When I begun my magickal adventures, I was called upon to choose a magickal name.
I was a young man, heady with the flush of youth, excited and terrified of the new path I was setting foot upon. I didn’t know what to expect from real magick, but I had a head full of fantasy, of myths and legends, of stories and role-playing games.
I chose Sepherion le’Fey. It was derived from a misheard name from a book, and from my love of legend and my affinity to the elven race. Like Bilbo, I was in love with the idea of elves, the type described by Tolkien and Gygax. I was fully under their glamour.
I must confess I never used it much, but I was fond of it. I tried to identify it with a vision of the magickal self that I aspired to. I knew that a lot of it was fantasy, but I was feeling my way through a magickal path that seemed to be off the beaten track and I knew, deep down, that a sense of identity, no matter how contrived, was an important part of magick.
I felt that I had cheapened it somewhat when I later used the name for a character in a role-playing game. I didn’t mean to. I was in a hurry and entered what was supposed to be an account name into the character’s name box, and because I didn’t have a lot of time, I carried on regardless and ended up becoming Sepherion le’Fey.
That character had several incarnations, over the years, and as time went on, I identified with the character more more. It wasn’t just a fiction, but the Avatar I inhabited for a not insignificant time while I formed friendships, went on adventures, fell in love, and created stories that while, on the one hand, merely existed in the minds, pages, and cyberspace shared by my friends and I, were also visceral in their experience and now, no less real in my memory as the nights I spent in pubs with “real” people.
It wasn’t until years after reading Ramsey Dukes that I learned his real name and that Lionel Snell only settled on his nom de plume after his publisher got so fed up with him changing pen names with every book that he finally lost his cool and told Lionel to just pick one, any one, and stick with it.
And now that I find myself on the eve of releasing my own book, stepping out of the magickal closet and donning a pointy hat in the public eye, it amuses me to follow in the footsteps of such eminent company. It appeals to my Discordian sensibilities. It is in keeping with my writing style. And it is a tool to be wielded by a Chaos Mage.
In the end, though, the only reason I need to do anything is that it amuses me.
And thus it is.