Disappearance: May 1, 2010
Location: Oak Beach, New York
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.
Shannon Gilbert was 24-years-old when she reportedly met up with a man in Oak Beach. She was a sex worker and had gone to meet with a client. While at the man’s house, she called the police and told them that someone was trying to kill her. She eventually ran from the house and disappeared, only to be found deceased in a marsh. She was found in fairly close proximity to the remains of many other women who worked in the same profession.
Question: What happened to cause Shannan’s death?
Strength (r) – 2 of Wands (r) – Queen of Wands (r)
Card pulled for Queen of Wands (r): 10 of Swords
King of Cups (r) – Judgement (r) – 5 of Wands (r)
Card pulled for King of Cups (r): The Moon
8 of Wands (r) – 6 of Pentacles – 4 of Wands
Before I got done shuffling, I had the King of Swords reversed pop out on me so I’m going to include it in this reading. This could represent a masculine, mature (adult) type of energy. One of the reasons this card is significant is because it can represent people who work in particular fields – such as lawyers, law enforcement, military, etc. In the reversed position, this would be someone abusing their authority though. A lot of times, people represented by this card are outspoken. They can be articulate, but they use their words to manipulate situations, people, and facts.
That card aside, straight away in the reading we have Strength reversed. This shows Shannan as having been in a vulnerable situation where she felt uncertain and lacked confidence. There is a sense of weakness associated with this card on emotional, physical, and/or mental levels.
The Two of Wands reversed can indicate a lack of planning and a general fear of the unknown. Shannan may have gone into something thinking she was playing it safe and avoiding risk, but the card indicates there were possibly obstacles or issues that she just was not quite picking up on right away.
The Queen of Wands reversed tends to be a card with feminine and adult female energy. I think this card might represent Shannan because when it is combined with the Ten of Swords, it is showing someone who has hit their bottom. The worst has happened to them, is what this card is basically saying. If that’s true, and it does represent Shannan around the time of her death, then it’s showing that she was not in a great place mentally or emotionally. There would have been things going on in her life, and with her, that made her especially vulnerable to a person or people inclined to take advantage. The only real alternative here is that this card represents someone else entirely and they are a direct contributor to the worst happening. It’s like an ending of sorts occurred, and it was not pleasant emotionally and/or physically. It may or may not directly represent her death.
The King of Cups reversed can be someone who comes across as sympathetic and a friend, but that is typically a façade when the card is reversed. It is likely representative of someone who is overly sensitive, emotional, or behaves in a way that is immature considering their age. The Moon, combined with this card, is telling me there was a lot of deception involved in what happened to Shannan. This person probably deceived her and may have somehow lured her to her death. The card can sometimes point to hidden danger or people with bad intentions that are adept at hiding it.
Judgement reversed can have a lot of meanings. My first sense of this card, in the context of this reading, is that it’s showing a situation where someone repeatedly makes poor decisions and continues cycles that are destructive. I also feel like there is this component of being the target of malicious words or gossip. Maybe someone targeted her because they were making judgements about her as a person and her choices. The card indicates an outcome outside of Shannan’s control.
Five of Wands reversed can represent the end or resolution of something. I’ve talked about this card before in terms of it either representing a peaceful end to a conflict or a violent one. Someone perceived there was a conflict or problem, and then it was solved. Whatever that means or entails.
The Eight of Wands reversed is basically showing me that events did not align in Shannan’s favor. She would have felt like everything was working against her and her situation was out of her control. It can represent someone who feels a strong sense of fear or panic. There’s also this feeling of bad timing or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Six of Pentacles is showing someone in a better position financially and/or materially and offering something to her that probably would have felt generous – something big enough to motivate her to get involved in whatever it was that got her into the situation she ended up in.
Normally, the Four of Wands is a positive card. This reading is far from that and so it more than likely communicates a sense of teamwork or working together. My impression is that there were people and/or forces that all came together to make this happen. She was presented with a situation that looked like it was beneficial, surrounding by at least one person who pretended to be something they weren’t, and something terrible happened.
Question: Who or what caused Shannan’s death?
