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What's In A Name: An Identity Story

I am Amara Rose. My birth certificate, however, bears another name. Why the shift?

Our names form the core of our identity. Throughout time and human history, people have often changed their names when they've undergone an initiation in consciousness. Sometimes a tribal elder or shaman bestows the new name, signifying that the initiate has passed into the role of teacher or healer. Sometimes the name simply announces itself softly in one's awareness, as inherently right as the change process itself. The poet David Whyte, whose work I greatly admire, refers to this stepping into our power as "the soul declaring itself." This is how the name shift feels.

I know quite a few people who've taken their soul names and no longer use the name they were given at birth, though this may sound very unusual to you. In Western culture, especially, it's acceptable for a woman to change her name when she marries a man, but odd if she changes her name to signify a marriage to Spirit. I believe we should marry ourselves first! I'll explain this more fully with my own example.

Amara Rose is a higher octave of my birth name, and a clearer embodiment of the feminine creative principle that informs my lifework. We're all raising our vibratory frequency, and as we do so, what once served us may no longer resonate.

My former name feels, in many ways, like another incarnation. I thought differently then, had different work, and was very much "in and of the world," although my inner essence was yearning to breathe free.

The old first name means "belonging to Mars." Mars has traditionally been viewed as the god of war. I've invested a great deal of emotional, mental, psychic and physical energy being "at war" with myself, and gradually growing into my spiritual warriorhood.

Intriguingly, I embraced Amara Rose at age 42, the midpoint of my Uranus cycle. As an Aquarian, I'm ruled by Uranus, the celestial guide best described as innovative, imaginative and idiosyncratic. Known as the Great Awakener, Uranus defines liberation and defies convention. So claiming my new name at 42 also signifies my expansion into a global community of trailblazers and lamplighters for new consciousness.

Amara means "of eternal beauty." You may notice how the "mar" is enclosed by an "a" on either end, like contained fire. Years ago a good friend told me, "You have the true fire within you, but outside it's expressed as random sparkles." I'm becoming a crucible at last.

While researching female shamanism, I discovered the Aymara of the Andes, whose ancient language, Aymara, remains one of the most widely spoken Native American languages. According to the etymology of the word, "mara" means year, confirming my name's sense of timelessness: Amara is thus, "without year."

I learned from a sister in Bolivia (where Aymara is one of the official languages) that in Spanish, Amara literally means, "to love." With an accent over the final "a", Amarį, it would translate as "will love."

An ally of Arabic heritage told me that "Amar," minus the last "a", means "moon" in Arabic. The Moon is symbolic of feminine, receptive energy. And an Israeli acquaintance told me that "Amar" comes from the root word, "to say." Amara means, "she said."

So these are three further confirmations of what I know deep inside: Amara is my soul declaring itself. What's fascinating is that I didn't sit down and systematically select this name through logic; it was given in grace, evolving over a period of years, and the outer alignment mirrors the inner truth.

One day at the beach I was inspired ("in Spirit") to chant my name as three distinct syllables: Ah-Ma-Ra. I realized that these are three of the myriad names for God. Ah is the breath. The eighth century Japanese Buddhist monk and poet Kūkai wrote, "The first word 'Ah' blossoms into all others; each of them is true." Ma is our primal sonic, the Great Mother; Ra is the Sun, worshipped in many ancient cultures as deity. I felt suffused with grace.

Recently, I looked up "Amara" in The New Age Baby Name Book by Sue Browder, and was delighted to read that Amara is the Esperanto form of Mary. Esperanto is an artificial international language, which is said to be fairly easy for people who speak many different languages to master. Its creator, Ludwig Zamenhof, hoped the world would one day be united by a common tongue. Since my life purpose is connecting the collective toward our eventual expression of unity, this confirmation from my soul name brings me great joy.

As to Rose: The word "rose" is identical in English, French, German, and many other languages. The rose is symbolic of female sexuality, and of the Goddess. In ancient Goddess culture, the five-petaled rose represented the five stations of female life: birth, menstruation, motherhood, menopause and death. The blossoming flower resembles the womb: witness the evocative art of renowned American painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Rose is also an anagram for Eros, the Greek god of sexual love. Down through the ages, it has been one of the secret names of Mari Magdalene, the Temple priestess who participated in the sacred marriage rite known as the Hieros Gamos, with Jesus.

In aromatherapy, rose carries the highest healing frequency. "Rose" is also the past tense of "rise," which means to grow, to go beyond - to metamorphose! It's a verb, which is really what we are - we're more process than product. The interface of the spiritual and the material is where we co-create, co-evolve. I feel a broader sense of kinship with all life as Amara Rose.

Becoming Amara Rose was a gradual evolution, as I came home to the truth of who I am, and began to remember my purpose here on Earth. It was helpful to realize that my mother changed both her names. She claimed a new first name at adulthood, and changed her surname twice: once as a fledgling actress, and again when she married my Dad. So in e/merging as Amara Rose, I'm following in my matrilineal footsteps.

May my personal evolutionary adventure serve as spiritual sustenance, confirmation and celebration for your own life. Live Your Light!

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As a "midwife for the soul" Amara Rose offers life purpose coaching, talks, CDs, e-courses, playshops, and an inspirational monthly newsletter, "What Shines." Please visit LiveYourLight.com to learn more. Contact Amara at amara@liveyourlight.com, or call: 1-800-862-0157 within the USA.

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