You can change reality mearly by correctly directing peoples focus.
Now we will go into spellcasting as problem solving. I will just use one style. You can take your pick friends. Theurgy? Shamanism? Your favourite tradition? Necromancy? I often find that using a style that people consider negative often makes things very clear. Your pick.
Necromancy. I will go with it. Even necromancy uses the principle of mirroring. As above so below. But in the case of necromancy, the above is the living world and the below is the realm of the dead. They believed that everything that happened here either had its origin in the land of the dead, or had an impact on the land of the dead. By connecting to the land of the dead, they could use the powers of that realm to change things in this realm.
One example of a problem originating from the land of the dead, is your dead Great Grandma thinks you have been greedy and disrespectful of family values. So you start having very bad luck. This is seen as justified because it’s a denial of privileges. Discipline administered to a spoiled brat. Contacting Grandma and making apologies and amends is necromancies way of reversing that type of bad luck.
Sounds like she needs to continue her studies. Indeed, Grandma maybe does. This is often why instead of dealing directly with Grandma, the necromancer would either use an intercessory agent, an underworld spirit or divinity, or invoke a law of the underworld that would bind her against negative influence. The outcome would still be the same.
What would be a parallel to that using theurgy? Theurgy would be realizing the law of the divine as a dynamic creative process in your personal life. Discovering where you might be out of harmony with the divine, and using prayers and/or ceremony to atone or cleanse yourself of the negative spiritual balance or bad karma. Like the Catholic confessional or the Buddhist dedication of merit.
In the case of Shamanism, they understood the world as an extended family. An extended web of borrowed power and potential. Any problem in Shamanism was more or less a family squabble to be made right by helping one or more of them and making peace. In Shamanism, you might just need to help the spirit of the sick person. Or to help the sick person, you might have to help their totem or make peace between the sick person and another spirit they may have given offence to.
Is all magic essentially spells? Well, there is a flip side to it. It’s like the Te of Chinese metaphysics. All directed spellcasting is basically the art of spells, yes. But you have a core of power within you that is an amalgam of all the forces in the world itself. Not unique to you in essence, but expressing itself through you in a unique way. In alchemy, they called this inner ultra-energy the prime matter. It was considered to be able to transmute anything and everything, but they focused their efforts on changing it. So alchemists weren’t really casting spells as they were mirroring their inner nature so they could look at it. Alchemy would be between spellcasting and psychism.
There is also insight without directly intending intervention. Yes. They focus on learning about the primal universe that is the seed of this universe. They mirror it in their material manipulations, and explore the connection between material natural world manifestation and what they are linked to in the inner universe.
The alchemist sought to bring about spiritual change through the manipulation of the chems/matter/etc. Yes. Not just simply manipulation though. They also sought understanding of the way it works, as well as the way to change it.
Perhaps a parting thought. Something to reflect on regarding your intention behind spell casting. You are ultimately trying to achieve one of two things. Unity with the divine and service to it. Or to attain the power of it and to serve yourself whether with wisdom or not. I myself view both ways as legitimate. Both have their troubles and pit falls and confusion.
Have a great night, and happy spell casting.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.