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Today's Stichomancy for David Letterman

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

no use to a girl who loves dolls. And Charlie Smith, who delights to romp and play out of doors, and who wanted some new rubber boots to keep his feet dry, received a sewing box filled with colored worsteds and threads and needles, which made him so provoked that he thoughtlessly called our dear Santa Claus a fraud.

Had there been many such mistakes the Daemons would have accomplished their evil purpose and made the children unhappy. But the little friends of the absent Santa Claus labored faithfully and intelligently to carry out their master's ideas, and they made fewer errors than might be expected under such unusual circumstances.

And, although they worked as swiftly as possible, day had begun to


A Kidnapped Santa Claus
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Cousin Pons by Honore de Balzac:

life abounds; in the filthy Roman Ghetto, for instance, with its swarming Jewish population, where malaria is unknown. Perhaps, too, the sight of the streets, the great spectacle of Paris, the daily pleasure of his life, did the invalid good. They walked on side by side, though Pons now and again left his friend to look at the shop windows. Opposite the Theatre des Varietes he saw Count Popinot, and went up to him very respectfully, for of all men Pons esteemed and venerated the ex-Minister.

The peer of France answered him severely:

"I am at a loss to understand, sir, how you can have no more tact than to speak to a near connection of a family whom you tried to brand with

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:

in his attempts, and I daren't even speak to Madame about it."

"What sort of person do you mean?"

"Why, a man," she said scornfully.

I snatched up my coat and hat.

"Aren't there dozens of them?"

"Oh! But this one is dangerous. Madame must have given him a hold on her in some way. I ought not to talk like this about Madame and I wouldn't to anybody but Monsieur. I am always on the watch, but what is a poor girl to do? . . . Isn't Monsieur going back to Madame?"

"No, I am not going back. Not this time." A mist seemed to fall


The Arrow of Gold
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 Proposed Roads To Freedom by Bertrand Russell:

retained by them. If this is done, it may be presumed that each Guild will be continually seeking for new processes or inventions, and will value those technical parts of scientific research which are useful for this purpose. With every improvement, the question will arise whether it is to be used to give more leisure or to increase the dividend of commodities. Where there is so much more leisure than there is now, there will be many more people with a knowledge of science or an understanding of art. The artist or scientific investigator will be far less cut off than he is at