After the Illusion: How I Got My Magic Back

by Rebecca A. Watson on June 14, 2014

in beliefs, magic, Recovery

When I was 26, David Copperfield made me disappear. No joke. I was on stage with several other people who seemed to vanish and then reappear seconds later in a balcony above the audience. You can see the trick here.

I remember how excited I was to be picked. I’ve loved magicians since I was little, and as an adult would joke that they have deals with the devil. How else could those tricks work?

Of course, yes, in the realistic part of my brain I knew that these were illusions, not magic, but as a supernatural enthusiast, I’d hoped that there was some small part of woo-woo.

fingers crossed

Here’s hoping!

Well, as I sat there waiting to be magically transported, I got a rude awakening. There was not not a bit of sorcery involved. After listening to a great Radio Lab podcast, I can tell you that the secret is indeed boring and takes awhile to explain.

Since then magic has been more of a personal thing for me. I’ve spoken to my spirit guides but have never seen a ghost. I cast spells for myself and friends but never made anything levitate. I’ve maintained that real magic doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. (Does anything, really?)

Magic has gotten more and more real for me throughout the years, but it kind of took a little break this last year when I quit drinking, weirdly enough. I felt less connected to my guides and my intuition was quiet.

I’m guessing mostly it had to do with some of the ideas I had. I was a huge believer in a hangover being the best time for receiving messages (while your brain was docile). I also adored the epiphianies and wide eyed amazement that would come out of me when I’d have a little buzz going.

I’d often give my best tarot readings after a few (or several) glasses of wine. Then of course there is the small part of me that’s still afraid God is going to strike me down for playing the devil’s game. I guess that’s hard to get past when you were raised in a born-again church. A beer could easily tame that fear.


Although drinking a lot of coffee leads to seeing ghosts for the story.

Although drinking a lot of coffee leads to seeing ghosts too…click for the story.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve still had strikes of intuition and did a few tarot card readings, but it was nothing like the reckless abandon I pursued it with while I was drinking.

But something has shifted my friends. Perhaps it is the daily prayer I’ve been engaged in. Or maybe it’s the stars. Both, I’d imagine. Last weekend, I saw something frickin’ amazing and unlike the David Copperfield trick, utterly unexplainable.

Let me set the scene for you. Sante and I were hiking back home through the Black Forest after parting company with friends. We were on my first night hike, something I’d been wanting to do since I my dear friend Hannah and I started exploring the woods.

Now my husband grew up in the mountains among the California Redwoods. Darkness is no stranger to him, and his “Did you hear thats?” are all out of fascination and glee. He showed me toads waiting for mates, glowworms lighting the side of the path and stopped so we could listen to a deer prance through the trees.

I, on the other hand, am so out of my element in the darkness of the forest that everything freaks me out. We walked a little ways down a narrow trail, and I heard a rustling in the grass. I ran back to the main path, screaming “No, no no!”

“No?” Sante asked. “You don’t like the frogs?”


They are a big frightening, aren’t they?

Yep. I am a total wimp. Hey! I may have grown up in a small town, but it was still a town. I had a lawn and a sidewalk in front of my house. My neighbors lived feet away.

So after we’d been walking for about 40 minutes down the mountain, I saw something pretty eerie on the path ahead. A figure stood about six feet high, cloaked in all white. This was no apparition. It was plain as day.

My intuition told me that he meant no harm, that I didn’t need to be frightened, but seriously folks. My heart was pounding in my chest. Not because I was afraid of being hurt, but because I was just plain freaked out.

Sante was closer than I was to this figure (probably about three feet away), and he didn’t say a word about it. Part of me wanted to tell him, but I was afraid I would scare him. So we both walked quietly past the figure with an intensity and an urgency that felt very thick.

As we got further away, I looked back. The figure still stood there, almost as if it was just standing over the path. I didn’t get any indication that he was watching us or would follow us.


This is the closest I could find online, minus the lantern, staff and face. I need to learn to draw.

I got home and prayed about it. What I saw in my mind were many images in which the figure was present, all over the globe. It kind of reminded me of aĀ  mix between the grim reaper (but in white) and Gandolf the White. The message I got was that this figure was here to watch over us as we moved toward the more conscious beings we’ve been sent here to become.

It wasn’t until the next night that I told Sante what I’d seen. He said part of him was really glad I didn’t tell him, because that would’ve creeped him out, but another part wished I would have told him when we were out there, so he could try to see it himself.

I think part of the reason I didn’t want to tell Sante (apart from the creep-out factor) was that I didn’t want him to see it and tell me that it was really a tree or garbage or something like that. Like somehow I was afraid that this too would be proven to be an illusion. That after more than a year without magic, my first peak into something really extraordinary was nothing more than a bed sheet.

