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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 The Chinese Boy and Girl by Isaac Taylor Headland:

Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes, telling the following story to the same little boy to whom she had repeated the "Mouse and the Candlestick." She told him that the Chinese call the Milky Way the Heavenly River, and that the Spinning Girl referred to in the story is none other than the beautiful big star in Lyra which we call Vega, while the Cow-herd is Altair in Aquila. THE HEAVENLY RIVER, WITH THE PEOPLE WHO DWELL THEREON.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:

together and mingled the one into the other at the seams. You will see tracts of leafless beeches of a faint yellowish grey, and leafless oaks a little ruddier in the hue. Then zones of pine of a solemn green; and, dotted among the pines, or standing by themselves in rocky clearings, the delicate, snow-white trunks of birches, spreading out into snow-white branches yet more delicate, and crowned and canopied with a purple haze of twigs. And then a long, bare ridge of tumbled boulders, with bright sand-breaks between them, and wavering sandy roads among the bracken and brown heather. It is all rather cold and unhomely. It has not the perfect beauty, nor the gem-like colouring, of the wood in the later year, when it is no more

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

get them to eat. In the midst of these ever-recurring cares, joys, and catastrophes, the only person neglected in the house is myself. If the children have been naughty, often I don't get rid of my curl-papers all day. Their tempers rule my toilet. As the price of a few minutes in which I write you these half-dozen pages, I have had to let them cut pictures out of my novels, build castles with books, chessmen, or mother-of-pearl counters, and give Nais my silks and wools to arrange in her own fashion, which, I assure you, is so complicated, that she is entirely absorbed in it, and has not uttered a word.

Yet I have nothing to complain of. My children are both strong and independent; they amuse themselves more easily then you would think.

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 Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

I knew that the word I brought would prove a splendid passport to Kaol, and I must admit that my caution was due more to my ardent desire to make my way into the city than to avoid a brush with the green men. As much as I enjoy a fight, I cannot always indulge myself, and just now I had more weighty matters to occupy my time than spilling the blood of strange warriors. Could I but win beyond the city's wall, there might be opportunity in the confusion and excitement which were sure to follow my announcement of an invading force of green warriors to find my


The Warlord of Mars