Elisa Lam

Elisa is pictured on the left

Elisa Lam
Birthday: 04/30/1991
Disappearance/Death: Jan-Feb 2013 (exact date unknown)

Question 1: What happened to cause the death of Elisa Lam?

Row One
Knight of Pentacles – The Hermit (reversed) – Page of Swords
Card pulled for the Knight of Pentacles: Justice
Card pulled for the Page of Swords: Queen of Pentacles (r)
Card pulled for the Queen of Pentacles (r): 3 of Swords reversed

Row Two
9 of Wands (reversed) – Knight of Wands (reversed) – 8 of Wands
Card pulled for the Knight of Wands (r): 2 of Swords

Row Three
8 of Cups (reversed) – Judgement (reversed) – Strength (reversed)

Elisa Lam – Traditional Manga tarot

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.


The following is an extremely basic summary of what happened to Elisa. The situation is much more complicated and detailed. However, I wanted to give a brief background on what happened for anyone seeking a rudimentary refresher.

Elisa Lam was 21 years old when she traveled to California from her home in Canada in January of 2013. She had planned a trip that appeared to include several cities. On January 26th, Elisa arrived in Los Angeles and stayed at the Cecil Hotel. She was in the habit of updating social media periodically to provide some details about her trip. She also kept in contact with her family.

However, she stopped reaching out to her family at the end of January and her parents filed a missing persons report with the LAPD. They traveled to the United States to assist with finding their daughter.

Elisa was nowhere to be found until February 19th, when a hotel maintenance worker checked the large water tanks located on the roof of the hotel because guests were complaining about problems with the water pressure. He reportedly saw Elisa’s body inside one of the tanks and alerted management.

Elisa’s cause of death was noted as an accidental drowning and her diagnosis of bipolar disorder was cited as a contributor. No explanations or information were given about why or how she ended up in the water tank. She had no illegal substances in her system, nor did it appear she had been drinking. Medications consistent with those she had brought on the trip – and was prescribed – were found in her system.

The Reading:

Before you read this, please remember that I have no way to know what happened for certain. Don’t take any of the information described in the readings as fact until or unless details are proven.

The reading for Elisa begins with the Knight of Pentacles. Typically, the first card I pull in a reading reflects the attitudes or energy of the person I am reading on. There are exceptions sometimes. When representative of people, court cards reflect an energy that is correlated with an age range and gender. However, the person represented can really be any age or any gender. The intent of court cards is to mirror the energy or attributes they are projecting. The Knight of Pentacles represents a person that gives off youthful energy and is grounded. It also comes up in readings when a person is slowly working toward accomplishing something and is waiting patiently to make progress as they plug along. This card presents Elisa and her mindset when the situation causing her death began to unfold.

I pulled the Justice card in relation to the Knight card. It’s positioning in relation to the Knight card tells me that person is seeking justice. The person – Elisa in this case – has and is waiting patiently for justice to happen. She is looking for accountability. The cards presented this information up front as a way to clue me in that a person, or people, are responsible for her death and they have not been held accountable for it.

The Hermit reversed is the second card in the row and shows me someone who has or is experiencing isolation. The energy is that of someone who has been reclusive but seeks to break out of those patterns so they may socialize and make meaningful connections. The card is consistent with what is known about Elisa taking a trip to the United States and expressing a desire to have a good experience. However, it tells me that a specific goal of the trip was to come out of isolation and meet people.

The Page of Swords represents a youthful energy and is associated with someone who is full of energy and very communicative. This person articulates themselves well and they enjoy having passionate conversations or debates. The energy and attributes seem consistent with how some people reported Elisa’s behavior close to the time of her death – such as the owner of a bookstore who described her as friendly and talkative, asking a lot of questions and engaging in conversations with a lot of different people. The Hermit reversed showed us someone who was trying to get back out there and become an active part of society. The Page is the execution of those efforts in terms of the approach taken.

