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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 A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:

For though I am much for people flying away and emptying such a town as this upon the first appearance of a like visitation, and that all people who have any possible retreat should make use of it in time and be gone, yet I must say, when all that will fly are gone, those that are left and must stand it should stand stock-still where they are, and not shift from one end of the town or one part of the town to the other; for that is the bane and mischief of the whole, and they carry the plague from house to house in their very clothes.

Wherefore were we ordered to kill all the dogs and cats, but because as they were domestic animals, and are apt to run from house to house and from street to street, so they are capable of carrying the effluvia or


A Journal of the Plague Year
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen:

Thomas might settle it all himself. He would be at home in September, and where would be the harm of only waiting till September?

Though Edmund was much more displeased with his aunt than with his mother, as evincing least regard for her niece, he could not help paying more attention to what she said; and at length determined on a method of proceeding which would obviate the risk of his father's thinking he had done too much, and at the same time procure for Fanny the immediate means of exercise, which he could not bear she should be without. He had three horses of his own,


Mansfield Park
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Gorgias by Plato:

every other earthly conflict. And I retort your reproach of me, and say, that you will not be able to help yourself when the day of trial and judgment, of which I was speaking, comes upon you; you will go before the judge, the son of Aegina, and, when he has got you in his grip and is carrying you off, you will gape and your head will swim round, just as mine would in the courts of this world, and very likely some one will shamefully box you on the ears, and put upon you any sort of insult.

Perhaps this may appear to you to be only an old wife's tale, which you will contemn. And there might be reason in your contemning such tales, if by searching we could find out anything better or truer: but now you see that you and Polus and Gorgias, who are the three wisest of the Greeks of

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 Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"'T is the heaven of flowers you see there; All the wild-flowers of the forest, All the lilies of the prairie, When on earth they fade and perish, Blossom in that heaven above us." When he heard the owls at midnight, Hooting, laughing in the forest, 'What is that?" he cried in terror, "What is that," he said, "Nokomis?" And the good Nokomis answered: "That is but the owl and owlet,