Disappearance: April 1, 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Question: Who or what caused Brian Shaffer’s disappearance?
Knight of Pentacles (reversed) – 10 of Pentacles – The Devil
Card pulled for the Knight of Pentacles (r): Two of Cups
The World (reversed) – The Empress – The Magician
5 of Cups (reversed) – The Moon (reversed) – Ace of Pentacles
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. When/if I say that something happened, in any part of a reading description, I mean that is what I am interpreting from the cards, their positions, and other related factors.
Brian Shaffer disappeared on April 1st of 2006 in Columbus, Ohio. He was last seen on security camera footage outside the Ugly Tuna Saloona. He was talking to a couple of women before he went back into the bar. Brian was reportedly not observed leaving the bar and it does not appear there have been any confirmed sightings of him since.
First, I want to say that the cards give me hope of a scenario in which Brian might possibly be alive. However, as I have often explained, I have no way to know for sure. In my readings, I describe my interpretations of the cards. I have the same capacity for human error as everybody else so please do not take these descriptions as fact until or unless proven otherwise. These are only tarot readings and are not a substitute for facts or evidence.
The Knight of Pentacles reversed is telling me that Brian was having difficulties on multiple levels. I’ll get into some of those more in a minute. The first major issue pertained to money. The appearance of the Devil card is communicating that Brian had an addiction or vice that was interfering in his life. The Knight of Pentacles reversed is saying to me that it was likely gambling related. The Devil is a card that can indicate drug use or drug addiction as well and so I believe he might have had two of these issues going on simultaneously.
The Two of Cups is a card that denotes a partnership between Brian and another person. Often this card is romantic in nature, but the rest of his cards are not pointing in this direction and so I’m going to put this one out there in a more general way and say that someone else he was close to knows a lot more about his problems than they are saying. They may even know exactly how and why he disappeared. The person could be male or female. It could be a friend or a romantic partner.
The Ten of Pentacles is relaying that Brian was either expecting to come into a large amount of money, or that he already did, around the time of his disappearance.
I’ve already brought the Devil card into this as a means of saying that his disappearance is directly related to these addictions he had. He had a minimum of one solid addiction that was creating total havoc in his life.
The second row of cards is showing me that Brian was feeling empty and incomplete at the time of his disappearance. The Empress right next to the card denotes a motherly figure. I read that his mother passed away before he disappeared, and he was struggling with it. This might have kicked one or more addictions up a notch as well – due to the added stress of his situation. So I don’t know if he inherited money after his mom’s death, or if he expected to or what. I also don’t know if the windfall conveyed in the Ten of Pentacles is directly related to this Empress card.
The Magician is the last card on the second row. It is telling me that someone involved in this – Brian or perhaps the other partner or friend mentioned in the beginning – was resourceful and skilled in ways that are relevant to his disappearance.
The Five of Cups reversed is a card that shows a person emerging out of a dark time. It is a card that signifies a turning point in which a person has accepted their circumstances and is ready to embark on the process of healing. Perhaps he was planning to get a handle on any addiction issues.
The Moon reversed shows me a situation that was powered by fear and anxiety. It all ties back to any addiction or addictions he might have had. An interesting element of this card reversed is that it points to the need for someone to progress beyond a bad situation. It also comes up when a person is gaining more clarity on their situation and more self-awareness regarding what is wrong, as well as what they need to do to fix it.
The Ace of Pentacles is intriguing for two reasons. First, it is a card representing financial or material matters. Second, it is a card of fresh starts and new beginnings. At times, the new beginning pertains to a job or a financial matter that had been resolved. Other times, it is broader. So what does this mean? Is Brian alive somewhere? Did he run because he needed or wanted a fresh start financially? Did he owe people money?
I’ll do a second reading to see if I can bring forth any additional insight into this whole situation.
Question: Did Brian Shaffer disappear intentionally?
