Where Is Justin? A Missing-Person Spread

A young man from New Hampshire recently went missing in Guatemala while swimming alone across a lake. He was apparently checked on by people in a boat, said he was OK and continued his swim, but never returned.


I have a missing-person spread that I’ve used successfully in the past to analyze such cases, and decided to apply it to this one. I used the World Spirit, 2nd Edition deck, with reversals. This spread is designed around a “locomotive” motif where each “car” in the train suggests one possible location where the individual might be found, and his or her relative condition. Here is a link to my previous post for this spread.


Since he was described as an energetic, athletic individual, I chose the Seeker (Knight) of Wands as the Significator. This card turned up at the very top of the pile in the second position,  titled the “Coal/Wood Tender” and signifying “Working in a Dirty or Rough Place.” Although I randomized thoroughly for reversals, none of the cards in this pile appeared as reversed, thereby downplaying the potential influence of hidden factors. There were no cards bracketing the Significator, so I read the entire sub-pack of six cards.

It may be significant that the description of the Seeker of Wands in the booklet that came with the deck portrays the man and horse as “making their way across the seared floor of a valley as a mountain breathes smoke into the sky.” There is an implication of dormant volcanic activity here that may have some relevance to local conditions in that vicinity. The man is also described as “adventurous but rash;” however, Justin was clad only in swimming trunks, so it’s unlikely he headed off into the jungle in search of adventure. The area was characterized as reportedly being safe, so he probably had his guard down.

The card immediately following the Significator was the Star, suggesting that he is in a remote location. That was followed by the 7 of Pentacles, which indicates “unrewarding labor,” and the 10 of Pentacles, which makes me think he is being “kept” (that is, having his basic needs met in a communal setting). The fourth card is Strength, giving the impression that he is being held by main force, and the final card is the Seer (Page) of Swords, which may show an unfeeling, manipulative and controlling personality behind his dilemma. Although it is bandied about in almost every third-world missing-person case, the cards here strongly imply a “human trafficking” or slavery scenario. Note that, in better circumstances, these cards would be more encouraging; but the premise here is that control of Justin’s life may be in the hands of others, giving the reading a more sinister cast. I will update this post when more is known.



All images © 2015 Lauren Onca O’Leary

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