Pages can also represent messages that are coming or have been received – depending on the type of reading and the placement of the card. If applied here, the Page could also refer to the way in which Elisa was communicating with others – such as through the sending of a text, call, email, or letter. It would refer to a quick method (Swords is a faster moving energy) and so a verbal type of message – where the person blurts out something they probably should not say– is possible here. If that’s the case, this happened in such a way that it impacted the person in the Queen of Pentacles reversed card, and they were not happy about it.

I pulled the Queen of Pentacles reversed as the card associated with the Page of Swords. Though the card’s imagery depicts a female, court cards can represent any gender so it could go either way. It denotes some kind of direct relationship or interaction between the person in the Page position and the one in the Queen position and has come up because it pertains to the question I asked. The Queen of Pentacles upright has a lot of positive attributes. In its reversed position, though, it shows a negative and difficult person. The person usually has a good sense for business, but in a reversed position it shows them as making decisions based on greed and selfishness. In the upright position, it comes up for people who typically make a good living and support themselves. However, in the reversed position it can mean a person who is spending money foolishly, making bad investments, or living off another person’s wealth. This is someone looking out for themselves and possibly their career, since material and financial matters are a high priority for them.

The Three of Swords reversed suggests that a conflict that occurred was, for the most part, resolved – at least in the mind of one of the people involved. Sometimes the card comes up when someone else is holding a grudge where they pretended to move on from something but really still had negative thoughts about it. There are times when the imagery conveys additional meaning. There are three swords shown as penetrating a single heart. Cards that I will be discussing momentarily suggest there were two other people, besides Elisa, involved in this situation. Three total people tied directly to the above-mentioned conflict.

The Nine of Wands reversed is a card that comes up when a person feels like they have no energy left in them to argue or fight a battle. Basically, if applied to Elisa and her situation, it means that whatever conflict she experienced wore her down to the point where was no longer putting up an active defense. Sometimes, a second dynamic with this card is a situation where someone stops actively contributing to a conflict or problem because they are afraid of the consequences that might happen if they address it directly. I don’t know if the Nine of Wands reversed is connected to the first conflict or if there was a second that occurred.

The next card is the Knight of Wands reversed and its positioning suggests it was the other person – or another person – involved. A person meeting this description is one that is behaving in a manner that is reckless and arrogant. Such a person may feel untouchable and thus behave in ways that a lot of people wouldn’t – simply for fear of the consequences. The Knight of Wands reversed is not worried about consequences. They act before they think, and they are impatient. It is possible that whatever the conflict felt settled between the people depicted by the Page and Queen, but not so much by this person who represents the Knight. They might have still felt wronged so to speak. The energy associated with them is on the younger side (someone behaving like an older teenager or someone in their twenties, for instance). The person could be older, but if so, they were behaving in a way that is more consistent with a person lacking maturity. There’s a sense of entitlement here.

The Two of Swords, in relation to the above Knight card, places Elisa in a position where she felt stuck in the middle of something. She probably knew the situation was not good or right in terms of its progression, but she could have also been in denial about the seriousness of her predicament. Events had not yet turned in such a way to suggest she had something to fear. The Two of Swords can represent someone who needs to make a difficult decision (Elisa), but they are hesitant to do it without spending a lot more time thinking about it. The person doesn’t want to make the decision yet. They want to think about it and consider the ramifications. The problem is that the card can also hint at information or circumstances the person in question does not know about – information that would absolutely change their reaction to a situation or problem.

The Eight of Wands card shows me things from that then on moved quickly. It is a card with energy that typically feels positive to the person the cards are communicating information about. Think of it as forces coming together toward a common goal, or the universe aligning in just such a way as to allow events to unfold in a specific manner. However, its relationship to the Two of Swords tells me that things were not quite as they appeared, and the rapid pace of the events worked against Elisa. A decision needed to be made fast, on Elisa’s end, to avoid a bad outcome – and that’s assuming avoidance was even a possibility to begin with. It might not have been.

