It should be noted that our modern terminology in many ways is only that (terms) – new words for unknown, undescribed phenomena, except for the fact that there is a tendency or desire to fold that which might once have been considered supernatural into the natural and to exclude anything that might truly be transcendent mystery from reality at all. In other words, if it exists, we must be able to use our natural or enhanced senses (like the radio telescope or microscope) to locate, define, or experience it. If it is transcendent of our knowledge, some think, it cannot exist. Any cow can tell you that there’s no such thing as a calculator. The reverence (and by default) admission of the existence (or at least the possibility of the existence) of a mystery dimension that informs that which can be experienced by our senses, still persists in the minds and hearts of much of humanity, regardless of our strong denial. Even the respectful atheists can be mesmerized and look upon the cosmos with a childlike wonder. What is this but a kind of respect for mysteries? In fact, why wonder at all?
Perhaps rites of magic were a kind of tooling around with the forces of nature (not that we’ve done away with all that) – furthermore, perhaps the tooling around combined with nuministic sensibilities are results of our advanced psychophysical states (large brain mass and uprightedness). Perhaps once we learned that we could use our brains and eyes and opposable thumbs to manipulate and control the natural world, our psychophysiological aspects compounded and exaggerated in that direction. Once we learned after innumerable failures that the combinations and curses or spells and potions actually did nothing and exhausted out magical trials, we moved on to the as yet unexplored world of asking the gods for assistance. Or perhaps we knew all along that these gods were there, but did not feel it was proper to approach them without ceremony and that we existed on some more horizontal plane with them, with abilities that may match their own.