The fundamental quandary in any missing-person reading is whether the cards describe the absent party as alive, deceased or somewhere in-between (injured, ill, captive, physically abused, etc.) Most tarot professionals consider the very idea of contemplating physical death to be borderline unethical, but any extended missing-person scenario must inevitably confront the possibility, if only in the interest of full disclosure. I’ve tackled this in different ways in my missing-person spreads but I’m not entirely satisfied with the results. I decided to take a hard look at the minor and trump cards to see if I could come up with a “microscopic” and “macroscopic” assessment of the likelihood for survival. The court cards are more “agencies” than “circumstances” so I left them out of the mix; I’ve included them in other ways that make more sense in a reading. The conclusions shown in the table are intended to partake of the inherent nature of each card to the extent it fits, allowing for a few judgment calls that create a fairly even distribution, thereby promoting an equitable randomness. The minor-card evidence is designed to convey the physical status of the individual, while the trump cards suggest broader considerations affecting the matter that can either affirm the prediction as it stands or dramatically alter the outlook. The table below provides a quick window into my thinking on this.
I envision use of this table as a simple, convenient way to cross-check earlier observations. After performing the main missing-person reading, the idea is to draw two more cards – one trump and one minor – from a deck that has been separated into trump, court and minor card segments. The trump card will reveal the prevailing circumstances that either increase or decrease the likelihood of the minor card playing out as predicted. Two cards of a similar nature will create confidence in the testimony of the minor card. A highly favorable trump card with a discouraging minor might just “pull the (victim’s) chestnuts out of the fire” at the last minute, while a decidedly unfortunate trump with an encouraging minor could throw an unexpected curve-ball at the situation that puts survival out of reach. The combined influence of this pair should be compared to the preliminary judgment of the original spread to see if it reinforces or undercuts the verdict, with the prediction to be adjusted accordingly. This approach is highly experimental and needs diligent testing to see if it holds water.