Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What's in a name?

As everyone knows, my daughter's name is Rowan. Its an unusual name, and NO I did not take it from Brooke Shields!

I had this name picked out for my future child ever since the early 00's. I got it from the Anne Rice Mayfair Witch series. The lead character in this book, you guessed it, is Rowan Mayfair.

I fell in the love with the name as soon as I finished the first book, and I tucked it away in my pocket for future use.

Once I found out I was pregnant, I took it out of my old tattered pocket and presented it to the hubs, whom thankfully was on board with it. (because if he hadn't have been, he'd have gotten the "once you push a watermelon out of the tip of your penis, then you can have an opinion" speech).

20 weeks later, at our ultrasound, as soon as the "its a girl" dropped from the Ultrasound techs mouth, Rowan existed. And we called her Rowan for the next 20 weeks. My sister in law joked at the hospital the day after Rowan's birth, about how she felt as though Rowan had been around for so long because she'd had her name for ages. We referred to her as Rowan.. "when Rowan gets here".... "lets paint Rowan's room this weekend", "Do you think we should buy this book for Rowan?"

And its true... Rowan was Rowan months before she made her way into this world.

Rowan is an Irish/Gaelic name. I did a lot of research about it after we had settled on it. It has quite a few meanings. The funniest being "little red haired one". Once Rowan was born and we could see her flaming red hair, we both sort of giggled at how appropriate our selection was.

It also means protected from evil. The Rowan tree native in the Ireland/England area is a species of what we call the ash tree here. In the times of witch paranoia people would hang a branch of the Rowan tree above their doorways in order to protect their households from the "evil" of a witch.

I found that bit-o-information pretty funny seeing as Anne Rice named the lead witch in her story Rowan. And I half wonder if she did the same research and chose that name on purpose.... to add a bit of irony to her story.

The first book of the Mayfair Witch series is The Witching Hour. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but in this story, there is a spirit that attaches to Rowan and haunts her if you will. This spirit's name is Lasher.

My mother is currently reading the book. She was interested in where I got Rowan's name and thought she'd read the series to see why I chose it.

We got into a discussion the other day about the books which prompted me to look them up online. Like I mentioned its been many years since I've read them and I was a bit shaky on parts of the story.

It was in doing this research that I had a pretty funny revelation.

My daughters middle name is Aislan (pronounced Ash-lan). It's also Gaelic and means dream, vision, and inspiration. Hubs and I had both agreed we wanted another Irish name for Rowan in keeping with our ancestry and once I ran across this one, it just clicked. I asked hubs and he agreed.... so Rowan became Rowan Aislan.

Now we must come back to my revelation, and in doing so, back to the Mayfair Witch series. As I noted, the spirit that follows and torments Rowan Mayfair is Lasher. In researching the stories while talking to my mother, I came upon a play by play of the books... in the story, Lasher is a spirit that was once living. His name while alive was Ashlar. It wasn't until he'd died that his name was distorted by the living that could not understand him ,into the name Lasher.

Ashlar.... Aislan.... Hmmmmmmmmmmm

Ok... so I know the subconscious is a very very powerful thing... and I know without a doubt that Rowan's middle name clicked with me because I'd heard the names Rowan and Ashlar together so many times that it probably just sounded right to me.

Reminds me of a kid I grew up with who's name was Matt Bates... MattBates... masturbates.... I know his mom didn't' mean to do that, but I bet she thought the names went well together because of that word... lol and the poor boy then ended up having the nick name masturbates his entire childhood...

And so, three years after having my little Rowan Aislan, I came to realize that not only her first name comes from that book, but alas, so does her middle name. And it was just such an odd and flabbergasting moment to realize that. So long after the fact... haha