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Today's Stichomancy for Robert Downey Jr.

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:

grocer on the corner.

From her childhood she had hated it, that humiliating and uncertain existence, with its glib tongue and empty pockets, its poetic ideals and sordid realities, its indolence and poverty tricked out in paper roses. Even as a little girl, when vague dreams beset her, when she wanted to lie late in bed and commune with visions, or to leap and sing because the sooty little trees along the street were putting out their first pale leaves in the sunshine, she would clench her hands and go to help her mother sponge the spots from her father's waistcoat or press Heinrich's trousers. Her mother never permitted the slightest question


The Troll Garden and Selected Stories
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart:

covers for the winter; even the pictures wore shrouds. And in a niche between two windows a bust on a pedestal, similarly wrapped, one arm extended under its winding sheet, made a most life-like ghost, if any ghost can be life-like.

In the light of the candle we surveyed each other, and we were objects for mirth. Hotchkiss was taking off his sodden shoes and preparing to make himself comfortable, while I hung my muddy raincoat over the ghost in the corner. Thus habited, he presented a rakish but distinctly more comfortable appearance.

"When these people built," Hotchkiss said, surveying the huge dimensions of the room, "they must have bought a mountain and built


The Man in Lower Ten
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:

by this power of producing?

THEAETETUS: They are.

STRANGER: Then let us sum them up under the name of productive or creative art.

THEAETETUS: Very good.

STRANGER: Next follows the whole class of learning and cognition; then comes trade, fighting, hunting. And since none of these produces anything, but is only engaged in conquering by word or deed, or in preventing others from conquering, things which exist and have been already produced--in each and all of these branches there appears to be an art which may be called acquisitive.

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 Case of the Registered Letter by Grace Isabel Colbron and Augusta Groner:

"He seems calm to-day," replied Muller, "although the confinement and the anxiety are evidently wearing on him."

"And you heard his story? And you believe him innocent?"

"I am inclined to do so. But there is more yet for me to investigate in this matter. It is certainly not as simple as the police here seem to believe. May I speak to your ward, Miss Roemer? She is at home now?"

"Yes, Lora is at home. If you will wait here a moment I will send her in."

Muller paced up and down the large sunny room, casting a glance over the handsome old pieces of furniture and the family portraits