Why do people call me “Crystal Dolphin”?
Many Witches take on a “spiritual name”, sometimes called a “Craft name” or “magickal name”. I also use the term “Pagan name” as Witchcraft is a Pagan spirituality. When such a name is chosen, it has symbolic spiritual meaning to the individual. Some prefer to only share their spiritual name with the God & Goddess…some are open about their spiritual names and are known by others in the Pagan community by that name. I am the latter.
This is the story of how my spiritual name was confirmed to me.
Shortly after 9/11, when our nation’s economy was in bad shape, and we as Americans were still stunned from the tragedies that occured on that fateful day, I was laid-off from the job I had thought at the time would be my life-long career. Because I too was still grieving from the events of 9/11, I turned to my spirituality for strength and healing – and put my sudden plethora of free time and much focus into my spiritual studies. At this time, I had no spiritual name (or so I thought) and began to contemplate this, feeling it was time I DID have a spiritual name.
I had this one very dear friend, Dave, who I often talked about my spiritual journey with. While not Pagan himself, he was a Freemason, well versed in a number of like-minded topics such as ritual and metaphysics. (In my circle of friends at the time, we called him “Uncle Dave” – as he was a few years older than the rest of us in the group, and he sort of “looked out” for us.) One evening over a drink at our local watering hole, I discussed with Uncle Dave my concerns about my lack of a spiritual name. I had been walking the path for some time after all – why had I not yet found a suitable “Craft name”? He started brain-storming with me, and we both threw out a bunch of ideas, but nothing seemed to fit. He commented that he liked the online handle I was using at the time to participate in Pagan internet groups, “Crystal Dolphin”.
The nickname itself came from my strong interest in and study of crystals and crystal healing, and my deep love of the ocean as well as the animal I was always most drawn to, my main totem animal, the dolphin. Still, it didn’t seem it was right, and I said, “Naw, that’s just my internet nickname…not my magickal name”. That discussion was ended and I put my search for a spiritual name on the side-burner and only thought about it occasionally over the next couple of months.
On Yule of 2001, Uncle Dave took a much needed day off from work. My eldest brother was visiting from out of state and staying at my apartment. Uncle Dave and I had spoken a couple days before and he asked if my brother and I would like to join him for lunch and some holiday shopping on his day off – he just needed to take a break from work (yes, he did work too hard) and would enjoy the company. We accepted the invite. Uncle Dave picked us up at my place, having offered to do the driving that day. Before we left on our afternoon outing, he walked to the end of my living room and placed a little gift bag under my holiday tree. Then he turned to me and said, sounding quite stern, “I know this is Yule, and you celebrate this holiday, but I want you to wait until Christmas to open that.”
I looked at him a little sideways and I’m sure he could read my thoughts of confusion as we had not done the “gift swapping” thing before. Not even on our birthdays, several of which we had celebrated together as we shared same birthday (though obviously different birth years). I said the typical “you shouldn’t have”, decided to heed his wishes and not touch the gift until Christmas, and off we went.
We had a great afternoon, and productive too as we all got some gifts we were wanting to give others for Christmas. I remember at one point as we were strolling through the mall browsing, I suddenly got all sentimental, and turned to my friend and said, “Thank you for being such a good friend and for always being there for me, you’re the best,” and gave Uncle Dave a big hug. No idea why I felt the need to do this at that particular time, but I later would be glad that I had.
Upon the end of our shopping trip, we returned to my place so my brother and I could drop off our purchases. We had decided to bring my brother to the aforementioned local watering hole Uncle Dave and I and our friends frequented. As we started to walk back out out of my apartment, Uncle Dave collapsed to the floor, and was suddenly unconscious. I called for an ambulance while my brother tried to revive him. To spare you, and myself, the details that are too painful for me to relive, I will cut to the end of this segment. Uncle Dave died that evening, never having regained consciousness. (I was assured later that there was nothing that could have been done to save him – he suffered a massive heart attack.)
Christmas came a few days later, and I was one broken-hearted, depressed gal. I was unemployed, our country was at war, and I had just lost a very close friend. My brother and I went to my folks house to join the rest of our family. Though I certainly wasn’t feeling in the “holiday spirit”, I went through the motions and opened my gifts, etc. At the end of the family gift swap, my brother handed me the gift bag that Uncle Dave had left under my tree – which I had forgotten about, but he had brought along.
With tears filling my eyes and a heavy heart, I opened the gift. Inside I found a Waterford Crystal box, and inside that – a beautiful Waterford Crystal dolphin. And I knew. I knew why he had chosen this lavish gift. I smiled through my tears.
Uncle Dave was confirming that my spiritual name was, in fact,
Thank you, Uncle Dave, for this most precious gift. I miss you.