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Today's Stichomancy for Ray Bradbury

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Elizabeth and her German Garden by Marie Annette Beauchamp:

worth having, we could wander about as we chose, for it was empty, and sit in the deep windows of rooms where there was no furniture, and the painted Venuses and cupids on the ceiling still smiled irrelevantly and stretched their futile wreaths above the emptiness beneath. And while we sat and rested, my father told me, as <64> my grandmother had a hundred times told him, all that had happened in those rooms in the far-off days when people danced and sang and laughed through life, and nobody seemed ever to be old or sorry.

There was, and still is, an inn within a stone's throw of the great iron gates, with two very old lime trees in front of it, where we used to lunch on our arrival at a little table spread


Elizabeth and her German Garden
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Profits of Religion by Upton Sinclair:

the name of Heaven in our State churches: these monstrous Threnodies which have been sung from time immemorial over kings and queens, good, bad, wicked, licentious. The State parson must bring out his commonplaces; his apparatus of rhetorical black-hanging......

And this, of course, applies not merely to kings of England, but to kings of Steel, kings of Coal, kings of Oil, kings of Wall Street. When a certain king of Western railroads died, a Methodist clergyman, afterwards Bishop, likened his heir to the boy Christ; a statement which requires for its appreciation a mention of the fact that this heir died of syphilis. In the year

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:

with thinking "It's been a very wonderful afternoon, so far. I'll just go quietly on and look about me, and I shouldn't wonder if I were to come across another Fairy somewhere."

Peering about in this way, I happened to notice a plant with rounded leaves, and with queer little holes cut in the middle of several of them. "Ah, the leafcutter bee!" I carelessly remarked--you know I am very learned in Natural History (for instance, I can always tell kittens from chickens at one glance)--and I was passing on, when a sudden thought made me stoop down and examine the leaves.

Then a little thrill of delight ran through me --for I noticed that the holes were all arranged so as to form letters; there were three leaves


Sylvie and Bruno
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 Allan Quatermain by H. Rider Haggard:

would allow.

'Oh, the hole in my back!' he yelled. 'I am murdered. I am dead. Oh, Annette!'

I searched again, but could see no wound. Then the truth dawned on me -- the man was frightened, not hurt.

'Get up!' I shouted, 'Get up. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You are not touched.'

Thereupon he rose, not a penny the worse. 'But, monsieur, I thought I was,' he said apologetically; 'I did not know that I had conquered.' Then, giving the body of the Masai a kick, he ejaculated triumphantly, 'Ah, dog of a black savage, thou


Allan Quatermain