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Today's Stichomancy for Nick Cave

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Animal Farm by George Orwell:

been better or worse than now. They could not remember. There was nothing with which they could compare their present lives: they had nothing to go upon except Squealer's lists of figures, which invariably demonstrated that everything was getting better and better. The animals found the problem insoluble; in any case, they had little time for speculating on such things now. Only old Benjamin professed to remember every detail of his long life and to know that things never had been, nor ever could be much better or much worse--hunger, hardship, and disappointment being, so he said, the unalterable law of life.

And yet the animals never gave up hope. More, they never lost, even for an instant, their sense of honour and privilege in being members of Animal


Animal Farm
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:

which the fugitives taught them. As for Phoebidas himself, he and two or three with him fell sword in hand, whereupon his mercenary troops all took to their heels.

When the stream of fugitives reached the Thespiaean heavy infantry reserves, they too, in spite of much boasting beforehand that they would never yield to Thebans, took to flight, though there was now absolutely no pursuit whatever, for it was now late. The number slain was not large, but, for all that, the men of Thespiae did not come to a standstill until they found themselves safe inside their walls. As a sequel, the hopes and spirits of the Thebans were again kindled into new life, and they made campaigns against Thespiae and the other

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:

admit, when Athens was mistress of the sea, our state was not powerless to benefit friends or chastise enemies. Moreover, in proportion as the rest of the cities have joined hands with fortune to turn their backs upon us, so much the more certainly will the grandeur of your fidelity shine forth. Or, is any one haunted by the fear that we may find ourselves blockaded by land and sea?--let him consider that at present there is no Hellenic navy whatever on the seas, and if the barbarian attempts to clutch the empire of the sea, Hellas will not sit by and suffer it; so that, if only in self-defence, she must inevitably take your side."

[3] See Diod. xiv. 83.

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 Man against the Sky by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

Or nonsense anywhere to set him off -- Save only divers and inclement devils Have made of late his heart their dwelling place. A flame half ready to fly out sometimes At some annoyance may be fanned up in him, But soon it falls, and when it falls goes out; He knows how little room there is in there For crude and futile animosities, And how much for the joy of being whole, And how much for long sorrow and old pain. On our side there are some who may be given