King of Swords – 9 of Pentacles – 9 of Swords (reversed)
Card pulled for the King of Swords: Wheel of Fortune
10 of Pentacles (reversed) – Queen of Pentacles (reversed) – The Sun
Card pulled for the Queen of Pentacles (r): The Devil (reversed)
Justice – 8 of Cups – Knight of Wands
Card pulled for the Knight of Wands: Knight of Pentacles
Card pulled for the Knight of Pentacles: Knight of Cups
Card pulled for the Knight of Cups: 6 of Swords
I am just going to say this outright. This reading, in particular, is telling me Brian walked away from his life. The Sun is suggesting to me that he is alive. The Sun upright is a card of vitality and life. Reversed, it can take on the opposite meaning when it appears in a reading concerning a missing person. However, it is upright here. So let’s get into all this a little more.
The King of Swords represents someone who thinks and solves problems using strategy and/or logic. I think that Brian might have been counting on the money he was supposed to get to start over financially. He may have owed money, and this might have come across as his chance to fix that situation. The Wheel of Fortune is showing me a change in Brian’s circumstances or luck. It seems that at first, that change appeared positive. However, that changed when he hit some kind of roadblock or problem. I don’t know what happened financially, but that is what it is showing me.
The Nine of Pentacles is telling me he had a plan in mind. It’s a card that shows freedom – especially financial freedom – and abundance. Often this card comes up when someone has built a business for themselves or accumulated money through these kinds of efforts. So I think his Plan B was to disappear intentionally and start over.
The Nine of Swords reversed is communicating that he experienced a light at the end of the tunnel epiphany type of situation. It also shows that he likely accepted someone’s offer for help. You see, I really do think he had at least one person helping him to accomplish all of this. The first reading indicates it and this one points to it here and there as well.
The Ten of Pentacles reversed is telling me that the windfall or inheritance did not come through as hoped or planned. This is a card that comes up when people lose money or when a will or inheritance is disputed. So this kicked everything off for Brian. It’s possible he was planning to use this money to settle up debts or something along those lines, but when it did not come through (or come through on time), he made other plans.
The Queen of Pentacles reversed may or may not represent a person. The energy behind this card is a sense of gaining financial independence and breaking free from problematic financial situations. It could be a person that helped him to accomplish this or it could represent someone he felt was in the way of that – someone he might have broken free from and left.
The Devil came up in a reversed position this time. The significance of this is that it is showing that Brian regained a sense of freedom and release from whatever vices or addictions were contributing negatively to his life. It was pulled in connection with the Queen, but I am still unsure if it represents a person, situation, or energy.
The Sun is a card that represents vitality, life, and happiness. The Sun upright is another card that is indicating to me that Brian is alive.
Justice appeared in this reading and I’m not sure about its full implications here. As always, this card is a reminder that there is balance in the universe and cause-and-effect. The scales always balance in the end. I don’t know if this is a warning to Brian about the consequences of his actions – if he did indeed leave his past life – or if it is a more positive presence in the reading that suggests he is happier or better off where he is now.
The Eight of Cups is a telling card to me. It is one that depicts a person who has walked away or abandoned something. In some cases, it is someone leaving a bad situation. In others, it is more about them leaving something behind because it is no longer offering the same benefits as it once did.
Finally, the Knight of Wands is all about action and seeking new adventures. People in this position are looking for a challenge and they are not typically fearful of the unknown or potential consequences. The Knight of Pentacles and the Knight of Cups are not completely clear to me. They may signify different people that helped Brian to start a new life, or they could represent different phases of his identity – if he truly did abandon his old life.
The Six of Swords is linked to the Knights, and it is telling me that he could have traveled to get to his destination. It suggests he did not remain local and there was travel involved. Also, it’s a card that shows the sense of calm that a person experiences when they have either resolved or escaped a conflict. It is one showing a person who has overcome hardships.
I have no way to know for sure what happened to Brian, but the readings are provocative if they hold some truth. Either way, I hope there is a resolution for his loved ones – one that is certain and based on facts that can be proven.
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