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Today's Stichomancy for Rudi Bakhtiar

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Walden by Henry David Thoreau:

and hear the free wind blow on them; so much more interesting most familiar objects look out of doors than in the house. A bird sits on the next bough, life-everlasting grows under the table, and blackberry vines run round its legs; pine cones, chestnut burs, and strawberry leaves are strewn about. It looked as if this was the way these forms came to be transferred to our furniture, to tables, chairs, and bedsteads -- because they once stood in their midst. My house was on the side of a hill, immediately on the edge of the larger wood, in the midst of a young forest of pitch pines and hickories, and half a dozen rods from the pond, to which a narrow footpath led down the hill. In my front yard grew the strawberry,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Paradise Lost by John Milton:

Inductive mainly to the sin of Eve. Therefore so abject is their punishment, Disfiguring not God's likeness, but their own; Or if his likeness, by themselves defaced; While they pervert pure Nature's healthful rules To loathsome sickness; worthily, since they God's image did not reverence in themselves. I yield it just, said Adam, and submit. But is there yet no other way, besides These painful passages, how we may come To death, and mix with our connatural dust?

Paradise Lost
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad:

how to dance. The dust rose in clouds from the sanded floor; he leaped straight up amongst the deal tables, struck his heels together, squatted on one heel in front of old Preble, shooting out the other leg, uttered wild and exulting cries, jumped up to whirl on one foot, snapping his fingers above his head--and a strange carter who was having a drink in there began to swear, and cleared out with his half-pint in his hand into the bar. But when sud- denly he sprang upon a table and continued to dance among the glasses, the landlord interfered.

Amy Foster
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 Mad King by Edgar Rice Burroughs:


And amid the din of cheering that followed, Barney Custer of Beatrice and Lieutenant Butzow of the Royal Horse rode out into the night upon the road to Tafelberg.

When Peter of Blentz had escaped from the cathedral he had hastily mounted with a handful of his followers and hurried out of Lustadt along the road toward his formidable fortress at Blentz. Half way upon the journey he had met a dusty and travel-stained horseman hastening toward the capital city that Peter and his lieutenants had just left.

At sight of the prince regent the fellow reined in and

The Mad King