Disappearance: 08/22/1988 (dates vary on sites)
Location: Selma, Oregon
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.
Toby Eugene Anderson was 18 years old when he disappeared in 1988. He was last known to have lived with his uncle. He is also last believed to have been seen by his uncle and he has not since been located.
Question: Who or what caused Toby’s disappearance?
Temperance (reversed) – 9 of Cups – Tower (reversed)
The Wheel (reversed) – Justice (reversed) – 7 of Cups
10 of Wands (reversed) – 6 of Pentacles – The Moon (reversed)
Right away, some things stand out to me about this reading. The first is that Toby’s death was not an accident, nor was it something that was planned out well in advance. I think that something specific happened to cause someone to go after him. It reads like Toby witnessed something and then became collateral damage, basically. Another thing that stands out to me is that it isn’t a secret as to who is responsible here (Moon reversed), but they have not been held accountable legally for what they did regarding Toby (Justice reversed).
So now I will break this reading down. Temperance reversed shows there was some kind of conflict or occurrence that triggered all of this. There are a couple of cards that point to a power imbalance between Toby and the person responsible. There could have been recurring or ongoing discord between Toby and this person.
The Nine of Cups is not completely clear to me here. That is a positive card that points to a person’s wishes being fulfilled, or their goals being accomplished. Maybe this was a situation where the relationship between Toby and this person seemed like it would be a positive one, but if that’s the case then that sentiment likely did not last for long.
The Tower reversed tells me that something happened with the person responsible that was essentially a near-disaster type of situation for him. In these types of readings – especially ones where I feel confident there was some kind of foul play – the Tower reversed can indicate someone almost getting away with doing something bad. In my mind, I see this going down as Toby saw or caught this person doing something they shouldn’t, and this caused his situation to turn on him – as evidenced by the Wheel of Fortune reversed. There is this sense that circumstances were beyond Toby’s control. What I am trying to say is that the events did not turn because of something Toby did specifically; I think they turned because of something he might have witnessed or uncovered.
Justice reversed tells me that the individual that is responsible for Toby’s disappearance has not been held accountable, in a legal sense, for their actions. That is not to say that no one suspects him of being involved. The Moon reversed tells me that a lot of people suspect him of being involved. I don’t see a secret here as far as that is concerned – people know this person’s true nature at this point.
The Seven of Cups tells me that the person responsible for this lives in a fantasy world. This person thinks they have more options than they do, and they believe that whatever stories or lies they spin will be believed. This person is not grounded in reality, which could actually be a good thing in terms of getting to the bottom of this because he likely tells a lot of different stories and then forgets who he told what. This is the kind of person that would be susceptible to tricks like telling them there’s proof of what they did (without telling them what the evidence is or anything about it) and then sitting back to watch them trip on their own lies. He is someone who would likely start saying too much if he felt pressured and felt like whoever he was talking to somehow knew the truth.
The Ten of Wands reversed tells me that this person feels, deep down, as though they are resigned to their own fate. I think they worry they will be caught and kind of look at the situation as being one where it is only a matter of time before it happens. They might be surprised they’ve gotten away with it for this long.
The Six of Pentacles tells me this person used to – and potentially still does, but it’s hard to say because so many decades have passed – manipulate people and situations by creating an uneven power dynamic. Temperance reversed shows the existence of imbalances right from the start, and the Six of Pentacles is showing me someone who probably helped Toby in some way (financially, materially, or by providing shelter) with the knowledge that it would accomplish two goals. The first is it would make it easy to take advantage of people, in whatever way this person may have done that. And second, it made him look like a good person from afar – like a charitable and well-meaning person. Which is not even remotely the reality here.
The Moon reversed tells me a lot of different things. First, some of this person’s lies are already known. This isn’t someone that no one suspects. This is someone that many people already suspect. Second, there is an element of danger here because this person is really invested in getting away with whatever it is they did. There’s a negative energy that comes with this person. I understand that people might say…well, yes that’s because he did something terrible. But it’s deeper than that and I can’t put my finger on it. There’s a lot more to uncover about this person. Beyond just the situation with Toby. There’s more here.
Question: What circumstances caused Toby’s disappearance?
Queen of Swords (reversed) – 2 of Swords – The Wheel (reversed)
Card pulled for the Queen of Swords (r): Ace of Cups (reversed)
8 of Cups (reversed) – Tower (reversed) – Queen of Wands
Card pulled for the Queen of Wands: Chariot (reversed)
Queen of Cups – The Sun – 10 of Swords
Card pulled for the Queen of Cups: Strength
Asking the cards about the circumstances surrounding Toby’s disappearance has presented me with clarity on some issues, but more questions on others. The Queen of Swords reversed is telling me there is a female involved in this. I’m not saying the female did anything to Toby (that I can’t tell here), but there’s a female with information and knowledge about the events that transpired at the time of Toby’s disappearance. Something I am unsure about is the age of the person then, versus the age of the person now. Either way, this person wouldn’t have been known for things like honesty, good parenting skills, and productive communication. This is likely someone who probably experienced past trauma and had some very serious issues going on with them as a result. The Ace of Cups reversed tells me this person might have had issues with pregnancies, miscarriages, or infertility. They also probably exhibited signs of depression. There was (and maybe still is) a lot going on with this person.
The Two of Swords suggests that Toby was in a situation where at first, he might have been in a kind of denial about. I’m not getting the feeling he had a lot of options in his life at the time and so he might have felt stuck or trapped in a situation that he knew deep down was a bad one.
The Wheel reversed is appearing again in this reading and it reiterates to me that this change in fortune, which occurred regarding Toby, was caused by outside forces or influences – meaning Toby didn’t disappear of his own volition. Someone else made that happen.
The Eight of Cups reversed is suggesting that Toby was worried about leaving the situation and moving on. First, he is coming across as not feeling like he had a lot of other options. Second, I think he wanted to belong somewhere and was trying to make situations work that were already dysfunctional to begin with.
The Tower reversed appeared again. It’s definitely pointing to a situation where there was what was viewed as a near crisis event. In my mind, I keep thinking that he saw something. He witnessed something that would be extremely damaging and the whole situation was completely turned on him. I don’t know what the latter part means about the situation being turned on him, but that’s what I’m getting here.
The Queen of Wands suggests the presence of another person with adult and female energy in this situation. The Chariot reversed came up in connection with this person and it could represent a point of contention of conflict. I wonder if there was some kind of jealousy situation going on. Maybe a situation where Toby got attention from a female and that also created conflict between the person responsible and Toby. I don’t know. I am not sure what to make of this part. There seem to have been several underlying dynamics. Maybe this person helped cover something up after the fact. Hard to say here.
The Queen of Cups is coming across as a person that is trying to expose or uncover the identity of the person involved. Or someone who knows their identity and wants to make it known to others. Strength was pulled in relation to this person and that tells me they are not going to stop. They want justice and they aren’t going to be intimidated or deterred. Also, the Queen of Cups is someone who is highly intuitive – sometimes to the point of either being psychic or having underlying psychic-types of abilities – and they have strong feelings about what happened here – feelings that might be frustrating because it is hard to get others to fully take them seriously without concrete and solid proof. So if this person is looking for a way to find Toby, I would recommend considering what feelings and intuitions they have
The Sun is a positive sign in a reading like this. I think the person represented in the Queen’s position is trying to bring lies and wrongdoings into the light. It feels like their sheer determination may accomplish this, though it’s hard to say for sure here.
The Ten of Swords is not a positive sign for Toby in that it suggests he was betrayed, and that harm came to him. I don’t like to say that with absolute certainty in reference to readings, but it does really look like the outcome was not good for Toby unfortunately.