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Today's Stichomancy for Muhammad Ali

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

where the five roads radiated. After what seemed an eternity to me, I reached the place and recognized it by groping across the entrances to the several corridors until I had counted five of them. In not one, however, showed the faintest sign of light.

I listened intently, but the naked feet of the green men sent back no guiding echoes, though presently I thought I detected the clank of side arms in the far distance of the middle corridor. Up this, then, I hastened, searching for the light, and stopping to listen occasionally for a repetition of the sound; but soon I was forced to admit that I must have been following a blind lead, as only darkness and silence rewarded my efforts.


The Gods of Mars
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:

stuck on the point of their bills, which is the hoodie-crow's particularly clever feat, of which he is as proud as a gipsy is of doing the hokany-baro; and what that is, I won't tell you.

And at last they brought out the prettiest, neatest young lady-crow that ever was seen, and set her in the middle, and all began abusing and vilifying, and rating, and bullyragging at her, because she had stolen no grouse-eggs, and had actually dared to say that she would not steal any. So she was to be tried publicly by their laws (for the hoodies always try some offenders in their great yearly parliament). And there she stood in the middle, in her black gown and gray hood, looking as meek and as neat as a

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:

going to speak in her interests as well as in those of Monsieur le comte."

Silence reigned for a moment, during which time everybody present, oppressed with anxiety, awaited the allocution of the venerable notary with unspeakable curiosity.

"In these days," continued Maitre Mathias, after a pause, "the profession of notary has changed from what it was. Political revolutions now exert an influence over the prospects of families, which never happened in former times. In those days existences were clearly defined; so were rank and position--"

"We are not here for a lecture on political ceremony, but to draw up a

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 Glasses by Henry James:

tide had ebbed I returned to America and to my interrupted work, which had opened out on such a scale that, with a deep plunge into a great chance, I was three good years in rising again to the surface. There are nymphs and naiads moreover in the American depths: they may have had something to do with the duration of my dive. I mention them to account for a grave misdemeanor--the fact that after the first year I rudely neglected Mrs. Meldrum. She had written to me from Florence after my mother's death and had mentioned in a postscript that in our young lady's calculations the lowest figures were now Italian counts. This was a good omen, and if in subsequent letters there was no news of a sequel I was