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Today's Stichomancy for Robert A. Heinlein

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde:

door behind him and fastening it with an iron chain.

And on the morrow the old man, who was indeed the subtlest of the magicians of Libya and had learned his art from one who dwelt in the tombs of the Nile, came in to him and frowned at him, and said, 'In a wood that is nigh to the gate of this city of Giaours there are three pieces of gold. One is of white gold, and another is of yellow gold, and the gold of the third one is red. To-day thou shalt bring me the piece of white gold, and if thou bringest it not back, I will beat thee with a hundred stripes. Get thee away quickly, and at sunset I will be waiting for thee at the door of the garden. See that thou bringest the white gold, or it shall go

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Call of the Wild by Jack London:

months of toil. There was no power of recuperation left, no reserve strength to call upon. It had been all used, the last least bit of it. Every muscle, every fibre, every cell, was tired, dead tired. And there was reason for it. In less than five months they had travelled twenty-five hundred miles, during the last eighteen hundred of which they had had but five days' rest. When they arrived at Skaguay they were apparently on their last legs. They could barely keep the traces taut, and on the down grades just managed to keep out of the way of the sled.

"Mush on, poor sore feets," the driver encouraged them as they tottered down the main street of Skaguay. "Dis is de las'. Den we

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

the wealth-bestowing Agni.

7 Now and of old the home of wealth, the mansion of what is born and what was born aforetime, Guard of what is and what will be hereafter,-the Gods possessed the wealth bestowing Agni.

8 May the Wealth-Giver grant us conquering riches; may the Wealth-Giver grant us wealth with heroes. May the Wealth-Giver grant us food with offspring, and length


The Rig Veda
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 Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy:

and she continued: "Ah! you don't know how differently he appeared when I first met him, though it is such a little while ago. His hands were as white and soft as mine; and look at them now, how rough and brown they are! His complexion is by nature fair, and that rusty look he has now, all of a colour with his leather clothes, is caused by the burning of the sun."

"Why does he go out at all!" Wildeve whispered.

"Because he hates to be idle; though what he earns doesn't add much to our exchequer. However, he says that when people are living upon their capital they must


Return of the Native