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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:

she persisted in running alone because she couldn't make up her mind to part with a few francs every month to a servant. It seemed to me that I was no longer such a favourite with her as I used to be. That, strange to say, was exasperating, too. It was as if some idea, some fruitful notion had killed in her all the softer and more humane emotions. She went about with brooms and dusters wearing an air of sanctimonious thoughtfulness.

The man who to a certain extent took my place in Therese's favour was the old father of the dancing girls inhabiting the ground floor. In a tall hat and a well-to-do dark blue overcoat he allowed himself to be button-holed in the hall by Therese who would


The Arrow of Gold
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from U. S. Project Trinity Report by Carl Maag and Steve Rohrer:

are well-known historical figures.

During the first two years of the Manhattan Project, work proceeded at a slow but steady pace. Significant technical problems had to be solved, and difficulties in the production of plutonium, particularly the inability to process large amounts, often frustrated the scientists. Nonetheless, by 1944 sufficient progress had been made to persuade the scientists that their efforts might succeed. A test of the plutonium implosion device was necessary to determine if it would work and what its effects would be. In addition, the scientists were concerned about the possible effects if the conventional explosives in a nuclear device, particularly the more complex implosion-type device,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte:

even the very best of them, faulty in this particular. They wanted that meek and quiet spirit, which St. Matthew, or some of them, says is better than the putting on of apparel - you will know the passage to which I allude, for you are a clergyman's daughter. But I have no doubt you will give satisfaction in this respect as well as the rest. And remember, on all occasions, when any of the young people do anything improper, if persuasion and gentle remonstrance will not do, let one of the others come and tell me; for I can speak to them more plainly than it would be proper for you to do. And make them as happy as you can, Miss Grey, and I dare say you will do very well.'


Agnes Grey
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 Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:

should redeem the world, should be without sin, and not by sin subject unto death.

"When he had lived thirty years among men, he was baptized in the river Jordan by John, an holy man, and great above all the prophets. And when he was baptized there came a voice from heaven, from God, even the Father, saying, `This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,' and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in likeness of a dove. From that time forth he began to do great signs and wonders, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, casting out devils, healing the lame and maim, cleansing lepers, and everywhere renewing our out-worn nature, instructing