(From: ‘Earth People’ Volume 1 Number 6)
Many people have asked me how I got my name. On this subject I will say that a spirit name is most commonly given by spirit during a Vision Quest or Sweat Lodge, and it is usually given when there is no “Desire” for a name but the ceremony is done “For All Our Relations”. Most often a Medicine Person, master, or teacher gives a spirit name when the time is right. A spirit name, unlike most other given names, expresses how a person is, how they relate to the world and to Great Spirit.
Also there is no reason why someone who is desperate to let go of a name and past experience that they have out grown can’t spend a number of meditative days or weeks considering a name. But it must be a name that represents not only their past, which is still part of them, but also the new characteristics, energies or aspects of their being. A name should also embrace a person’s new understanding of their spiritual path. When the true name comes into consciousness, either from your inner self or from another person, there will be an “AHAH!” feeling. But remember a true spiritual name will only come if it is your BLISS, not just to be trendy or hastily rushed into. As the Great Spirit gives us everything we need, if we need a spirit name it will come, usually when you least expect it.
Brooke Medicine Eagle says:
“Names can be profoundly useful in calling forth aspects of ourselves from the left side, out of the realm of Spirit and mystery. Many people I am in contact with – whether they were San Francisco flower children, ardent vision questers, or people building new lives for themselves after divorce or major life changes – are looking for a name that speaks of who they truly are. They want to be called something that is meaningful to them now and expressive of their uniqueness and their special gifts, not of their father’s name or what thousands of mothers thought sounded cute when they were born. Sometimes this name-seeking actually takes the form of reclaiming their given name and its meaning, when they have been called a diminutive of it as a nick name for all their lives.”
Regarding my own name, I would firstly like to make the point that my given name is just as important to me as my spirit name. This is because the name “David” comes from the Hebrew root word ‘Dovid’ meaning lover, in its true spiritual sense, not as a physical stud (although I could be this also). As I found out from Fred Alan Wolf in his book ‘The Eagles Quest’, the spiritual meaning or vibration of the word “Dovid” is “From resonance to resonance” or “From resistance to resistance”. So this name has great meaning for me as the compassionate resistance or resonance, depending on how you resonate or resist me. There is no limit to my resonance or resistance and it usually has no bearing on my conscious or unconscious choices, but on whom I'm communing with.
My other official and legal names come from my father with whom I am honoured beyond comprehension to be connected and associated. While he could not be considered a religious man, he is certainly a very spiritual and moral human being who taught me through example. He taught me to be flexible, caring for others, to be grounded, not to waste anything (including time), how to improvise or do without, and most importantly and missing in much of today’s society, common sense.
I received my spirit name after a Stone-people (Sweat) Lodge in which my major spirit guide ‘Owl’ was clearly seen by more that one participant. While driving home Running Horse (my step-son) said to me: “See, I told you, you where owl. You’re ‘Sitting Owl’, sitting on all the knowledge and wisdom you have gathered. But the sitting part is also to remind you to sit and listen to others also.”
Running Horse’s own name was given to him in a very vivid dream vision by a group of Cherokee tribesman, around a fire where the only words he could understand where: “You are Cherokee Indian Running Horse.” And I can vouch that this name suites him perfectly.
The name Sitting Owl is bigger, deeper and more difficult to explain, but I will attempt to capture some of its essence here:
I am one sitting on the universal wisdom of the shamans, living for all the beings who have gone before me; sitting, listening and observing everything and everyone around me; waiting patiently, and sometimes not so patiently, to share it all for the growth and awakening of humanity to those willing to wake up and see the blinding brilliance of the light of Spirit as only can be seen by an awakened and enlightened manifest being.
I am one who sees clearly into the darkness and wounds of others. If I am to help any individual or group, my way is to dig into those wounds and extract that darkness, the splinters of painful experiences, the causes of the wounds, so that a permanent health and healing through Great Spirit can happen. I have seen how the mainstream just scratches at the surface and applies a bandaid. I have seen how other spiritual groups and healing modalities have looked into the wounds and opened slightly to Great Spirit, but sometimes those splinters and shards need to be dug out, examined for their cause and only then be unconditionally given to Great Spirit; let go of. Maynard, the Alaskan Elder and Medicine Man, expressed this better when he said that when dealing with a problem you have found, you must look at it carefully, understand it fully, and only after all that work should you let it go. And Joseph Campbell has quoted a famous philosopher who said that be careful in casting out your demons, that you are not casting out the best part of you; or something like that. This means that sometimes those splinters are spiritual gifts that are not being used properly and are therefore in the wrong place or just rotting instead of living and thriving.
When all are open and awake, when the light of Great Spirit comes to heal all, I can sit in the universal tree of life and snooze, knowing that I have done my part and shared my natural talents to the betterment of all, as nature and Great Spirit intends.
It took me a long time to accept and fully comprehend the implications of the name Sitting Owl and only then did I understand the implications of my other names. I have had one person give me a name that reflects my stubborn and persistent nature that can’t be budged from the deep knowing of the ultimate truth of life. I say that because that name is shared by a well known man who had the same name for other reasons and I will not share that with you as I only use it along with Sitting Owl to commune with Spirit in ceremony.
Some very sacred names may sound a bit silly, but I can assure you that all names given from Spirit are very meaningful. For example I know someone named 'Quantum Gravity' and I assure you that that name is very sacred and expressive of that person's spirit.
You are more than welcome to ask me more about the details of the more complex associations and meanings of these names. And maybe I can shed some light on a name you may have been given so that you may more fully understand your spirit. Who knows, maybe if you come and do some ceremony with me Great Spit might even give you a name through me.