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Monday, January 6, 2014

Mailbag Monday: What's In a Name?

Dear Carolina Dean,

I was reading your page on writing petitions and I had a question that I cannot see that you have addressed anywhere on your website. I was born "Adam Bomb" however, since that time I have transitioned to female and now go by "Cherry Bomb" (not my real name). When writing a petition for myself, what name do I use? The one I was given at birth, or the one I chose for myself?

Thanks for any help, 

Cherry B.

Hi Cherry, 

Thank you for your question. This is actually a fairly common question that I receive, however, it is usually by females who have either married or divorced and who have changed their name; or sometimes it is by someone who has a legal name but who is known by another name such as a nickname or a shortened version of their own name (Sam for Samantha, etc...)

Using myself as an example,  I was named Paul Dean Harris Jr. at birth. When I was younger I was always very shy, however, as I grew older and more self-confident I no longer identified myself as Paul and so in my early 20's I started going by Dean.  Online, however, I am know as Carolina Dean. What name do I use when I write my petitions? The name I most identify with, of course, ....Dean Harris.

Therefore, my advice to you is to use the name that you identify with most. 

Now to answer the second part of your question, that you didn't ask but which I know many readers will want to know is: What if I want to write a petition on someone I only know online but I only know their screen name?

There is something of a divide among rootworkers and spiritual practitioners on this issue. Some workers will say that since their screen name is not the person's real name then your working will have little chance of success (especially if you don't have any other connection to the person); other workers believe that, in the absent of any other personal concerns, you just have to go with what you have and hope for the best. 
When a person is born, they are given a name by their parents (or someone else) and they may grow up and mature feeling that their name really doesn't fit them or suit them.  A screen-name, however, is usually chosen by the individual and has the potential to speak to the true identity or nature of that person's personality and as such, I believe, has the potential to be just as powerful a link to that individual as their birth name. Your milage may vary, but without any other connection you have no choice but to use what you have.


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