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Today's Stichomancy for Jessica Biel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tao Teh King by Lao-tze:

his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it:--he does not wish to display his superiority.

78. 1. There is nothing in the world more soft and weak than water, and yet for attacking things that are firm and strong there is nothing that can take precedence of it;--for there is nothing (so effectual) for which it can be changed.

2. Every one in the world knows that the soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong, but no one is able to carry it out in practice.

3. Therefore a sage has said, 'He who accepts his state's reproach, Is hailed therefore its altars' lord;

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:

And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.-- Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen That led calm Henry, though he were a king, As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, Command an argosy to stem the waves. But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?

WARWICK. No, 't is impossible he should escape; For, though before his face I speak the words, Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave, And whereso'er he is he's surely dead.

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:

I cannot take it from you! I don't like--it is not right!"

"It IS right!" he cried lightly. "I am not going to see a woman whom I feel so tenderly for as I do for you, in trouble without trying to help her."

"But I am very well off! I am only in trouble about--about--not about living at all!"

She turned, and desperately resumed her digging, tears dripping upon the fork-handle and upon the clods.

"About the children--your brothers and sisters," he resumed. "I've been thinking of them."


Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman
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 Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:

Nay, rather he seized upon existence as a monkey snatches a nut, and after no long toying with it, proceeds deftly to strip off the mere husks to reach the savory kernel within.

Poetry and the sublime transports of passion scarcely reached ankle-depth with him now. He in nowise fell into the error of strong natures who flatter themselves now and again that little souls will believe in a great soul, and are willing to barter their own lofty thoughts of the future for the small change of our life-annuity ideas. He, even as they, had he chosen, might well have walked with his feet on the earth and his head in the skies; but he liked better to sit on earth, to wither the soft,