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What's in a name?

I was intending to connect to the Goddesses for a card reading for the new moon in Aquarius on Thursday. But I had this blog bubbling in me already and I wondered maybe I'd write both, or perhaps this is for next week? But in reading the cards for myself and connecting to my heart, my truth, I found that this was the blog that wants to be written right now. I am not sure when the Goddesses want to speak, but they are for another day. I am being asked to embody my best Leo energy of sun, fire, courage, passion, commitment, leadership, and understanding who I am and my truth and know that in sharing from my heart, in being me, I am shining my light and sharing words that may speak to you also.

Leo isn't a natural place for me. The limelight is something I've shun all my life. Being vulnerable in my truth is a place of deep fears for me. I'd much rather speak through others, share other's voices or consider collective truth or collective action. I'd rather join in and lend support than be the one out front, leading. But, my north node is in Leo, so it is where I am headed. So this month's full moon axis on Leo and Aquarius definitely triggers my karmic buttons because Aquarius is where I've come from, my karma, my lifetimes of learning and Leo is where I'm headed. So this is me stepping on that path to my dharma, my destiny of Leo.

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I am shifting to changing the name I use publicly - for teaching, for holding space, for sharing, for healing. And I am still in the process of allowing this name to come forth. However, in allowing this name to come through, I have been reflecting on, and understanding the names I have been given. And I've discovered new connections, new depths of understanding and also a releasing of attachment. Because names are both important in understanding ourselves, and also not who we are. They are part of our identity, but not the whole identity, and we can also choose different names to bring forth different aspects of ourselves at different times. That said, having a name, any name is also a heavy karma, a responsibility and a prophesy. So they hold great weight, great importance, but also we are far more than any name. Our names both own us, in terms of who we are this lifetime, but we are also the unborn, the undying soul. We are infinite in our vastness, beyond time and space. So our names have meaning for us as humans of this lifetime within time and space, but also we hold them lightly because we are much more than who we are in this moment, in this point of space and time.

All the names I've been given are spiritual names and connected to both spiritual and religious lineages, with spiritual meanings. I was given the names Ruth Mary by my parents at my birth and then again at my Christian dedication and baptism. I have always loved the name Ruth, but less so Mary. Ruth is the only woman in the bible to have a whole book named after her, and is her story. And she wasn't even Jewish! She was strong, she was beautiful, she was loyal. She used everything at her disposal to secure and support her family, even if it meant sacrificing herself. Ruth is also a noun - as in ruthless. But ruthless is an adaptation of ruth. Ruth as a noun means compassionate, caring, empathic, holding space for others. It means all of the lovely 'hearted' words - warmhearted, kindhearted, goodhearted, bravehearted, etc. And of course, ruthless is the opposite of this. Mary, as I've mentioned before, was not a name I liked. I thought it was common and that Mary was "meek and mild". But of course Mary was neither of these things! Mary as the mother of Jesus is the embodiment of creation and creativity. She literally birthed God! She gave birth despite huge cost to herself, and knowing that her child was not really hers, but the world's. She birthed Christ-consciousness. She showed immense bravery, courage, strength, creativity, passion, devotion, commitment....sounding very Leo now! She shone her light, and lived her truth despite it going against everything that made any rational sense, going against her culture, her religion and at great risk to herself. Because she believed, she had great faith, she was devoted. Mary was also given to me to honour my grandmothers and my great grandmother and so through this name I am connected to the strong, passionate, creative, devoted women in my ancestry, my lineage.

Interestingly, when I stopped to consider it - Hari Charan means very similar things to Ruth Mary. Hari - is green of the heart centre - Anahata. It is the embodiment of love, compassion, joy, kindness. It is a great manifesting energy, bringing things into form through love, through the heart. Sounds a bit like Ruth? Charan is devotion, literally kissing the feet of the divine. Bowing to the divine. It is pure devotion, commitment, bravery, faith and love. Through Charan all creation can be manifested in form (Hari) - sounds a bit like Mary, no? Hari Charan was given to me in my kundalini yoga teacher training and is Sikh. And so, two very different religious and spiritual traditions and faiths bring forth names for me with very similar meanings.

Finally, I also have a Tibetan name. Given to me by people my father worked with, as he sought to research, understand and listen to Tibetan music. I was a child at the time and we lived in China. In parts of Asia especially, Ruth is a difficult name to pronounce as they have neither the 'R' or the 'TH' sounds. And so it ends up a bit like 'Lute' instead. Of course, to to be called something connected to music - the sound of the heart, the soul is beautiful too, but not exactly my name. And so I was given a Tibetan name - Nima. Nima means sun. Shining brightly, shining light on the earth, burning brightly and illuminating our ways, giving us warmth. Sounds quite Leo no? The planet of Leo is the sun. It is my dharma, my destiny, astrologically.

And so, through all of this I see I am these names. They own me. They are my karma, my dharma, my responsibility, my joy, my path, my destiny. And yet, I am more than these names. I am my truth and my truth is not limited to these names. My path, my dharma is not limited to these names. They are prophetic - they point the way, but they are not the extent of the way. I see how I embody these names and they have become much more than who I am. I see that even in being given other names, I am really being given the same name again. There is a singularity to it. I feel connected to all these names. But it is also not my job to walk the path of the Ruth in the bible, nor of Mary, Jesus' mother. It is my own path to walk. They show the way and I draw on their strength, their courage, their loyalty, devotion, kindness, compassion, their bigheartedness to support my path. But my path is my own, and I draw on Nima to light my way.

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