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Today's Stichomancy for Matt Damon

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley:

that Spain and Ireland must have been joined once?

I suppose it must be so.

Again. There is a little pink butterwort here in the bogs, which grows, too, in dear old Devonshire and Cornwall; and also in the south-west of Scotland. Now, when I found that too, in the bogs near Biarritz, close to the Pyrenees, and knew that it stretched away along the Spanish coast, and into Portugal, what could my common sense lead me to say but that Scotland, and Ireland, and Cornwall, and Spain were all joined once? Those are only a few examples. I could give you a dozen more. For instance, on an island away there to the west, and only in one spot, there grows a

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:

her and gathers them into a fine-spun ball at the contact-point of the next spoke. Hence arises a series of silky atoms marking the course of the disappearing spiral.

The light has to fall favourably for us to perceive these specks, the only remains of the ruined auxiliary thread. One would take them for grains of dust, if the faultless regularity of their distribution did not remind us of the vanished spiral. They continue, still visible, until the final collapse of the net.

And the Spider, without a stop of any kind, turns and turns and turns, drawing nearer to the centre and repeating the operation of fixing her thread at each spoke which she crosses. A good half-


The Life of the Spider
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King James Bible:

in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.

NUM 9:14 And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.

NUM 9:15 And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning.

NUM 9:16 So it was alway: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire by night.


King James Bible
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 Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary) by Dante Alighieri:

differing from one another, (for even as an animal, in the first instance, consists of soul and body, and the soul, of reason and desire; and a family, of man and woman, and property of master and slave; in like manner a state consists both of all these and besides these of other dissimilar kinds,) it necessarily follows that the excellence of all the members of the state cannot be one and the same."

v. 136. Esau.] Genesis c. xxv. 22.

v. 137. Quirinus.] Romulus, born of so obscure a father, that his parentage was attributed to Mars.

CANTO IX


The Divine Comedy (translated by H.F. Cary)