While magic and religion are often lumped into the same category of diametrical opposition with regard to science, it’s my contention that magic is far more adequately aligned with science in regards to ideology.
Let me preface, that regardless of my inability to express myself more elegantly, I am not expounding the value or lack thereof of any of these three aspects. I suppose it’s even possible for all three to satisfy some basic human needs without being drawn into conflict with on another, though that rarely seems to be the case. :-)
Religion is the recognition of supernatural entities invested with power over various (or all) aspects of the world and its goings on. Furthermore, the practice of religion focuses on the placation of these entities and their favor (blessings, miracles, absolution, paradise, etc) through the practice of observances favored by them (prayer, sacrifice, creeds, etc) and in more than a few instances, supplication.
Magic, at its core, is the application of process and method to achieve a certain outcome. These processes and methods make up a body of knowledge that is often no less rigorous and exactingly than the most “arcane” scientific theories of procedures. The Magus is a highly educated specialist that observes this knowledge, ascertaining that in doing so he brings to bear immutable laws of cause and effect (sympathetic and contagious, to name a few).
Science, while sharing the concept of relationships between certain activities and their results with magic, supposedly (and arguably) diverges from magic in being a study founded in reproducibility of those results, the consistency of those practices and the independence of their application from the practitioner.
And nonetheless, it moves!
— Giordano Bruno’s last cry from the burning stake regarding his theory of a heliocentric system, February 16, 1600.
Yes, yes, I’m a witch! Now please stop dunking me!
— (attributed) Salem Witch Trials, 1692
Welcome to Rome, if you could please step into the large stadium filled with vicious carnivores and be entertaining, we’d be ever so pleased.
— (attributed) Unknown Centurion, ~ 250 AD