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Today's Stichomancy for Arthur E. Waite

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Men of Iron by Howard Pyle:

over the figure beneath. So he had ridden over the father at York, and so he rode over the son at Smithfield.

Myles, as he lay prostrate and half stunned by his fall, had seen his enemy thus driving his rearing horse down upon him, but was not able to defend himself. A fallen knight in full armor was utterly powerless to rise without assistance; Myles lay helpless in the clutch of the very iron that was his defence. He closed his eyes involuntarily, and then horse and rider were upon him. There was a deafening, sparkling crash, a glimmering faintness, then another crash as the horse was reined furiously back again, and then a humming stillness.

Men of Iron
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

The Purse

Mongenod The Seamy Side of History

Montauran, Marquis Alphonse de The Chouans

Nucingen, Baron Frederic de The Firm of Nucingen Father Goriot Pierrette Lost Illusions A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Phaedrus by Plato:

of which the philosopher is regarded as a stranger and monster upon the earth. The whole myth, like the other myths of Plato, describes in a figure things which are beyond the range of human faculties, or inaccessible to the knowledge of the age. That philosophy should be represented as the inspiration of love is a conception that has already become familiar to us in the Symposium, and is the expression partly of Plato's enthusiasm for the idea, and is also an indication of the real power exercised by the passion of friendship over the mind of the Greek. The master in the art of love knew that there was a mystery in these feelings and their associations, and especially in the contrast of the sensible and permanent which is afforded by them; and he sought to explain

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 The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy:

vindictive, so that from over-work and ill-usage the lot of the poor serfs was indeed a hard one.

There was a time when it was possible for the peasants, when driven to despair, to devise means whereby they could rid themselves of an inhuman monster such as Simeonovitch, and so these unfortunate people began to consider whether something could not be done to relieve THEM of their intolerable yoke. They would hold little meetings in secret places to bewail their misery and to confer with one another as to which would be the best way to act. Now and then the boldest of the gathering would rise and address his companions in this strain: "How much

The Kreutzer Sonata