Reality contains three major domains of influence, the conceptual domain, the energetic domain, and the physical domain. These three domains are enclosed within each other, such that the physical domain is within the energetic domain, and the energetic domain is within the conceptual domain. As such, the conceptual domain can, and does, influence the energetic domain, and the energetic domain can and does influence the physical domain.
Henry Cornelius Agrippa
In Henry Cornelius Agrippa's books, "Of Occult Philosophy", Agrippa speaks of the Three-Fold World as the "...Elementary, Celestial and Intellectual-and every inferior is governed by its superior..." (1, Page 33).
The Elementary world is not just considered to be the physical world, but also takes into account the idea of "natural magic" which, from Agrippa's viewpoint, seems to be the ability to manipulate the physical/elementary world by way of the various rules and laws which the universe is founded upon.
The Celestial world is distinguished from the Elementary world in that it holds the "pure" Elements rather than their physical manifestations. "For the firmness of the Celestial Earth is there without the grossness of water; and the agility of the Air without running over its bounds; the heat of Fire without burning, only shining and giving life to all things by its heat." (1, Pages 55,56) The distinguishment seems to be the difference between a physical manifestation of fire, heat or light and the characteristic, or virtue, of fire, heat or light which can individually be attached or ascribed to another virtue in order to combine the two virtues or to a physical thing to imbue that physical thing with the virtue.
The Intellectual world is the area in which the purest essence of things exist, as mere understandings of their natures. For example, fire being the understanding of heat combined with light, without any manifested virtues as of yet attached to the understanding, which also means no physical manifestation.
1 Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. Three Books of Occult Philosophy or Magic, Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1-5645-9199-9.