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Today's Stichomancy for Elizabeth Taylor

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu by Sax Rohmer:

throbbing of our screw, and we seemed a pigmy company floating past the workshops of Brobdingnagian toilers. The chill of the near water communicated itself to me, and I felt the protection of my shabby garments inadequate against it.

Far over on the Surrey shore a blue light--vaporous, mysterious-- flicked translucent tongues against the night's curtain. It was a weird, elusive flame, leaping, wavering, magically changing from blue to a yellowed violet, rising, falling.

"Only a gasworks," came Smith's voice, and I knew that he, too, had been watching those elfin fires. "But it always reminds me of a Mexican teocalli, and the altar of sacrifice."

The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Coxon Fund by Henry James:

the work.


I was doubtless often a nuisance to my friends in those years; but there were sacrifices I declined to make, and I never passed the hat to George Gravener. I never forgot our little discussion in Ebury Street, and I think it stuck in my throat to have to treat him to the avowal I had found so easy to Mss Anvoy. It had cost me nothing to confide to this charming girl, but it would have cost me much to confide to the friend of my youth, that the character of the "real gentleman" wasn't an attribute of the man I took such pains for. Was this because I had already generalised to the point

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Reign of King Edward the Third by William Shakespeare:

Are but my handful of so many sands; Then, all the world, and call it but a power, Easily ta'en up, and quickly thrown away: But if I stand to count them sand by sand, The number would confound my memory, And make a thousand millions of a task, Which briefly is no more, indeed, than one. These quarters, squadrons, and these regiments, Before, behind us, and on either hand, Are but a power. When we name a man, His hand, his foot, his head hath several strengths;

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 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:

It came to him, and he accepted it with a sort of eager fatalism. I must say that to me it appeared about the most dangerous thing in every way he had come upon so far.

"They had come together unavoidably, like two ships becalmed near each other, and lay rubbing sides at last. I suppose Kurtz wanted an audience, because on a certain occasion, when encamped in the forest, they had talked all night, or more probably Kurtz had talked. `We talked of everything,' he said, quite transported at the recollection. `I forgot there was such a thing as sleep. The night did not seem to last an hour. Everything! Everything! . . . Of love, too.'

Heart of Darkness