Our name is the word that we hear most often through the course of our lives. Just think about it – how many times have you heard someone say it today? This week? This month? Add in the times you have said it yourself when introducing yourself to someone new or maybe even calling customer service and you will have an impressively large number. Every time it is pronounced the energies that the name carries are reinforced.
Now, every nation has its own language, for sure, and different cultures use different alphabets. Actually, even European alphabets while all based on Latin each have their own variations. One thing that stays the same is that every alphabet has a beginning and an end and in between the letters always go in a fixed order. This follows the universal idea which is also reflected in the Zodiac – starting from Aries, the Alpha, it follows a fixed order all the way to the Omega of Pisces.
This practice is as old as astrology itself. The ancient astrologers of Babylon used it in choosing sacred names for rulers to give them more power, for priests to strengthen their connection with the spiritual world, for making ritual invocations. The alphabet used by them had a better correspondence to the 12 sign 360 degree system of the Zodiac, neatly dividing the circle into 72 segments 5 degrees each (they are still familiar to the followers of Traditional Astrology as “terms” – the segments into which each sign is divided, even though the number and size have deviated from the original version).
We, however, do not need to study the ancient language to be able to use this system. Our first language, the one we grow up speaking, is the one we form the strongest connection with. We don’t even pay attention to these subconscious links but they play a formative role to our worldview as a part of our entire cultural ecosystem. In order to adjust it to a different alphabet all you need to do is divide 360 degrees by the number of letters in the alphabet and assign each section to a letter, starting with 0 degrees Aries. Sounds quite simple, except for the pain in the neck of having to count out not only degrees but also minutes – something a modern “spoiled-by-technology” person like myself finds annoying. So I pitched this idea to my friend Petr at Astro-seek.com and am now elated to see this come into life with the new Online Name Calculator. No more converting 0.846 degrees into minutes! Yay!
Now, let’s talk about the uses this tool can have:
1. What names to chose
Baby names are the first thing that come to mind. This is the number one thing I use it for in my work with clients who plan on having children. Of course, the moment of birth is something that can not be controlled in most cases except for Cesarean sections, which are being used more and more often nowadays and for them we can choose the time as well, making the Birth Chart more balanced and minimizing problematic placements. But even with a natural birth, I am not aware of any country that requires the parents to choose the name for the newborn immediately after birth. Usually, some thinking period is allowed and with the time of birth now known it is possible to analyze the chart and choose a name that will highlight the most harmonious placements. I will give details on that in the “how” part below.
You can also use this tool to pick a different name that suits your Natal chart better. I am not talking about an official name change, but we all now have a sort of “second identity” online – user names we choose for social media and other profiles are the ones I am talking about. Also stage names and pseudonyms.
Additionally, names for businesses or websites can also be chosen by this method. Here, you can use your own Birth chart or the Birth chart of the business or website (the date and time the business or site was created or registered).
2. How to choose the letters
Of course, the first thought is about “The Big 3” – Sun, Moon and ASC. This has some sense, of course, but with some reservations. You see, sometimes the Moon or the Sun are not the strongest or most beneficially placed planets in the chart. If you chose the letter that corresponds to the Moon, and the Moon is afflicted (e.g. in detriment, in the 8th house, conjunct a malefic, has only harsh aspects, etc) you enforce the problematic energy it carries in the Chart. Same goes for the Sun.
The ASC is slightly different – it has no dignities or debilities by sign or house. It can, of course, receive harsh aspects, but the chances of it being heavily afflicted are lowered by the absence of the first two factors. ASC ruler is a different story. So, looking at the degree of the ASC is a safe bet. Just like your name begins with the initial, the Chart begins with the cusp of the 1st house (ASC) and using the letter it falls on as the first letter of the name is generally a good option, unless there is a better one.
In search for a better option you need to analyse the other planets, giving preference to personal ones (Sun through Saturn) unless an outer planet is strongly highlighted in the chart (closely conjunct an angle or a personal planet). Pay attention to the planet’s strength and dignity, whether it is a part of a problematic pattern and so on. If there is such a planet, you can use the letter it falls on as the initial instead or use it together with the letter of the ASC degree in the name.
As an example of how this can highlight certain energies in the chart I want to use Princess Diana, who’s also known as Lady D, which is also perfect for demonstrating that the first letter is used even more often, than the entire name not only for her but for everyone who has seen or written their name in the last name + the initial format (so she was born Spencer, D. on July 1st, 1961)
It is uncanny to see what placement the letter D activates in her chart which shows that the name was actually karmic. D falls on Venus, which is strong in her chart by placement – in the peaceful and placid Taurus, the sign of its rulership. It also rules the MC, the 10th house of social achievements and popularity. Indeed, a Princess who was beloved by the entire world. Yet, it is also the apex of a tight T-square, which makes it a sensitive and problematic spot. Placed in the 5th house it is, of course, about her tumultuous love life. With the 10th house in the mix we see the pressure of the public image she needed to uphold in conflict with her emotional needs (Venus square Moon) and letter D puts even more emphasis on this, tipping the balance toward the public expectations (Venus rules MC) rather than her emotional security (the Moon).
Letter S is on the ASC and while she has it in her last name, using it in her first name would have given her more Sagittarian energy, the courage and independence which she needed to stand up for her own identity and needs. For sure, she had some, being a Sag rising, but Jupiter is not very strong in her chart – in Aquarius, not ruling any planets and only with one major aspect, a generational one at that. “S” would have strengthened this lack of Jupiter/Sagittarius influence in the chart.
So, when using this tool for choosing a name, keep in mind that the entire chart has to be analyzed and using certain letters can help to correct the chart’s imbalances.
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