Donna Christine O’Banion

Disappearance: 10/23/1985
Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Disclaimer: Tarot readings should not be taken as absolute claims that something did or did not happen. I only report the meaning of the cards, their relationships and the meaning in the context of those relationships, as well as intuitions I have based entirely on the cards presented in the reading. Tarot reading is an art and not a science.


Donna Christine O’Banion disappeared on October 23rd of 1985. She was last seen leaving her job as a server/waiter, at the Southern Comfort on Airline Highway, after her shifted ended at 2am.

Question: Who or what caused the disappearance of Donna Christine O’Banion in October of 1985?

Row 1
Knight of Cups – Death (reversed) – Magician
Card pulled for the Knight of Cups: 3 of Swords

Row 2
High Priestess (reversed) – 6 of Pentacles (reversed) – Ace of Wands (reversed)

Row 3
8 of Wands – 10 of Cups (reversed) – 8 of Pentacles

Donna Christine O’Banion reading 1


The Knight of Cups indicates someone who had a romantic interest in Donna. The person would likely have been an adult male (likely someone in their late teens or twenties). The card can represent older people, but if that is the case then it means this man behaved in a manner consistent with a younger adult male (in the 1985 timeframe). The Three of Swords, in connection with this card, shows a breakup or a situation in which he got his heart broken. The Three of Swords is not a mild breakup type of card typically. It’s a breakup that causes at least one person involved considerable pain and anguish – in most cases.

Death reversed is telling me he was unable or unwilling to move on. It is reading as though he was either an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, or someone she was having a relationship with that was on the verge of ending or had already ended. An alternative is that it was someone who had strong romantic feelings for her that she did not return, but the Death reversed card is showing me a man who cannot move beyond the pain from the breakup or troubled relationship – making me think there was some kind of connection here at one point. The feeling I am getting is there was a connection that the male person was not willing to fully sever – regardless of what Donna might have wanted or needed.

The Magician is conveying that this man was skilled. He is coming across as someone who was (is?) resourceful and intelligent. This would have been a person capable of setting goals and achieving them if he set his mind to it. He may have had a particular trade or had connections that could help him when needed.

The High Priestess reversed is depicting a situation where Donna may have had a bad feeling about this person, and the surrounding circumstances, but she either didn’t listen to her gut instincts or she found herself in a situation where she was unable to act on them. In its reversed position, this card represents secrets and hidden agendas that were probably unknown to Donna – even though she might have had suspicions or concerns based on intuition/gut feelings. I find that sometimes this card comes up when it turns out that someone who went missing confided their concerns about a person or situation to someone they knew, prior to vanishing. If so, this can help to identify the individual.

The Six of Pentacles reversed denotes a dynamic where one person is offering or giving another person something, but there are strings attached. It also represents an imbalance between two or more people in terms of money and/or material things. One person has more than the other and uses that to control or manipulate the other person, essentially. It can depict someone who tries to buy the affections of another person as well.

The Ace of Wands reversed represents a situation where the person’s plans were delayed or canceled – or he received bad news that set him off. I don’t know if this would have been about Donna or another matter.

However, the Eight of Wands shows that events moved fast after that. It can also depict someone who tries to sweep another off their feet, or appeal to them in some way. It can also refer to an infatuation – which seems relevant here if we consider the other cards in the reading thus far. Perhaps he was trying to talk her into getting back together with him or mending the relationship (speculating here).

The Ten of Cups reversed is really hitting home that Donna knew this person. This person was not a stranger to her. It would have either been someone she had been in a relationship with (in the past or at the time of her disappearance), within her circle of friends, related by family, or someone she worked with. It could also be a combination of those factors. The most important things to take away from this card in this reading are that she knew this person, and that it was a tumultuous type of relationship/friendship/connection. It would have been one that caused her distress, and she would have likely mentioned this person to people she felt she could confide in.

The Eight of Pentacles is telling me that this individual was established in their job or career. They might have been skilled at a particular trade or worked in a management position. They could have even been self-employed. The reading is trying to convey enough information to identify this person. She might have worked with him. If not, his job has significance in that he was skilled in it. It feels like it would have been something for which he was known.

Question: What circumstances caused the disappearance of Donna Christine O’Banion?

Row 1
Queen of Pentacles (reversed) – 9 of Cups – High Priestess (reversed)
Card pulled for the Queen of Pentacles (r): Lovers (reversed)

Row 2
King of Wands (reversed) – Page of Wands (reversed) – 10 of Pentacles (reversed)
Card pulled for the King of Wands (r): The Sun
Card pulled for the Page of Wands (r): Queen of Swords
Card pulled for the Queen of Swords: 5 of Pentacles (reversed)

Row 3
4 of Cups (reversed) – Hierophant (reversed) – The Fool

Donna Christine O’Banion reading 2


The Queen of Pentacles reversed, combined with the Lovers reversed, is showing me someone who was likely an adult female at the time of Donna’s disappearance. The attributes associated with this card are not coming across as representing Donna. Instead, it is coming across like there was a woman who was jealous, mean, and manipulative somehow tied into all this. The Lovers reversed is conveying that she was in a relationship that was a complete mess, or she was in the process of exiting one. The Lovers reversed can also indicate making a bad decision – doing something significant enough that it has consequences beyond that one person. Maybe the ex had a girlfriend or wife or other person in their life that felt threatened by Donna? Not sure here.

