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Today's Stichomancy for Mikhail Gorbachev

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from The Reef by Edith Wharton:

and shamed her to detect a new element in her love for him: a sort of suspicious tyrannical tenderness that seemed to deprive it of all serenity. Finally he looked up, his smile enveloped her, and she felt herself his in every fibre, his so completely and inseparably that she saw the vanity of imagining any other fate for herself.

To give herself a countenance she held out Owen's letter. He took it and glanced down the page, his face grown grave. She waited nervously till he looked up.

"That's a good plan; the best thing that could happen," he said, a just perceptible shade of constraint in his tone.

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from Maria, or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft:

the only way to justify the dispensations of Providence. I have not," continued Darnford, "an opinion more firmly fixed by observation in my mind, than that, though riches may fail to produce proportionate happiness, poverty most commonly excludes it, by shutting up all the avenues to improvement."

"And as for the affections," added Maria, with a sigh, "how gross, and even tormenting do they become, unless regulated by an improving mind! The culture of the heart ever, I believe, keeps pace with that of the mind. But pray go on," addressing Jemima, "though your narrative gives rise to the most painful reflections on the present state of society."

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from The Talisman by Walter Scott:

faithfully, as if I were his born vassal--understanding, that beyond this simple act of service, which I will render with fidelity, from me of all men he can least expect mediation or advice in this his strange love-suit."

"Saladin is noble," answered the Emir, "and will not spur a generous horse to a leap which he cannot achieve. Come with me to my tent," he added, "and thou shalt be presently equipped with a disguise as unsearchable as midnight, so thou mayest walk the camp of the Nazarenes as if thou hadst on thy finger the signet of Giaougi." [Perhaps the same with Gyges.]

CHAPTER XXIV