We are not what we do, but what we do does in many ways stem from what we are.
There are some perceptual quirks that people learned to exploit even way back, but it wasn’t all about generating perceptual and conceptual illusions. Wizards had the art of consciously generating their own perceptual filters. This practice took the form of chants or rhymes. The chant served as a focusing aid so their mind would naturally pick out and gravitate to specific elements of the environment they wanted to observe, sort of like reciting your grocery list while at the store to help make certain you don’t miss anything.
Science works that way now, at times. Finding the missing variable to balance out the equation. Indeed, it does.
It’s how we know some particles must exist even though they haven’t been found yet. Science is even finding atoms they had no idea existed. A recent finding by one of our orbital satellites picked up something strange on the interstellar wind.
The simplest practice of wizardry, and perhaps the most familiar to people, would be enchantment. Ever notice if someone is speaking steadily, like on a radio show, they tend to sway your thoughts and your state of mind even if you aren’t listening and don’t agree with what is being said?
You get caught up in it, as they say. They used to use that on purpose, and likely still do. There were war chants to demoralize enemies, and other similar chants to move the berserkers to rage. There were chants to soothe the sick or wounded, even doing seemingly amazing things like causing bleeding to stop. There were chants that seemed to give supernatural perception, and those who were the keepers of the names and the stories of the dead gave every impression of being able to affect the world from that side of things.
Does the chant cause a physical event in one’s body? Yes. First it causes focus, and an enchanter had to practice developing their voice to overcome resistance.
What is the mechanism that they are trying to tap into? Kind of like hypnosis, maybe? It doesn’t require any state of trance, but it has things in common with hypnosis. Wizardry has, as one of its root elements, the oldest principles of memetics. They understood how words lead to ideas, and how ideas shaped perception.
Rhyming? Yes. That enhanced the impact of their work, but also the deliberate use of dream and trance inspired metaphor. If one can speak in the language of dreams, it doesn’t matter much at all if the conscious mind is listening.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.