I've been thinking about my name, off and on, the past week or two. Not the name that I go by in public, that's printed on my driver's license and other such IDs, but the one I chose for myself seven years ago when I was finding my path with Earth-based spirituality. I had read something about 'choosing your Pagan name,' which would be the name that felt true to you, the name that the Goddess might call you by. I worked on it for a while, and settled on "Jeska Moonwillow." "Jeska" was based on my mundane first name, of course, and "Moonwillow" to combine the quiet, peaceful, spiritual light of the Moon with the elegant and stoic bend-but-not-break spirit of the Willow tree.
What I've been thinking about is how I'm not really that person anymore--it no longer feels true to me, it is no longer the name of my soul. I think Jeska died back in April. Maybe that aspect of me--that piece of my broken soul, if you will--is the one that I placed in the niche, as the one-winged angel that is standing guard by my soulmate; maybe that is why the 'me' that remains isn't her anymore.
Maybe it's not quite that dramatic, and things have just changed too much. While I still consider myself a Moonsdaughter, I find myself increasingly drawn not only to the Moon but to the darkness that surrounds her, and to the tiny pinpoints of light in that darkness that often struggle to be visible in today's always-on, artificially-lighted world.
And I think I can no longer be the Willow tree; "bend but don't break" isn't me anymore, because I did break. I can't be the tree, because I am the splinters, the ashes, the fallen leaves.
And so, I think it's appropriate, on this Blood Moon,* to mark the passing of Jeska Moonwillow, and to embrace and celebrate the birth, from her ashes and splinters and fallen leaves, of Jes'arra Mourningstar.
Jeska may not have survived the fire and the storm; I am the fire and the storm. So Mote It Be.
*: Yes, Blood Moon; I name the full Moons my own way. I'm not wrong, and neither are you. The second Moon of Autumn is my Blood Moon because I need it to be the Moon that can fall on astronomical Samhain, which is usually November 7th.