When I was a little girl, I loved all things magic. I obsessed over a book series called The Secret Circle, which was about an ordinary teenage girl who discovers she’s a powerful witch. I DIYed spell books, writing my own little hexes and cures and then drenching the pages in tea so they’d appear old. Teen Witch was my favorite movie.
These days, I’m less into the occult and more into “magik” spelled the Kelsey Patel way, with a k, which to me is just code for the benefits that come from practicing things like mindfulness and gratitude. I’m too cynical (or, practical?) for much beyond that. However…
When I get invited to a “clairvoyant healing” session with an intuitive named Deganit Nuur, who has a part-time residency at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills spa (and in New York City, too), I can’t help but enthusiastically RSVP “yes.” Like most of us, I have some questions.
To my surprise, what happens next is *actually* life-changing. See, what Nuur ultimately does for me has little to do with the spirit guides she says she consults, or the future which she, with their help, claims to predict. Instead, it’s my present—and the way I see myself within it—that she helps bring into focus. Allow me to explain.
Because we live in a patriarchy that prizes youth (and I live in Los Angeles, where “young” is basically a religion), aging out of a certain demographic has been hard for me.
Lately, I’ve been struggling to feel good about myself. Because we live in a patriarchy that prizes youth (and I live in Los Angeles, where “young” is basically a religion), aging out of a certain demographic has been hard for me. I’ve also been pretty bummed out about my station in life—single, hustling—and how it compares (at least in my slanted estimation) to that of “everyone else I know,” e.g. super successful, married with kids, or, in many cases, both.
Nuur, however, doesn’t seem to see me the way I see myself at all. If she’s communicating with my spirit guides, they seem have a really high opinion of me (thanks, guys!). If not—then I make a great first impression.
Throughout the reading, Nuur keeps alluding to the fact that my spirit specifically chose my “beautiful body” because it knew my good looks would serve it on its path. I know, I know; this is an un-evolved thing to get excited about—she called me pretty!—and I do pride myself being able to sever my self-worth from my appearance (promise). But undoing 30+ years of societal messaging is not easy; and when you’re feeling like a washed-up bridge troll, it’s super nice for someone to remind you that you’re anything but.
Next, she tells me that I’m “so ethereal,” I might feel “trapped in a human body.” For this reason, Nuur says, “human stuff” doesn’t always make sense to me, and the smaller details in life can really get me down. This makes me feel better about the fact that, en route to the session, I’d had to stop at FedEx to spend $50 to ship something overnight that would have been free to send if I’d just done it last week when I was supposed to. But I’m ethereal! It’s not my fault! This may seem silly, but my absentmindedness is an aspect of my personality for which I berate myself constantly—and now, maybe I don’t have to. I make a mental note to add this disclaimer to my email signature as an excuse for why there’s only about a 20 percent chance I will remember to respond to you.
Are they in love with me? Of course they are! They’re obsessed with me because I’m beautiful and ethereal and extraordinarily good at my job.
At this point, Nuur tackles my professional life, telling me that my 100-percent effort at work equates to a 150-percent effort for most people. Translation: I should stop stressing so much and instead try doing a little less. (Editor’s note: She’s right!) I’m not going to check out at work as a result of this advice, but it’s nice to hear regardless. Maybe I do work too hard. Maybe I am good enough at what I do to take it down one notch. This is a script I never allow myself to read with any conviction; instead, I’m known for working my fingers to the bone while incessantly worrying that my efforts are inadequate, despite assurances (from my friends, family, and yep, my boss) to the contrary.
Last, but certainly not least, comes love. Nuur insists that my ex-boyfriends—four of whom I tell her are basically the only people I hang out with—are all still in love with me. Since a majority three of the four dumped me, it’s definitely never occurred to me that I’ve accumulated some sort of adoring harem; however, Nuur’s words get me thinking. Are they in love with me? Of course they are! They’re obsessed with me because I’m beautiful and ethereal and extraordinarily good at my job. Now, if that switch in perspective isn’t magic, I don’t know what is. Suddenly, I’m IRL living the plot of I Feel Pretty.
She then incentivizes me to quit them all—they’re holding me back!—by saying that if I stop hanging out with my exes for six consecutive weeks, I’ll immediately meet my husband. He, Nuur tells me, is hot and successful. We’re going to have babies—two—right away, she says, and then he’s going to support me financially and emotionally while I write books.
Why does a stranger think I deserve a life I would never give myself?
As you might imagine, I’m pretty on-board with this prediction. While in the past I might have been like, “I don’t need a man to pay my bills,” these days it’s more like, “I’m exhausted—bring the money, honey!” Again, my POV shifts with her words. Oh man, I think. All these crazy-infatuated ex-boyfriends are preventing me from marrying one of those hot-actors-named Chris-who-I-can-never-tell-apart. I’ve got to ditch them, pronto.
What I find craziest about this prediction, however, isn’t that my future husband is clearly the dream guy for every single-girl-who-no-longer-wants-to-be-single. For me, it’s that this is the man that she, and/or my spirit guides, think(s) I deserve. The difference between this picture and the one I’ve drawn for myself is so vast that it almost makes me cry a little. Why does a stranger think I deserve a life I would never give myself?
This, it turns out, is the real gift of the reading: a new reality, which has give way to a new dream. Now, when I think of my unknown future—normally, a scary and dark place—Nuur’s predictions can’t help but surface: me, my hot and rich husband, our two kids, my books, and a pile of parking tickets that it’s totally okay I forgot to pay. It would probably take years of therapy to get me to a place where I felt worthy of such a life, and Nuur did it within an hour. That, to me, feels like magic with a c.
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