ok so in the Bardic tradition of magic (no I didnt play D&D, but i did bite the head off a dove while listening to Ozzy) the idea is that a bard could change the circumstances of your life (usually for the worse) by basically crafting a story about you. This is something that Sax Rohmer, creator of Fu Manchu, referenced in his "romance of sorcery". This is something we see with mythology as well. The western tradition is a kind of aggregator of various jewish, greek, zoroastrian and
Here is a link to a pretty amazing syllabus from a philosophy class called "philosophy of magic".
There are hyperlinks to many key essays and entries on the topic and is a pretty exhaustive survey of the whole affair from a European perspective.
It is my opinion that European witchcraft/magic is unique and primary to the European mindset in that it is a kind of "anti-shamanic" stance towards the preternatural. It is a ti1shamanic in the sense that
here is a (fairly short) essay about language and it's magical effects which speaks to my recent fascination with the metaphysical
Most sociological theories of magic go Religion---->Magic----->science
Some switch the order of religion and magic.
The general idea is that religion is kind of a passive affirmation of the individual as to his/her total reliance on the social. Religion is the passive element of the "religio-magical"