I'm up against a world-building wall.
If I want a world where magic works and their is/are diety/dieties and there are aliens... then does magic on Earth work on Alpha Centari? And if the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, what was the divine doing before then, and why are they hanging around now? And what is the magical and symbolic meaning of the Neanderthals (symbology is important in a world where magic works and diety can intervene -- there's a lot of philosophy around the image of an ape, a man, the perfect man (Adam Kadmon), and God on accending rungs on a ladder) ?
So... if magic is manupulation of the cosmos through manipulation of symbols, and if magic is the same on Alpha Centari as it is on Earth, then it would follows that aliens on Alpha Centari use the same kinds of symbology. . . BUT if white in Asian cultures is the symbol of death and white in Western cultures is the symbol of purity. . .
And if "everything is the goddess" (to use Sir Colin Renfrew's paraphrase of the Gimbutas hypothosis), then everything is everything and how do you focus magical force that way?
I think I won't get started on the dinosaurs.
And, um, yes -- prayer is different from spells (at least in this made up world).
Strangely enough, I think I've almost got the aliens figured out. . . and (aha!) that's what happened to the Neanderthals.
Yes. I know. I'm the writer. I can make it all up -- but I want to get all the made up parts lined up before I start writing.