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Today's Stichomancy for Fiona Apple

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Bickerstaff-Partridge Papers by Jonathan Swift:

I will allow either of the two I have mentioned, or any other of the fraternity, to be not only astrologers, but conjurers too, if I do not produce a hundred instances in all their almanacks, to convince any reasonable man, that they do not so much as understand common grammar and syntax; that they are not able to spell any word out of the usual road, nor even in their prefaces write common sense or intelligible English. Then for their observations and predictions, they are such as will equally suit any age or country in the world. "This month a certain great person will be threatened with death or sickness." This the news-papers will tell them; for there we find at the end of the

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Symposium by Xenophon:

is beautiful on man and one on woman; and so with fragrance: what becomes the woman, ill becomes the man. Did ever man anoint himself with oil of myrrh to please his fellow? Women, and especially young women (like our two friends' brides, Niceratus' and Critobulus'), need no perfume, being but compounds themselves of fragrance.[5] No, sweeter than any perfume else to women is good olive-oil, suggestive of the training-school:[6] sweet if present, and when absent longed for. And why? Distinctions vanish with the use of perfumes. The freeman and the slave have forthwith both alike one odour. But the scents derived from toils--those toils which every free man loves[7]-- need customary habit first, and time's distillery, if they are to be


The Symposium
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:

and chatting and laughing multitude of pleasure-seekers, it is a spectacle worth seeing.

Everything is on a large scale; the public buildings, for instance--and they are architecturally imposing, too, as well as large. The big squares have big bronze monuments in them. At the hotel they gave us rooms that were alarming, for size, and parlor to match. It was well the weather required no fire in the parlor, for I think one might as well have tried to warm a park. The place would have a warm look, though, in any weather, for the window-curtains were of red silk damask,

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 Democracy In America, Volume 2 by Alexis de Toqueville:

aristocratic ages, and fewer things are then assignable to special influences. At periods of aristocracy the reverse takes place: special influences are stronger, general causes weaker - unless indeed we consider as a general cause the fact itself of the inequality of conditions, which allows some individuals to baffle the natural tendencies of all the rest. The historians who seek to describe what occurs in democratic societies are right, therefore, in assigning much to general causes, and in devoting their chief attention to discover them; but they are wrong in wholly denying the special influence of individuals, because they cannot easily trace or follow it.