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Today's Stichomancy for Oprah Winfrey

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Dynamiter by Robert Louis Stevenson and Fanny Van De Grift Stevenson:

my head, I do not care two straws for any side consideration. It amuses me to do it, and let that suffice. On your side, you may do what you please - let apartments, or keep a private hotel; on mine, I promise you a full month's warning before I return, and I never fail religiously to keep my promises.'

The young man was about to renew his protest, when he observed a sudden and significant change in the old lady's countenance.

'If I thought you capable of disrespect!' she cried.

'Madam,' said Somerset, with the extreme fervour of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:

Mariano Gonzales, with whom I had ridden so many leagues in Chile. The next morning the Beagle sailed for Iquique.

July 12th. -- We anchored in the port of Iquique, in lat. 20 degs. 12', on the coast of Peru. The town contains about a thousand inhabitants, and stands on a little plain of sand at the foot of a great wall of rock, 2000 feet in height, here forming the coast. The whole is utterly desert. A light shower of rain falls only once in very many years; and the ravines consequently are filled with detritus, and the mountain-sides covered by piles of fine white sand, even to a height of a thousand feet. During this season of the year a


The Voyage of the Beagle
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:

I had always been exceptionally tolerant of West’s pursuits, and we frequently discussed his theories, whose ramifications and corollaries were almost infinite. Holding with Haeckel that all life is a chemical and physical process, and that the so-called "soul" is a myth, my friend believed that artificial reanimation of the dead can depend only on the condition of the tissues; and that unless actual decomposition has set in, a corpse fully equipped with organs may with suitable measures be set going again in the peculiar fashion known as life. That the psychic or intellectual life might be impaired by the slight deterioration of sensitive brain-cells which even a short period of death would be apt to


Herbert West: Reanimator
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 Passionate Pilgrim by William Shakespeare:

III.

Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye, 'Gainst whom the world could not hold argument. Persuade my heart to this false perjury? Vows for thee broke deserve not punishment. A woman I forswore; but I will prove, Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love: Thy grace being gain'd cures all disgrace in me. My vow was breath, and breath a vapour is; Then, thou fair sun, that on this earth doth shine,