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Today's Stichomancy for Neal Stephenson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Rig Veda:

us, beside the juice.

9 O Caster of the Stone, nor Gods nor mortals have attained to thee. Thou in thy might surpassest all that hath been made: the Gods have not attained to thee.

10 Of one accord they made and formed for kingship Indra, the Hero who in all encounters overcometh, Most eminent for power, destroyer in the conflict, fierce and


The Rig Veda
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Britain by Washington Irving:

Wagstaff principally prides himself upon is, that Henry the Eighth, in one of his nocturnal rambles, broke the head of one of his ancestors with his famous walking-staff. This, however, is considered as a rather dubious and vainglorious boast of the landlord.

The club which now holds its weekly sessions here goes by the name of "The Roaring Lads of Little Britain." They abound in old catches, glees, and choice stories, that are traditional in the place, and not to be met with in any other part of the metropolis. There is a madcap undertaker who is

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Poems by T. S. Eliot:

"Remark the cat which flattens itself in the gutter, Slips out its tongue And devours a morsel of rancid butter." So the hand of the child, automatic, Slipped out and pocketed a toy that was running along the quay. I could see nothing behind that child's eye. I have seen eyes in the street Trying to peer through lighted shutters, And a crab one afternoon in a pool, An old crab with barnacles on his back,

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 Maid Marian by Thomas Love Peacock:

truly I might have guessed before that the bold outlaw Robin, the most courteous Robin, the new thief of Sherwood Forest, was your lover, the earl that has been: I might have guessed it before, and what led you so much to the woods; but you hunt no more in such company. No more May games and Gamwell feasts. My lands and castle would be the forfeit of a few more such pranks; and I think they are as well in my hands as the king's, quite as well."

"You know, father," said Matilda, "the condition of keeping me at home: I get out if I can, and not on parole."

"Ay! ay!" said the baron, "if you can; very true: