First, define "real".
Fantasy can be a powerful influence on people's actions, and if a symbol (or a form) is part of that... well, the actions that it causes are certainly real.
The problem comes when people expect too much of the symbol. My extended family believes in Yahweh, for example. Yahweh should be a "real" and powerful form because so many people in the world believe in it. But my extended family tells me that if I do not convert, then I will be struck down dead by lightning. (No, really.) They get so angry when I say that it's not for me, that any spider or cockroach that comes into the room, they start to pray loudly that it will bite me so as to prove that God's creatures are under His Supreme Command (No, really .)
This hasn't happened. Bless their hearts, they keep trying. I have no doubt that God is very real to them, and even I would allow some "mistranslated" value of reality... but I think that they expect too much! Their behavior is real. Their God maybe . Outside of that, between that? Delusion!