Naming Miru

The polynessian goddess Miru

It is our invitation to the cultured realm of existence: giving her a name. It is the first “act” and symbolic gift we bestow upon her. Naming has played an important role in every religion, and newborns have almost always been named after something or someone. Naming preserved a lineage, honored the founding elders on their way to becoming mythical figures, invoked superstition, and often predestined the faith of a child. A lot seems to be at stake, and given our felt responsibility to pass on a certain intellectual witticism, we could not simply pick from a list of common names.

It was of course obvious that we were going to call Miru, Miru.

But it hasn’t always been that obvious. There must have been a time when she wasn’t yet called her name, or her name itself didn’t even yet exist. We cannot reconstruct that time, but we can embed her name in a body of associations to fortify the tendons of meaning (de Saussure). This inverse archeology of meaning will make clear how our understanding of her name has always depended on the associations our cultures attach to it, and there is no “pure” signification.

In pure Korean, Miru means “vast field” or “poplar tree”. The Internet gives us the following meaning attached to this tree:

The ancient Celtic alphabet is comprised of 20 Ogham letters, each assigned to a particular tree and each with a particular symbolic meaning. The poplar is assigned to the Ogham for “E,” Edad, and represents victory, transformation and vision.

The spirit of the poplar tree is most concerned with the earthly and mundane matters of the people in her environment. She teaches us how to endure the hardships of life and to keep our roots strong. She will help us overcome our personal fears and self doubts that may block our endeavors. She reveals to us lost and forgotten memories of our dreams through the gentle whispers of her leaves with every breeze.

If we take the Hanja / Chinese characters Mi-Ru, we get


or “beautiful star”.

In Japanese, miru means “to see” (and is also the name of a singer).

In Basque, miru means “kite”.

Latin is close: Mirus means “wonderful, marvelous” – the origin of our “miracle”.

In Czech, we have “miru” meaning “peace”.

In Polynesian mythology, Miru “a goddess who lives in Avaiki beneath Mangaia. She intoxicates the souls of dead people with kava and then burns them eternally in her oven (also called Avaiki). The Tapairu are her daughters. Also see Tau-Titi.” (wikipedia)

MIRU is an acronym for Medical Imaging Research Unit.

The miru is an aboriginal atlatl or spear thrower.

Miru is also a small village in Iran…

…and a sparkling wine from New Zealand.

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