A little over a year ago I posted a reading concerning the whereabouts of Maura Murray, a missing 21-year-old college student from Massachusetts who disappeared in North Haverhill, NH on February 9, 2004.
Since that time I’ve created a new spread to explore not only where missing persons are, but also what may have happened to them. I’ve started using the two spreads in parallel.
I decided to revisit this cold case with the new spread, using the Joie de Vivre tarot for the reading. I normally select the Pages as the “significator” cards for people under the age of 25, so I was looking for the first Page to appear in the draw.
All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT
The leading Page was the Page of Cups in the top row of the spread, in the position titled “Escaping Something,” which suggests that the individual was running away or hiding. The Page of Cups can be naive, so Murray may have reacted instinctively after crashing her car. Breaking with my usual practice, I chose to lay out a second row of cards to identify what isn’t known about the situation.
Following the Page of Cups, the 10 of Cups in the “Will She Be Found?” position of the top row tells me “Yes,” while the 2 of Swords in the “When?” position indicates two weeks as a ballpark estimate. Given that there is new evidence in the case, it isn’t unreasonable to assume that something will break fairly soon, even after 15 years of silence. Since tarot timing is notoriously unreliable, I would stretch that outlook to a span of two months to two quarters (6 months) at the outside. The Hierophant as the “quintessence” card, a numerical roll-up of the cards in the spread (11+10+2 = 23 = 2+3 = 5), shows that the answer could be decidedly more ordinary than spectacular, and may involve religion or the priesthood in some capacity.
Preposterous as it sounds, I’m wondering whether she hooked up with a religious cult under an assumed name and became invisible to the outside world. Since it was so long ago, she may have moved on in the organization to some other locale. She wasn’t a criminal, so there would have been no reason to deny entry to a new convert. My first reaction to this notion was “Nah, she’s obviously dead” but I’ve learned to trust the cards, so who knows. Reading the four-card series as a “story,” family matters of an emotional nature (10 of Cups) could have left her in an untenable mental quandary (2 of Swords), driving her into the arms of an external “savior” (Hierophant).
The atypical “unknown factors” row is interesting. According to the news release, Murray had a couple of brushes with the law before her disappearance: a minor accident and a credit-card fraud charge. Justice in the first position could be showing that those legal misadventures, along with the latest episode, weighed more heavily on her conscience than would seem to be warranted, skewing her judgment. Chariot in the second position suggests “moving on,” so she may have felt compelled to escape her perceived disgrace by making a “clean getaway.” The 10 of Swords in the third position shows an emphatic ending, in which excruciating mental pain gives way to resignation and then new hope. The High Priestess as the quintessence card shows that Murray has since been shrouded in mystery, and there may be no way to penetrate the barrier. A reclusive pietistic order could certainly offer that degree of anonymity.
Such a development implies a degree of pre-planning, so I’m wondering whether this is a course she had mapped out in advance. The Hierophant and the High Priestess both have religious implications which seem to reinforce my tentative – and admittedly unlikely – observation. On the other hand, the second row could simply be saying that she met her fate (Justice), was carried away (Chariot), stabbed to death (10 of Swords), and hidden where nobody will ever find her (High Priestess). The 10 of Swords has been cited as more of a death card than Trump 13 – aka “Death” – itself. Maybe she was surreptitiously buried in an abandoned churchyard or neglected graveyard somewhere. I’m not sure which scenario is more far-fetched, but at this point almost anything is feasible.
However, there is another possibility: if I don’t include the Page of Cups as “11” in the first quintessence calculation, the “quint” card becomes 12, the Hanged Man, implying that the case will remain in a state of perpetual suspension with no resolution in sight. I notice that the family is leery of tips that might be construed as wild speculation, so I’m not proposing any of this as ultimate truth, I’m just recording my experiments with the tarot. In fact, since so few of these cases receive follow-up coverage in the media as a nod to privacy, my observations may only be of academic interest to my peers.