I’m still trying to help the family and friends of George Cross puzzle out what may have happened to him (see my previous posts). There are apparently no new clues in the case (or at least none that have been made public), and it is fruitless to keep asking the same question of the divinatory arts when the status of the investigation remains a “closed book.” However, there are other ways to explore how the matter may progress without pursuing the literal “who, what, why, where and how” of George’s disappearance. I have a spread that builds a three-card line from a single random focus card, to be read in the direction the figure on that card is facing. The idea is to show how best to weigh potential developments in a situation and the factors that may play a part in doing so.
In this case, because Judgement appeared as the middle card in the line, suggesting some kind of forthcoming “revelation” in the case, I drew two more cards to place above and below it, offering some indication of what may be revealed (above) and what will most likely remain concealed (below) for the time being. Although this layout looks like a typical five-card cross, the manner of its construction makes it an entirely different animal.
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The random focus card was the Hermit, which has connotations of both wisdom and isolation. The latter, judging from the landscape in the image, could mean a remote, elevated place, possibly above tree-line. As a token of sapience, the Hermit’s lamp symbolizes the “rays of light” that can emanate from this vantage point, illuminating a broader swath of the landscape. The lamp is often compared to that of Diogenes, who was looking for a “human being” (by which it has been assumed he meant an honest one), and that can be equated here to the search for a credible suspect or even a reliable witness.
The Hermit faces to the left, which in the spread guidance describes needing to put past assumptions into perspective while looking for a way to transcend them. A new paradigm may be needed, one that acknowledges the accumulated facts but strikes out in a new direction. The outlook from the Hermit’s perch makes it possible to see clearly into all quarters of the horizon, and the Hermit is a patient and meticulous observer (like Peter Falk in Columbo). Assuming a compass-point orientation with North at the top, the Hermit here would be facing West, but there is no way to tell distance other than that the Hermit can see a long way off from his pinnacle, perhaps even into the White Mountains. Not far to the west of Berlin, NH are Mt. Cabot, Mt. Waumbek (two popular hiking spots) and the Israel River watershed.
Judgement represents the revelation mentioned above. I often think of it as a “wake-up call,” implying an epiphany that opens up new avenues of inquiry. It portrays being “called to account” for past transgressions, and it may reflect a break in the case that singles out the individual(s) involved. The discreet but unwavering scrutiny of the Hermit, keeping the pressure on, could “blow the case wide open.”
Death at the end of the series is no surprise given the results of previous readings. It comes across as a confirmation but nothing more than that in the way of unique situational awareness. (While the prediction of physical death is generally viewed as unethical, in a missing-person case like this one where the subject has purportedly been “in the wild” for several months during inhospitable weather, it is an unavoidable consideration. There are many ways for it to appear in the cards; this is undoubtedly the most obvious, although readers will often try to rationalize and transform its message into something less dire.)
The card in the ad-hoc “what may be revealed” position is the 8 of Pentacles reversed. It suggests that the pieces of the puzzle will remain scrambled for the foreseeable future but the number of pieces should come into sharper focus. More literally, it could point to someone who is a tradesman or craftsman, possibly out-of-work. But the reversal could also indicate that facts are in short supply and must be diligently and intelligently scrubbed for meaning.
The card in the “what will remain concealed” position is the World reversed. The most obvious implication is that the facts of the case (and probably its subject) are “underground” or “buried,” hampering the investigation. However, if George was interred in mountainous (and no doubt rocky) terrain, it may not have been very deep, making random discovery feasible. The main thing working against this fortuitous outcome is remoteness, so the gathering of informed testimony from suspects and witnesses who know what happened becomes critical to success.
Interestingly, when I calculate the “quintessence” card (the trump card that summarizes all of the cards on the table) for this spread using my normal method, I get Death, another reinforcement of my earlier assumptions. However, in addition to meaning an end to something, this card can also suggest that events are going to take an unexpected turn that is both dramatic and transforming.
So in review, the new things that came out of this exercise are: 1) the shift from an eastern to a western focus and the hint of an elevated location; 2) the possibility that the person of interest may be an unemployed tradesman or craftsman; 3) the potential for a shallow burial; and 4) the anticipation that something significant and unforeseen could happen in the not-too-distant future.