Barak Article

Origin of Names
Thursday May 8, 2008 6:53 pm

I am very interested in where people's names come from. Personally, I am not attached to names, as I seem to gain a new one each time I bring something substantial into my life. For instance, when I went into the military - each of the people in my platoon ended up with some bizarre nick-name that stayed with them through their military career. In my platoon, they frequently called me "Mocha" or just "Mo" (mainly because whenever we were out in the field, I would make trades with the MREs to get hot chocolate and coffee and mix em up into a sweet camp treat.).

When I got out of the military, I joined a motorcycle club, and we were quite the bunch. I received a new name. They started calling me "Bagel". There is a story behind that one also - but we don't need to get into it.

Then several years later, when the tribe adopted me, and I returned from a vision quest, I received my medicine name - Standing Bear. As I trained with the tribe for a longer time, I was sent out to receive my sacred name (which I can't share outside of ceremony)

Finally, when Sheba and I got into the scene, I decided to honor my mother's side of my family by taking a hebrew name - "Barak" (which is pronounced like derek with a B and means "He who wields lightning."). I then added the "Sir" to make the initials SB - same as my medicine name - so I could use the same sigil.

So all in all, like yours, many people take names that are very meaningful to the person they are becoming. And while I use my legal name for work, very rarely do I hear it outside of that arena.

Sometimes the name is making the space or labeling the person we are becoming. It is akin to clearing a space for growth within our lives. So when you hear a name of someone, perhaps it is for "hiding their identity" but perhaps it is who they are becoming - either way, it is good to honor the name they use.


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