Sunday, December 11, 2011
Mirth is an English word name ultimately derived from the Pre Germanic murgitha, meaning "joy" or "pleasure." Mirth is one of the Wiccan values listed in Doreen Valiente's Charge of the Goddess. Mirth joins humility, honor, reverence, strength, beauty, power, and compassion.
So, why is mirth a virtue? Basically, it helps Wiccans take joy in their practice and in everything they do. We don't take ourselves or religion too seriously. You might think that this comes into conflict with another Wiccan virtue, reverence, but I don't think it does. It has to be a balancing act between the two, and figuring out which one is appropriate for a given situation.
Joy is a name often mentioned this time of year. But Mirth? Not so much. Mirth isn't an established name with a long history of use the same way that Joy is. But I think it's especially appropriate for the holiday season. Aside from the fact that mirth, joy, and happiness are associated with Yuletide in general, mirth is almost a homonym with myrrh. Myrrh is one of the spices that the Three Wise Men gave to baby Jesus. Myrrh was also used by the Ancient Egyptians to embalm mummies, so it has some Pagan cred too.
Personally, I see Mirth as a boys name. I have no logical reason for it. But, big surprise, if you see it listed at all it's listed as a girls name. But depending on how old you are or how eclectic your taste in television is, you will recognize Mirth as the name of the son of Mork and Mindy. Most people are not likely to remember that, as Mirth didn't make an appearance until the last season.
So if you want an unusual name that fits in with the holiday season and screams happiness, then Mirth could be for you.