Paul Sanders

Disappearance: 08/12/2001
Location: Mesa, Arizona

Disclaimer: Tarot readings should not be taken as absolute claims or facts with regard to any person or situation. I only present the possible meanings associated with the cards, as well as intuitions and impressions that I get during the reading. All readings are suppositional and should be treated as such.


Paul Sanders disappeared on August 12th of 2001, at the age of 17, in Mesa, Arizona. He was reportedly living with his father at the time of his disappearance. He is still missing and no one appears to have reported seeing him since the date he vanished.

Question: Who or what caused Paul’s disappearance?

Row 1
2 of Pentacles (r) – 5 of Wands (r) – 3 of Cups

Row 2
King of Cups (r) – 7 of Swords – 7 of Wands
Card pulled for King of Cups (r): 9 of Cups (r)

Row 3
9 of Wands – 8 of Pentacles (r) – 6 of Swords


As always, it is important to consider this reading from two different perspectives. The first is that a person caused their own disappearance. The second is that others were involved. There are strong suggestions in this reading, and the next one (I did the one that follows this reading first), that there were at least two other people. Either they were directly involved, or they have specific knowledge about what happened, if the scenario in which Paul caused his own disappearance is true.

The person or people involved were experiencing financial problems. It is as though they were overextended somehow – probably financially – and couldn’t get a handle on it all. It feels as though this person also felt that they had something to lose – like they may have viewed Paul as a threat to them (if Paul did not cause his own disappearance) or an opportunity.

The Five of Wands reversed shows this person – or these people – as wanting to put an end to the conflict or struggle. I have mentioned in other readings that this card can indicate a peaceful conclusion or a violent one. There can also be a sense of competition associated with this card as well.

The Three of Cups could suggest there was some kind of reunion between Paul and one or more other people. It is a card that depicts a happy type of situation on its face, but I can tell you that there is a lot of dishonesty surrounding all of this. I don’t think anyone can or should take events, situations, or people at face value here. Things are not as they may have seemed at the time.

The King of Cups reversed comes across as a person with energy that is consistent with someone who is older and male. That doesn’t mean the person is male, but they are coming across that way to me. The Nine of Cups reversed is a disturbing card to see paired with the King of Cups in its reversed positioning. The card likely points to someone who caused (and perhaps still causes) a lot of destruction and unhappiness. It could also be someone who has had addiction problems (may still have).

The person involved – or the main one at least – is a really dishonest person. The Seven of Swords shows them as deceitful and cunning. This is a person who does some very bad things and were/are used to getting away with a lot of them. Whatever involvement they have in Paul’s disappearance, this person believes they have been clever and resourceful enough to get away with it. This is also a card that can indicate a theft took place.

The Seven of Wands shows this person as having felt cornered or defensive about something involving Paul. I have to say that none of this feels like a situation where Paul orchestrated his own disappearance, or death if that is the case here, himself. Obviously, I could be wrong about that. However, if even half of the cards are accurate then there is one or more other people involved in this entire situation.

What I don’t know – and can’t see very clearly – is whether other people were aware that this person, or people, had a problem with Paul. I also feel there were aspects of this that were not made obvious. Perhaps the passage of time has changed that, and more is known about this aspect to other people that knew Paul.

The last row, which usually gives me insight into what motivated or motivates a person, shows me someone who had some kind of chip on their shoulder. At the time of Paul’s disappearance, this person would likely have been someone with a bad reputation and someone viewed as a failure in many regards. If Paul was not responsible for his own disappearance, then I would say there are enough cards to conclude that someone had a real issue with him. I’m not convinced that they immediately made that known to Paul though. If this scenario is the case, they were extremely deceptive.

Question: What circumstances caused Paul’s disappearance?

Row 1
2 of Wands (r) – 4 of Swords – 2 of Swords (r)

Row 2
7 of Wands (r) – 10 of Cups (r) – 6 of Cups (r)

Row 3
Justice – 5 of Pentacles – King of Cups (r)
Card pulled for King of Cups (r): King of Pentacles (r)
Card pulled for King of Pentacles (r): The Moon


The Two of Wands reversed suggests that Paul was at some kind of crossroads in his life. He could probably see change coming down the line and he may have had some concerns or fears about it. A lot of this was likely fear of the unknown and worries about impending changes.

