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Today's Stichomancy for Lewis Carroll

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:

Afterwards I took it back when it was borne in upon me startlingly with what extreme nicety he had estimated the time requisite for the `affair.'

"I went to work the next day, turning, so to speak, my back on that station. In that way only it seemed to me I could keep my hold on the redeeming facts of life. Still, one must look about sometimes; and then I saw this station, these men strolling aimlessly about in the sunshine of the yard. I asked myself sometimes what it all meant. They wandered here and there with their absurd long staves in their hands, like a lot of faithless pilgrims bewitched inside a rotten fence.


Heart of Darkness
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift:

be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.

A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased, in discoursing on this matter, to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said, that many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well supply'd by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age, nor under twelve; so great a number of both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of


A Modest Proposal
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Schoolmistress and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov:

it I studied, worked, sat up at night, neglected my meals. And I fancy, as far as I can judge without partiality, I had all the natural gifts for attaining it. To begin with, I am an engineer by profession. In the course of my life I have built in Russia some two dozen magnificent bridges, I have laid aqueducts for three towns; I have worked in Russia, in England, in Belgium. . . . Secondly, I am the author of several special treatises in my own line. And thirdly, my dear sir, I have from a boy had a weakness for chemistry. Studying that science in my leisure hours, I discovered methods of obtaining certain organic acids, so that you will find my name in all the foreign manuals of


The Schoolmistress and Other Stories
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 Padre Ignacio by Owen Wister:

inheritance came to me the acquaintance of many people whose names you would be likely to have heard of. Cities, people of fashion, artists--the whole of it was my element and my choice; and by-and-by I married, not only where it was desirable, but where I loved. Then for the first time Death laid his staff upon my enchantment, and I understood many things that had been only words to me hitherto. To have been a husband for a year, and a father for a moment, and in that moment to lose all--this unblinded me. Looking back, it seemed to me that I had never done anything except for myself all my days. I left the world. In due time I became a priest and lived in my own country. But my worldly experience and my secular education had given to my opinions a turn too liberal for the