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Today's Stichomancy for Franz Kafka

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Collection of Antiquities by Honore de Balzac:

borne against him by one du Croisier, an enemy of the King's government. It is a regular topsy-turvy affair. The President, for his part, goes away, and thereby puts a stop to the preliminary examination! And we know nothing of the matter. Do they, by any chance, mean to force our hand?"

"This is the first word I have heard of it," said the Vice-President. He was furious with the President for stealing a march on him with the Blandureaus. Chesnel's successor, the du Roncerets' man, had just fallen into a snare set by the old judge; the truth was out, he knew the secret.

"It is lucky that we spoke to you about the matter, my dear master,"

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tour Through Eastern Counties of England by Daniel Defoe:

scandalous women, and the like.

But as the colleges are many, and the gentlemen entertained in them are a very great number, the trade of the town very much depends upon them, and the tradesmen may justly be said to get their bread by the colleges; and this is the surest hold the university may be said to have of the townsmen, and by which they secure the dependence of the town upon them, and consequently their submission.

I remember some years ago a brewer, who being very rich and popular in the town, and one of their magistrates, had in several things so much opposed the university, and insulted their vice-chancellor, or

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from On Revenues by Xenophon:

lies imbedded by nature an unstinted store of marble, out of which are chiselled[4] temples and altars of rarest beauty and the glittering splendour of images sacred to the gods. This marble, moreover, is an obejct of desire to many foreigners, Hellenes and barbarians alike. Then there is land which, although it yields no fruit to the sower, needs only to be quarried in order to feed many times more mouths than it could as corn-land. Doubtless we owe it to a divine dispensation that our land is veined with silver; if we consider how many neighbouring states lie round us by land and sea and yet into none of them does a single thinnest vein of silver penetrate.

[3] Lit. "those good things which the gods afford in their seasons."

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 School For Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan:

a Friend whom one can trust even with one's Family secrets-- but have you no guess who I mean?

SURFACE. I haven't the most distant Idea--it can't be Sir Benjamin Backbite.

SIR PETER. O--No. What say you to Charles?

SURFACE. My Brother--impossible!--O no Sir Peter you mustn't credit the scandalous insinuations you hear--no no--Charles to be sure has been charged with many things but go I can never think He would meditate so gross an injury--

SIR PETER. Ah! my dear Friend--the goodness of your own Heart misleads you--you judge of others by yourself.