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Today's Stichomancy for Neil Gaiman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:

quite. You see that knot of sand and broken shell lying on the rock, where your Dahlia was one moment ago. Touch it, and you will find it leathery and elastic. That is all which remains of the live Dahlia. Never mind; get your finger into the crack under him, work him gently but firmly out, and take him home, and he will be as happy and as gorgeous as ever to-morrow.

Let your Actiniae stand for a day or two in the dish, and then, picking out the liveliest and handsomest, detach them once more from their hold, drop them into your vase, right them with a bit of stick, so that the sucking base is downwards, and leave them to themselves thenceforth.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:

and down, sometimes losing, sometimes finding the track until we were well within the edge of the wood and under the shadow of a great beech, the largest tree in the neighborhood. Holmes traced his way to the farther side of this and lay down once more upon his face with a little cry of satisfaction. For a long time he remained there, turning over the leaves and dried sticks, gathering up what seemed to me to be dust into an envelope and examining with his lens not only the ground but even the bark of the tree as far as he could reach. A jagged stone was lying among the moss, and this also he carefully examined and retained. Then he followed a pathway through the wood until he came to the


The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The United States Bill of Rights:

or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

II

A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

III No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers,

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 Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving:

Van Tassel, the daughter and only child of a substantial Dutch farmer. She was a booming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge; ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father's peaches, and universally famed, not merely for her beauty, but her vast expectations. She was withal a little of a coquette, as might be perceived even in her dress, which was a mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set of her charms. She wore the ornaments of pure yellow gold, which her great-great-grandmother had brought over from Saar dam; the tempting stomacher of the olden time, and withal a provokingly short petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow