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Today's Stichomancy for Richard Branson

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tono Bungay by H. G. Wells:

Under the shadow of our great leading line we were presently taking subsidiary specialties into action; "Tono-Bungay Hair Stimulant" was our first supplement. Then came "Concentrated Tono-Bungay" for the eyes. That didn't go, but we had a considerable success with the Hair Stimulant. We broached the subject, I remember, in a little catechism beginning: "Why does the hair fall out? Because the follicles are fagged. What are the follicles?..." So it went on to the climax that the Hair Stimulant contained all "The essential principles of that most reviving tonic, Tono-Bungay, together with an emollient and nutritious oil derived from crude Neat's Foot Oil by a process of

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne:

began to speak earnestly with him. Without knowing why it was a presentiment, perhaps Passepartout became vaguely uneasy. He would have given one of his ears to hear with the other what the engineer was saying. He finally managed to catch a few words, and was sure he heard his master say, "You are certain of what you tell me?"

"Certain, sir," replied the engineer. "You must remember that, since we started, we have kept up hot fires in all our furnaces, and, though we had coal enough to go on short steam from New York to Bordeaux, we haven't enough to go with all steam from New York to Liverpool." "I will consider," replied Mr. Fogg.

Passepartout understood it all; he was seized with mortal anxiety.


Around the World in 80 Days
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas:

influence with them; I do not even know them under their true names."

"You suspect me, Monsieur de Rochefort; I want him and you and all to aid me."

"Begin with me, my lord; for after five or six years of imprisonment it is natural to feel some curiosity as to one's destination."

"You, my dear Monsieur de Rochefort, shall have the post of confidence; you shall go to Vincennes, where Monsieur de Beaufort is confined; you will guard him well for me. Well, what is the matter?"


Twenty Years After
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 On Horsemanship by Xenophon:

hindrance to respiration, prevents biting; and when attached it serves to rob the horse of opportunity for vice.[5]

[4] Cf. "Econ." xi. 18; Aristoph. "Clouds," 32.

[5] Or, "prevents the horse from carrying out vicious designs."

Again, care should be taken to tie the horse up with the halter above his head. A horse's natural instinct, in trying to rid himself of anything that irritates the face, is to toss up his head, and by this upward movement, if so tied, he only slackens the chain instead of snapping it. In rubbing the horse down, the groom should begin with the head and mane; as until the upper parts are clean, it is vain to cleanse the lower; then, as regards the rest of the body, first brush


On Horsemanship