Who Hit Julia? – A Hit-and-Run Reading

This layout is a spin-off from my “Rogue’s Gallery” unsolved homicide spread, in which I’m using the Tower as the central “focus” card to signify a traumatic accident rather than Death, which symbolized a homicide in the original spread. I’m also using the 10 of Swords as the pointer or “finger” card because in many decks it graphically depicts the victim being left for dead on the side of the road; in the past I used the Ace of Swords (a cartomantic “death card”) as the pointer to identify the court card for the assailant. The four cards closest to the Tower are intended to indicate someone who lives or works near the scene of the accident and not – as before – someone known to the victim, while the outer ring of twelve cards portrays suspects who are situated farther away. The horoscopic compass-point for the  flagged “perpetrator” card purports to show the cardinal direction of the person’s usual base of operation (left is East, right is West, top is South and bottom is North, while the intermediary positions show the ordinal points ENE, NNE, etc). I’m using the Conver Ben-Dov Tarot de Marseille here, and this time I left the sixteen cards of the “gallery” face-down until “fingered” by the 10 of Swords.

Early in the morning on August 16 of this year, 19-year-old Julia West was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Woodbury Avenue in Portsmouth, NH. No suspect has been identified at this point in time, although the FBI has been brought in to work on the case.


All images copyright U.S. Games Systems, Inc, Stamford, CT

The 10 of Swords turned up in the outer ring, in the North-Northeast region of the layout, showing that the driver wasn’t a local resident. Woodbury Avenue is in the northern area of the city, such that any locations that are distant from the scene in a NNE direction would very likely be across the Piscataqua River in Maine. No information has been released yet regarding whether the vehicle’s license plate (as may have been caught on dim surveillance video) was a New Hampshire or Maine plate.

The court card beneath the 10 of Swords was the Valet de Deniers (Page of Pentacles). The traditional description for this card is a younger person (in my personal system, someone under 25) of either sex, most likely with dark hair and eyes and possibly a swarthy complexion. There were no other cards between the two, so there is no amplifying narrative to indicate whether there were extenuating circumstances (bad weather, poor visibility, driver incapacity, erratic pedestrian behavior, etc.) that led to the collision. The posture of the Valet gives the impression that the driver was distracted; in the past I’ve made a modernist assumption that the young person shown in the image could be gazing at a cellphone screen or texting, a common cause of distracted driving. The suit of Deniers suggests that it could have been a commercial transport or “service” vehicle of some kind and the driver was out on an early-morning assignment. Since any reputable business would have filed an accident report, I’m thinking it may have been an owner/operator “ridesharing” vehicle and the driver kept quiet about the incident. Earth colors are generally subdued (black, brown, dark green, etc.), which may help in identifying the vehicle, and the Valet could mean that it was a newer model and perhaps on the small side.

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