Today I was asked how I decided upon my Sun's name "Kali Ra Iman." I don't believe I've ever given treatment to this topic, so here it goes ♡
Kali (Sanskrit: कालिका)
Kālī (aka Kali Ma or Kālikā) is a fierce but often misunderstood goddess in the Hindu faith. She is said to manifest for the destruction of illusion and to slay the egoic demon within man. Of her lesser acknowledged characteristics is Kali's unequivocal compassion and fierce maternal creation power. Kali serves as both the archetypal image of birth and death, womb and tomb, giver of life as well as the devourer of her children...
Without knowing its origin, or why I was drawn to this name, I had decided at age 14 that this would be the title of my future child. In this sense, and through many of my own mannerisms and firey passion, I can see how Kali has always been a part of me.
My partner is of Afrikan descent, so we had originally intended to have "X" hold the place of a middle name, to acknowledge all those unknown ancestors who had their names forcibly taken. However, one night in my third trimester, I woke up around 4am to take a pee and as I sat on the toilet I kept repeating the words "Amun Ra".
I returned to bed where I lay for a while contemplating my repetition of these words. You see, long ago (no less than 15 years time) I had taken a college course in the study of Ancient Egypt, so I had some point of reference for the words and knew that "Amun Ra" was the name of the "Sun God." I then got the distinct message-- "You may not know the names of the ancestors, but I do. My name is Ra."
In that very moment I took heed and promptly changed my unborn child's middle name from "X" to "Ra," as directed.
So, why not give Kali Ra one of our last names? With my partner being of Afrikan Jamaican descent, his actual family name was taken many many generations ago, during the middle passage and replaced with a European slave owner's name. For that reason we chose not to pass on that name.
My last name also didn't feel appropriate, since I could already feel the power and autonomy of this little, unborn being. It was clear to me that this being would be born of me, but was not "mine" and so should not take my name. Whether embodied in flesh or soaring through the ethers unencumbered, I will always understand Kali Ra as a potently powerful being-- Kali Ra deserved to be recognized as such and have his very own last name, independent of my partner or myself.
My partner and I sat together outside on the deck and compiled a last name letter by letter, using both divine guidance and our own very human preference. We eventually decided on "Iman," a word from the Rastafarian faith used to refer to the person who understands his/her own divinity.
When we first decided upon "Iman" neither of us knew exactly what it meant. So we googled the name and learned that it is likely rooted in the Swahili term meaning "Faith."
Despite losing Kali Ra Iman in the flesh, we continue to hold this faith and know that Kali Ra manifested in our lives to carve and burn out illusion and to illuminate the truth through flames of fierce love. We honor and thank you for these teachings and for the path you have illumined in the wake of your ashes.