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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Goedel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson:

unflecked with vapour, the sea fogs were pouring in from seaward, over the hilltops of Marin county, in one great, shapeless, silver cloud.

South Vallejo is typical of many Californian towns. It was a blunder; the site has proved untenable; and, although it is still such a young place by the scale of Europe, it has already begun to be deserted for its neighbour and namesake, North Vallejo. A long pier, a number of drinking saloons, a hotel of a great size, marshy pools where the frogs keep up their croaking, and even at high noon the entire absence of any human face or voice - these are the marks of South

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:

and cursed the destiny that had flung the shame of a dismembered empire upon him.

"Would to God," cried he, hardly repressing his tears of rage, "that the rebels were even now at the doorstep! A blood-stain upon the floor should then bear testimony that the last British ruler was faithful to his trust."

The tremulous voice of a woman replied to his exclamation.

"Heaven's cause and the King's are one," it said. "Go forth, Sir William Howe, and trust in Heaven to bring back a Royal Governor in triumph."

Subduing, at once, the passion to which he had yielded only in


Twice Told Tales
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

Beneath him, as unconscious of his presence as were the Abyssinians before and behind him, rode Albert Werper, while the ape-man scrutinized the Belgian for some sign of the pouch which he had stolen.

As the Abyssinians rode toward the south, a giant figure hovered ever upon their trail--a huge, almost naked white man, who carried the bloody carcass of a deer upon his shoulders, for Tarzan knew that he might not have another opportunity to hunt for some time if he were to follow the Belgian.

To endeavor to snatch him from the midst of the armed


Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
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 Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:

that I ought to give you as much knowledge of my character as I possess. In this scrap-book is such testimony relating to my shady side, as I have within the past ten years been able to cut from the columns of my competitors in the business of elevating humanity to a higher plane of mind and morals - my 'loathsome contemporaries.'"

Laying the book on a table, he withdrew in high spirits to make arrangements for the wedding. Three days later he received the scrap-book from a messenger, with a note warning him never again to darken his Old Friend's door.

"See!" the Gifted and Honourable Editor exclaimed, pointing to that injunction - "I am a painter and grainer!"


Fantastic Fables