From Crystalline Ruby Muse to Kristalyn Jane Pac: The Story of My Name
In the span of 42 years of living (in 2014), I changed my name from Kristalyn Jane Cooper to Crystalline Ruby Muse and then almost completely back, from Crystalline Ruby Muse to Kristalyn Jane Pac. This is the story of my name’s evolution and the reasons behind it.
I was named Kristalyn Jane Cooper at birth. As a child I was called Kristy or Kris. When I went into the 9th grade, I upgraded to Kristalyn. I began to experiment with ways to spell my name, as sort of an experiment in creating identity, and I had several versions in my high school years.
At some point my mother explained the origin of my first name.
- My parents wanted to honor my dad’s sister (her name is “Lynda”).
- They also wanted to refer to the Gaelic word “linne,” meaning pool or waterfall.
- They wanted me to be pure, like crystal (i.e. “crystalline”).
When I realized that c-r-y-s-t-a-l-l-i-n-e was the proper spelling of the adjective that my name referenced, I adopted that, and eventually made it legal. The pronunciation is exactly the same.
Ruby is a name I have always loved. At some point, I decided to take it on for myself. My grandmother’s middle name was Jewel, my great-grandmother’s Pearl … I liked this way of connecting to my ancestors, which was a spiritual practice for me at the time.
But it also took on another spiritual significance. I saw Ruby as representing a certain inner part of me ~ my Essence ~ which I believed was the ultimate Reality with which I was seeking connection, the existential purpose of life.
Jane is my mother’s name. I have always kept this as part of my legal name, I just haven’t used it commonly or professionally.
Muse is a family name on my father’s side. My ancestors settled in a little town in Kentucky now named “Muses’ Mill.” I felt very bonded to this part of the family and to this land, and I viewed both ancestral connection and geographical connection as parts of my spiritual path. I was also a practicing pagan who appreciated the reference to the Muses of Greek mythology, with whom I identified.
I created quite an identity for myself as an artist as well. At the time, my view was that I was my own Creator ~ and it was part of my spiritual journey in life to create myself. When I put the name Crystalline Ruby Muse together, it seemed to encompass many parts of myself in which I was invested, as well as a spiritual significance that I craved. I saw myself as Artist/Seeker/Healer/Priestess, and the name fit in my mind. In addition, I thought it was just beautiful-sounding and made a lovely stage name as a performing musician. I changed my name legally to Crystalline Ruby Jane Muse.
That’s the ancient history. In 2013, my entire life changed in an unexpected but miraculous and glorious way, when I discovered the wonders of Jesus Christ & put my trust in Him as Saviour . Here is my story of what happened.
Fast forward to 2014, the timing of this writing.
I no longer believe I am my own Creator ~ or Source, or Sustainer; and for that I am profoundly grateful and relieved. There is One greater than I in whom I live and move and have my being, on whom I lean moment to moment. I relax into the brilliance, goodness, and omnipotence of the Ancient of Days, and I am glad.
For this reason, I rejoiced to no longer identify with this self-created persona, Crystalline Ruby Muse. I wished to take the last name of the person with whom I am one-flesh, the most amazing husband a woman could hope for, to further bond with him, and to be fully under his spiritual protection. And to leave behind the other variations in my name and their significance.
My worldly ambition has fled, so I have no need for a stage name. And I am so thrilled not to need to be anybody special, beautiful, magical, talented, etc. in worldly terms; because I am everything in Christ. Being the daughter of my Creator and the joy that that entails is plenty enough for me.
And as to the spelling of my first name. This one was trickiest, because I have spelled it this way for so very long; it has truly become an identity for me. However, the Lord brought something to my mind during the process of these other changes.
My father’s name is Ken; my mother’s name is Jane. Their first initials, side-by-side, are KJ. And that is the other reason they chose the spelling of my first name that they did: so that my initials would represent their names. And so, it came to me that I wanted to revert to the spelling that honored this gift that they envisioned for me, to honor my parents, and to honor the “K” in my father’s name: to return to Kristalyn.
Because our initial wedding was Pagan, we wanted to redo our vows and to declare that our covenant was with the living God. So in June 2014, we had a ceremony to that effect in the presence of family. As a surprise to everyone, including my husband, I had our pastor present us as Mr. and Mrs. Pac. Everyone was in total shock ~ and joy. They knew that this was exactly the right thing for me to do ~ and that the Lord was in it.
As lovely as the name is, I am relieved and overjoyed to no longer be identified as “rock star” Crystalline Ruby Muse, but rather as the simple Kristalyn Jane Pac. No need for a brand, no one extraordinary; just a woman who cherishes and is cherished by her God.