Since there was considerable interest in my post about the missing-person case of April Bailey, I decided to test my “Hopscotch” Multi-Tier Situational Awareness Spread” on it. I used the Thoth deck for this reading.
The first thing that is immediately obvious is that her situation is highly doubtful, with the first three cards reversed pushing it well below the surface (perhaps literally, as we shall see). With its emphasis on Water (three cards related to that element), this case bears a striking resemblance to that of Trish Haynes, who also had the Queen of Cups show up as Significator in the second position of the “World of Hurt” spread, and whose remains were found in Grafton Pond.
Death reversed suggests what everyone involved fears but nobody wants to say. Death corresponds to the astrological Water sign Scorpio, representing hidden matters that aren’t easily divulged and, with its reversal, concealment of her possible demise looks like a significant factor. There is a common – and somewhat obsolete – opinion that reversed cards mean the exact opposite of their upright version, but I don’t think it’s that simple; reversal complicates difficult cards but it seldom mitigates them.
The 4 of Wands reversed (titled “Completion”) is an indication that closure won’t be easy to come by, and that this case could remain open for a while. Four is also the number of “law and order,” so its reversal in this spread could mean that the investigating authorities will be stymied for the time being.
The Queen of Cups is the same court card that came up to represent April in the previous “World of Hurt” reading, and I’m thinking it represents her in an “inverted” or constrained state here (the reappearance of this elemental Water card could imply drowning, something that was also apparent in the Trish Haynes case). If April is literally “in the water,” she could be under the ice (a possible meaning of reversal) and won’t emerge until the Spring thaw.
The Priestess is the exemplar of hidden knowledge and is associated with the “watery” Moon, in tarot a symbol of misapprehension and illusion. The card is upright here but its very nature embodies mystery, an inherent quality of reversal as discussed in the last paragraph.
The next card in the sequence, the Knight of Wands facing the Priestess, looks like an aggressive male doing his best to keep a lid on that knowledge. It brings an end to the left-to-right progress of the reading, giving the impression that he is stubbornly blocking any further advancement in the case.
It’s very interesting and seems relevant that the number of Death, XIII, reduces numerologically to “4” (1+3 = 4), the number of the 4 of Wands, and the Queen of Cups is the 13th card of its suit, another repetition of “4” by reduction. Along with their common reversal, this ties the first three cards together in showing that many obscure and devious factors will contribute to preventing closure. This is not an encouraging outlook, but that is often the case when a missing individual does not reappear after a few days. I will stand by my earlier impression that there will be a break in the case within five weeks, but that is now down to just over four weeks and the clock is ticking. All of the reversals in this spread could add considerable delay if discovery must wait until “ice-out.”
There is another potential omen here. All of the cards in this spread are connected with either Fire or Water, bringing to mind the chorus from the song “Fire and Water” by Paul Rodgers’ first band, Free:
“Fire and water must have made you their daughter.”
The implication is that April could have come under their sway, especially with that arrogant and combative Knight of Wands at the end.
I took a look at the descriptions in my “Significance of Reversed Cards” post and the following one jumped out at me:
“Subtle” or unobtrusive; veiled; “behind the scenes,” perhaps not known until it’s too late; implied; suggested; hard to pin down; questionable; devious; misleading; underhanded; manipulative; evasive; furtive; reticent; illusory; imaginary; unique; concealed; latent; finesse but also guile; a hidden enemy or agenda; the “Devil you don’t know.”