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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Reason Discourse by Rene Descartes:

all the body? Whence it happens, that if the blood be withdrawn from any part, the heat is likewise withdrawn by the same means; and although the heart were as-hot as glowing iron, it would not be capable of warming the feet and hands as at present, unless it continually sent thither new blood. We likewise perceive from this, that the true use of respiration is to bring sufficient fresh air into the lungs, to cause the blood which flows into them from the right ventricle of the heart, where it has been rarefied and, as it were, changed into vapors, to become thick, and to convert it anew into blood, before it flows into the left cavity, without which process it would be unfit for the nourishment of the fire that is there. This receives confirmation from the circumstance, that it is

Reason Discourse
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini:

of battle.

"Come, come, my lads! Are we to sit guzzling here all day? Time flees, and there's a deal to be done if we are to make our entry into Guichen at noon. Go, get you dressed. We strike camp in twenty minutes. Bestir, ladies! To your chaise, and see that you contrive to look your best. Soon the eyes of Guichen will be upon you, and the condition of your interior to-morrow will depend upon the impression made by your exterior to-day. Away! Away!"

The implicit obedience this autocrat commanded set them in a whirl. Baskets and boxes were dragged forth to receive the platters and remains of their meagre feast. In an instant the ground was

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 the Far East by Percival Lowell:

and a negative one, correlated to sunshine and shadow, but also correlated to male and female forces. Through their mutual action were born the earth and the air and the water; from these, in turn, was begotten man. The cosmical modus operandi was not creative nor evolutionary, but sexual. The whole scheme suggests an attempt to wed abstract philosophy with primitive concrete mythology.

The same sexuality distinguishes the Japanese demonology. Here the physical replaces the philosophical; instead of principles we find allegorical personages, but they show just the same pleasing propensity to appear in pairs.

This attributing of sexes to the cosmos is not in the least

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 Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:

thousand throws.

This experiment was fallacious; the first day presented the hopeful ticket, a detestable blank. The rest came out with different fortune, and in conclusion I lost thirty pounds by this great adventure.

I had now wholly changed the cast of my behaviour and the conduct of my life. The shop was for the most part abandoned to my servants, and if I entered it, my thoughts were so engrossed by my tickets, that I scarcely heard or answered a question, but considered every customer as an intruder