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Today's Stichomancy for Jet Li

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:

swearing softly to himself, and knew that he had hooked and lost a fish.

Away down at the tail of the pool, dimly visible through the gloom, the furtive fisherman, Parsons, had anchored his boat. No noise ever came from that craft. If he wished to change his position, he did not pull up the anchor and let it down again with a bump. He simply lengthened or shortened his anchor rope. There was no click of the reel when he played a fish. He drew in and paid out the line through the rings by hand, without a sound. What he thought when a fish got away, no one knew, for he never said it. He concealed his angling as if it had been a conspiracy. Twice that night they heard

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A. Abbot:

The battle, or rather carnage, was of short duration. Under the skillful generalship of the Circles almost every Woman's charge was fatal and very many extracted their sting uninjured, ready for a second slaughter. But no second blow was needed; the rabble of the Isosceles did the rest of the business for themselves. Surprised, leader-less, attacked in front by invisible foes, and finding egress cut off by the Convicts behind them, they at once -- after their manner -- lost all presence of mind, and raised the cry of "treachery". This sealed their fate. Every Isosceles now saw and felt a foe in every other. In half an hour not one of that vast multitude was living;


Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Time Machine by H. G. Wells:

one of the risks a man has got to take! Now the risk was inevitable, I no longer saw it in the same cheerful light. The fact is that insensibly, the absolute strangeness of everything, the sickly jarring and swaying of the machine, above all, the feeling of prolonged falling, had absolutely upset my nerve. I told myself that I could never stop, and with a gust of petulance I resolved to stop forthwith. Like an impatient fool, I lugged over the lever, and incontinently the thing went reeling over, and I was flung headlong through the air.

`There was the sound of a clap of thunder in my ears. I may have been stunned for a moment. A pitiless hail was hissing


The Time Machine
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 Alexandria and her Schools by Charles Kingsley:

few months swept away from the face of the earth, not only the wealth, the commerce, the castles, and the liberty, but the philosophy and the Christianity of Alexandria; crushed to powder by one fearful blow, all that had been built up by Alexander and the Ptolemies, by Clement and the philosophers, and made void, to all appearance, nine hundred years of human toil. The people, having no real hold on their hereditary Creed, accepted, by tens of thousands, that of the Mussulman invaders. The Christian remnant became tributaries; and Alexandria dwindled, from that time forth, into a petty seaport town.

And now--can we pass over this new metaphysical school of Alexandria? Can we help inquiring in what the strength of Islamism lay? I, at