Great Duke of Hell

Eligos, Great Duke of Hell, ruling over sixty legions of demons. Not a normal name by any stretch of the imagination.

For the better part of thirty years, possibly since I first understood that names had meanings, I haven’t really liked the name I was born with. It didn’t feel right, it didn’t feel like me. I much preferred my middle name – Alexander (I fancied it in the style of Alexander the Great) – but have never liked the short versions of the name – at least in terms of application to myself. It never occurred to me that I could choose my own name – that I could be someone else for a long long time.

The internet changed a lot of things, and one of the things that it brought into existence in a way not really seen before was usernames. Names you were known by on the internet but not anywhere else. I have reveled in having online identities for twenty years, and even now I have online identities separate from my normal self where I have deliberately cut them off from myself to allow myself room to breathe. There is a great comfort in being anonymous, but also loneliness.

Of course part of the reason I use pseudonyms is because I don’t like my birth name and prefer alternatives except that I’ve never really found one I liked. The one I go by, the one I’ve been known as for fifteen years and encourage people to call me… It’s not my name. It will always be a nickname, not something I can use in reality. I’m comfortable in using it, it’s a reflex now; I respond to it now readily than my birth name, but it’s not my name.

Facebook itself is a great annoyance in this regard. They have my account locked down – I cannot change my name without proof of ID because I annoyed them many years ago by being in breach of their name policy – a policy which is entirely unfriendly to those who are trying to find themselves. How am I supposed to get people to call me by my chosen name if the name they see everywhere can’t be changed without a new ID? A new ID that I can’t get without my new name being in common circulation… Ah, Catch-22.

It is important to be that names ring true. That they sound like names and not just words strung together. This holds true for my character names as well as my own.

As I discussed names for myself, it was suggested that I could use Cim for myself, that it suited me. I don’t disagree with this statement but I would feel odd using a name I gave to a character for myself. Cim – Cimeies – is alternately spelled Kimaris. But Kimaris is something of a mouthful and has started to fall away from ringing true as a name for a person as opposed to a demon. For Kimaris/Cimeies is the 66th demon of the Ars Goetia, a Marquis of Hell. Perhaps then, there is another name from the same origin that rings better? And so we come to Eligos. Not so pretentious or grandiose as Amduscias or Naberius, or as known as Baal or Asmodeus. Close enough to “normal” names to not seen weird. And it rings well with Alexander, my usual preferred last name for reasons possibly outlayed above.

This is probably just one of several posts I’ll be making to try and explain myself and to explore who I am unshackled from the expectations of my known identity. I welcome commentary and questions.

Eligos, Great Duke of Hell, depicted in woodcut
Image by Louis Le Breton, 1863; sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

Originally posted on Facebook