The cards show progressive and quick escalation with the above card. The Eight of Cups reversed shows me that Elisa was in a situation she needed to get out of, but for whatever reason either couldn’t or hesitated. The card can mean that the person in question is experiencing confusion about what they should do. That kind of desperate confusion can motivate people to do things they ordinarily wouldn’t and so I can’t rule out the possibility that she went to the roof on her own accord to hide from one or more people – and situation – mentioned above. It’s entirely possible she got into the water tank because she didn’t realize the danger of it or thought it was the only place she could truly hide. The reading just is not clear on this aspect.

Whatever she did or didn’t do, in relation to all of this, the Judgement card in the reversed position shows me someone who regretted their decision (or indecision) and felt a sense of almost self-hatred for not fixing or getting out of a situation. The card takes the concept of self-doubt, and one’s tendency to judge their own behaviors or choices harshly and applies them to the individual the reading is focused on. Major arcana cards usually reflect significant aspects or influences associated with the reading, and they hint at the lack of control people sometimes have in their lives. The card conveys the idea to me that forces that were out of Elisa’s control, but she blamed herself for it all anyway.

The last card in the reading is Strength reversed. It points to a time of intense fear and worry when paired with other cards here. Whatever happened with the conflict and/or people described above, the situation did not end well because Elisa couldn’t or didn’t extricate herself from it. It supports the possibility that she hid, or tried to hide, because it shows someone as losing their sense of inner strength or their ability to take back control of the situation. She also could have simply been cornered in such a way sealed her fate. Again, I cannot tell from these cards exactly how that aspect of the situation played out.

What is frustrating about this reading is that while it shows at least one major conflict, and likely two or more other people involved in it, it does not provide a comfortably clear explanation for her death – except to show she didn’t casually or randomly fall into the tank. Nothing in the reading points to suicide either. The reading does convey the sense that others were involved in some direct way and that conflict between them set the wheels of all this in motion. Whatever happened, Elisa does not feel the people involved were held to account for it. There is still a need or desire for Justice – as shown early on.

Those are my interpretations and opinions only. I hope that somehow the answers about what really happened become known.


If you would like me to do a reading about a missing person, please contact me at tarotofthemissing@gmail.com. Readings for missing persons are always free of charge. I also provide fee-based personal readings that don’t pertain to missing people (including readings via email, phone, or video). Contact me to learn more.

Asha Degree

Reading for Asha Degree
Birthday: August 5, 1990
Reported Date of Disappearance: February 14, 2000

Question: What happened to Asha Degree in February of 2000?

Row One
The Fool (Reversed) – 9 of Cups (Reversed) – Ace of Swords

Row Two
Knight of Swords (Reversed) – Knight of Pentacles – The Devil (Reversed)
Card linked to K of S (Reversed): 4 of Cups (Reversed)
Card linked to K of P: Death

Row Three
6 of Swords (Reversed) – The Sun (Reversed) – Justice (Reversed)

Asha Degree reading – Traditional Manga deck

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.

My background knowledge on this case/situation is limited. A very basic summary, to provide some insight into what is known and not known, is that Asha was 9 years old when she disappeared in February of 2000. It is believed that she disappeared in the early morning hours of February 14th. Multiple people claimed to have seen a little girl matching her description walking along a highway around the time she would have been missing. However, none of the witnesses know what happened to her beyond that and claimed she was completely alone.

One person reportedly tried to stop to offer help but said that it seemed to scare her and she ran into a wooded or tree-lined type of area. At some point, her backpack was found at a construction site off Highway 18 and was wrapped in a plastic bag. The bag was linked to her because it has been reported that it contained her name and phone number. I did not come across concrete information about what else the bag had in it. She has been missing ever since.

The Reading:

I want to take a moment to remind anyone that reads this, I have no way to know what happened for certain. Please do not take any of the information described in the readings as fact until or unless details are proven. These are only tarot readings and my opinions about what the cards might mean.

