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Today's Stichomancy for Steve Martin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

heart had been heavy with an inactive sorrow; now there was a change in the quality of its trouble. That hunger for affection too long withheld was for the time displaced by an almost physical sense of an implacable past which still engirdled her. It intensified her consciousness of error to a practical despair; the break of continuity between her earlier and present existence, which she had hoped for, had not, after all, taken place. Bygones would never be complete bygones till she was a bygone herself.

Thus absorbed she recrossed the northern part of


Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Some Reminiscences by Joseph Conrad:

necessary, or put, perchance, into their heads the doubt of one's discretion? So much as to the care due to those friends whom a word here, a line there, a fortunate page of just feeling in the right place, some happy simplicity, or even some lucky subtlety, has drawn from the great multitude of fellow-beings even as a fish is drawn from the depths of the sea. Fishing is notoriously (I am talking now of the deep sea) a matter of luck. As to one's enemies, those will take care of themselves.

There is a gentleman, for instance, who, metaphorically speaking, jumps upon me with both feet. This image has no grace, but it is exceedingly apt to the occasion--to the several occasions. I


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

Jonah 1: 9 And he said unto them: 'I am an Hebrew; and I fear the LORD, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land.'

Jonah 1: 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him: 'What is this that thou hast done?' For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the LORD, because he had told them.

Jonah 1: 11 Then said they unto him: 'What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us?' for the sea grew more and more tempestuous.

Jonah 1: 12 And he said unto them: 'Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.'

Jonah 1: 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not; for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.

Jonah 1: 14 Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said: 'We beseech Thee, O LORD, we beseech Thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for Thou, O LORD, hast done as it pleased Thee.'

Jonah 1: 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging.

Jonah 1: 16 Then the men feared the LORD exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto the LORD, and made vows.

Jonah 1: 17 (2:1) And the LORD prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2: 1 (2:2) Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly.


The Tanach
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 Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde:

accident?"

"It is quite evident that you have always lived in the country," answered the Rocket, "otherwise you would know who I am. However, I excuse your ignorance. It would be unfair to expect other people to be as remarkable as oneself. You will no doubt be surprised to hear that I can fly up into the sky, and come down in a shower of golden rain."

"I don't think much of that," said the Duck, "as I cannot see what use it is to any one. Now, if you could plough the fields like the ox, or draw a cart like the horse, or look after the sheep like the collie-dog, that would be something."