Here are my five favourite names for girls, derived from myths around the world.
I've always loved Artemis for her wildness and her kinship with the forest, but the name seems old-fashioned in today's society. Diana, her Roman counterpart, is much more contemporary. Artemis is actually my own patron goddess, so perhaps I have a bit of bias in naming Diana my number one choice, but it is a beautiful name for a young woman. Diana is a moon goddess who represents strength and independence. She also protects women during childbirth.
I had a friend growing up whose name was Rhiannon, and I always thought it beautiful and exotic. It wasn't until later that I discovered that Rhiannon is a Welsh goddess. Like Diana, Rhiannon is a moon goddess, and she rides a mystical white mare.
Tara is an Asian goddess linked to the stars. This compassionate goddess is said to have been born from a tear of Avalokita, "one who reached the highest understanding" (Goddesses, by Sue Jennings). Tara acts as a guide through life, and also represents self-mastery and persistence. I think her name is a beautiful gift to a child, one that she could lean on throughout her life.
I'm admittedly an Arthurian junkie, but I love this name. It's very pretty shortened down to Gwen, too. In the past, Guinevere was primarily viewed in a negative light - she betrayed Arthur by having an affair within one of his closest knights (Lancelot in the later tradition). However, in recent years, women have reclaimed Guinevere, sometimes suggesting that she was a priestess of the Old Ways. At the very least, women today hold a greater empathy for Guinevere and her struggle between duty and true love.
A Norse goddess, Freya was married to Odin and was a queen among gods. Freya loves beauty, and wears necklaces of gold and amber. Cats and birds are particularly sacred to her. Freya represents strong aspects of womanhood and feminine gifts, particularly magic and foresight. She is a vivacious goddess, and her name invokes freedom, strength, and independence.
So, those are my favourites, although it was hard to choose just five. What are yours?