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Today's Stichomancy for Rene Magritte

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

no additional strangulation; the noose about his neck was already suffocating him and kept the water from his lungs. To die of hanging at the bottom of a river! -- the idea seemed to him ludicrous. He opened his eyes in the darkness and saw above him a gleam of light, but how distant, how inaccessible! He was still sinking, for the light became fainter and fainter until it was a mere glimmer. Then it began to grow and brighten, and he knew that he was rising toward the surface -- knew it with reluctance, for he was now very comfortable. "To be hanged and drowned," he thought, "that is not so bad; but I do not wish to be shot. No; I

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Merry Men by Robert Louis Stevenson:

thrown back, he dreamed a series of sunny visions, ale and pleasure dancing in his veins. At last he spoke.

'I shall telegraph for Casimir,' he said. 'Good Casimir! a fellow of the lower order of intelligence, Jean-Marie, distinctly not creative, not poetic; and yet he will repay your study; his fortune is vast, and is entirely due to his own exertions. He is the very fellow to help us to dispose of our trinkets, find us a suitable house in Paris, and manage the details of our installation. Admirable Casimir, one of my oldest comrades! It was on his advice, I may add, that I invested my little fortune in Turkish bonds; when we have added these spoils of the mediaeval church to

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Parmenides by Plato:

older and the other younger; but they are no longer becoming so.


And the one which is does not therefore become either older or younger than the others which are.


But consider whether they may not become older and younger in another way.

In what way?

Just as the one was proven to be older than the others and the others than the one.

And what of that?

If the one is older than the others, has come into being a longer time than

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 Jolly Corner by Henry James:

"Oh you're a person whom nothing can have altered. You were born to be what you are, anywhere, anyway: you've the perfection nothing else could have blighted. And don't you see how, without my exile, I shouldn't have been waiting till now - ?" But he pulled up for the strange pang.

"The great thing to see," she presently said, "seems to me to be that it has spoiled nothing. It hasn't spoiled your being here at last. It hasn't spoiled this. It hasn't spoiled your speaking - " She also however faltered.

He wondered at everything her controlled emotion might mean. "Do you believe then - too dreadfully! - that I AM as good as I might