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Today's Stichomancy for Nick Cave

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson:

Of battleaxes on shattered helms, and shrieks After the Christ, of those who falling down Looked up for heaven, and only saw the mist; And shouts of heathen and the traitor knights, Oaths, insults, filth, and monstrous blasphemies, Sweat, writhings, anguish, labouring of the lungs In that close mist, and cryings for the light, Moans of the dying, and voices of the dead.

Last, as by some one deathbed after wail Of suffering, silence follows, or through death Or deathlike swoon, thus over all that shore,

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:

trousers best; I used to climb the riggin' with 'em and frighten mother till she said an' vowed she'd never take me to sea again."

I thought by the polite absent-minded smile on Mrs. Todd's face this was no new story.

"Little Louisa was a beautiful child; yes, I always thought Louisa was very pretty," Mrs. Todd said. "She was a dear little girl in those days. She favored your mother; the rest of you took after your father's folks."

"We did certain," agreed Mrs. Fosdick, rocking steadily. "There, it does seem so pleasant to talk with an old acquaintance that knows what you know. I see so many of these new folks

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde:

the Pope. The third is called the People. The Prince may be cultivated. Many Princes have been. Yet in the Prince there is danger. One thinks of Dante at the bitter feast in Verona, of Tasso in Ferrara's madman's cell. It is better for the artist not to live with Princes. The Pope may be cultivated. Many Popes have been; the bad Popes have been. The bad Popes loved Beauty, almost as passionately, nay, with as much passion as the good Popes hated Thought. To the wickedness of the Papacy humanity owes much. The goodness of the Papacy owes a terrible debt to humanity. Yet, though the Vatican has kept the rhetoric of its thunders, and lost the rod of its lightning, it is better for the artist not to live

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 Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll:

`They'd pick me up again in a minute, THEY would! However, this conversation is going on a little too fast: let's go back to the last remark but one.'

`I'm afraid I can't quite remember it,' Alice said very politely.

`In that case we start fresh,' said Humpty Dumpty, `and it's my turn to choose a subject--' (`He talks about it just as if it was a game!' thought Alice.) `So here's a question for you. How old did you say you were?'

Alice made a short calculation, and said `Seven years and six months.'


Through the Looking-Glass