Magic is still a part of world, despite ancient fears and attempts to discourage belief in it. Just because we cannot see as we would a material object, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there, just out of reach unless we are open to it. These beliefs were once the norm before they were repressed and hidden from persecutors who didn’t want to understand what it was all about. These practices became obscured, still practiced but rarely spoken about except in kindred company.
Despite the repression, belief in magic has prevailed. As people rebelled against their government, they also rebelled against traditional religions by looking for alternate options. Witchcraft saw resurgence as people, not satisfied with mainstream religions, started studying it along with other mystery religions. They read books and magazines or attended rituals designed to worship and inform. Those were the people that wanted to learn, to expand their spiritual horizons.
Fiction writers saw this interest and realised that they could increase interest in such topics by including magical elements in their writing to generate interest from their readers. It is possible that fictional magical worlds, like those created by writers like J. R. R Tolkien and J. K. Rowling are in some part responsible for the resurgence in magical beliefs. When the Harry Potter series was first published, there was uproar from religious communities because of its portrayal of magic. They only saw the magic, and not the themes hidden in the subtext of the books, such as friendship, loyalty and living by an ethical code (all of which are universal).
There is no longer a fear of being hunted down and killed because you believe in something different to other people. Witch-hunts are no longer part of the norm. While people are still reluctant to accept witches as part of their society, they are not willing to hurt them for being different.
It is that desire to believe in magic that shapes us as children. It fuels our imaginations and makes us seek out fairies in the garden or chase pirates away from buried treasure. These things, while acceptable when we are children are frowned upon if we were to do so as we get older. We learn as we grow. We stop believing in Father Christmas, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and instead worship other new gods shown to us on television or in the pages of glossy tabloid magazines. Rarely do they show interest in expanding their own spiritual horizons as teenagers out of fear of being cast out of their friendship circles. Instead, they wait until they are adults and then, slowly, that interest returns and they spend copious time learning all they can from the internet and books published on the topic.