“The name is the thing, and the true name is the true thing. To speak the name is to control the thing.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, The Rule of Names

To knowing someone’s true name is to have power over them. It’s an old concept that most link to Le Guin’s writing and the world she created for the Earthsea books, but it’s far older than that. In Bulgaria, as in most Eastern Orthodox countries, names are celebrated for their power over their holder. Name Days are common enough and heavily populate the Bulgarian calendar to celebrate bearers named after saints, flowers, trees and virtues.

Read More Bearing Someone Else’s Name