What’s in a name? Jennifer Sieck shows us how, with patience and listening to your intuition, the right name will come to you.
I have always wanted a gray cat. My parents got me a black one when I graduated from High School, but I still wanted a gray one. So when, in 2009, my partner said, ‘I want to get you a gray kitten for your birthday,’ I did what we all do when we want our ego to lead in a situation that feels too cumbersome and vulnerable. I let my ego lead. I told her that we should wait until after the big metaphysical expo in October. I told her I wanted a female adult cat, a rescue… not a kitten. So I stopped the happy family archetype ball from rolling, or so I thought… I really tried too.
The next day a woman who owns a metaphysical bookstore in Columbus posted a story about a female adult cat, who was fixed and wait, gray…and needed a home. She had been waiting for one. In the meantime she had been living under a local psychic’s porch for over a year, and inclement weather was coming again.
I thought it was uncanny that the universe had responded so beautifully, quickly and clearly to my request for a gray female cat. My partner, who knew me very well by now, simply said, ‘for you, that’s every day.’ We went to see this gray girl. Tami coaxed her out from under the porch. She was timid but seemed happy to be in our car. She had beautiful gray green eyes and a thick silver gray coat. We would later learn that she was part Chartreux, a rare breed that lived in the turn of the century in France. We would notice her wicking fur that was resistant to moisture. We would both comment on her quiet loyalty and fine skills of observation, even her patience to literally watch television shows with us. Her eyes would dart back and forth with the antics on the screen. This was all to come; today though, on the way home, we headed to get kitty supplies.
When we brought her home she was very shy and immediately went to hide in the back of our bedroom closet. Eventually though she would peer out, curiosity always gets the best of this breed. Try as we might, we couldn’t agree on a name. We looked up animal totem websites, indigenous names, Celtic names. I came up with Silvie, she came up with Meg. I compromised with Sylphie. She came up with Clara. I suggested Daphnee. She came up with Bee. We were at an impasse, which I would later come to find would be a powerful aspect of our early relationship dynamics. We are both very stubborn. So we decided to wait, and in the interim, let the universe step in on the naming front.
In the meantime, she had started to jump up on our bed periodically in the evening. She was still much more comfortable in the dark and, to my chagrin, would face her nose to the wall. Later I surmised that when she was under the porch step there was nothing to do or see so facing the wall was perhaps in some way comforting.
One evening, not soon after another evening of poring over naming websites, I was singing around our apartment. This consisted of nonsense songs and sounds. It is a way I often shift energy…. ‘anique, ani, hannuu,’ I sang. Our new kitty looked lovingly up into my eyes and meowed as if she was trying to get our attention. ‘Say it again,’ Tami said. I sang Hannuu… ‘that’s her name,’ Tami said… ‘Say it again’…this time I said it…and Hannuu meowed loudly. ‘That’s her name,’ Tami said… I said it again, again Hannuu didn’t miss a beat and meowed loudly and pawed at my hand. Her eyes looked beseechingly at us. I said, ‘your name is Hannuu.’ She meowed again…
We both agreed we had a very special Kitty in our keeping. However, Hannuu was far from done with her meaning in our lives. A few weeks later I was looking through a metaphysical name book. The book broke down the letters from different spiritual traditions and shared the meaning of the full name. Since both runic alphabet and the Hebrew letters meaning were there I went to work looking up what the letters said Hannuu’s name meant. I was astonished by how closely the letters meanings followed the story of Hannuu’s life. It was simply uncanny.
Seeing she lived under a porch awaiting a home for a year I am not surprised these sounds and this name resonated with her. I am however, surprised I was able to relay this story for her here. I think this name choosing was her way of sharing her story with us. All I can say is the bond between humans and animals is quite mystical and far beyond reasoning or logic, anyway, Hanuu means:
(H: Hail.) Wrath of nature, destructive, uncontrolled forces, especially the weather, or within the unconscious. Tempering, testing, trial. Controlled crisis, leading to completion, inner harmony. Hagalaz (Hagalaz cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Natural disaster, catastrophe. Stagnation, loss of power. Pain, loss, suffering, hardship, sickness, crisis.
This represented her time under the porch steps.
(A: The As, ancestral god, i.e. Odin.) A revealing message or insight, communication. Signals, inspiration, enthusiasm, speech, true vision, power of words and naming. Blessings, the taking of advice. Good health, harmony, truth, wisdom.
This represented the powerful message that was sent out via Facebook about her needing a forever home. It was a harbinger of things to come. It also represented her process of sharing her name with us.
N: Need.) Delays, restriction. Resistance leading to strength, innovation, need-fire (self-reliance). Distress, confusion, conflict, and the power of will to overcome them. Endurance, survival, determination. A time to exercise patience. Recognition of one’s fate. Major self-initiated change. Face your fears.
This represents Hannuu’s opening up to us and getting to know us. The risk it must have taken to share her name and her story. Also this energy represents the vulnerability she was willing to express and feel. I often would place my hands gently on her belly sending reiki to her second chakra in these times. Both people and animals create resistance to love, and trust. Hannuu was well on her way to becoming a feral cat when we made her acquaintance. It took a lot of inner strength for a kitty that had been cold and had to deal with such huge obstacles for over a year to overcome them, even with our love.
Uruz: (U: Auroch, a wild ox.) Physical strength and speed, untamed potential. A time of great energy and health. Freedom, energy, action, courage, strength, tenacity, understanding, wisdom. Sudden or unexpected changes (usually for the better). The shaping of power and pattern, True formulation of the self.
Finally, Hannuu was able to open up and trust us…she is now a sweet, healthy, opinionated, loving kitty who likes to sleep on her two purple blankets. She had her own stocking this year. We were so happy we could step in and save her life. The truth is, she has saved our life since, several times and ways over. Who could have known? But that’s another story for another time. And it too is equally uncanny. Also, quiet worth the telling.