And then it dawned on me. I know that magic exists. I’ve experienced it. What I had was an opportunity to share it with someone I really love and I missed it. I didn’t have the faith to show it to a skeptic, which, let’s face it, is exactly what my engineer/scientist hubby is.

I’m sure there will be other opportunities, especially living in a place where magic was practiced so regularly for so long. I’m a little bummed about it, but more than anything, I am pretty ecstatic with the whole experience: My magic’s back, and in a brand new, bigger way. Hallelujah!

I think a lot of the magic I experienced before was more about removing illusions and veils from my eyes. I had a lot of fear and alcohol was the easiest way to remove those veils, to get past those illusions. Now that I’ve been working through all sorts of that stuff without the booze, I have a feeling my spiritual radar is moving to a whole new level.

Have you ever had a supernatural experience? Do you have an opinion on my white figure? Share, share, share! I am so interested in what others have to say about this.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Olivia June 18, 2014 at 5:49 am

I really wanted a midnight snack but after reading this I’m too scared. lol I personally do not want to see the supernatural. My husband had an experience as a child, and his brother was with him & saw it too (and he refuses to talk about). My Dad also told me when he was around 18 he watched a man walk through his kitchen into a closet, when he opened the door he was gone. Ekkk this is giving me chills (because it’s midnight, pitch black and I’m lying in bed, ha!)

My Mother who is very religious always told me if you seek to see or engage in magic that it will unveil itself to you. Of course that was her warning for me not to use the weiji board. Ha! I loved reading this post by the way šŸ™‚


Rebecca A. Watson June 19, 2014 at 9:18 am

I’m glad you loved reading the post šŸ™‚ Sorry if it freaked you out. I know it can really be unnerving to some people, which is why I didn’t tell Sante when it happened! I waited until daylight, as obviously from your perspective, hearing it at midnight is going to give you nightmares or keep you from your snack! Interesting that many people in your life have seen supernatural stuff.

I think your mom is right; magic will unveil itself to those who are interested. A Ouija board! My parents also weren’t OK with me using that, but I did. And to great success (for a 9th grader) I must say. It definitely awakened something in me šŸ™‚ Thanks for your comment girlie! I hope you’re doing well. Hugs to you!


Molly June 19, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Thanks for sharing this story, how awesome! I’m always interesting in ghost stories and experiences, even if they do turn out to be a tree šŸ˜‰ I think it’s the inexplicable that has a magical effect on us, and in this day and age we rarely have the change to expierence the inexplicable. My mom’s side of the family have had a lot of ghost stories, even a few cousins (as children) have been pushed down steps by ghosts (old houses on the east coast). It’s fascinating.


Rebecca A. Watson June 25, 2014 at 10:56 am

That’s cool your family has experience with ghosts, although I don’t know how I’d handle being pushed down stairs by a ghost! I’d sage the shit out of a place after that happened! It is fascinating tho isn’t it??


Meredith March 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

I tend to know when the last time I will see a relative alive. Not that they immediately die after, but it’s just something I know. They might die a year later but I won’t see them. According to my nana it is something I have been doing since I was two when they took great grandpa to the doctors one day and I said goodbye in this really firm way. After my mother died I was closed off the the feelings, but as I began to heal my soul it began again.


Rebecca A. Watson March 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

Wow what a special and difficult gift to have. I think all gifts like this are unique, complete with a difficult and an awesome side. I’m glad you’re starting to embrace that part of you again. It’s there for a reason.

Oddly, the day after you posted this comment I dreamt of my grandmother who has passed away and woke up, got up and then saw a spirit in the window. The Universe is telling us to pay attention šŸ™‚


Antony Davisson August 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Hi there, I log on to your psychic blog like every week.
Your humoristic style is awesome, keep it up!


Rebecca A. Watson August 18, 2015 at 11:37 am

Hey thanks Antony! I appreciate your kind words šŸ™‚


Jen October 20, 2015 at 6:24 am

You should check out the subreddit “glitch in the matrix”, I think you’d enjoy it based on this post!

I’ve been sober two weeks today, and this weekend I’m going to treat myself to a palm reading….. Just have to find a good psychic in the Bay Area. Thanks for blogging about your path to recovery!


Rebecca A. Watson October 20, 2015 at 9:14 am

Jen! Congrats on two weeks sober! You are past the worst part in my opinion. I think the palm reading is a great idea for a treat!!! Wow šŸ™‚ And OMG the subreddit!!! It is *amazing*! I am enjoying reading the original post still, which is seriously chill inducing. Rad lady. Thank you!


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