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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 Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:

When finally the female ceased to struggle and rolled over on her back, her forepaws limply folded, I was sure that she was dead. Raja stood over her, growling, his jaws close to her throat. Then I saw that neither of them bore a scratch. The male had simply admin- istered a severe drubbing to his mate. It was his way of teaching her that I was sacred.

After a moment he moved away and let her rise, when she set about smoothing down her rumpled coat, while he came stalking toward Dian and me. I had an arm about Dian now. As Raja came close I caught

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:

covering, proclaiming those things which are willed to be forever hidden. He admitted that he could not defend himself against this agency. It was not within the power of vigilance.


HE became aware that the furnace roar of the battle was growing louder. Great brown clouds had floated to the still heights of air before him. The noise, too, was approaching. The woods filtered men and the fields became dotted.

As he rounded a hillock, he perceived that the

The Red Badge of Courage
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Taras Bulba and Other Tales by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:

Nikopolski liquor, make a punch, and call me in. We will drink it up together and forget all unpleasantness."

"No, Demyan Demyanovitch! it's not that sort of an affair," said Ivan Ivanovitch, with the dignity which always became him so well; "it is not an affair which can be arranged by a friendly agreement. Farewell! Good-day to you, too, gentlemen," he continued with the same dignity, turning to them all. "I hope that my plaint will lead to proper action being taken;" and out he went, leaving all present in a state of stupefaction.

The judge sat down without uttering a word; the secretary took a pinch of snuff; the clerks upset some broken fragments of bottles which

Taras Bulba and Other Tales
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 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx:

A part of the bourgeoisie is desirous of redressing social grievances, in order to secure the continued existence of bourgeois society.

To this section belong economists, philanthropists, humanitarians, improvers of the condition of the working class, organisers of charity, members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, temperance fanatics, hole-and-corner reformers of every imaginable kind. This form of Socialism has, moreover, been worked out into complete systems.

We may site Proudhon's Philosophie de la Misere as an example of this form.

The Communist Manifesto