|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Essays & Lectures by Oscar Wilde:
word. For he knew that he who speaks a word loses his faith.
And one morning, as the young man returned with his hands full of
purple and pearls, he stopped and frowned and stamped his foot upon
the sand, and said to the Hermit: 'Why do you look at me ever in
this manner as I pass by? What is it that I see in your eyes? For
no man has looked at me before in this manner. And the thing is a
thorn and a trouble to me.'
And the Hermit answered him and said, 'What you see in my eyes is
pity. Pity is what looks out at you from my eyes.'
And the young man laughed with scorn, and cried to the Hermit in a
bitter voice, and said to him, 'I have purple and pearls in my
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Moby Dick by Herman Melville:
"During the night, Radney had an unseamanlike way of sitting on the
bulwarks of the quarter-deck, and leaning his arm upon the gunwale of
the boat which was hoisted up there, a little above the ship's side.
In this attitude, it was well known, he sometimes dozed. There was a
considerable vacancy between the boat and the ship, and down between
this was the sea. Steelkilt calculated his time, and found that his
next trick at the helm would come round at two o'clock, in the
morning of the third day from that in which he had been betrayed. At
his leisure, he employed the interval in braiding something very
carefully in his watches below.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:
Mack, the pessimist, laughed harshly.
"I'm afraid I don't see the parallel," I said, coldly. "I have only a
very slight acquaintance with the prize-ring."
The derelict touched my sleeve with his forefinger, for emphasis, as
he explained his parable.
"Every man," said he, with some dignity, "has got his lamps on
something that looks good to him. With you, it's this dame that
you're afraid to say your say to. With me, it was to win out in the
ring. Well, you'll lose just like I did."
"Why do you think I shall lose?" I asked warmly.
"'Cause," said he, "you're afraid to go in the ring. You dassen't
|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 Alcibiades I by Plato:
Archidamus and mother of Agis, all of whom were kings, would have the same
feeling; if, in your present uneducated state, you were to turn your
thoughts against her son, she too would be equally astonished. But how
disgraceful, that we should not have as high a notion of what is required
in us as our enemies' wives and mothers have of the qualities which are
required in their assailants! O my friend, be persuaded by me, and hear
the Delphian inscription, 'Know thyself'--not the men whom you think, but
these kings are our rivals, and we can only overcome them by pains and
skill. And if you fail in the required qualities, you will fail also in
becoming renowned among Hellenes and Barbarians, which you seem to desire
more than any other man ever desired anything.