solitude and withdrawal.  This is the card of going within and choosing to listen to our hearts versus the voices of the media and the external world.  There are so many Hermit cards that I love and that speak to me, but for this blog post I've chosen the Hermit from Tarot de St. Croix as I love the image of her coming out of her cave, from her place of contemplation into the world.  In so many ways, the Hermit is my true nature as I much prefer introspective solitude than the bustle of the crowds.  I would much rather curl up with a good book than hit the clubs.  However, the Hermit is also bittersweet to me as it was the taunts my ex would fling at me when we were fighting about going out.  He'd call me a hermit and the way he said the word made me think of madmen holed up in mountain cabins.  Since we have divorced, I've been working to reclaim the meaning of the word as someone who seeks introspection and who does inner work.  It's odd as I write this to think about whether one of the subconcious reasons for changing not only my last name, but my first name was about distancing myself from my ex's hurtful words.  However, the truth of the matter is that we can never truly leave our past behind and the hermit reflects my truest nature.

My Married Name (Lorraine Carol Enos = 14)

I struggled with the relationship between Temperance and my name while I was married as
Temperance implies balance and the magical alchemy that occurs when two things come together and are more than the sum of their parts.  My marriage was not that.  It was a violence mixture of love, hate, passion, and violence.  Much of it caused by my ex-husband's undiagnosed mental illness and ego and my desire for a marriage of equals and not a marriage where I played second chair.  However, as I've reflected on this, I realize that temperance reflects the hopes and dreams I had on the day I took my vows and got married and when I look at it from that perspective, Temperance makes sense.  I normally don't read cards reversed, but I can't help reading the meaning of Temperance reversed and I realize that Temperance reversed truly does describe my life when I was Lorraine Carol Enos.  As Phillip Carr-Gomm write about Fferyllt, which is what Temperance is called in the DruidCraft deck, "You may find yourself involved in arguments, or feeling restless and frustrated.  You may also find that you are going to extremes of behavior or feeling fragmented."  That sums up my marriage nicely as I was constantly frustrated and I was so stressed and on edge lately as I never knew what would make him angry.  As a result, my behavior alternated between being kind and loving and trying to get on his good side to being angry and pissed off because i was so unhappy.

My Chosen Name (Raine Clara Shakti=6)

After calculating the number for my birth name and equating it to the Lover's card, I immediately thought of the traditional meaning of the card which is choices and not really about love.  On the surface alone, this was a lovely correlation as Raine Clara Shakti was a choice.  I deliberately chose to name myself after a Queen, a Saint, and a Goddess in order to claim their power.  At the time I chose my name, I was feeling powerless and choosing my name was a deliberate act to reclaim my power.  My gut instinct also told me that the Lovers card is about balancing our male and female characteristics and that also made sense as moving out of my divorce and into the world as a single woman, I was claiming myself as a whole person and not someone who was defined by another.  Interestingly, as I was looking at cards and through LWBs, I came across The Vision Quest Tarot, which is a lovely deck that I don't use very often.  Gayan Silvie Winter and Jo Dose wrote, "To be able to surrender completely, you must be at the height of your strength.  Most people think only the weak surrender.  But the opposite is true.  You have to have the fortitude to let everything go and to fall into Love itself, without expectations without knowing whether the beloved will respond in kind or not."  This struck me because it reflects a lot of the work that I've been doing lately as I work to come out of my shell and open myself up to to love.  I'm finding that it does take a lot of courage to say, I'm willing to open my heart up and choose to risk heartbreak.


Journeying through my names and realizing the numerical connections to the cards was a fascinating bit of excavation as I realized how my names have reflected who I was at the time.  It also makes me wonder what the magick of the universe is that makes that happen.

1 comment:

  1. Your writing is very engaging, Raine, and I always enjoy reading your story and following your process.


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