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Today's Stichomancy for Leonard Cohen

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

1. BE friendly with each kindled log of fuel, with every flash bestow the boon of riches. Bring thou the Gods, O God, unto our worship: serve, well-inclined, as Friend thy friends, O Agni.

2 Agni whom daily Varuna and Mitra the Gods bring thrice a day to this our worship, Tanunapat, enrich with meath our service that dwells with holy


The Rig Veda
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hiero by Xenophon:

those of sleep.[11]

[7] Or, "if I may trust my powers of observation I would say that common men are capable of pains and pleasures conveyed through certain avenues of sense, as sight through our eyes, sounds through our ears, smells through our noses, and meats and drinks through our mouths."

[8] Cf. Cic. "de N. D." ii. 56, S. 141.

[9] Reading {edesthai te kai lupeisthai . . .} or if with Breit reading {ote d' au lupeisthai}, transl. "then as to good and evil we are affected pleasurably or painfully, as the case may be: sometimes, if I am right in my conclusion, through the mind itself

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Early Short Fiction of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton:

lied for you?"

"Lied for me? Why on earth should you have lied for either of us?"

"To save you--to hide you from her to the last! As I've hidden you from myself all these years!" She stood up with a sudden tragic import in her movement. "You believe me capable of that, don't you? If I had only guessed--but I have never known a girl like her; she had the truth out of me with a spring."

"The truth that you and I had never--"

"Had never--never in all these years! Oh, she knew why--she measured us both in a flash. She didn't suspect me of having

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 Heart of the West by O. Henry:

in the dumps.

"That's a first-rate scheme, Judge," he said, heartily. "Be a regular short-story vaudeville, won't it? I used to be correspondent for a paper in Springfield, and when there wasn't any news I faked it. Guess I can do my turn all right."

"I think the idea is charming," said the lady passenger, brightly. "It will be almost like a game."

Judge Menefee stepped forward and placed the apple in her hand impressively.

"In olden days," he said, orotundly, "Paris awarded the golden apple to the most beautiful."


Heart of the West