By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself. ~ Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Names are an essential part of who we are, as they hold a frequency and vibration that supports us during our lives. Names reflect and identify us, and represent who we are. As we grow and develop our identity, very often our names no longer reflect us and changing a name can transform your life in many different ways.
Rebecca Ann Bloom vs Rebekita
I was born Rebecca Ann Bloom and have always felt very connected to the name Rebecca. It suited me. My surname Bloom represents my Jewish roots and my ancestry, which was a strong identity to me while I was growing up. I also like it because I feel its a cosmic message that this lifetime I have the potential to bloom….
When I became the shaman’s apprentice, my teacher Don Juanito called me Rebekita ‘little Rebecca,’ but when I returned to London, and life took an unexpected turn, I had to bury Rebekita, and everything she stood for deep in my heart, and revert back to Rebecca Bloom.
However, I decided to use the name Rebekita, as the author of ‘The Shaman’s Last Apprentice’ my self-published book about my time in the Amazon. It was the name I had been called throughout my apprenticeship, so it resonated more truthfully with what I had written.
As the book spread people started calling me Rebekita, but despite liking the name I no longer resonated with it. It had been seven years since I had returned from the Amazon, and I was no longer ‘little Rebecca’. However, I felt I was no longer Rebecca Bloom either, as she had ‘died’ in Machu Picchu to make way for Rebekita, who was now resurrected.
I knew I no longer carried the energy that those names represented for me but I had no idea who I was becoming. I did not know what to call myself, creating a deep inner identity crisis that left me lost and confused. I also felt paralysed to take my book out into the world without knowing who I was.
Exactly two and a half years into my identity crisis my prayers were answered and I participated in a four day shamanic Iboga Plant Medicine ceremony. Iboga is from the Gabon in Africa and comes from the bark of a plant that contains Ibogaine. The ceremony was facilitated by Gabonese shaman who had flown over especially to initiate eleven of us into the Bwiti* over the Spring Equinox of 2007.
Iboga connects us to our ancestors and shows us what emotional blockages and trauma that are holding us back from being in our power. It invokes deep and profound vision journeys, so that we can know our place in the world. I knew this plant medicine would show me the truth of who I really was, and give me my name.
Becoming Rebekah Shaman
On the second night, with baited breath and with great anticipation I asked the Plant Spirit Iboga to reveal my name. All over the ceiling and the walls of the village hall where the ceremony was conducted appeared the name Rebekah Shaman. I asked the Iboga the significance and was told that ‘Rebekah’ is the integration of Rebecca and Rebekita, and that I was a Shaman.
It was definitely one of my most terrifyingly powerful moments of my life. I loved the new name Rebekah, but the Shaman part opened up a whole new can of worms. Mostly, because up till then I had not received any recognition or acknowledgement that I was a Shaman, and because of that had doubted who I was. At the same time I was terrified of the name. No one openly calls themselves a Shaman and I was still not sure if I really was one.
I begged the Iboga to give me another one, other than Shaman, a name more easy to resonate with, and with fewer connotations. But the Iboga told me that by calling myself Rebekah Shaman I was accepting who I truly was and I was no longer able to hide behind this doubt any longer.
Trusting Life, Myself and the Plant Medicine
The Plant Spirit also told me that by standing tall, strong and proud with my name it gives others the strength to do so. I decided to trust the Plant medicine, trust myself, trust the shamanic path and take the name. Truthfully, it has been one of my heaviest burdens and at the same time one of my greatest blessings for many reasons.
However, eight years later, inspired by this weekend’s Pisces new moon, Spring Equinox, the solar eclipse and the rebellious, fuck it energy of the Pluto/Uranus cross I have finally changed my name by Deedpoll to Rebekah Shaman Bloom, and have merged all aspects of myself into one complete whole.
It is time for all of us to stop hiding in the shadows pretending we are not great, powerful and important because we are, and the moment we see ourselves in all our glory, is the moment we can change the world.