The Nine of Cups is a positive card in that it shows someone who is generally happy and is good at what they do in life – whether its work, being a friend to others, etc. It also comes up when someone is celebrated for, or is celebrating, achievements or successes. This would likely pertain to something happening with Donna or her immediate sphere of friends/family/coworkers.

The High Priestess reversed came up in the first reading and it is back again for this one. To reiterate, this card can show a person who has good gut instincts and intuitions about matters, but for some reason is not listening to them or acknowledging them in reference to a person or situation. It also represents secrets and agendas that remain hidden. At times, it represents secret enemies or people that wish harm or unhappiness on another – though the target of their ill will is largely unaware of what is happening. And I cannot get rid of this feeling that she told someone about her concerns. Possibly more than one person.

The King of Wands reversed is hot-tempered, impulsive, and can behave in abusive ways – verbally and/or physically. This would be someone who makes empty promises that they never follow through with fulfilling. The Sun is the card I pulled in connection with this person and it’s showing me promises that likely pertained to long-term plans, having a family, and other factors. Did Donna have a child with anyone? It could refer to this person having or wanting a child with Donna as well – or someone that communicated wanting that with her. These factors are coming across as ways to decipher the identity of this person for certain and will make the most sense to people that knew Donna well.

The Page of Wands reversed may represent a message regarding a delay or problem with something. The Queen of Swords is coming up in reference to this card and so it seems most likely to pertain to an adult woman. It could be a mother figure or someone with a motherly nature. The Five of Pentacles reversed, in connection with the Queen of Swords card, is suggesting that this person might have been offering help or friendship to Donna. It is someone who thinks logically and makes decisions rationally, versus relying heavily on emotions. The card is reading as though she was going to help Donna with something, but there was some kind of delay or problem with that process. I can’t quite get a grasp on what this is communicating. It could be as simple as this person was supposed to pick her up from work and wasn’t able to do it for some reason. I’m not saying that it what happened; I’m just using that as an example of what the combination might mean. Also, this person is probably important in terms of knowing some of the circumstances going on at the time in Donna’s life.

The Ten of Pentacles reversed is showing some kind of money problem or situation that was having a negative impact on people involved in all this. It can sometimes represent a divorce that is taking place, a breakup, a disputed inheritance, a lost job, or anything along those lines. It’s another reminder that the person discussed in the first reading was known to Donna and that problems with that person are underlying factors in her disappearance.

The Four of Cups reversed is showing me that Donna had an optimistic nature and look on life. While it appears she had some things going on – in both the readings – she had hope for the future and she is coming across as someone who believed that hard times come and go. She had opportunities at her disposal, and she was proactive and motivated enough to take advantage of them when the time felt right. Her willingness to move forward in life might have bothered anyone in her life who did not want her to completely move on.

The Hierophant reversed can refer to a broken marriage. It can also represent someone going against the rules of society and refusing to conform. Perhaps a combination of the two.

The Fool is showing that Donna was ready to embark on a new direction/adventure in her life. She was trying to leave her past behind. She had hopes for the future and she was not afraid to embrace the unknown. It’s possible that her desire for freedom, as it relates to anyone involved in her disappearance, triggered the other person and acted as a catalyst.

It feels like there are two possible scenarios here. The first is that someone caused her harm and potentially took her life. The second is that she ran from the person and started a new life to hide from them. The problem is that she isn’t coming across as someone who would leave loved ones and friends behind, without any answers, and so that one just does not make sense to me. I cannot tell from the readings whether she is alive or deceased, unfortunately.

Question: What do I need to know about the disappearance of Donna Christine O’Banion?

Four of Wands (reversed) – 5 of Cups – Ace of Swords (reversed)

Donna Christine O’Banion reading 3


The last three cards are only reinforcing my belief that the person involved (the main one, at least, if there were multiple) was an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband. I can’t say this definitively because this is a tarot reading and even if the cards are accurate, I’m capable of misreading them. But there is such a strong and recurring theme pertaining to this is each of the readings. It is really hard to dismiss it, in my mind. The Five of Cups is a mourning card. It’s again pointing at a painful situation involving a relationship or past relationship in which one or all parties felt a great sense of loss. The Ace of Swords reversed is a card in which one or more people involved have, or had, the answers but they refused to openly talk about them. I can’t get a feel for whether this person would have confided in someone. It’s possible, but I can’t tell here.


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