The Fool reversed puts Asha in the position of potentially taking careless action. Given that she was a child, and nine years old, it is understandable how she could end up in a situation she didn’t realize might become dangerous. The card implies an atmosphere in which a person is easier to take advantage of or feels compelled to do something that is naïve or reckless.

The 9 of Cups is viewed as a positive card upright, but in a reversed position it can point to a negative situation associated with massive disappointment, shattered dreams, and misery. In its position next to the Fool reversed it suggests a direct relationship to Asha and her mindset when all the events unfolded. Things did not go remotely as planned.

The Ace of Swords is a card suggesting a plan of action and clarity on a matter at hand. It is included in the row with the above-described cards and is related. The positioning suggests that Asha had a plan in mind and had given it thought ahead of time. Swords, associated with the element of air (and its prevalence in this reading when compared to other suits), gives the impression of something that was fast-moving. While some planning appears to have played a role, it likely did not become serious or fully take root too far in advance. Most likely, the plan was formulated – at least in Asha’s mind – within a matter of a couple of days or less.

The second row begins with the Knight of Swords in a reversed position. To get further information on court cards, I like to pull an additional card that is positioned over the court card. It then becomes linked to any cards it directly touches (see the image that I took of the cards). The four of cups reversed was the card I pulled in reference to the Knight of Swords reversed.

The Knight of Swords reversed refers to a younger male energy (keep in mind that court cards do not absolutely mean a reference to a person, nor are they restricted to a reference only to people who match their gender or age portrayal on a card). Knight court cards give off an energy that is more mature than that of a Page, but that is more active and less experienced than a Queen or a King. Due to its reversed position, the card represents someone with energy associated with the element of air. Astrological signs linked to swords include Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini. However, the astrological signs associated with a court card are intended to give a picture of the person or energy the cards are conveying and so if they represent an actual person, they could belong to any astrological sign. They would be recognizable more by their traits and patterns of behavior. That is the significance I am placing on them here.

The Knight of Swords reversed – in the context of this reading – is coming across as a person who lacks tact and tends to be forceful or confrontational. The person may not behave this way typically, but that is the energy that is coming up in response to my question about what happened to Asha. If representing a person, I would expect the individual to be someone who was (or still is) inclined to coerce people, was or is controlling within their relationships, and may be or have been abusive verbally and/or physically with people around them. Such a person might appear (to others) to have the positive characteristics associated with the upright position of this card and thus might not typically behave like someone who would be involved in something untoward or nefarious. It depends on whether the reversed positioning characteristics are their norm so to speak.

The Four of Cups reversed tends to have a positive meaning in that it usually marks a time when a person becomes more active or moves beyond a position that once felt stagnant. This card could have a lot of meanings here, ranging from representing someone who was experiencing blocks or delays in their life who found new enthusiasm, direction, or purpose that motivated them to take forward-moving action. But it could also refer to someone who was restricted in their ability to act, due to sickness or imprisonment. The meaning is not clear to me in this reading. Cups are associated with the element of water and often represent the emotional (or lack of it, depending on the card and reading) aspect of something.

In addition to covering the Knight of Swords reversed, the Four of Cups reversed is also covering the King of Pentacles. The King of Pentacles is associated with the element of earth and represents energy consistent with the astrological signs of Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo. If representing a person, this is someone with a mature energy who is business inclined and typically secure financially. The energy is associated with security and safety. People matching this description may work a variety of jobs and so it is difficult to identify a specific profession. The positioning of the card might provide insight into how the person in the Knight of Swords reversed position may have come to know about Asha. The card seems to indicate a connecting thread of sorts.

