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Today's Stichomancy for Toni Braxton

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:

on only such facts in his personal life as have to do directly with his work--such as his monkish education under Ghillini."

"I see your meaning, I think," said Lady Ellen, looking at him with wide, uncomprehending eyes.

When MacMaster stopped at the studio on leaving the house he stood for some time before Treffinger's one portrait of himself, that brigand of a picture, with its full throat and square head; the short upper lip blackened by the close-clipped mustache, the wiry hair tossed down over the forehead, the strong white teeth set hard on a short pipestem. He could well understand what manifold tortures the mere grain of the man's strong red and


The Troll Garden and Selected Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lord Arthur Savile's Crime, etc. by Oscar Wilde:

name, and the verse from the library window. The Duchess had brought with her some lovely roses, which she strewed upon the grave, and after they had stood by it for some time they strolled into the ruined chancel of the old abbey. There the Duchess sat down on a fallen pillar, while her husband lay at her feet smoking a cigarette and looking up at her beautiful eyes. Suddenly he threw his cigarette away, took hold of her hand, and said to her, 'Virginia, a wife should have no secrets from her husband.'

'Dear Cecil! I have no secrets from you.'

'Yes, you have,' he answered, smiling, 'you have never told me what happened to you when you were locked up with the ghost.'

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:

40. 1. The movement of the Tao By contraries proceeds; And weakness marks the course Of Tao's mighty deeds.

2. All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named); that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).

41. 1. Scholars of the highest class, when they hear about the Tao, earnestly carry it into practice. Scholars of the middle class, when they have heard about it, seem now to keep it and now to lose it. Scholars of the lowest class, when they have heard about it, laugh greatly at it. If it were not (thus) laughed at, it would not be fit

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 Moral Emblems by Robert Louis Stevenson:

YOU ALSO SCAN YOUR LIFE'S HORIZON FOR ALL THAT YOU CAN CLAP YOUR EYES ON.

A MARTIAL ELEGY FOR SOME LEAD SOLDIERS

For certain soldiers lately dead Our reverent dirge shall here be said. Them, when their martial leader called, No dread preparative appalled; But leaden-hearted, leaden-heeled, I marked them steadfast in the field. Death grimly sided with the foe, And smote each leaden hero low.