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Today's Stichomancy for Ambrose Bierce

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Travels and Researches in South Africa by Dr. David Livingstone:

formerly alight@mercury.interpath.net). To assure a high quality text, the original was typed in (manually) twice and electronically compared. [Note on text: Italicized words or phrases are CAPITALIZED. Some obvious errors have been corrected.]

Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa. Also called, Travels and Researches in South Africa; or, Journeys and Researches in South Africa. By David Livingstone [British (Scot) Missionary and Explorer--1813-1873.]

David Livingstone was born in Scotland, received his medical degree from the University of Glasgow, and was sent to South Africa by the London Missionary Society. Circumstances led him to try to meet

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain:

spired together and hit upon a plan that promised a dazzling victory. They swore in the sign-painter's boy, told him the scheme, and asked his help. He had his own reasons for being delighted, for the master boarded in his father's family and had given the boy ample cause to hate him. The master's wife would go on a visit to the country in a few days, and there would be nothing to interfere with the plan; the master always pre- pared himself for great occasions by getting pretty well fuddled, and the sign-painter's boy said that when the dominie had reached the proper condition on Examina-


The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Antonia by Willa Cather:

and ardour. Still? Why, it flashed across me that though so much had happened in her life and in mine, she was barely twenty-four years old.

Antonia stuck her fork in the ground, and instinctively we walked toward that unploughed patch at the crossing of the roads as the fittest place to talk to each other. We sat down outside the sagging wire fence that shut Mr. Shimerda's plot off from the rest of the world. The tall red grass had never been cut there. It had died down in winter and come up again in the spring until it was as thick and shrubby as some tropical garden-grass. I found myself telling her everything: why I had decided to study law and to go into the law office of one of my mother's relatives in New York City; about Gaston Cleric's death


My Antonia
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 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:

the body of the poor seaman whom they had murdered in so cruel and barbarous a manner, he was not master of himself, neither could he govern his passion; he owned he should not have done so, as he was commander of the ship; but as he was a man, and nature moved him, he could not bear it. As for the rest of the men, they were not subject to me at all, and they knew it well enough; so they took no notice of my dislike. The next day we set sail, so we never heard any more of it. Our men differed in the account of the number they had killed; but according to the best of their accounts, put all together, they killed or destroyed about one hundred and fifty people, men, women, and children, and left not a house standing in


Robinson Crusoe