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Today's Stichomancy for B. F. Skinner

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tom Sawyer Abroad by Mark Twain:

Then we heard a couple of terrible screams, and then another not so loud, and then another that was 'way below, and you could only JUST hear it; and I heard Jim say, "Po' Mars Tom!"

Then it was awful still, and I reckon a person could 'a' counted four thousand before the next flash come. When it come I see Jim on his knees, with his arms on the locker and his face buried in them, and he was crying. Before I could look over the edge it was all dark again, and I was glad, because I didn't want to see. But when the next flash come, I was watching,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:

mechanical employment.'

"I then looked about me for some modest appointment by which I might live. I was about to get the editorship of a paper under a manager who did not know much about it, a man of wealth and ambition, when I took fright. 'Would /she/ ever accept as her husband a man who had stooped so low?' I wondered.

"This reflection made me two-and-twenty again. But, oh, my dear Leopold, how the soul is worn by these perplexities! What must not the caged eagles suffer, and imprisoned lions!--They suffer what Napoleon suffered, not at Saint Helena, but on the Quay of the Tuileries, on the 10th of August, when he saw Louis XVI. defending


Albert Savarus
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from From London to Land's End by Daniel Defoe:

pass for a place of wealth, considering the bigness of it. Here, we found, the merchants began to trade in the pilchard-fishing, though not to so considerable a degree as they do farther west--the pilchards seldom coming up so high eastward as Portland, and not very often so high as Lyme.

It was in sight of these hills that Queen Elizabeth's fleet, under the command of the Lord Howard of Effingham (then Admiral), began first to engage in a close and resolved fight with the invincible Spanish Armada in 1588, maintaining the fight, the Spaniards making eastward till they came the length of Portland Race, where they gave it over--the Spaniards having received considerable damage,

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 Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:

fell in, when nearly starved, with our caravan of men, who were bringing us our annual supply of goods, and was brought on here. You should get him to tell you the story.'

When dinner was over we lit our pipes, and Sir Henry proceeded to give our host a description of our journey up here, over which he looked very grave.

'It is evident to me,' he said, 'that those rascally Masai are following you, and I am very thankful that you have reached this house in safety. I do not think that they will dare to attack you here. It is unfortunate, though, that nearly all my men have gone down to the coast with ivory and goods. There are


Allan Quatermain