|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Letters of Two Brides by Honore de Balzac:
intimate charms which a woman values. On the other hand, an ugly,
boorish, badly-dressed figure may mark a man endowed with the very
genius of love, and who has a perfect mastery over situations which
might baffle us with our superficial graces. A man whose conventional
aspect accords with his real nature, who, in the intimacy of wedded
love, possesses that inborn grace which can be neither given nor
acquired, but which Greek art has embodied in statuary, that careless
innocence of the ancient poets which, even in frank undress, seems to
clothe the soul as with a veil of modesty--this is our ideal, born of
our own conceptions, and linked with the universal harmony which seems
to be the reality underlying all created things. To find this ideal in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
three days, on one of which he expected to be with her in disguise.
But in case he did not reach Carentan by the third day, she might know
some fatal difficulty had occurred, and the letter contained his last
wishes and a sad farewell. The paper trembled in the old man's hand.
"This is the third day," cried the countess, rising and walking
hurriedly up and down.
"You have been very imprudent," said the merchant. "Why send Brigitte
to buy those provisions?"
"But he may arrive half-dead with hunger, exhausted, and--"
She could say no more.
"I am sure of my brother the mayor," said the old man. "I will see him
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe:
and to use still the utmost caution in their ordinary conduct,
notwithstanding the decrease of the distemper, terrifying them with
the danger of bringing a relapse upon the whole city, and telling them
how such a relapse might be more fatal and dangerous than the whole
visitation that had been already; with many arguments and reasons to
explain and prove that part to them, and which are too long to repeat here.
But it was all to no purpose; the audacious creatures were so
possessed with the first joy and so surprised with the satisfaction of
seeing a vast decrease in the weekly bills, that they were impenetrable
by any new terrors, and would not be persuaded but that the bitterness
of death was past; and it was to no more purpose to talk to them than
A Journal of the Plague Year
|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 1984 by George Orwell:
London are swarming with them. Did you know they attack children? Yes,
they do. In some of these streets a woman daren't leave a baby alone for
two minutes. It's the great huge brown ones that do it. And the nasty
thing is that the brutes always----'
'DON'T GO ON!' said Winston, with his eyes tightly shut.
'Dearest! You've gone quite pale. What's the matter? Do they make you feel
'Of all horrors in the world--a rat!'
She pressed herself against him and wound her limbs round him, as though
to reassure him with the warmth of her body. He did not reopen his eyes
immediately. For several moments he had had the feeling of being back in a