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Today's Stichomancy for Jonas Salk

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

his finger upon a second button, the propellers whirred as his hand drew back the speed lever, and Carthoris, Prince of Helium, was off into the gorgeous Martian night beneath the hurtling moons and the million stars.

Scarce had the flier found its speed ere the man, wrapping his sleeping silks and furs about him, stretched at full length upon the narrow deck to sleep.

But sleep did not come at once at his bidding.

Instead, his thoughts ran riot in his brain, driving sleep away. He recalled the words of Thuvia of Ptarth, words that had half assured him that she loved him; for when he had asked her if she


Thuvia, Maid of Mars
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin by Robert Louis Stevenson:

he had worked so devotedly for eight years became part of general knowledge in the engineering profession.

Jenkin's scientific activity continued without abatement to the end. For the last two years of his life he was much occupied with a new mode of electric locomotion, a very remarkable invention of his own, to which he gave the name of 'Telpherage.' He persevered with endless ingenuity in carrying out the numerous and difficult mechanical arrangements essential to the project, up to the very last days of his work in life. He had completed almost every detail of the realisation of the system which was recently opened for practical working at Glynde, in Sussex, four months after his

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

thought of the village street at home before the arrival of the circus parade on a day in the spring. He remembered how he had stood, a small, thrillful boy, prepared to follow the dingy lady upon the white horse, or the band in its faded chariot. He saw the yellow road, the lines of expectant people, and the sober houses. He particularly remembered an old fellow who used to sit upon a cracker box in front of the store and feign to despise such exhibitions. A thousand details of color and form surged in his


The Red Badge of Courage
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 Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:

passages, much obstructed by an inconvenient husband to whom a dozen times D'Artagnan had made a pretence of passing a sword through his body, that husband had disappeared one fine morning, after furtively selling certain choice lots of wine, carrying away with him money and jewels. He was thought to be dead; his wife, especially, who cherished the pleasing idea that she was a widow, stoutly maintained that death had taken him. Therefore, after the connection had continued three years, carefully fostered by D'Artagnan, who found his bed and his mistress more agreeable every year, each doing credit to the other, the mistress conceived the


Twenty Years After