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Today's Stichomancy for Clive Barker

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift:

hunts the noisy long-eared animal. So Wotton fled, so Boyle pursued. But Wotton, heavy-armed, and slow of foot, began to slack his course, when his lover Bentley appeared, returning laden with the spoils of the two sleeping Ancients. Boyle observed him well, and soon discovering the helmet and shield of Phalaris his friend, both which he had lately with his own hands new polished and gilt, rage sparkled in his eyes, and, leaving his pursuit after Wotton, he furiously rushed on against this new approacher. Fain would he be revenged on both; but both now fled different ways: and, as a woman in a little house that gets a painful livelihood by spinning, if chance her geese be scattered o'er the common, she courses round

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

'if you believe that love is of the immortal, as we have several times acknowledged; for here again, and on the same principle too, the mortal nature is seeking as far as is possible to be everlasting and immortal: and this is only to be attained by generation, because generation always leaves behind a new existence in the place of the old. Nay even in the life of the same individual there is succession and not absolute unity: a man is called the same, and yet in the short interval which elapses between youth and age, and in which every animal is said to have life and identity, he is undergoing a perpetual process of loss and reparation--hair, flesh, bones, blood, and the whole body are always changing. Which is true not only of the body, but also of the soul, whose habits, tempers, opinions,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Touchstone by Edith Wharton:

smoothed them out his own countenance seemed to undergo the same process. He ran his eye down the list of stocks and Flamel's importunate personality receded behind the rows of figures pushing forward into notice like so many bearers of good news. Glennard's investments were flowering like his garden: the dryest shares blossomed into dividends, and a golden harvest awaited his sickle.

He glanced at his wife with the tranquil air of the man who digests good luck as naturally as the dry ground absorbs a shower. "Things are looking uncommonly well. I believe we shall be able to go to town for two or three months next winter if we can find something cheap."

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 New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Walk by me for a while, Link-armed the ways they travel For many a pleasant mile - Link-armed and dumb they travel, They sing not, but they smile.

Hope leaving, Love commences To practise on the lute; And as he sings and travels With lingering, laggard foot, Despair plays obligato The sentimental flute.