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Today's Stichomancy for Michael Jackson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Somebody's Little Girl by Martha Young:

afraid. Bessie Bell knew how sorrowful it was to be afraid, so she stopped patting her hands and laughing,--for she didn't know why she had begun to do it--and she laid her hand again on the lady's hand, just because she knew how sorrowful it was to be afraid.

But Bessie Bell could not see anything to be afraid of: the band was playing just as gaily as ever, and the children, and the nurses, and the babies, and the parasols were as gay as ever.

``Whereis your mama?'' asked the lady, taking fast hold of the little hand that patted her hand.

``Everybody has a mama--never mind--''

``But where is your mama?'' asked the lady again.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Life in the Iron-Mills by Rebecca Davis:

himself, seeing as in a mirror his filthy body, his more stained soul.

Never! He had no words for such a thought, but he knew now, in all the sharpness of the bitter certainty, that between them there was a great gulf never to be passed. Never!

The bell of the mills rang for midnight. Sunday morning had dawned. Whatever hidden message lay in the tolling bells floated past these men unknown. Yet it was there. Veiled in the solemn music ushering the risen Saviour was a key-note to solve the darkest secrets of a world gone wrong,--even this social riddle which the brain of the grimy puddler grappled with


Life in the Iron-Mills
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from I Have A Dream by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out

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 Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:

and the Merchant appear later; also the 'crowds of people', and Death by Water is executed in Part IV. The Man with Three Staves (an authentic member of the Tarot pack) I associate, quite arbitrarily, with the Fisher King himself.

60. Cf. Baudelaire:

Fourmillante cité, cité pleine de rêves, Où le spectre en plein jour raccroche le passant.

63. Cf. INFERNO, iii. 55-7.

si lunga tratta

di gente, ch'io non avrei mai creduto che morte tanta n'avesse disfatta.


The Waste Land