I have been asked to consider whether additional information regarding the whereabouts of missing Manchester, NH man Mike McClain might be obtained from another reading. I don’t like to keep asking the same question repeatedly when no further information about the case has been forthcoming from official channels, but I just experimented with a similar request involving another missing person and decided to try it here. The idea is to set aside literal considerations of the “who, what, why, where and how” of Mike’s disappearance and focus on how best to weigh potential developments in the situation and the factors that may play a part in doing so. To do this, 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 first two cards seem to be reiterating points that have been raised during previous discussions of the case. The Knight of Cups as the randomly-drawn focus card can be something of a “bon vivant,” and there is a belief that, when Mike was last seen on surveillance camera, he may have been intoxicated. The Knight is looking to the right, which – if we use a compass-point orientation for this layout with North at the top – would indicate the East, approximately duplicating the previous north-easterly testimony; the 5 of Cups also gazes to the right when reversed. This “facing” of the cards also intimates that progress will be made in the case, something that the last card in the series (4 of Wands) emphasizes.
The 5 of Cups reversed could be construed as supporting the assumption that he might have fallen into the Merrimack River while quite literally “in his cups” and drowned. To get a fresh perspective on this card, I drew two more and placed them above and below the 5 of Cups, suggesting aspects that may become obvious (above) and those that will most likely remain obscure (below).
The 3 of Pentacles reversed in the “above” position could very well be showing a construction work-site, or possibly indicating that the parties of interest are craftsmen or work supervisors of some kind, while the reversal implies “unemployed.” The reversal could also mean that the body was somehow concealed at the site; I’m reminded of the rather unusual situation where corpses have been entombed in poured concrete. There is also the hint in this card of a church or churchyard, repeating an observation from an earlier reading, although that also seems farfetched at this point in time.
The 10 of Swords in the “below” position looks quite convincingly like a “stabbing,” but I have another intuitive impression: the ten standing swords resemble a fence of some kind, and I’m wondering whether there might be an abandoned weir downstream somewhere in the river that gathered his body in and is holding it submerged and out of sight. Frankly, this sounds fanciful, but I’ve learned to leave no stone unturned.
The 4 of Wands is usually interpreted as a celebration, and here it implies “light at the end of the tunnel.” There is another indication of a fence in this picture, nudging me in the same direction as the 10 of Swords. If such an underwater structure exists, it would probably be near the mouth of the river, perhaps in the tidal basin (assuming no dams intervene, in which case it could indicate a “trash-rack”).
I calculated the “quintessence” card (a summary roll-up of all of the cards on the table) using my normal method to see what broad picture the reading conveys. I came up with the Star, an emphatic expression of the aphorism “Hope springs eternal.” In more practical terms, it also suggests that such hope is at best tenuous and remote, requiring “thinking outside the box” in order to access the epiphany promised by its clarity of vision. Investigative legwork will only go so far, and at some point a true “quantum leap” of inspiration and ingenuity will have to occur for any advancement to take place. Taking a cue from the image on the card, a good place to start might be at the “outfall” of the river, literally “where the land meets the water.” I fervently hope that the 4 of Wands and the Star aren’t revealing that he has “gone to his eternal reward,” but with the passing of time all that remains for us is to chase down what he may have left behind.