These are a couple theories on how magick works from different practitioners understandings. By understanding these theories you will be able to get a better grasp on magick as a whole through the understandings that people have found magick to react, and/or be initiated by. None of these theories are wrong, or right, and may just be parts of the same understanding, so getting to know them in their ins, and outs will not only allow you to help understand the paradigms that use them, it may also help you better your own practice by allowing you to look at things you might have missed. These are in no shape, or form all of the theories, but they are at least the more popular ones.
Theories on how magick works:
Energetic theory has the understanding that magick works by raising specific universal spiritual energy through the act of using tools, the practitioner’s inner power, or even the energies from other entities, and that the practitioner will be able to gather it, and use their intention in order to give it instructions on what it should do, or manifest. Just by taking this energy, and intending, and directing it towards our goal will allow that gold to manifest. This theory is also very connected to the understanding of a spiritual energy that permeates throughout all of existence in every single construct, and entity, and that this energy can be manipulated, or worked with through intention. In this theory any entity that has intention can harness, and control energy to do magick.
Consciousness theory has the understanding that magick works by focusing the will of our consciousness upon what we desire, then reality will move in that direction, and will allow it to manifest, because of our connection to consciousness as a whole. All consciousness is seen as connected, and by setting forth are will in that consciousness we will be able to manifest our realities. Whatever thoughts that the practitioner holds in their mind will affect not only the practitioner, but the world around the practitioner. By focusing and mastering the mind one can tap into their consciousness, and subconsciousness to imprint focus upon certain desires, so that they will manifest in the world around them. This understanding is also very connected to the understanding of the universal mind, collective consciousness, and the idea that everything is consciousness. In this theory any entity that has consciousness can focus it to do magick.
Entity theory has the understanding that magick works by gaining favor with, or appeasing certain entity, or entities in existence, one will be able to manifest their will, if the entity, or entities, so choose to help the practitioner. These can be any form of entity, or entities that can be communicated with such as deities, angels, demons, spirits, ancestors, animistic spirits, source, and/or the universe. Once these entities are appeased, or that the practitioner have favor with them they are said to go through the act of acting out their will. In this understanding there may be a hierarchy of entities where the top would send entities from the bottom to actually manifest the desires. In this theory any entity that can communicate with higher powers, or other entities will have the potential to do magick.
Psychological theory has the understanding that magick works through the act of deceiving, or redirecting how the practitioner thinks, or believes about something in order to push the practitioner towards there desire. This is based on the premise in which once reality is changed completely based off what they think, and/or believe. By thinking, or believing certain things their reality changes allowing their will to be achieved through a different train of thought. One would use spells and rituals in order to create new mental thought patterns which would allow the practitioner to bring forth, or push themselves towards their desire. One may use magickal items to remind them of what their will is, and to imprinted in their conscious, and subconscious mind. Some may even see this as a form of self hypnosis, or as a way to trigger the placebo effect in themselves. Tools are seen as a way of focusing their will upon their intention, and will be things that will draw the practitioner to thinking, or acting in a way in order to align themselves with their goal. In this theory any entity that has a mind, and can change how that mind thinks, or believes can do magick.
Through the act of controlling our emotions, thoughts, and physical factors one will initiate chemical reactions that will allow the practitioner to trigger the release of specific physical energies which will then be able to go forth, and manifest one’s goal. This would be like wanting to be able to go to sleep easier, so the practitioner would focus on sleep allowing the melatonin in their body to be triggered, and activated allowing the practitioner to go to sleep easier. This understanding sees magick is all biological, and created by controlling biological forces in the body from different chemicals to the bioelectromagnetic field around the practitioner. In this theory any biological entity has the potential to do magick.
Quantum Explanation Theory:
Quantum explanation theory has the understanding that magick works by using the will to interact with the mechanics of the universe in order to manifest the desire of the practitioner. The mind of the practitioner is used in order to interact with, and change the behavior of subatomic particles, and energy fields within space/time. Through interacting with the fundamental quantum mechanics one will make changes on the very basic level of being which will in turn react with the greater whole of existence in order to manifest one’s desires, and will. In this theory any practitioner who can access, and interact with quantum mechanics of the universe through their will has the potential to perform magick.
Faith theory has the understanding that magick works by having faith, and by believing that something will manifest, if the practitioner thinks about it positively. This theory is based around the premise that all the practitioner needs to do is believe in order to manifest anything. In this theory any entity that can have faith in what they are doing will be able to manifest their magick.
Eclectic, and Syncretic Theory:
Eclectic, and syncretic theory has the understanding that magick works through a combination of multiple, or all other theories, whether it is through bringing them all together to form an amalgamation of the theories, or if it is done through paradigm shiftings. This theory encompasses all, or some theories of how magick works, and uses them together or separately to explain its mechanics.