Magick, as a concept, is unique in that it seems to function best when barely understood.
While desire is important, and end results expected, what actually occurs in between these two points has been debated among occultists for centuries.
Despite all this effort the definitive answer as to what gives those esoteric rebels the ability to do what they do remains just out of reach.
No matter how many books are published or groups established the mechanism behind triggering change without physical intervention will likely always remain a mystery. Yet this lack of definition is a bridge too far for many outside of the esoteric sphere, be they religious zealots or ardent materialists.
If it cannot be explained it must be defamed, and easily demonized by more established cultural ideas looking to preserve the finite reserves of thought for their own irrational denominations.
With those who claim a more mainstream spirituality the idea of trying to defy the will of their overfed godforms is anathema.
Quoting the concept of a divine plan as an excuse for their lofty position at the head of the congregation, priests also use fear and hellfire to stop those further down the greasy pole climbing up to meet them.
To tamper with God's will is to threaten a given religion's market share, and this leads to free will itself becoming a crime - whether their vast, amorphous super egrigores actually care about a few witches stirring the cauldron or not.
In the eyes of the priesthood magick can only ever be a gift from infernal powers, a deliberate attack on the sanctity of the divine and a bastardization of the miracles received through communion with their godform. This bloody handed defense of their own sorcery is doublethink of the highest caliber, but a razor thin distinction which has led many an accused to the noose.
While not becoming an issue until many years later the rise of a skeptical and mechanistic scientific class is also proving to be an increasing problem for the more magickally minded as well, especially in the information age.
Unlike their religious predecessors they rarely insight violence in the pursuit of demystifying reality, though this does not mean they are any less aggressive.
These self identified meat machines instead seek to inoculate the masses against any idea they consider to be unrealistic through a combination of education and humiliation, essentially attempting to move the soul to the recycle bin of culture through control of the narrative.
The majority of scientific skeptics view all opponents of reason the same. Occultists, Christians or whatever else gets someone through the day, there is no room for such personal spirituality in their brave new world.
Any attempt to claim mystical abilities that fly in the face of their clockwork universe is flagged as an aberration. Belief in the supernatural is dismissed as credulity, magical thinking or in extreme cases a sign of mental illness.
Thus the need to exert the personal will over reality without a spanner or bunsen burner in hand is seen as a symptom and not a birthright.
Thought crimes instead of heresy, but equally dangerous either way.
While science and religion have been at loggerheads since long before the Enlightenment, neither side really cares about the witches and wizards in their midst, accept as a convenient scapegoat to throw on the pyre when required.
For years voices from both camps have been raised against the occult tradition, decrying their experiences and callously reinforcing the fact that there is no reason on this godless Earth why burning a candle and chanting in some long forgotten tongue should make reality take notice of the practitioner's needs.
And that leaves the witches, necromancers and chaotes all either knowingly or unknowingly sidestepping consensus reality by choosing superstition over facts every time they change the world by force of will alone.
Despite the efforts of a few members of the magickal community to help people realize that they have fallen into a lethal stupor regarding this slowly quickening ideological tug of war, nothing seems to change.
Make no mistake, there are both religious and skeptical lobby groups fighting over the scraps of Western civilization, while occultists refuse gather in sufficient numbers to make their opinions heard over issues that will one day matter to them.
In your division, those who would harm you find their greatest strength.
So no, It may never be possible to understand what lies between desire and manifestation, though it does not really matter as long as the results keep rolling in.
And despite their claims neither religion nor skepticism offers a better way of life for the questioning soul.
But those methodologies can always be streamlined and the odds of a successful outcome improved, as long as the members of the often fractured magickal community are left alone to experiment in peace.