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Today's Stichomancy for Vincent Van Gogh

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from At the Sign of the Cat & Racket by Honore de Balzac:

watcher, weary of his fruitless contemplation, or of the silence in which the house was buried, like the whole neighborhood, dropped his eyes towards the lower regions. An involuntary smile parted his lips each time he looked at the shop, where, in fact, there were some laughable details.

A formidable wooden beam, resting on four pillars, which appeared to have bent under the weight of the decrepit house, had been encrusted with as many coats of different paint as there are of rouge on an old duchess' cheek. In the middle of this broad and fantastically carved joist there was an old painting representing a cat playing rackets. This picture was what moved the young man to mirth. But it must be

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Master Key by L. Frank Baum:

from a factory chimney, and knew the earth was catching a severe shower of rain; yet he congratulated himself on his foresight in not being burdened with umbrella or raincoat, since his elevated position rendered him secure from rain-clouds.

But, having cut himself off from the earth, there remained nothing to see except the clear sky overhead and the tumbling clouds beneath; so he took from his pocket the Automatic Record of Events, and watched with breathless interest the incidents occurring in different parts of the world. A big battle was being fought in the Philippines, and so fiercely was it contested that Rob watched its progress for hours, with rapt attention. Finally a brave rally by the Americans sent


The Master Key
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Margret Howth: A Story of To-day by Rebecca Harding Davis:

Nature's laws, as you do. Yet sometimes, watching the dun sea of the prairie rise and fall in the crimson light of early morning, or, in the farms, breathing the blue air trembling up to heaven exultant with the life of bird and forest, she forgot the poor vile thing she was, some coarse weight fell off, and something within, not the sickly Lois of the mill, went out, free, like an exile dreaming of home.

You tell me, that, doubtless, in the wreck of the creature's brain, there were fragments of some artistic insight that made her thus rise above the level of her daily life, drunk with the mere beauty of form and colour. I do not know,--not knowing how


Margret Howth: A Story of To-day
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 Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield:

People had been surprised enough that she had got engaged. The Science Mistress would not believe it at first. But nobody had been as surprised as she. She was thirty. Basil was twenty-five. It had been a miracle, simply a miracle, to hear him say, as they walked home from church that very dark night, "You know, somehow or other, I've got fond of you." And he had taken hold of the end of her ostrich feather boa. "Passes away from the Listening Ear."

"Repeat! Repeat!" said Miss Meadows. "More expression, girls! Once more!"

"Fast! Ah, too Fast." The older girls were crimson; some of the younger ones began to cry. Big spots of rain blew against the windows, and one