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Today's Stichomancy for Alanis Morissette

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Complete Angler by Izaak Walton:

dwells in winter; nor what he is good for in summer, but only to make sport for boys and women-anglers, and to feed other fish that be fish of prey, as Trouts in particular, who will bite at him as at a Penk; and better, if your hook be rightly baited with him, for he may be so baited as, his tail turning like the sail of a wind-mill, will make him turn more quick than any Penk or Minnow can. For note, that the nimble turning of that, or the Minnow is the perfection of Minnow-fishing. To which end, if you put your hook into his mouth, and out at his tail; and then, having first tied him with white thread a little above his tail, and placed him after such a manner on your hook as he is like to turn then sew up his mouth to your line, and he is like to turn quick, and tempt any

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Philebus by Plato:

third which is neither.

PROTARCHUS: Very good.

SOCRATES: Now, can that which is neither be either gold or silver?

PROTARCHUS: Impossible.

SOCRATES: No more can that neutral or middle life be rightly or reasonably spoken or thought of as pleasant or painful.

PROTARCHUS: Certainly not.

SOCRATES: And yet, my friend, there are, as we know, persons who say and think so.

PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

SOCRATES: And do they think that they have pleasure when they are free

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Simple Soul by Gustave Flaubert:

river in the ruins of a pig-sty. The urchins peeped at him through the cracks in the walls and threw stones that fell on his miserable bed, where he lay gasping with catarrh, with long hair, inflamed eyelids, and a tumour as big as his head on one arm.

She got him some linen, tried to clean his hovel and dreamed of installing him in the bake-house without his being in Madame's way. When the cancer broke, she dressed it every day; sometimes she brought him some cake and placed him in the sun on a bundle of hay; and the poor old creature, trembling and drooling, would thank her in his broken voice, and put out his hands whenever she left him. Finally he died; and she had a mass said for the repose of his soul.


A Simple Soul
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Emma by Jane Austen:

as made her say to Harriet, as they walked away,

"These are the sights, Harriet, to do one good. How trifling they make every thing else appear!--I feel now as if I could think of nothing but these poor creatures all the rest of the day; and yet, who can say how soon it may all vanish from my mind?"

"Very true," said Harriet. "Poor creatures! one can think of nothing else."

"And really, I do not think the impression will soon be over," said Emma, as she crossed the low hedge, and tottering footstep which ended the narrow, slippery path through the cottage garden, and brought them into the lane again. "I do not think it will,"


Emma