3 of Wands – 6 of Swords – 9 of Wands (r)
King of Cups (r) – 8 of Wands – Queen of Wands (r)
Card pulled for King of Cups (r): Empress
Card pulled for King of Wands (r): 9 of Pentacles
5 of Wands – Queen of Pentacles (r) – Emperor (r)
Card pulled for Queen of Pentacles (r): 3 of Swords (r)
It definitely seems there was more than one person involved in all this. I got the King of Cups reversed and the Queen of Wands reversed again. I got them in the first reading. Now I am not so sure that the Queen of Wands reversed represented Shannan. I think there might be a woman involved in this – possibly someone who helped lure her or convince her the situation was safe – or someone who has the energy of a female. There is a lot of female energy in this reading, and I can’t shake this impression that there is a woman directly linked to all of this. I’ll get into that all more though as I go through the cards.
The Three of Wands is showing me someone who probably did – or does – travel. This is probably someone who feels good about the choices they have made and has experienced success. They felt – or feel – like they worked hard, and it has paid off.
The Six of Swords is suggesting to me that this person feels like they have moved beyond whatever happened with Shannan and those surrounding circumstances. There is a kind of calm-after-the-storm sense to this card and so maybe they came under suspicion at one time, or felt they had some heat on them, but they have moved on from that.
The Nine of Wands reversed is a person that is stubborn and does not learn from past mistakes or situations. They might be prone to paranoia or feeling overwhelmed by situations or problems. There are multiple cards in these readings that suggest there is a lack of learning from the past, but I can’t tell if this is the card’s way of saying that what happened with Shannan is a part of someone’s repetitive mistake cycle or what.
This person comes across – or did – as someone with good intentions. People perceive that this person is safe and friendly. They aren’t. The Empress likely represents a female that was – or still is – involved with this person. I am not getting the sense that this is someone that merely has some suspicions about this person; instead, it feels like they are a direct force in all of this. And the Empress would come across positively as well. Like I always say, it’s just a tarot reading, and it could be completely off. However, if this is even remotely accurate then we are probably looking at two primary players in this and one of them is likely a woman.
What I don’t like about this reading is that cards like the Three of Wands and the Eight of Wands make it seem like the person – or people – have been living a good or decent life in terms of being enjoyable for them. The person or people might feel like the universe supports their endeavors. I don’t know how else to explain that part, but in both readings, there is this impression that there is a feeling of being justified – almost like someone is doing something beneficial. I can’t explain that. I can only say I am compelled to share that.
The Queen of Wands reversed came up before. This time the card appeared with the 9 of Pentacles which is a card that depicts someone successful and probably mature in age (not a teenager or young adult). I think this probably represents the female. It can be someone who has achieved financial and material independence – either on their own or through marriage. They may even come across as elegant to people. Ironically, the Nine of Pentacles reversed can come up when there is prostitution associated with a situation. But in this reading, it is upright.
The Five of Wands shows a lot of conflict and disagreements. There can be a competitive side to this card also. I don’t know if it is denoting what is going on in the person or people’s life or if it is just showing them as being someone that causes conflict. Someone that likes to argue and get their way. Someone who does not shy away from a problem or a fight. Perhaps, right now, they are experiencing significant problems or disruption. I’m not really sure with this one.
The Queen of Pentacles reversed could be someone already mentioned, or it could be another person with knowledge or involvement in what happened to Shannan. Sometimes this card is linked to prostitution. It can be connected to people that are social climbers and use people for material or financial ends.
The Emperor reversed is someone who is – or was – likely in a respectable kind of position or profession. However, it is someone who would have used whatever power and respect they had in harmful ways. Such a person is usually controlling. They can be rigid in their thinking and behavior. Other people may view them as a leader or as someone with notable accomplishments. It can indicate significant corruption as well – either personal or systemic.
There is definitely a sense of something bigger going on with all of this and I think there is at least one person who has been directly involved that might come as a surprise to people. I don’t think that what happened to Shannan was an accident. Based entirely on the readings, I think more than one person is involved – but I’m not sure of their exact role. The person that came up in the first reading – with the King of Swords reversed – is probably out there spreading false information and talking about the case. I just see this person being active in discussions (possibly even online) about the case and intent on shifting blame or victim-shaming even.
There’s a lot of information that we don’t have here – that is available in some way (I don’t know how but I do think it’s out there) – that would shed a lot more light on this if we had it.