I don't know much about this OP but in very very material terms I think magic is the art of making people believe. If you read Marcel Mauss it seems the whole point is that when magic is socially sanctioned by belief it becomes 'real'. Magic is performance. Now the content of that performance usually involves symbolic manipulation/juxtaposition, but which precise ones comes down to the culture, it seems. And of course finally magical objects (talismans) and incantations are part of this performance and have symbolic value.