I ultimately decided to perform my “Rogues’ Gallery” spread on the murder of 26-year-old New Hampshire native Trish Haynes, whose remains were found in a pond in Grafton, NH. (See my previous “missing-person” posts.) This spread uses the Death card as the Significator, the 16 court cards as the “rogues’ gallery” of potential suspects, and the Ace of Swords as the “finger” pointing to the likely perpetrator. The four cards immediately surrounding Death are intended to show members of the victim’s “inner circle” (family, friends, close associates, etc) who may have been privy to her movements and state of mind, while the twelve cards in the outer ring can represent anyone from casual acquaintances to complete strangers. As has become my custom, I used the somber Night Sun Tarot with reversals for this reading.
All images copyright Lo Scarabeo, Torino, Italy
I separated the court cards from the deck and populated the spread positions after a randomizing shuffle and cut, working from the inside out. As is often the case when a young woman has been murdered, there were no patently female cards in the inner circle of the spread. Two Kings and two Pages populate this area; the bare-chested Page of Cups is clearly male, while the Page of Pentacles is more androgynous. Since the Ace of Swords didn’t land there, these individuals aren’t prime suspects in the case and may be no more than witnesses to the contributing circumstances. All but the King of Cups are reversed, suggesting that they either don’t know much or aren’t saying. The King of Cups – Knight of Swords combination could show a senior legal personage (lawyer, judge, etc) involved in her life: according to the news broadcast from last summer that accompanied my previous post, Haynes pleaded guilty to charges of domestic violence in connection with a contentious relationship she had with a man in 2016 and 2017.
I shuffled and cut the remaining cards and dealt them in the same sequence as the court cards until the Ace of Swords turned up. It appeared on the third pass, on top of the Knight of Cups reversed, with the 10 of Swords between the two. Although my spread design indicates that the Knights can show either a male or female of middle years, my gut tells me that here it should be read as male. Waite would see him as having “light brown or dull fair hair and gray or blue eyes,” and perhaps moderately “indolent and lethargic.”
The Knight of Cups in this deck is shown drinking from a chalice, and the reversal gives me the idea that the individual identified may have a covert alcohol or drug problem. Although no cause of death has been given for Haynes, the image in the 10 of Swords is quite traumatic and suggests termination by repeated stabbing. If the Knight of Cups person was known to the victim, it is someone between the ages of 25 and 45 from whom she had become distant prior to her disappearance. The man involved in her previous legal confrontation was served a restraining order, so he would seem to be an obvious target for investigation.
Since I lay this spread in astrological fashion, starting from the Ascendant point and moving counter-clockwise, it can also be used as a locator for the current whereabouts of the prime suspect. The Knight of Cups appeared in the 12th-House position, which would place him somewhere to the southeast of the scene of the crime. He has his head down, and the 10 of Swords might actually be showing his status as deceased or incarcerated for other reasons.
I will update this post when more is known.