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Today's Stichomancy for Sean Astin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

which I was later to find distinguished them from all other trails that I ever have seen within or without the earth.

It would run on, plain and clear and well defined to end suddenly in the midst of a tangle of matted jungle, then Ja would turn directly back in his tracks for a little distance, spring into a tree, climb through it to the other side, drop onto a fallen log, leap over a low bush and alight once more upon a distinct trail which he would follow back for a short distance only to turn directly about and retrace his steps until after a mile or less this new pathway ended as suddenly and mysteriously as the former section.


At the Earth's Core
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:

by turning Jo's top drawer upside down on the floor. Everything was in its place, however, and after a hasty glance into her various closets, bags, and boxes, Jo decided that Amy had forgiven and forgotten her wrongs.

There Jo was mistaken, for next day she made a discovery which produced a tempest. Meg, Beth, and Amy were sitting together, late in the afternoon, when Jo burst into the room, looking excited and demanding breathlessly, "Has anyone taken my book?"

Meg and Beth said, "No." at once, and looked surprised. Amy poked the fire and said nothing. Jo saw her color rise and was down upon her in a minute.


Little Women
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The New Machiavelli by H. G. Wells:

'E keeps 'is side-arms awful: 'e leaves 'em all about An' then comes up the regiment an' pokes the 'eathen out. All along o' dirtiness, all along o' mess, All along o' doin' things rather-more-or-less, All along of abby-nay, kul, an' hazar-ho, Mind you keep your rifle an' yourself jus' so!"

It is after all a secondary matter that Kipling, not having been born and brought up in Bromstead and Penge, and the war in South Africa being yet in the womb of time, could quite honestly entertain the now remarkable delusion that England had her side-arms at that time kept anything but "awful." He learnt better, and we all learnt

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 Shadow out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft:

of aeons - which resembled these dark, cylindrical towers in basic architecture. Around all these aberrant piles of square-cut masonry there hovered an inexplicable aura of menace and concentrated fear, like that bred by the sealed trap-doors. The omnipresent gardens were almost terrifying in their strangeness, with bizarre and unfamiliar forms of vegetation nodding over broad paths lined with curiously carven monoliths. Abnormally vast fern-like growths predominated - some green, and some of a ghastly, fungoid pallor.

Among them rose great spectral things resembling calamites, whose bamboo-like trunks towered to fabulous heights. Then there


Shadow out of Time