What’s in a name? who is Siannaphey


“You are all here, we’ll share with you every moment of your life and we will ask you to understand your spiritual incarnation and your spiritual name and try to find out the strength to live it.  Without finding that strength to live your spiritual identity, life will be a waste and we don’t want it to be wasted.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

I want to share the story of the name you see for my blog. The name Siannaphey came to me in my early teens during what I would say was a spiritual transitioning stage of my life, one of understanding my connectedness to life, the energy in the world and exploration of various cultural spiritualities that I felt compelled to read up about and  understand. In particular, I remember I felt very drawn the the Celts, and I would draw or see a woman bearing a moon crescent tiara or crown!. So I have carried this name for many many years, and I have learned to see it like an archetype or ancestoral blueprint connected to my soul. I never thought about what it may mean, it came to me and stayed. Further into this blog I will touch upon a possible meaning on this!

I understand there are cultures or spiritual paths (i.e native american, wiccans/pagans, kundalini yoga) which assign alternative names, or spiritual names, and for some it is believed to reinforce and accelerate your spiritual path and destiny – almost like a rebirth in consciousness. That in using your spiritual name in your meditations you are raising your energetic vibrations and connecting with your true soul nature – almost like a road map to your spiritual destiny. Perhaps like a mantra it is a reminder of who you are, and as you connect,  it points to where you are going.

N. Scott Momaday, in The Names: A Memoir, writes about the meaning of who we are that is contained and not contained in our names. Names, in other words, are mysterious, sometimes revealing sometimes concealing our identity or the identity of a people or place. Interestingly, I once had a dream in 1994 about the metaphysics of names. I explained that names were really not important, only our souls are. I explained to a group of people that we are all One, but we name ourselves to give  individuality in a conscious world where we cannot ‘see’ the spirit that we are. Perhaps a name hints at something deeper within us?

So what’s in the name Siannaphey (Sh-ee-un-a-fey)?

I think it was about 11 years ago when I was part of an online spiritual community forum, where I met a lovely soul with a great interest in celtic/gaelic mysticism. She helped me decode and awaken the name and spirit of Siannaphey. My friend believed that our past and future are imprinted within all of us, and that the name could have come to me as a modern clan name or soul reborn of ancient peoples. In doing some research and connecting with my intuition, poems, art or words that had come to me in my earlier years, I discovered the irish goddess Sinann.

Exploring the name:

(Sianna) Sinann (aspect of the Goddess) was a blonde haired goddess of the Tuatha de Danann celtic tribe, and granddaughter of the sea god Lir, daughter of Lodan,  associated and named after the river Shannon, the longest river in Ireland.”Shannon” is how “Sinann” is pronounced, more or less.

Some myths describe Sinann as originally a mortal woman who searched for the Well of Knowledge. In this well lived the Salmon of knowledge, and nuts fallen from nine magical hazel trees (believed to contain éigse, the spirit and inspiration of poetry.The hazelnut, with its round hard shell and nutritious core is a symbol of the heart in many folk tales.). When she is gathering up nuts, and opening up the covers, she loses her footing and falls in. The pool is angered or challenged and rises up over her and sweeps her down into the sea, thus birthing the river, which still carries her name. In doing so she was rebirthed into the goddess Sinann. Although it seems like a sad story because she dies, in actuality it describes the stage of death and rebirth, that in seeking sacred knowledge, she was transformed into a goddess.

I have also read that the waters rising and washing things away on either side is a strong mark of fertility of the lands when the feminine power or energy is aroused, and responding to the seasons, weather, invocations and offerings of the people of the time. That when she is washed through the lands, she returns to her ancestoral beginnings, to the source, and connects to all rivers and wells. It’s a very feminine energy that flows, blesses and creates depths of the womb.

(Phey) Fey -in gaelic the name Shannon is Sidhe Anann meaning “Faery of the River Goddess”. Fae/Fay/Faery -is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.Faeries are related to wells and water. The fairies in celtic mythology were humans with supernatural power.

About the Tuatha de Danann
The Tuatha de Danann (“People of the Goddess Danu”) were one of the mythical races who settled in Ireland before the arrival of the Milesians, the ancestors of modern Gaels. The Dananns were descendants of the goddess Danu. Her son Dagda was their most powerful leader of the Dananns. They were a race of deities and of heroes, skilled in art and science, poetry and magic.

“It is said, in the Book of the Dun Coe that wise men do not know the origin of the Tuatha De Danann, but that it seems likely they came from heaven, on account of their intelligence and for the excellence of their knowledge.” It is said that their hold on those in Ireland was so strong that not even the Christian transcribers could deny their existence as a non-human race of intelligent being in Ireland.

The Tuatha De Danann were in full control of Ireland when the Sons of Mil (Irish ancestors) came to the island. The Tuatha lost their island, but became known as the Fairy-Folk or the Sidhe of Irish Mythology and Folk Lore. When many talk of Ireland they talk of the human race the Celts as well as the invisible race of Fairies. There are many who treat this race as fiction and as “stories,” but there are Irish seers who today still say they see the Sidhe.

So could I be connecting with ancestoral or other worldly knowledge?  is Siannaphey…River Faery, Sinann of the Fey (Tuatha de Danann), Shannon of the Faeries? Either way it took me many years to discover and explore this name and how it may have come to be!


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