Understanding the spells of one ROTA Psychic Fair participant.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Liane Langford knows more about you than you’d probably like to admit.
“I’m known for being very accurate and having a great sense of Tarot,” she says. “They call me the Julia Roberts of Tarot.”
But she’s not the delusional, dowager-diva stereotype in draped dresses you might suspect. Instead, Langford, who will join other readers, alternative medicine types and more outlandish practicioners at this weekend’s ROTA Fair, dresses modernly and modestly, and is slim and sleek, with fire-red hair and a face that, yes, does resemble the Pretty Woman who played Erin Brockovich.
She also has an estimable business sense. She’s been hired for corporate events for big businesses like Macy’s to engineer icebreakers and group activities, and has made a living conducting private readings for searching souls (no easy task, especially today). And her most recent project might be most intriguing: one-of-a-kind “practical majick” spell candles that defend against everything from computer problems to deadbeat boyfriends.
The candles were born of a bizarre sense of humor and years navigating the waters of online dating and problematic areas landscapes like love and money.
She started out, however, as a Tarot reader, and hasn’t lost touch with her clairvoyant roots.
Ian Trask first met Langford when she married a friend of his, and has had readings with her a handful of times in the past two and a half years. As a mechanical engineer, he’s not the most natural fit for psychic practices, but has found something valuable in Langford.
“I think she’s very bright and very clear,” he says. “In my experience, she has a combination of intuition and life experience that really sets her apart.
“We are all intuitive on some level,” he adds. “Some of us are just more open and aware than others.”
Langford believes when her clients tune into what’s really going on, instead of what they like to think is, they lead more healthful, practical lives.
“She’ll say, ‘This is what’s happening, pay attention,’ and you’re just being aware of what’s going on around us,” he says. “She’s a pretty good reader about what’s up.”
Practicality is a theme she claims carries over to her candles, too. Which, when you use them, is hard to believe.
“On a Thursday evening,” the Money Luck spell instructions begin, “in blue ink (not black or pencil), carve your name into the candle’s wax… ”
From here, all that’s left to do is dress the green, 5-inch-tall candle with emerald blessing oil, sprinkle a fine white powder over your wallet, repeat with the magnetic dust on the candle itself, write your money wishes on the back of the card and recite an incantation that reads, in part: “I trust that you will grant this boon, O Lovely Goddess of the Moon.”
Needless to say, this doesn’t sound remotely practical. But taking a few reflective moments for yourself to acknowledge something you want, say Langford and her clients, is a helpful exercise.
“What’s been lost in organized religion, among other things, is looking at rituals as a way to organize what we want in the world,” Trask says. “Rituals are a way of focusing our will. A way of commanding and focusing our will towards something we want.”
Ariana Benech, owner of Studio 519 in Pacific Grove, has sold out of Langford’s candles at her salon. She herself used the Money Luck candle.
“I think that if you believe in anything enough, then maybe it can come true,” she says. “We had one girl use the money candle before she went to Vegas. She won $4,000.”
The other element Langford utilizes is humor. Each of her candles is designed with fun in mind. Most are goofily named, such as the “Computer Voodoo” candle, which promises to “byte back,” and the “Presto, Change-O, Still the Same Ol’” bad-boy banishing candle, which offers up a tidbit of her own life.
“Did he answer the door in his Speedo… again?” may not be a question you’re used to answering, but a blind date with a French soccer player who greeted Langford in only his skivvies helped inspire the candle’s spell; the back story is designed to provide at least a banana hammock’s worth of offbeat humor.
“When they say laughter is the best medicine, boy, it’s really true,” she says. “Things are really bad right now in our country. This is something that’s very positive, reaffirming and practical.”
The campy instructions also keep them from venturing too far into the occult, according to Benech.
“You aren’t going to do damage by using them,” she says. “And it’s not like you’re doing anything scary. There’s no dancing naked and howling at the moon.
“The spells, you know, sprinkle a little dust, use the oil, and you really feel bewitched. I think every girl has a little witch in them, so they’re very appealing to our clients.”