Art for a peaceful and flourishing world

The Origin Of My Name

Mother Earth - Oil on Canvas 24"x24" -2013

Mother Earth – Oil on Canvas 24″x24″ -2013

Someone asked me one day to write a story “to explain the origin of my name”, so as promised, here is the story.

My name is Gaia Orion. “Is that your real name?” I am asked often. It all depends what we mean by “real”!

I was born Anne Marie Cecile, a classic French and Catholic name. I married a Canadian man named Gabrion Orion, so this gives the Orion of my family name. When I was pregnant with my twins, my husband was making lists of potential names for the babies and when he came up with the name Gaia as a suggestion I immediately said “Oh, this name is for me!”. It is around this time that I was just starting to paint and I wanted an artist name to sign my paintings.

But the story doesn’t end here.

The person that inspired me to choose an artist name was my husband. He was born Keith Thistle. 5 months after his birth he was adopted by the Thompson family and they called him Gary; so Keith became Gary Thompson. When he turned 28, within his personal life quest he decided to change his name legally to call himself Gabrion Orion.

It is later after this that we met. What I find interesting is that when I chose my artist name Gaia, I didn’t know the meaning of the name. It is a Greek word for “mother earth – mother of all living beings on the planet”. It is only later that I realised the connection with my formal name Anne: In the Christian story, Anne is the mother of Mary, so she is the mother of the mother of Jesus. Anne or Gaia, my name continues to incarnate the mother of all! Gaia is simply the pagan version of Anne… Which suits me just fine to be honest!

Gaia the Earth, Orion the Sky: You now know the story!

Since I changed my name, I am often questioned about its origin, I met countless people that have also changed their name or that thought about it at some point.

The phonetic and meaning of a word carry a specific energy. When we change our name we become a new person. Many cultures and religious groups (even Catholic monks and nuns do it) have in their traditions a name changing initiation to symbolize a rebirth, a passage into a new stage of life.

Now imagine that if neither Dolphin or I had changed our names, today I would be signing my paintings Anne Thompson! After all I am happy to be carrying the name of Gaia Orion!

If you have a story to share about your name, we would love to read it in a comment on this blog!

P.S: And I suppose you realized that the story goes on as my husband has changed his name once more to Dolphin about 8 years ago. Some friends thought I changed partner when I was talking about Dolphin… Yes it also keeps the relationship vibrant and new!

For a complete view of my artwork:

Mother Nature - Oil on Canvas 36"x36" - 2010

Mother Nature – Oil on Canvas 36″x36″ – 2010

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