The card I pulled in connection with the King of Pentacles was the Death card. In many cases, the Death card has positive meaning in that it can reflect a transformation, the resolution to a situation or problem, or a release from something. But there are instances where Death can represent an actual physical death and I suspect that could be the case here. When I placed this card over part of the King of Pentacles, it also took a position where it covered the Devil reversed. I need to spend more time thinking about this combination because along with other cards, such as Justice reversed and the Sun reversed, it gives the impression of there possibly being a sexual motive behind this. However, I am hesitant to really say that with confidence based on this reading alone. I cannot rule out an accident based on the way these cards display, though they are pointing to something more deliberate and at least somewhat planned. At this time, I cannot figure out the link between the two court cards in the second row. There is an important link there, but it is not clear whether the link pertains to how someone would have known about Asha or gained access to her or if it refers to someone with greater involvement. Questions I have include whether this person is related by blood or marriage to the person represented by the Knight card? Does this person have pertinent information? Or is the link merely the person who made it possible for Asha and the other person to cross paths? Maybe a future reading that focuses more on this aspect would help clarify.

The positioning and placement of figures on the cards suggest that the Knight of Swords was focused on the person depicted in the Fool reversed. Given the nature of my question, I feel confident the person represented in the Fool card is Asha. I want to say that I am not getting any impression from the cards that anyone in her immediate family knows what happened to her. If they know or are acquainted with one or more people that do, my sense is they are unaware of this or at least uncertain if they happen to suspect someone. From an intuitive perspective, it seems there is a connection between whoever was involved and the family. The family likely knows the person involved – possibly through a third person (King of Pentacles?) – but none of this reads as the immediate family (mother, father, and brother) as being involved. A careful examination of a younger person – or a person whose maturity level is on par with that of a teenager or a person in their earlier twenties – that Asha may have come into repeated contact with – could prove helpful.

The last card on the second row is the Devil reversed. This card can lean toward the positive if other cards suggest that someone is letting go of something, gaining freedom from an obsession, addiction, or another similar type of entrapment. In this case, the Devil reversed could refer to the destruction or collapse of whatever plan was in place leading to whatever events unfolded. The position often denotes a sense of freedom, which can be literal freedom or emotional freedom. It gives a sense of being detached from the death card that covers it.  

The third row tends to represent the aftermath or outcome of the events. In this case, it refers to the events that occurred in 2000. The Six of Swords reversed indicates a person trying to run from something they have done or a bad situation. The energy suggests a person who feels trapped by a situation. The positioning of the cards shows a desire for mental distance and possibly physical distance as well. This means the person may have moved or put further distance between themselves and the location/s associated with the event shortly after. Did they live in the same area or state? The cards show a strong likelihood of this.

I am reading the Sun reversed as an impression on the part of whoever is involved (and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of two people being involved in some capacity) that they feel they have gotten away with whatever happened. Something to consider here is that this might cause whoever has direct information on what happened to say more than they should. On an intuitive level, I do feel this person (or people) have communicated with others about what happened. If there is a second person involved, my thought is they might have been brought into the situation to help cover it up or they had some other kind of secondary involvement. The Knight of Swords reversed, if representative of a person, denotes arrogance or a sense of feeling as though enough time has gone by that they are safe.

Justice in the reversed position is often associated with unfair outcomes. I have found, when doing readings on missing people and/or crimes, it tends to suggest that something outside of the law occurred – meaning at least one or more laws were broken during the events surrounding Asha’s disappearance, making it a criminal event in some way. In conjunction with other major arcana cards included in this reading, Justice reversed indicates to me that Asha is deceased. The outcome of the events do not seem to have come out in her favor. However, there is always the possibility of a positive outcome. I don’t believe in giving up on hope without completely convincing evidence proving an outcome is indeed a negative one.

I will do another reading on Asha in the future. I find that if I put time and space in between readings, I can sometimes get a better understanding of what may have happened. I also like to note whether I get similar cards and/or combinations in different readings on the same subject matter.


If you would like me to do a reading about a missing person, please contact me at tarotofthemissing@gmail.com. Readings for missing persons are always free of charge. I also provide fee-based personal readings that don’t pertain to missing people (including readings via email, phone, or video). Contact me to learn more.