|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
horror of these great brains that were beyond the possibility of
And so she was dragged back to her prison in the tower and Ghek
took up his vigil again, squatting by the doorway, but now he
carried a naked sword in his hand and did not quit his rykor,
only to change to another that be had brought to him when the
first gave indications of weariness. The girl sat looking at him.
He had not been unkind to her, but she felt no sense of
gratitude, nor, on the other hand, any sense of hatred. The
brains, incapable themselves of any of the finer sentiments,
awoke none in her. She could not feel gratitude, or affection, or
The Chessmen of Mars
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
Confusion again! he saw a thousand reasons to wipe out the reproach, and as
many to reproach himself--a thin, blue, chill, pellucid chrystal with all
its humours so at rest, the least mote or speck of desire might have been
seen, at the bottom of it, had it existed--it did not--and how I happen to
be so lewd myself, particularly a little before the vernal and autumnal
equinoxes--Heaven above knows--My mother--madam--was so at no time, either
by nature, by institution, or example.
A temperate current of blood ran orderly through her veins in all months of
the year, and in all critical moments both of the day and night alike; nor
did she superinduce the least heat into her humours from the manual
effervescencies of devotional tracts, which having little or no meaning in
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Cousin Betty by Honore de Balzac:
"I am engaged to be married," Steinbock replied, "and I love a woman
with whom no other can compete or compare.--But you are, and always
will be, to me the mother I have lost."
The words fell like an avalanche of snow on a burning crater. Lisbeth
sat down. She gazed with despondent eyes on the youth before her, on
his aristocratic beauty--the artist's brow, the splendid hair,
everything that appealed to her suppressed feminine instincts, and
tiny tears moistened her eyes for an instant and immediately dried up.
She looked like one of those meagre statues which the sculptors of the
Middle Ages carved on monuments.
"I cannot curse you," said she, suddenly rising. "You--you are but a
|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 Madam How and Lady Why by Charles Kingsley:
this stone is partly made of.
But what happens to all the delicate little corals if a storm
What, indeed? Madam How has made them so well and wisely, that,
like brave and good men, the more trouble they suffer the stronger
they are. Day and night, week after week, the trade-wind blows
upon them, hurling the waves against them in furious surf,
knocking off great lumps of coral, grinding them to powder,
throwing them over the reef into the shallow water inside. But
the heavier the surf beats upon them, the stronger the polypes
outside grow, repairing their broken houses, and building up fresh