Law of Names: Control Through Knowledge in Magic

The Law of Names is related to both the Law of Knowledge and the Law of Association. The law simply states that by knowing the true and complete name of an phenomena or entity gives you complete control over it.

There are two premises upon which this upon this law is based: First, a name is simply a symbol of the definition of an phenomena or an entity. If the phenomena is fire, one simply says fire instead of describing the whole phenomena of fire. If the entity is a man, one just says a man. The names or terms fire and man convey the definitions of fire and man. Names convey defini- tions to others provided they are spoken in a mutual language spoken by both the speaker and listeners.

Second, the names of phenomena and entities can expand as one gains more knowledge about the subject matter. This is extremely important because the more one knows about a thing the more control one has over it. In some incidences a name of a thing can be traced to its root, even in a foreign language, which will supply one with additional information about the thing.

This is when the magician combines the Law of Names with the Law of Knowledge, and when doing so he can select a specific phenomena or entity because he possesses all the knowledge he can about it. For example, the magician does not mention a fire or a man; but names a fire in a certain location, a village or town, or mentions a man named Thomas. He knows about fire and the location, as he would also know about the man called Thomas. This is why magicians have or seem to have a wealth of knowledge. Ancient magicians were called wise men.

Some occultists, particularly witches, choose mystical or magical names which many keep secret because they believe there is power in the names which would be lost if known.

(See The Laws of Magic.) A.G.H.

Source: 44.