Perhaps more than any other question I’m asked, people want to know, “What’s my guide’s name?”
For us as humans, names are a key part of our identities. It’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to use chosen names, whether it’s someone who has transitioned, someone who wants to distance themselves from their past identity, or any other reason. Pet guardians will often say that when they welcome a new animal into their family, they change the animal’s name because the name they had didn’t fit their personality.
Names reflect our energy and who we are.
As such, it’s normal and natural to want our guides to have names too. In a future post, I’ll talk about names back Home (a.k.a. in the ether, Heaven, etc.), but for now, I’m keeping it to the three-dimensional, physical life here on earth. Some guides will give you a name right away. Some won’t. Some will hold out for years. Some will ask you to name them. These are all valid.
Case in point:
By the time I was in junior high school, I was aware of three guides with very discernably different energy who were frequent flyers in my headspace. I didn’t really need names for them, because I could tell who was whom simply by how they felt. And how they made me feel. Generally, they didn’t all talk to me at once, and I didn’t tell anyone else about them, so names were unnecessary.
But then early in high school, I started writing down what they said, and I invited them to conference with me. This took several months of learning how to focus and keep the connection open. I began writing in a journal, dividing each page into four columns: one for me, and one each for the three guides. And since I didn’t have names, I very creatively called them Voice A, Voice B, and Voice C.
Voice A was the (much) more powerful voice. There was an assurance about him that had me feeling completely and utterly safe in his presence, as well as a steady power, as if he was capable of so much more than the tiny fraction he was sharing with me. He was both reassuring and terrifying. When he was around, my heart beat out of rhythm, I had a feeling of electricity sparking all over my skin, and the top of my head felt like it was somehow open and unlimited. So I gave him the Voice A designation because I thought putting him first might be least likely to make him upset with me.
Voice B was the voice I heard most often, many times a day. Our conversations had a banter-like quality, and yet somehow, even as we teased each other, he always made me feel better about myself. And in the blink of an eye, he could turn a conversation about nothing at all into a jaw-dropping new awareness about myself and my place in the world.
Voice C taught me how to make up songs, how to sing about chores I had to do, how to turn even the most mundane into something creative and joyous.
I began to tell my best friend about these conversations, and she asked why I didn’t give them names. She could actually tell when Voice A was around, even if I didn’t say anything, and she thought a proper name was less insulting than “Voice A.” I told her I thought it would be insulting to give them names and they should tell me their own names.
I asked Voice A. He told me his name was irrelevant, and to focus on what he had to say instead of who he was. (This, of course, only made me more curious, but he wouldn’t budge, and I didn’t want to piss him off.) So my friend named him Ahimsa (Sanskrit for non-violence and respect for all life). He didn’t argue or correct it for over 15 years. In 1999, when I was in a spiritual crisis, not knowing what to believe or whom to trust, he showed up and finally told me his name was Michael. He shared a few other things I won’t get into here, but it eliminated any doubts I had about him. While the name Ahimsa was lovely, it was always clearly an alias. The name Michael fit.
Of course then I freaked out over who he was. “You mean the Michael?” Had he shared his name with me 15 years earlier, my freak-out would have been even more severe. He was right not to tell me back then.
I asked Voice B for a name. He said he couldn’t give me his real name, but I should choose a name to call him by. I asked him to choose one. He refused, saying it didn’t matter. I argued back saying it mattered a lot. Then I asked him if he had any idea how many possible names existed in the world, and could he please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, at least narrow it down? His response? “Preferably something you can pronounce.”
I gave him the silent treatment and refused to talk with him until he gave me a name. (Not one of my finer moments when dealing with guides.) Eventually, he relented, and while I was at work one day, cutting open a box, he said, “Use that.” An unusual glow on the box caught my eye, as if the city name in the return address was backlit: Dresden. Much later, when I asked him why he chose that, he said he liked the imagery of coming back into wholeness after complete destruction. Whether he meant that for himself or me, he’s never said. It might be a bit of both.
Voice C was easy. I asked her, and she said she liked musical names. I listed a few: Harmony, Melody, Lyric, Allegra. “I like Melody,” she said. And that was that.
Many years later, Dresden told me that had he shared the name I knew him by back Home, I might have recognized it. I’ve already remembered pieces of several past lives, at least two of which were with him, and he was concerned that knowing his real name might trigger further memories. My focus, he maintains, is this lifetime. Here and now. Getting sidetracked by past lives could distract me from what I’m here to do and experience.
Other people with whom I’ve worked have had a mixture: some guides offer names right away. Some people are fine choosing a name that is meaningful to them and the part that their guide plays in their life. Sometimes the names people choose for their guides are significant and powerful.
My refusal to choose names for my guides says nothing about them, and a lot about my own issues with authority and my past behaviors around wanting to please those in power. In reality, a guide is not going to get angry because of a name, nor are they going to be slighted if they’re last on a list instead of first. Feeling insulted or indignant is all ego, all comparison and whether one measures up. Guides are spirit, not ego.
Just as guides’ names aren’t a constant, fixed thing, their presentation—how they present themselves to you in any sort of visual—isn’t either. We’ll talk about that another time.