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Today's Stichomancy for Vladimir Putin

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:

optimist; he saw everything to advantage, and did not tell himself than an ambitious mother-in-law might prove a tyrant. So, every evening as he left the house, he fancied himself a married man, allured his mind with its own thought, and slipped on the slippers of wedlock cheerfully. In the first place, he had enjoyed his freedom too long to regret the loss of it; he was tired of a bachelor's life, which offered him nothing new; he now saw only its annoyances; whereas if he thought at times of the difficulties of marriage, its pleasures, in which lay novelty, came far more prominently before his mind.

"Marriage," he said to himself, "is disagreeable for people without means, but half its troubles disappear before wealth."

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Thus Spake Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche:

populace distrustful.

And when truth hath once triumphed there, then ask yourselves with good distrust: "What strong error hath fought for it?"

Be on your guard also against the learned! They hate you, because they are unproductive! They have cold, withered eyes before which every bird is unplumed.

Such persons vaunt about not lying: but inability to lie is still far from being love to truth. Be on your guard!

Freedom from fever is still far from being knowledge! Refrigerated spirits I do not believe in. He who cannot lie, doth not know what truth is.

10.


Thus Spake Zarathustra
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:

ruminating animals; a condition which we may call the material melancholy of gastronomy.

So the guests now turned spontaneously to the excellent German, delighted to have a tale to listen to, even though it might prove of no interest. During this blessed interregnum the voice of a narrator is always delightful to our languid senses; it increases their negative happiness. I, a seeker after impressions, admired the faces about me, enlivened by smiles, beaming in the light of the wax candles, and somewhat flushed by our late good cheer; their diverse expressions producing piquant effects seen among the porcelain baskets, the fruits, the glasses, and the candelabra.

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 Waste Land by T. S. Eliot:

from Ferdinand Prince of Naples, so all the women are one woman, and the two sexes meet in Tiresias. What Tiresias sees, in fact, is the substance of the poem. The whole passage from Ovid is of great anthropological interest:

. . . Cum Iunone iocos et 'maior vestra profecto est Quam, quae contingit maribus', dixisse, 'voluptas.' Illa negat; placuit quae sit sententia docti Quaerere Tiresiae: venus huic erat utraque nota. Nam duo magnorum viridi coeuntia silva Corpora serpentum baculi violaverat ictu Deque viro factus, mirabile, femina septem


The Waste Land