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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 Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger:

sixteen live-born children and had one miscarriage. The first child, a girl, married but separated from her husband....The fourth, fifth and sixth, all girls, died in infancy or early childhood. The seventh, a girl, remarried after the death of her husband, from whom she had been separated. The eighth, a boy who early in life began to exhibit criminal tendencies, was in prison for highway robbery and burglary. The ninth, a girl, normal mentally, was in quarantine at the Kansas State Industrial Farm at the time this study was made; she had lived with a man as his common-law wife, and had also been arrested several times for soliciting. The tenth, a boy, was involved in several delinquencies when young and was sent to the detention-house but did

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from McTeague by Frank Norris:

"He's done for her SURE this time."

"She said she could always manage--Oh-h! It's horrible."

"He's done for her sure this trip. Cut her throat. LORD, how she has BLED! Did you ever see so much-- that's murder--that's cold-blooded murder. He's killed her. Say, we must get a policeman. Come on."

They turned back through the house. Half a dozen people-- the wild-game peddler, the man with the broad-brimmed hat, the washwoman, and three other men--were in the front room of the junk shop, a bank of excited faces surged at the door. Beyond this, outside, the crowd was packed solid from


McTeague
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Extracts From Adam's Diary by Mark Twain:

riding through a flowery plain where thousands of animals were grazing, slumbering, or playing with each other, according to their wont, all of a sudden they broke into a tempest of frightful noises, and in one moment the plain was in a frantic commotion and every beast was destroying its neighbor. I knew what it meant--Eve had eaten that fruit, and death was come into the world. ... The tigers ate my horse, paying no attention when I ordered them to desist, and they would even have eaten me if I had stayed--which I didn't, but went away in much haste. ... I found this place, outside the Park, and was fairly comfortable for a few days, but she has found me out. Found me out, and has named the place

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 Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:

distinguished, to withdraw into obscurity is the way of Heaven.

10. 1. When the intelligent and animal souls are held together in one embrace, they can be kept from separating. When one gives undivided attention to the (vital) breath, and brings it to the utmost degree of pliancy, he can become as a (tender) babe. When he has cleansed away the most mysterious sights (of his imagination), he can become without a flaw.

2. In loving the people and ruling the state, cannot he proceed without any (purpose of) action? In the opening and shutting of his gates of heaven, cannot he do so as a female bird? While his intelligence reaches in every direction, cannot he (appear to) be