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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:

A tower rose to the ceiling, halfway up appeared a window with a lamp burning in it, and behind the white curtain appeared Zara in a lovely blue and silver dress, waiting for Roderigo. He came in gorgeous array, with plumed cap, red cloak, chestnut lovelocks, a guitar, and the boots, of course. Kneeling at the foot of the tower, he sang a serenade in melting tones. Zara replied and, after a musical dialogue, consented to fly. Then came the grand effect of the play. Roderigo produced a rope ladder, with five steps to it, threw up one end, and invited Zara to descend. Timidly she crept from her lattice, put her hand on Roderigo's shoulder, and was about to leap gracfully down when "Alas! Alas for Zara!" she


Little Women
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary) by Dante Alighieri:

Whence I to question her became less prompt.

CANTO IV

Between two kinds of food, both equally Remote and tempting, first a man might die Of hunger, ere he one could freely choose. E'en so would stand a lamb between the maw Of two fierce wolves, in dread of both alike: E'en so between two deer a dog would stand, Wherefore, if I was silent, fault nor praise I to myself impute, by equal doubts Held in suspense, since of necessity


The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas:

that all you want?"

"Yes." Valentine rang the bell, and ordered the servant to tell Monsieur or Madame de Villefort that they were requested to come to M. Noirtier's room. "Are you satisfied now?" inquired Valentine.

"Yes."

"I am sure you are; it is not very difficult to discover that," -- and the young girl smiled on her grandfather, as if he had been a child. M. de Villefort entered, followed by Barrois. "What do you want me for, sir?" demanded he of the paralytic.


The Count of Monte Cristo
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 When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells:

with another great bequest. His trustees found themselves with a dozen myriads of lions'-worth or more of property at the very beginning."

"What was his name?"

"Graham."

"No, I mean--that American's."

"Isbister."

"Isbister!" cried Graham. "Why, I don't even know the name."

"Of course not," said the old man. "Of course not. People don't learn much in the schools nowadays.


When the Sleeper Wakes