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Today's Stichomancy for Douglas MacArthur

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Republic by Plato:

are one or more than one. Number replies that they are two and not one, and are to be distinguished from one another. Again, the sight beholds great and small, but only in a confused chaos, and not until they are distinguished does the question arise of their respective natures; we are thus led on to the distinction between the visible and intelligible. That was what I meant when I spoke of stimulants to the intellect; I was thinking of the contradictions which arise in perception. The idea of unity, for example, like that of a finger, does not arouse thought unless involving some conception of plurality; but when the one is also the opposite of one, the contradiction gives rise to reflection; an example of this is afforded by any object of sight. All number has also an elevating


The Republic
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:

time at a great altitude, far among the mountains, with the snow piled before his door and the frost flowers every morning on his window. The mere fact is tonic to his nerves. His choice of a place of wintering has somehow to his own eyes the air of an act of bold contract; and, since he has wilfully sought low temperatures, he is not so apt to shudder at a touch of chill. He came for that, he looked for it, and he throws it from him with the thought.

A long straight reach of valley, wall-like mountains upon either hand that rise higher and higher and shoot up new summits the higher you climb; a few noble peaks seen even from the valley; a village of hotels; a world of black and white - black pine-woods, clinging to

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

about 1206.

CANTO V

v. 5. Grinning with ghastly feature.] Hence Milton: Death Grinn'd horrible a ghastly smile. P. L. b. ii. 845.

v. 46. As cranes.] This simile is imitated by Lorenzo de Medici, in his Ambra, a poem, first published by Mr. Roscoe, in the Appendix to his Life of Lorenzo. Marking the tracts of air, the clamorous cranes Wheel their due flight in varied ranks descried:


The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)
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 Animal Farm by George Orwell:

hedge, rushed out and pecked viciously at the calves of their legs. However, this was only a light skirmishing manoeuvre, intended to create a little disorder, and the men easily drove the geese off with their sticks. Snowball now launched his second line of attack. Muriel, Benjamin, and all the sheep, with Snowball at the head of them, rushed forward and prodded and butted the men from every side, while Benjamin turned around and lashed at them with his small hoofs. But once again the men, with their sticks and their hobnailed boots, were too strong for them; and suddenly, at a squeal from Snowball, which was the signal for retreat, all the animals turned and fled through the gateway into the yard.

The men gave a shout of triumph. They saw, as they imagined, their enemies


Animal Farm