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Today's Stichomancy for Alec Guinness

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Historical Lecturers and Essays by Charles Kingsley:

It was a fearful time which followed. I cannot but believe that our forefathers had been, in some way or other, great sinners, or two such conquests as Canute's and William's would not have fallen on them within the short space of sixty years. They did not want for courage, as Stamford Brigg and Hastings showed full well. English swine, their Norman conquerors called them often enough; but never English cowards. Their ruinous vice, if we are to trust the records of the time, was what the old monks called accidia--[Greek text]-- and ranked it as one of the seven deadly sins: a general careless, sleepy, comfortable habit of mind, which lets all go its way for good or evil--a habit of mind too often accompanied, as in the case

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

living, the created image of the eternal gods, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to make the copy still more like the original; and as this was eternal, he sought to make the universe eternal, so far as might be. Now the nature of the ideal being was everlasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fulness upon a creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity, and when he set in order the heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this image we call time. For there were no days and nights and months and years before the heaven was created, but when he constructed the heaven he created them also. They are all parts of time, and the past and future are created species of time, which we unconsciously

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley:

rhododendrons, and woolly incense-trees, where every leaf, as they brush past, dashes some fresh scent into their faces, and

"The winds, with musky wing, About the cedarn alleys fling Nard and cassia's balmy smells."

Now they open upon some craggy brow, from whence they can see far below an ocean of soft cloud, whose silver billows, girdled by the mountain sides, hide the lowland from their sight.

And from beneath the cloud strange voices rise; the screams of thousand night-birds, and wild howls, which they used at first to fancy were the cries of ravenous beasts, till they found them to

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 Poems by T. S. Eliot:

At a stroke our mad poetics to confute--" And--"Are we then so serious?"

La Figlia Che Piange

O quam te memorem Virgo ...

Stand on the highest pavement of the stair-- Lean on a garden urn-- Weave, weave the sunlight in your hair-- Clasp your flowers to you with a pained surprise-- Fling them to the ground and turn With a fugitive resentment in your eyes: