A Spirit Name... My Legal Name...
On July 30, 2006, I experienced a deep healing session with a shaman friend of mine, Gary Langston. I had recently divorced and my life was in major transition. Much was shifting for me as I was releasing volumes that no longer served and had begun defining — consciously, very deliberately — what I wanted to manifest in my emerging self and new life.
The session took me through elements of releasing my ex-husband, addressing anger with my father, and cutting cords. It was visceral and powerful. Near the end of the session, as I was standing on a sacred buffalo hide facing East, I began to have a vision. I saw Native Americans in ceremonial dress dancing around me. The sky was deep indigo with stars everywhere. I was standing in the middle of the circle, in a great bonfire, but it was neither hot nor painful. It was cleansing and transformative. My focus narrowed to the man dancing directly in front of me who was wearing a full ceremonial headdress. But his was different than the others. It was made entirely of red feathers and extended nearly to the ground. He was in profile, facing to my right. All of a sudden, as though a force hit me, I knew what this meant.
Stephanie legally changed her last name to Red Feather when she and Joe married in 2011.
I was being given a name. A spirit name. MY spirit name. Red Feather.
As soon as I realized this I spoke up and Gary asked me to come forth and declare my name out loud. I stood — feeling tall as a Ponderosa, my eyes open and clear, my body balanced and grounded — and declared: “I…AM…RED…FEATHER.” I couldn’t stop smiling. It felt so good! What a gift!
It was a leap of faith – one I'm so glad I had the courage to take.
Fast forward to 2011 when my beloved, Joe, and I were in preparation for our wedding ceremony in October of that year. I no longer subscribe to the practice of a woman taking her husband's last name, but did not want to take Roth, my previous husband's name, into my new marriage. Neither did I want to go back to my maiden name as I was complete with it as well. Through many signs and validations from spirit, it became abundantly clear that I was being asked to step into my spirit name in a whole new way — adopting it as my legal last name.
It was scary for me to try on Red Feather as my legal last name. I'm very sensitive to the unique frequency of words, and so taking on that name was not something I considered lightly. I knew who Stephanie Roth was, but I wasn't sure who Stephanie Red Feather would be. It became clear that I was not going to get "comfortable" with the name as a prerequisite to the legal process of changing it. I realized that taking on this name was going to be an initiation — a process of getting to know exactly who Stephanie Red Feather is over a period of time.
It was a leap of faith — one I'm so glad I had the courage to take.