The Four of Swords usually shows a situation where a person feels overwhelmed emotionally or mentally. If true, Paul may have felt that he needed some time to think and possibly some time away from the challenges in his life so that he could think and regroup.

The Two of Swords reversed continues to suggest that there was a lot going on in Paul’s mind with regard to him having anxiety, fears, and concerns about various aspects of his life. Many of these appear – based on some of the other cards – to pertain to people or family that were known to him. It can also show him as beginning to see some people and/or situations with increased clarity. He may have previously wanted to deny certain truths, or look away from them, but this card suggests he was at a point where he wanted to begin to face them.

The next row of cards is what makes it seem as though the issues weighing heavily on Paul’s mind were relating to family or people close to him in his life. The Seven of Wands reversed shows him feeling as though he lost a sense of power or control over his life. He had a strong sense of responsibility when it came to other people – like he didn’t want to turn to them for help because he was supposed to be the one helping (in his mind). The Ten of Cups reversed suggests disputes or conflict with a person, or people, known to him. It is a card that can point to broken homes or a lack of stability in terms of having a home. The Six of Cups reversed can point to someone who is thinking too much about the past – such as things that may have happened in their childhood or issues that they might have had in the past with people close to them.

The Ten of Cups reversed, combined with the Six of Cups reversed, make me think that there was some kind of abuse situation in his past. The implication is that his circumstances were motivated by these matters. They were on his mind and there may have been a good reason for it. I don’t know if this simply put him in an unusually vulnerable state of mind or if these are directly related to all of this.

The third row consists of Justice and the Five of Pentacles. The first possibility regarding this is that Paul may have had some kind of legal issue hanging over his head. The second is that he was seeking to put something right or get some kind of closure on an issue – in a way that would fall in his favor. In the upright position, it tells me

The Five of Pentacles makes me think he had recently gone through – or was in the midst of experiencing – something significant in his life. To give an example, people that get this card might be impoverished or severely lacking in resources. The unfortunate aspect of this card is that it has much more to do with perspective than reality. It depicts a person who feels as though they have been left out in the cold and have no one to help them; however, this is not always the truth of the situation with this card. Often other people want to help but the person is unable or unwilling to see or accept it. Again, I get this sense that Paul was someone who wanted to take care of other people and not be the person in need of being taken care of. Hard to explain beyond that.

The King of Cups reversed could represent an adult with masculine energy that can react to situations based on emotion. It is someone that may have appeared, or reappeared, in Paul’s life under the guise of offering friendship or help of some kind. There appears to be another person, with similar masculine and adult energy that is linked to this individual. The person connected to them is represented by the King of Pentacles reversed. This usually points to someone who has money issues and is unstable. Sometimes it represents a person that has money but is obsessed with material matters and status. More often than not, it is someone who is very bad with money and material issues though.

The Moon tells me that whatever person, people, or issue that Paul was dealing with was surrounding by lies and deception. A situation and/or person (maybe people) appeared to be something they weren’t. I think that someone may have also been playing on Paul’s vulnerabilities and insecurities too. If the readings are generally accurate, that is.

Question: What do we need to know about Paul’s disappearance?

I pulled the Winter card from the Halloween Oracle deck, as well as the Sea Storm from the Oracle of Shadows and Light. Winter is a card that represents the end of something. It can represent a metaphorical or literal kind of death. The Sea Storm card tells me that whatever drama or problems he faced in his life at the time of his disappearance, he has moved on from them. I’m not saying he’s alive or deceased. I have no way to know that. However, if he is deceased then he is in a better place or situation than he was at the time all this happened.

Question: What do we need to know about the person/people involved in Paul’s disappearance?

I pulled the Skeleton from the Halloween Oracle deck and the Angel of Time from the other one. The person – the primary one at least – comes across in a way that makes them seems stronger than they really are. The person has underlying vulnerabilities, such as their tendency to hold grudges and their refusal to move on from people or matters that make them upset. The Angel of Time is a card that either points to someone who is burned out or overworked, or someone who is experiencing health problems (mental, physical, or a combination).

This person would be known for, and potentially identifiable by, the above qualities and characteristics.

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