Granted, I am not even quite a novice at it, but mearly a dabbler, but this is my take on it.
Magic(k) is comprised of two seperate things that allow it to work. One is that true belief is a powerful thing. Belief, to a certain extent, makes reality. When you are cold, it is not because of the temperature, generally, but because you believe it to be cold. The other thing that makes magic(k) possible is energy. The human body has an electrical field to it. Other things do also. To use magic(k) is to learn to tap into and control these energy flows.
I have some people refer to it as magic, some as magick (Why the extra k is beyond me). I personally relate to it as chi(sp?). I was originally dabbling in martial arts and eastern philosophy, and alot of it deals with kinda thing, though, while the causes and effects are the same, it is considered different, more acceptable. Who knows why...