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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass:

the call with a curse, and Edward North, the biggest in every thing, rascality included, ventured to strike me, whereupon I picked him up, and threw <242>him into the dock. Whenever any of them struck me, I struck back again, regardless of consequences. I could manage any of them _singly_, and, while I could keep them from combining, I succeeded very well. In the conflict which ended my stay at Mr. Gardiner's, I was beset by four of them at once--Ned North, Ned Hays, Bill Stewart, and Tom Humphreys. Two of them were as large as myself, and they came near killing me, in broad day light. The attack was made suddenly, and simultaneously. One came in front, armed with a brick; there was


My Bondage and My Freedom
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche:

indifference and statuesque coldness towards the heated folly of the emotions, which the Stoics advised and fostered; or the no- more-laughing and no-more-weeping of Spinoza, the destruction of the emotions by their analysis and vivisection, which he recommended so naively; or the lowering of the emotions to an innocent mean at which they may be satisfied, the Aristotelianism of morals; or even morality as the enjoyment of the emotions in a voluntary attenuation and spiritualization by the symbolism of art, perhaps as music, or as love of God, and of mankind for God's sake--for in religion the passions are once more enfranchised, provided that...; or, finally, even the complaisant


Beyond Good and Evil
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie:

her sincerity. Still, I had a great respect for Poirot's sagacity--except on the occasions when he was what I described to myself as "foolishly pig-headed."

"Do you really think so?" I asked. "Miss Howard had always seemed to me so essentially honest--almost uncomfortably so."

Poirot gave me a curious look, which I could not quite fathom. He seemed to speak, and then checked himself.

"Miss Murdoch too," I continued, "there's nothing untruthful about *HER."

"No. But it was strange that she never heard a sound, sleeping next door; whereas Mrs. Cavendish, in the other wing of the


The Mysterious Affair at Styles
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 A Drama on the Seashore by Honore de Balzac:

when life sits lightly and our hearts are full. The loveliest scenery is that we make ourselves. What man with any poesy in him does not remember some mere mass of rock, which holds, it may be, a greater place in his memory than the celebrated landscapes of other lands, sought at great cost. Beside that rock, tumultuous thoughts! There a whole life evolved; there all fears dispersed; there the rays of hope descended to the soul! At this moment, the sun, sympathizing with these thoughts of love and of the future, had cast an ardent glow upon the savage flanks of the rock; a few wild mountain flowers were visible; the stillness and the silence magnified that rugged pile,-- really sombre, though tinted by the dreamer, and beautiful beneath its