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Today's Stichomancy for Penelope Cruz

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:

you hear a noise among the leaves and receive the cucumber's grapeshot in your face.

The fruit of the garden balsam, when ripe, splits, at the least touch, into five fleshy valves, which curl up and shoot their seeds to a distance. The botanical name of Impatiens given to the balsam alludes to this sudden dehiscence of the capsules, which cannot endure contact without bursting.

In the damp and shady places of the woods there exists a plant of the same family which, for similar reasons, bears the even more expressive name of Impatiens noli-me-tangere, or touch-me-not.

The capsule of the pansy expands into three valves, each scooped


The Life of the Spider
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:

"Beauty has no effect upon uric acid that I'm aware of," he sighed, contemplating the round pane opposite, through which the sky and sea showed blue. At the same time he took a little parchment volume from his pocket and laid it on the table. As it was clear that he invited comment, Helen asked him the name of it. She got the name; but she got also a disquisition upon the proper method of making roads. Beginning with the Greeks, who had, he said, many difficulties to contend with, he continued with the Romans, passed to England and the right method, which speedily became the wrong method, and wound up with such a fury of denunciation directed against the road-makers of the present day in general, and the road-makers

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Melmoth Reconciled by Honore de Balzac:

analyzed; circular notes issued thence; and finally, the private ledger and the journal which summarized the work of all the departments were kept there.

Castanier had gone himself to shut the door which opened on to a staircase that led to the parlor occupied by the two bankers on the first floor of their hotel. This done, he had sat down at his desk again, and for a moment he gazed at a little collection of letters of credit drawn on the firm of Watschildine of London. Then he had taken up the pen and imitated the banker's signature on each. NUCINGEN he wrote, and eyed the forged signatures critically to see which seemed the most perfect copy.

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 Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:

and settled down again as if considering something.

'Now, brother, this won't do!' Nikita admonished him. 'Now once more!'

Again Nikita tugged at the shaft on his side, and Vasili Andreevich did the same on the other.

Mukhorty lifted his head and then gave a sudden jerk.

'That's it! That's it!' cried Nikita. 'Don't be afraid--you won't sink!'

One plunge, another, and a third, and at last Mukhorty was out of the snow-drift, and stood still, breathing heavily and shaking the snow off himself. Nikita wished to lead him


Master and Man