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Today's Stichomancy for Lucy Liu

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Jungle by Upton Sinclair:

there was an agent who helped them, but he proved a scoundrel, and got them into a trap with some officials, and cost them a good deal of their precious money, which they clung to with such horrible fear. This happened to them again in New York--for, of course, they knew nothing about the country, and had no one to tell them, and it was easy for a man in a blue uniform to lead them away, and to take them to a hotel and keep them there, and make them pay enormous charges to get away. The law says that the rate card shall be on the door of a hotel, but it does not say that it shall be in Lithuanian.

It was in the stockyards that Jonas' friend had gotten rich, and so to Chicago the party was bound. They knew that one word, Chicago and that

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave by Frederick Douglass:

buys a large quantity; he returns, takes his whip, and commands the slave to eat the molasses, until the poor fellow is made sick at the very mention of it. The same mode is sometimes adopted to make the slaves refrain from asking for more food than their regular allowance. A slave runs through his allowance, and applies for more. His master is en- raged at him; but, not willing to send him off with- out food, gives him more than is necessary, and com- pels him to eat it within a given time. Then, if he complains that he cannot eat it, he is said to be


The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:

been any one like her for talking to. You could say anything-- you could say everything, and yet she was never servile. Here he pulled himself up, for it seemed to him suddenly that he knew less about her than about any one. All these thoughts had occurred to him many times already; often had he tried to argue and reason; and again he had reached the old state of doubt. He did not know her, and he did not know what she felt, or whether they could live together, or whether he wanted to marry her, and yet he was in love with her.

Supposing he went to her and said (he slackened his pace and began to speak aloud, as if he were speaking to Rachel):

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 Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:

What was in front is now behind; What warmed anon we freezing find. Strength is of weakness oft the spoil; The store in ruins mocks our toil.

Hence the sage puts away excessive effort, extravagance, and easy indulgence.

30. 1. He who would assist a lord of men in harmony with the Tao will not assert his mastery in the kingdom by force of arms. Such a course is sure to meet with its proper return.

2. Wherever a host is stationed, briars and thorns spring up. In the sequence of great armies there are sure to be bad years.