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Mystical Names

Mystical Names

Mystical names summon figures of mythology and legend, of magic and mystery. The mystical names here hail from a range of different cultures and stories. Some names, such as Lilith and Phoenix, remain strongly tied to their myth of origin. Others, like Jason and Maya, are so far removed that many may be unaware they are mythological names.

Along with Maya, other girl names that mean magic in the US Top 1000 include Cassandra, Daphne, Thalia, and Veda. In addition to Jason, other boy names that mean magic in the US Top 1000 include Finn, Arthur, Orion, and Bodhi.

Baby names with general ties to mysticism and mythology include Hero, Rune, Saga, and Serendipity.

Here, our collection of mystical baby names. For even more mystic names, check out our lists of Mythology Girl Names and Mythology Boy Names.

FinnHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "fair or white"
  • Description:

    Finn is a name with enormous energy and charm, that of the greatest hero of Irish mythology, Finn MacCool (aka Fionn mac Cuumhaill), an intrepid warrior with mystical supernatural powers, noted as well for his wisdom and generosity.

DaphneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "laurel tree, bay tree"
  • Description:

    In Greek mythology, Daphne was the nymph daughter of Peneus, a river god. Peneus saved Daphne from Apollo’s romantic obsessions by transforming her into a laurel tree. It is from this myth that the plant genus daphne, which contains the laurel species, gets its name.

ArthurHeart

  • Origin:

    Celtic
  • Meaning:

    " bear"
  • Description:

    Arthur, once the shining head of the Knights of the Round Table, is, after decades of neglect, now being polished up and restored by some stylish parents, emerging as a top contender among names for the new royal prince.

OrionHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Orion is a rising star, with both mythical and celestial overtones.

BodhiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "awakening, enlightenment"
  • Description:

    Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Bodhi tree is a large fig tree under which the founder of Buddhism received enlightenment. Spelling variations include Bodie and Bode.

SeraphinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "ardent; fiery"
  • Description:

    Seraphina is one of the most-searched name on Nameberry, destined for even greater popularity. The highest-ranking angels, the six-winged seraphim, inspired the lovely name Seraphina, which was brought into the contemporary spotlight when chosen by high-profile parents Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck for their second daughter, following the influential choice of Violet for their first.

PhoenixHeart

  • Origin:

    Arizona place-name and Greek
  • Meaning:

    "dark red"
  • Description:

    Phoenix rolls a lot of cool trends into one: it's a place-name and a bird name, it ends in the oh-so-hip letter x, and as the mythic bird that rose from the ashes, it's a symbol of immortality. It's also got celebrity chops, via the acting family that includes Joaquin and the late River, and as the child of an ex-Spice Girl.

LilithHeart

  • Origin:

    Assyrian, Sumerian
  • Meaning:

    "ghost, night monster"
  • Description:

    Lilith is derived from the Akkadian word lilitu meaning “of the night.” In Jewish folklore she is portrayed as Adam's rejected first wife, who was turned into a night demon for refusing to obey him. Lilith is unrelated to most other Lil- names, with the exception of Lilita, which is the Latvian variation.

PersephoneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name
  • Description:

    Persephone is the esoteric name of the Greek mythological daughter of Zeus by Demeter, the queen of the harvest. After she was kidnapped by Hades to be Queen of the Underworld, it was decreed by Zeus that she would spend six months of the year with her mother, allowing crops to grow, and six in mourning, thus accounting for the seasons.

MayaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek mythology name; Central American Indian empire name; Latinate variation of May; Spanish, diminutive of Amalia; variation of Maia; Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "water"
  • Description:

    In addition to being the name of a Central American culture, Maya was the legendary Greek mother of Hermes by Zeus, and means "illusion" in Sanskrit and Eastern Pantheism. It can also be spelled Maia, though both names have so many possible origins and meanings that not all of them are related. To the Romans, Maia/Maya was the incarnation of the earth mother and goddess of spring, after whom they named the month of May.

TaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew; Australian Aboriginal
  • Meaning:

    "gentle dew from heaven; by the water"
  • Description:

    Talia is derived from the Hebrew elements tal, meaning “dew,” and yah, in reference to God. In the mythology of one ancient sect, Talia was one of ten angels who attended the sun on its daily course. The occasionally homophonous name Thalia has unrelated Greek origins.

JunoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "queen of the heavens"
  • Description:

    Juno is an ancient name that feels as fresh as if it had been minted — well, not yesterday, but in 2007. Since the release of the popular indie film Juno, this lively but strong o-ending Roman goddess name has become more and more prominent as a potential baby name — Coldplay's Will Champion chose Juno for one of his twins (whose brother is the kingly Rex).

AriadneHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "most holy"
  • Description:

    This name of the Cretan goddess of fertility is most popular now as the more melodic Ariana, but Ariadne has possibilities of its own. It first entered the US Top 1000 in 2014. The renewed interest in the name falls in line with the revival of other mythological names like Apollo and Athena. The trendy nickname Ari doesn't hurt either.

GabrielHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "God is my strength"
  • Description:

    Gabriel was derived from the Hebrew name Gavri’el, taken from the elements gever, meaning "strong," and ’el, in reference to God. In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is the archangel who heralded the news of Jesus' birth, and appears in Christian, Jewish and Muslim texts. He presides over Paradise, serving as the angel of mercy, life, joy, judgment, truth and dreams.

OdinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Óðinn, Old Norse
  • Meaning:

    "god of frenzy; poetic fury"
  • Description:

    Odin is the name of the supreme Norse god of art, culture, wisdom, and law — who was handsome, charming, and eloquent into the bargain. The name projects a good measure of strength and power and has excellent assimilation potential.

NiamhHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish Gaelic
  • Meaning:

    "bright"
  • Description:

    Niamh, derived from the Old Irish Niam, is an ancient Irish name that was originally a term for a goddess. In Irish myth, one who bore it was Niamh of the Golden Hair, daughter of the sea god, who falls in love with Finn's son Oisin and takes him to the Land of Promise, where they stayed for three hundred years. Niamh can be Anglicized as Neve, Nieve, or Neave.

SybilHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "prophetess"
  • Description:

    The image of the lovely Lady Sybil, tragic youngest daughter of the Crawley family on Downton Abbey is likely to go a long way towards reviving this almost forgotten name, off the list since 1966 and most popular in the 1920s and '30s. Sybil is currently Number 253 on Nameberry;

PatrickHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "noble, patrician"
  • Description:

    Patrick, long tied to a hyper-Irish image, is enjoying something of a renaissance as a stylish classic, as it has long been considered in England. Along with such choices as Charles and George, Patrick has escaped overuse in recent decades.

MorganHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "sea-born, sea-song or sea-circle"
  • Description:

    Morgan has long been a traditional Welsh male name, a variant of the Old Welsh name Morcant, from the Welsh elements mor, meaning “sea” and cant, “circle.” The female Morgan is unrelated to the male version—it is a name from Arthurian legend created for Morgan le Fay, King Arthur's half-sister and famed sorceress. Her name comes from Morgen, an Old Welsh name meaning “sea-born,” and is related to the Irish name Muirgen.

CassandraHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "shining or excelling man"
  • Description:

    The name of the tragic mythological Trojan princess who was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but was condemned never to be believed, Cassandra has been used for striking characters in movies and soap operas. Ethereal and delicate, Cassandra was in the Top 70 throughout the 1990s but is now descending in popularity.

RobinHeart

  • Origin:

    Bird name; or English, diminutive of Robert
  • Meaning:

    "bright fame"
  • Description:

    Now that it's no longer fashionable for girls, Robin is rising for boys again. Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Christopher Robin, and Robin the Boy Wonder are all male namesakes, after all. It reentered the US Top 1000 boys namesin 2015 for the first time since 1999.

CirceHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "bird"
  • Description:

    In Greek myth, Circe, daughter of Helios, the sun, was a sorceress living on the island of Aeaea, who could turn men into animals with her magic wand, which is just what she did to Odysseus's crew in Homer's Odyssey, transforming them into swine. All was forgiven, however, as Circe and Odysseus later had a child together—Telegonus. The name and legend have appeared in countless forms, from a section of James Joyce's Ulysses to short stories by Julio Cortazar to Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to films to DC comics to a dance by Martha Graham. So is Circe's seductive legend too powerful for a modern little girl to carry? Your call.

ThaliaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "to flourish"
  • Description:

    Thalia was one of the Three Graces in Greek mythology, and also the Muse of comedy and pastoral poetry, making this a Hellenic choice worthy of consideration.

JasonHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "to heal"
  • Description:

    Jason, the Number 3 name for the entire decade of the 1970s -- thus the title of our original baby-naming book, Beyond Jennifer & Jason -- is more likely to be dad's name now than baby's, but it's still a widely used name.

VedaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "knowledge"
  • Description:

    A name with religious resonance, as the Vedas are the most sacred texts of Hinduism. Outside of that religious context, Veda has the makings of a modern popular name, with its sharp V initial, two syllables, and feminine a ending. This is evidenced by it reentry into the US Top 1000 in 2015, after fifty-five years off the list. Similar names on the rise are Vera and Vada.

CatoHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "all-knowing"
  • Description:

    Cato conjures up images of ancient Roman statesmen and southern antebellum retainers; it could have revival potential, with its 'O' ending and the current interest in the names of Greek and Roman antiquity.

RuneHeart

  • Origin:

    German and Swedish
  • Meaning:

    "secret"
  • Description:

    Name with connotations both mystical and tragic, newly popular in Europe. For English speakers, though, this name might be ruined by its homonym ruin.

ZenHeart

  • Origin:

    Japanese
  • Meaning:

    "meditation"
  • Description:

    A spiritual word name used by actor Zoe Saldana for her son.

ClioHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "glory"
  • Description:

    Clio is the name of the ancient Greek mythological muse of history and heroic poetry, one that is rich with modern charm and would make an intriguing choice, especially thanks to its dynamic o-ending. Unlike the sound-alike Cleo, which brings up visions of Cleopatra, Clio is very much a stand-alone name.

ThorHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse and Scandinavian
  • Meaning:

    "thunder"
  • Description:

    Thor, the powerful name of the Norse god of thunder, strength and rain, would make a bold statement. Long a comic book staple, Thor has now invaded the big screen, and could land on birth certificates as well.

AislingHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "dream, vision"
  • Description:

    Aisling is currently a very popular Irish name for girls. Pronounced variously as ASH-ling, ASH-lin or ash-LEEN, it was part of the revival of authentic Irish names in the twentieth century, and is now being sparingly used by U.S. parents in place of the dated Ashley--though often spelled phonetically as Ashlyn or Ashlynn.

EnidHeart

  • Origin:

    Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "life, spirit"
  • Description:

    This Celtic goddess and Arthurian name may sound terminally old-ladyish to many ears--but so did names like Ella and Etta not so long ago. So Enid is yet another forgotten four-letter E-possibility: she's has been M.I.A since 1954.

JoanHeart

  • Origin:

    English variation of Johanna
  • Meaning:

    "God is gracious"
  • Description:

    Joan was the perfect name choice for one of the leading characters on Mad Men, being a quintessential girls' name of the period. A Top 10 name in the 30s, a Top 50 name from the 40s through the early 60s, it was the fifth most popular name in the country for three years running and ranks as one of the most common names for girls in the 20th century. But alas, Joan hasn't even appeared in the Top 1000 for a dozen years, and these days it's primarily associated with Joans of the generation of Joan Crawford, Joan Collins and Joan Rivers--just a few of the noted Joans whose ranks also include the singers Joan Sutherland, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading and Joan Jett. But it's possible that modern parents who are reviving Jane might move on to Joan, inspired by Joan Hollaway Harris.

AriellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Ariel
  • Meaning:

    "lion of God"
  • Description:

    This variation of Ariel, with the extra-feminine suffix, has been on the rise in recent years. It entered the Top 1000 in 2008.

SiddharthHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "one who has accomplished a goal"
  • Description:

    Siddhartha Gautama was one of the real names of Buddha, making this an impressive and weighty name among the Buddhist community.

LarissaHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Larisa, Greek and Russian
  • Meaning:

    "citadel"
  • Description:

    Larissa is a nymph name that's daintily pretty and a fresh alternative to Melissa or Alyssa. Though this is the more common variation in the Western World, the original is actually Larisa.

RishiHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "sage"
  • Description:

    In Hindu mythology, the Rishis are sages and seers; in modern times, Rishi Rich is a popular British-born musician and record producer.

TaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "rocky hill"
  • Description:

    Despite a rich history in Irish myth preceding its plantation appearance in Gone with the Wind, widespread use in the seventies caused Tara to lose its Irish accent.

BarnabasHeart

  • Origin:

    Aramaic
  • Meaning:

    "son of consolation"
  • Description:

    Barnabas, whose birth name was Joseph, was one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem, who undertook missionary journeys with Paul the Apostle, His name is a bit Old World compared to the update Barnaby, but could gain some attention as boys' names ending in 's' are enjoying a comeback.

NixieHeart

  • Origin:

    German
  • Meaning:

    "water nymph"
  • Description:

    If you love Dixie, Trixie and Pixie, this name of a mermaid-like sprite in German folklore may be for you. It might also make an update for Nicki.

AzraelHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, variation of Azriel
  • Meaning:

    "help of God"
  • Description:

    This is the name of Angel of Death in Jewish and Muslim tradition, not a great start for an innocent child -- or a great role model for a teenager.

DaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew, Slavic or Irish
  • Meaning:

    "pearl of wisdom; gift; or oak tree"
  • Description:

    Though Dara was an (extremely wise) male figure in the Bible, this name feels mostly feminine to modern Americans. The Irish Gaelic version, Darragh, is well-used in contemporary times for boys.

TansyHeart

  • Origin:

    Flower name, from Greek
  • Meaning:

    "immortality"
  • Description:

    Tansy is a flower name rarer than Rose, livelier than Lily and a lot less teasable than Pansy.

LedaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "happy"
  • Description:

    In classical Greek myth, Leda was a great beauty who mothered another great beauty, Helen of Troy. Leda is that rare name that is at once simple, deeply-rooted, and unique: Only 18 baby girls were named Leda in the US last year. A name used in several European countries, pronunciation is usually the straightforward lee-dah but the Italians say lay-dah.

TitanHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "defender"
  • Description:

    This name comes from Greek mythology, where the Titans were a band of immortal, powerful giants.

CassielHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "angel of Saturday"
  • Description:

    This name of the archangel who protects those born under the sign of Capricorn is one of the most attractive and distinctive December baby names or January baby names. Cassiel is a little-known member of the increasingly popular Cass family, which includes Cassius, Cassian, and Cassia.

HeroHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "demi-god"
  • Description:

    Despite the possibility of gender confusion, the Hero in Greek myth was a woman. Myleene Klass got that when she chose Hero for her daughter, and Sam Taylor-Wood and Aaron Johnson used it as their daughter's middle--and we wouldn't be surprised to see more girls with this heroic name.

SamiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "companion in evening conversation"
  • Description:

    Shiny cousin of Samara with an intriguing meaning. Increasingly associated with the charming Samira Wiley, a perennial scene-stealer on "Orange is the New Black" and "The Handmaid's Tale."

NirvanaHeart

  • Origin:

    Sanskrit
  • Meaning:

    "place of great bliss"
  • Description:

    Well, parents are naming their children Eden and Heaven...so why not?
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