|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
picture which hung over my brother's bed when we were children, and other
things as small. I have in it a rose. Other women also have such boxes
where they keep such trifles, but no one has my rose.
When my eye is dim, and my heart grows faint, and my faith in woman
flickers, and her present is an agony to me, and her future a despair, the
scent of that dead rose, withered for twelve years, comes back to me. I
know there will be spring; as surely as the birds know it when they see
above the snow two tiny, quivering green leaves. Spring cannot fail us.
There were other flowers in the box once; a bunch of white acacia flowers,
gathered by the strong hand of a man, as we passed down a village street on
a sultry afternoon, when it had rained, and the drops fell on us from the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The American by Henry James:
"No one knows how much!"
"The marriage had been made in your horrible French way," Newman continued,
"made by the two families, without her having any voice?"
"It was a chapter for a novel. She saw M. de Cintre for the first time
a month before the wedding, after everything, to the minutest detail,
had been arranged. She turned white when she looked at him,
and white remained till her wedding-day. The evening before the
ceremony she swooned away, and she spent the whole night in sobs.
My mother sat holding her two hands, and my brother walked up
and down the room. I declared it was revolting and told my sister
publicly that if she would refuse, downright, I would stand by her.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from In the South Seas by Robert Louis Stevenson:
who (she informed me) was 'a plenty good chap,' that she had
learned my language; and I could not but think how handsome she
must have been in these times of her youth, and could not but guess
that some memories of the dandy whaler-man prompted her attentions
to myself. Nor could I refrain from wondering what had befallen
her lover; in the rain and mire of what sea-ports he had tramped
since then; in what close and garish drinking-dens had found his
pleasure; and in the ward of what infirmary dreamed his last of the
Marquesas. But she, the more fortunate, lived on in her green
island. The talk, in this lost house upon the mountains, ran
chiefly upon Mapiao and his visits to the CASCO: the news of which
|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 Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:
over the yard, by the rein.
There was no one else in the yard except a stranger, the cook's
husband, who had come for the holiday.
'Go and ask which sledge is to be harnessed--the wide one or
the small one--there's a good fellow!'
The cook's husband went into the house, which stood on an iron
foundation and was iron-roofed, and soon returned saying that
the little one was to be harnessed. By that time Nikita had
put the collar and brass-studded belly-band on Mukhorty and,
carrying a light, painted shaft-bow in one hand, was leading
the horse with the other up to two sledges that stood in the
Master and Man