So much attention has been given to the 30th anniversary of the Consecration of the Vault of the Adepti by Israel Regardie, that another important milestone almost slipped under the radar. This Summer Solstice marks the 5th anniversary of the publication of Hermetic Virtues magazine. Vic Sabljic, a tireless and devoted servant of the Great Work, has bestowed a great service to the Western Mystery Tradition. Furthermore, the list of authors who have written for Hermetic Virtues is a veritable "Who's Who" in the esoteric community. From many different walks of life and many different traditions, Hermetic Virtues has also served to bring the community together in a greater sense of sharing and harmony. For all of this, Vic and his Hermetic Virtues team deserves significant accolades.
This edition of Hermetic Virtues also marks my debut as a published author. The article, Change Your Motto, Change Your Destiny, discusses the concept and history of changing one's name, the various reasons to do so, and provides a deeply meaningful ritual in order to effect such a significant change in one's own magical life.
Here is a small excerpt from the article:
Abram was promised to be made a great nation by God, but his wife Sarai was barren. Jacob was a cunning lad who undermined his brother and was sent away. Simon was a simple fisherman, Saul a persecutor of Christians. Aside from all being prominent figures in the Bible, what did all these people have in common? They all experienced a life-changing event, after which they took on a new name.
The custom known as Shinui ha-Shem is exercised in the cases in which a person needs to acknowledge life-changing events, change one’s path of misfortune, or even as a last-ditch attempt to save a person’s life from critical illness and imminent death. The foundational premise of this is, if you change your name, you change your fate.
As a ceremonial magician, our first charge is to create for ourselves a magical motto. It is not supposed to be a title or categorization as such, but a conscious definition and crystallization of our intent and aim in our magical lives. It is our first application of Will, the first thing we truly magically create and, in that sense, it is a self-initiation in its own right. This is the magical rendition of Shinui ha-Shem.
However, the magical life is not all roses and rainbows. We endure trials and tribulations, we come to crossroads and, sometimes, we even get lost along the way. As the Hiereus reminds us, “every obstacle can at length be conquered by perseverance”, and when the dawn of a new day breaks, we arise not the same. As the Angel beseeched Jacob, “Let me go, for the day breaks”, just before giving him a new name, it is such times in our own magical lives that may be opportunities to change our mottos. After all, if changing one’s mundane name changes one’s fate, then changing one’s magical motto changes one’s destiny.
Be sure to go over to the Hermetic Virtues website and get your copy of the Summer Solstice 2012 edition today. Personally, my favorite article is Two Thrones for the Golden Dawn by Aaron Leitch, with Enochian Magic in the Golden Dawn Tradition by Dean F. Wilson a close second. It's a very good edition and you won't regret getting a copy for yourself.