Last week I drew another card from the Isis Oracle by Alana Fairchild to give me something to chew over and pulled the “Goddess of 10,000 Names: Isis – Endless Emanations of the Priestess”.
For this card, the guidebook says in part:
“Just like the Lady Isis, you are a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional being. It is most helpful at this phase in your path that you learn not to attach to roles or identities that may have once held great importance for you or others relating to you.”
“… It can be tricky to avoid getting stuck in roles that others prescribe for you and expect of you, and yet your self-definition will become wider and your experience of yourself more real and fulfilling if you are open to discovering more of you, beyond the person you have considered yourself to be up until now. For this to happen, you must be willing to allow the many and varied faces of your being, your ten thousand names, to begin to emerge in your awareness…”
At first I thought the message was simply a continuation of last week’s draw, in that I am feeling stifled in the names and roles of Wife and Mother, and desire to add some other names to my current repertoire through some field of work outside of the home. I felt this need to have a name that is my own rather than a description of how I relate to or what I am to others.
Later that week as I was reading the Hávamál (the words attributed to Odin in the Poetic Edda, who himself was a god of many names) I was reminded of this card in the following passage:
“Cattle die, kindred die,
Every man is mortal.
But the good name never dies
Of one who has done well.”
It was here that I understood that the names we bear, those that continue after our death will always relate to other people: the impact we have on what they do and most importantly how we make them feel. Did we embolden and empower them? Help them in a time of need? Did we laugh with them? It is our names among other people that will survive us, a name that is all our own will whither and die with us.
As simple as it is, this connection hit me like a two-by-four. Why am I sitting here sweating over adding “employee” or “worker” to my list of names? Are these the ones I wish to be my legacy? How utterly nondescript and dry they are.
While I would still like to get back to work, I realised that all of the names that I truly want to be remembered by are ones I can grow right now, because they involve building character and wisdom rather than a resume.
Activist, Good Listener, Just One, Kind One, Strong One, Gentle One, Steadfast One, Good Humoured One, Healer, and most of all, Friend. And just like that, I can start building my 10,000 names and expand myself to meet them.