>Igor, I suspect the only way to learn how to 'convert "magic" to "method"' is a lot of practice. Or to put it simply, I think there are no shortcuts to learning.
Keith, I do think that there are ways to make the road to understanding either an enjoyable journey, or a painful agony.
Sketchy, visual, or "intuitive" overviews of the size of a blog post or a paper strive to make the first scenario a reality. They serve as a map while you are exploring further. But it seems that the Seven Sketches + the course is the way to go, indeed :)