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Today's Stichomancy for Barack Obama

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Forged Coupon by Leo Tolstoy:

"Nothing else is left to me. He will tell me how to pawn my watch," he thought, touching his watch in his pocket.

Mitia went to his room, took the coupon and the watch from the drawer, put on his coat, and went to Mahin.

II

MAHIN was his schoolfellow, his senior, a grown- up young man with a moustache. He gambled, had a large feminine acquaintance, and always had ready cash. He lived with his aunt. Mitia


The Forged Coupon
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:

and oars came loudly into play. And still puffing at his pipe, Stubb cheered on his crew to the assault.

Yes, a mighty change had come over the fish. All alive to his jeopardy, he was going "head out"; that part obliquely projecting from the mad yeast which he brewed.*

*It will be seen in some other place of what a very light substance the entire interior of the sperm whale's enormous head consists. Though apparently the most massive, it is by far the most buoyant part about him. So that with ease he elevates it in the air, and invariably does so when going at his utmost speed. Besides, such is the breadth of the upper part of the front of his head, and such the


Moby Dick
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau by Honore de Balzac:

seconds them. Their perfumes (essentially balsamic, and of a stimulating character which admirably revives the heart and brain) awake ideas and vivify them; they are as wonderful for their simplicity as for their merits. In short, they offer one attraction the more to women, and to men a means of seduction which it is within their power to secure.

"The daily use of the Balm will relieve the smart occasioned by the heat of the razor; it will protect the lips from chapping, and restore their color; it dispels in time all discolorations, and revives the natural tones of the skin. Such results demonstrate in man a perfect equilibrium of the juices of life, which tends to


Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau
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 Light of Western Stars by Zane Grey:

absolute unconsciousness of self, to see the haggard shade burn out of his face, the old, cool, devil-may-care spirit return to his eyes, and to feel something wonderful about him then! It was more than will or daring or sacrifice. A blood-tie might have existed between him and Madeline. She sensed again that indefinable brother-like quality, so fine, so almost invisible, which seemed to be an inalienable trait in these wild cowboys.

"Miss Majesty, thet ride figgers impossible, but I'll do it!" he replied. His cool, bright glance thrilled her. "I'll need mebbe half an hour to go over the car an' to pack on what I'll want."

She could not thank him, and her reply was merely a request that


The Light of Western Stars