Mara, started with National Positions last week. Although her name means bitter, after some digging, I found even older meanings of the biblical name Mara which is derived from myrrh, a strong smelling and bitter perfume used primary in ancient times in the process of embalming. For the ancient Egyptians, Mara means "truth of the sun"; in Gaelic, Mara means "of the sea".
The death perfume and embalming comes through strong, in Slavic countries as it is the name of evil spirits; the Hindu goddess of Death is also Mara and in Buddhist mythology is associated with evil; she also comes up in Scandinavian folk lore as a ghost and even a type of goblin who brings nightmares. Mara has even reached Latvia as a dark goddess but that may have been from the Norse connections. Even the Russians claim her as the unwilling queen of the underworld.
Dark name or not, Mara to me is strong name, bitter yes but strong and full of grace.