This is the kind of “cold-case” situation I’ve decided to concentrate on. This young New Hampshire college student went missing in 1987, possibly in connection with a drug deal.
I used my “Train To Nowhere” missing-person spread and the Tarot of Dreams, with reversals. I chose the Page of Swords as the Significator,
The Significator appeared in the sixth position, titled the “Lounge Car.” This position has always been associated with the idea of pleasure or gratification as a key factor in the disappearance, but the focus was originally on some kind of sexual predation by others. I recently generalized it to include the insidious side of pleasure in all its forms, in the sense of being victimized for one’s compulsions or indiscretions.
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Here is a detailed view:
The first notable thing about the series of cards in the sixth position is that the Moon underlies the reversed Significator. The Moon is sometimes related to drug and alcohol use, which fits in well with events that allegedly led up to the disappearance. The subject was described as having been trying to raise money from fellow students for a large drug deal. The reversed Page of Swords suggests that he got in over his head. The Moon can also show that the trail of evidence was thoroughly concealed.
The 3 of Cups implies that he met with one or possibly two individuals to sample the offered drugs. Aleister Crowley’s commentary on this card may be relevant. He relates it to the Greek myth in which Pluto bound Persephone to his domain by feeding her a pomegranate seed. He goes on to say “The lesson seems to be that the good things in life, although enjoyed, should be distrusted.” The probability here is that the young man was naive and entirely too trusting.
The 8 of Swords gives me the idea that he was mislead by the individual(s) shown by the 3 of Cups, or he may have inadvertently overdosed and they had to deal with it. The card gives the impression of coercion or constraint; maybe he was threatened with stabbing.
The 7 of Wands has the earmarks of a violent confrontation in which the individual’s resistance was insufficient to overpower his adversaries.
Judgment reversed at the end seems to be conclusive. Upright, it shows people being raised from their coffins, a sign that they will emerge into the light. Reversed, the idea in its most literal sense is that this will never happen in the case of Patrick Merrill.
Although the Significator did not appear in the position most connected to death (Position #8), the cards here support the assumption that succumbing to his pleasure-seeking ways could have contributed to his demise.