A primitive culture living on the world of Ori-Alona has developed a system of magic based around dreams and the harnessing of elemental spirits. While there is no real basis for this magic and it's almost completely useless in effect, what kind of tricks could be used to give the sense of efficacy in the following:

  • magical healing
  • turning the tide of battle
  • (some) control of weather
  • taming animals

For example, some sort of chemical fog could create a sleepy, dream-like state in those nearby which could help heal some ailments. Although not "magical" in reality, it could appear to be.

A crystal could light up/heat up when shaken vigorously. Put some of this into a staff with a grass-woven bulb at the end and watch it create "eerie green light" that will summon a rainstorm. Like this.

The effect of this magic to convince those around it that it is actually doing something should be extremely subtle, giving you an odd chilly feeling and causing you to notice what are actually just complete coincidences or basic chemistry/psychology.

So how do I do this? What kind of rituals, chants, and materials could give a sense of something actually happening that is beyond the ordinary when really nothing amazing is happening at all?

EDIT: I found a great answer to this somewhere else that I should be able to adapt to the inverse situation:

A Most Subtle Magic

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    $\begingroup$ You're basically asking for a value statement about how effective charlatans can be in a world of your own invention, as it stands that's unanswerable, in fact I don't think there's an "enough information" level here at all. $\endgroup$ – Ash Oct 16 '17 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ Define the strict rules of your magic then ask to what extent it could be used to meet your select needs $\endgroup$ – anon Oct 16 '17 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ If I may, I'd like to advertise my answer to Whats the Smallest Change to Physics Required to Allow Magic. While it's not actually an answer to your question, I think a lot of the points I bring up might be helpful to you for rewording this question and getting it re-opened. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Oct 16 '17 at 19:37

The water spirits help us with healing. Bathing a wound in fresh water helps it heal quicker. Making sure that a feverish person drinks enough water, (or even bathing in cool water for very high fevers) greatly enhances their chance of survival.

The war spirits of fire can also be called upon to further bless the healing of wounded warriors. Placing a kettle of fresh water on a fire until bubbles rise, makes it even better for cleaning battle wounds. Direct application of a fire heated, glowing piece of metal can make bleeding wounds stop bleeding.

The war spirits of fire can also help in battle. Build a large fire on the top of a hill, upwind from your enemy. While chanting, sacrifice fresh oleander and rhododendron along with the leaves of the poison ivy plant to the flames. Then let the smoke of the fire pour down over your enemy's camp all night. In the morning, the battle will be yours.

The weather spirits of air do not obey us or often answer our prayers, but if you watch the activity of leeches, you may be able to tell when the weather spirits are angry. Watch the leeches to know when you need to prepare for storm.

The plant spirits can help us in taming the wild beasts, especially those of feline form. Look for the grass called catnip. Dry its leaves and grind them into a powder. Regularly feed the powder to the stray felines and they will love you forever.

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