|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
September 16th. -- To the seventh posta at the foot of the
Sierra Tapalguen. The country was quite level, with a
coarse herbage and a soft peaty soil. The hovel was here
remarkably neat, the posts and rafters being made of about
a dozen dry thistle-stalks bound together with thongs of
hide; and by the support of these Ionic-like columns, the
roof and sides were thatched with reeds. We were here told
a fact, which I would not have credited, if I had not had
partly ocular proof of it; namely, that, during the previous
night hail as large as small apples, and extremely hard, had
The Voyage of the Beagle
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Albert Savarus by Honore de Balzac:
have adopted habits which prevent my accepting any invitations. I
am only to be consulted between six and eight in the morning; I go
to bed after my dinner, and work at night. The Vicar-General, a
man of parts, and very influential, who placed the Chapter's case
in my hands after they had lost it in the lower Court, of course
professed their gratitude. 'Monsieur,' said I, 'I will win your
suit, but I want no fee; I want more' (start of alarm on the
Abbe's part). 'You must know that I am a great loser by putting
myself forward in antagonism to the town. I came here only to
leave the place as deputy. I mean to engage only in commercial
cases, because commercial men return the members; they will
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
In one of the windows of the armory overlooking the
garden stood a grim, gray, old man, leaning upon his
folded arms, his brows drawn together in a malignant
scowl, the corners of his mouth set in a stern, cold line.
He looked upon the garden and the playing child,
and upon the lovely young woman beneath him, but
with eyes which did not see, for De Vac was working
out a great problem, the greatest of all his life.
For three days the old man had brooded over his
grievance, seeking for some means to be revenged upon
the King for the insult which Henry had put upon him.
The Outlaw of Torn
|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 Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:
exception of some officers and soldiers who are as well
equipped nowadays as at the beginning of the war.
Petrograd ladies were particularly fond of boots, and of
boots there is an extreme shortage. I saw one young woman
in a well-preserved, obviously costly fur coat, and beneath
it straw shoes with linen wrappings.
We had started rather late, so we took a train half-way up
the Nevsky. The tram conductors are still women. The
price of tickets has risen to a rouble, usually, I noticed, paid
in stamps. It used to be ten kopecks.
The armoured car which used to stand at the entrance of