I lost track of the Pagan Blog Project some time ago. I truly wasn't inspired to write on Pagan things. I am not sure why I am classifying this as such but, last time I checked, N is a letter.
There is an idea in magick that if you know the name of a thing you have mastery over it. This is not true. I know many people's names and I am not their master. That simple logic shows the rule false. If so easily disproved, why does that knowledge persist?
Because it is true.
Like most esoteric truths the meme used to preserve it is a bit misleading.
Why not change it to this, "In order to master a thing, one must know its essence." Okay, it isn't a work of linguistic genius but it makes it point. How do you find something's or someone's essence? The same way you find your own.
"Perfection is not achieved when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away." -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Let us take a look at theurgy.
If you engage in a behavior and you do not understand why it continues, you dig within. What is common to the situations that place you in a position of denial or to lie or to anger or placate or to or to or to? Then you go back and back and back into your life until you find the first time you did that.
The Golden Dawn teaches a ritual to go back in time. Now you know why.
When you see that first instance you will see the reward. When you seek that reward you are the heroin addict seeking the next high. That is the essence of the thing in question.
If you want to understand a person. Look to the actions they repeat. Is there a situation commonality? Is there a common resolution the person is seeking? I bet you can find it before they can. You may not be able to find their patterning life event but you can understand the essence because you have a perspective they do not.
Knowing the name of a thing is a huge part of the battle. Go deeper. Ever deeper and you will find the essence of self and other and when you do that...