|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
for my creation, for the headlands of the coast, for the darkness
of the Placid Gulf, the light on the snows, the clouds in the
sky, and for the breath of life that had to be blown into the
shapes of men and women, of Latin and Saxon, of Jew and Gentile.
These are, perhaps, strong words, but it is difficult to
characterize other wise the intimacy and the strain of a creative
effort in which mind and will and conscience are engaged to the
full, hour after hour, day after day, away from the world, and to
the exclusion of all that makes life really lovable and
gentle--something for which a material parallel can only be found
in the everlasting sombre stress of the westward winter passage
A Personal Record
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
opportunities of judging than on other points. The first
question is, whether their condition is at all one of
punishment: no one will maintain that it is a very severe one.
This, however, I suppose, is of little consequence as long as
it continues to be an object of dread to criminals at home.
The corporeal wants of the convicts are tolerably well supplied:
their prospect of future liberty and comfort is not
distant, and, after good conduct, certain. A "ticket of
leave," which, as long as a man keeps clear of suspicion as
well as of crime, makes him free within a certain district, is
given upon good conduct, after years proportional to the
The Voyage of the Beagle
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
to work, the result usually surprises me."
"Take your time, then," suggested Trot. "There's no
"Thank you," said the straw man, and sat perfectly
still for half an hour. During this interval the
grasshopper whispered in Trot's ear, to which he was very
close, and Trot whispered back to the grasshopper sitting
upon her shoulder. Pon cast loving glances at Gloria, who
paid not the slightest heed to them.
Finally the Scarecrow laughed aloud.
"Brains working?" inquired Trot.
The Scarecrow of Oz
|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 Woman and Labour by Olive Schreiner:
a decision on the relative fineness of woollens and linens, the form of sex
of the persons composing it would probably have no bearing on the result;
there is no rational ground for supposing that, on a question of Greek
accents or the thickness of cloths, equally instructed males and females
would differ. Here sex plays no part. The experience and instructedness
of the individuals would tell: their sexual attributes would be
But there are points, comparatively small, even very small, in number, yet
of vital importance to human life, in which sex does play a part.
It is not a matter of indifference whether the body called to adjudicate
upon the questions, whether the temporary sale of the female body for