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Today's Stichomancy for Peter Gabriel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:

She dances in dreams over white-waved water; Her body is white and fragrant and cool, Magnolia petals that float on a white-starred pool . . . I have dreamed of her, dreaming for many nights Of a broken music and golden lights, Of broken webs of silver, heavily falling Between my hands and their white desire: And dark-leaved boughs, edged with a golden radiance, Dipping to screen a fire . . . I dream that I walk with her beneath high trees, But as I lean to kiss her face,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare:

To plague a private sin in general?

'Lo, here weeps Hecuba, here Priam dies, Here manly Hector faints, here Troilus swounds; Here friend by friend in bloody channel lies, And friend to friend gives unadvised wounds, And one man's lust these many lives confounds: Had doting Priam check'd his son's desire, Troy had been bright with fame and not with fire.'

Here feelingly she weeps Troy's painted woes: For sorrow, like a heavy-hanging bell, Once set on ringing, with his own weight goes;

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

in a place midway between the earth and the sky was suspended a gleaming crypt of gold and platinum, aglow with soft lights shed from the facets of countless gems. Within a high dome hung the precious Mantle of Immortality, and each immortal placed a hand on the hem of the splendid Robe and said, as with one voice:

"We bestow this Mantle upon Claus, who is called the Patron Saint of Children!"

At this the Mantle came away from its lofty crypt, and they carried it to the house in the Laughing Valley.

The Spirit of Death was crouching very near to the bedside of Claus, and as the immortals approached she sprang up and motioned them back


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
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 La Grande Breteche by Honore de Balzac:

Spaniard's clothes, which he had found under a big stone on a sort of breakwater along the river bank, nearly opposite la Grande Breteche. My husband went so early that no one saw him. After reading the letter, he burnt the clothes, and, in obedience to Count Feredia's wish, we announced that he had escaped.

" 'The sub-prefect set all the constabulary at his heels; but, pshaw! he was never caught. Lepas believed that the Spaniard had drowned himself. I, sir, have never thought so; I believe, on the contrary, that he had something to do with the business about Madame de Merret, seeing that Rosalie told me that the crucifix her mistress was so fond of that she had it buried with her, was made of ebony and silver; now


La Grande Breteche