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Today's Stichomancy for Barack Obama

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Rivers to the Sea by Sara Teasdale:

¹ From " Helen of Troy and Other Poems."


Ah, Aphrodite, if I sing no more To thee, God's daughter, powerful as God, It is that thou hast made my life too sweet To hold the added sweetness of a song. There is a quiet at the heart of love, And I have pierced the pain and come to peace I hold my peace, my Cleïs, on my heart; And softer than a little wild bird's wing Are kisses that she pours upon my mouth.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Research Magnificent by H. G. Wells:

crest, and returned through the meadows to his own hotel.

After that he should have slept the sleep of contentment, but instead he had quite dreadful nightmares, of hanging in frozen fear above incredible declivities, of ill-aimed leaps across chasms to slippery footholds, of planks that swayed and broke suddenly in the middle and headed him down and down. . . .

The next day in the sunshine he walked the Bisse again with those dreams like trailing mists in his mind, and by comparison the path of the Bisse was nothing, it was like walking along a kerbstone, it was an exercise for young ladies. . . .


The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Foolish Virgin by Thomas Dixon:


"Why, what's this? My little soldier has disobeyed orders?"

"I don't want to live now," she sobbed.

"And why not?"

"I--I--am going to be a mother," she whispered.


"The mother of a criminal! Oh, Doctor, it's horrible! Why did you let me live? The hell I passed through that night was enough--God knows! This will be unendurable. I've made up my mind--I'll die first----"

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 Red Inn by Honore de Balzac:

the supper. She gave to the dishes and to the room generally the glance of a mistress, and then, sure of having attended to all the wants of the travellers, she returned to the kitchen.

The four men, for the landlord was invited to drink, did not hear her go to bed, but later, during the intervals of silence which came into their talk, certain strongly accentuated snores, made the more sonorous by the thin planks of the loft in which she had ensconced herself, made the guests laugh and also the husband. Towards midnight, when nothing remained on the table but biscuits, cheese, dried fruit, and good wine, the guests, chiefly the young Frenchmen, became communicative. The latter talked of their homes, their studies, and of