Magic is real. It is a concept with as many variations as it has practitioners.
My favorite definition is that magic is change in accordance with will.
There are those who practice solely to advance in this life, while there are others who also or even solely practice to change internally. That is, the pursuit of enlightenment or even simply becoming a better person, facing one's own internal demons.
Magic does not necessitate working with any entities, demons, gods, or what have you. It is, as I previously mentioned, change.
Cognitive therapies -- journaling behaviors, statements of denial against certain behaviors or emotions, using one's imagination to explore a recent situation and how a person handles it, and other similar practices -- can be considered, at its core, a form of magic. Just because it is now considered a hard science, learning to develop behaviors based on psychological studies, it is still change in accordance with will. These types of things have been used for a very long time. The purpose of journal entries, examination of one's behaviors, and the like, all fall under one Occult maxim: Know thy self.
Once one knows one's self, or at least the better one knows one's self, the more effective this internal change can be.
In my opinion, magic is much more justifiable as a psychological model for a direct proof of concept, but plenty of practitioners do have success working with entities.
Some may follow the Jungian model (Jung, being Carl Jung, a prominent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, as well as practitioner and pioneer of occult concepts) that even demons are archetypes. Some believe that the Goetic spirits are all aspects of human nature.
Some people have very involved and interactive practices involving deities and other entities which have little, if anything, to do with internal archetypes.
Many people do use magic for things such as finding a better job, attracting love, maybe even getting revenge or many other things. I think that through whichever results, these practices can still be used for the betterment of the person. If the person who casts a love spell on their crush asks themselves why, they get to know themselves better. If that person who keeps charging sigils to find a bit of cash on the ground seeks something higher, they may learn to prioritize their practices focused less on material wealth.
I could easily prattle on about my own strange opinions. But that's sort of my take.
a question as old as the hills. yes magick is real, but it isn't as amazing as you see in movies, which normally results in people going 'then what's the point' and leaving.
magick is a natural neutral energy found all around us [like air, an unseen force people usually ignore until it effects them typically in a negative way] when you cast a spell you tap into this energy, focus it on a desired goal [thus giving it a positive or negative charge] and send it out on its path. once the spell is cast, you still need to pursue the goal, but you might notice more opportunities for you, or people taking notice of your actions. also, magick as a force of nature is ruled by nature, so it cannot contradict nature [and i'll ignore the grey areas like weather and death spells, another debated topic for another day] magick works with nature [which is why you can't transform or fly or anything else seen in movies as cool]
magick can be added to everything [as the energy is in everything] and you don't need anything to cast spells. i could go on and just get confusing probably, so in short, magick is an unseen energy that can bring desired change. [and spells are a ritualized way to direct this energy]