|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Father Damien by Robert Louis Stevenson:
convincingly. These gave me what knowledge I possess; and I learnt
it in that scene where it could be most completely and sensitively
understood - Kalawao, which you have never visited, about which you
have never so much as endeavoured to inform yourself; for, brief as
your letter is, you have found the means to stumble into that
confession. "LESS THAN ONE-HALF of the island," you say, "is
devoted to the lepers." Molokai - "MOLOKAI AHINA," the "grey,"
lofty, and most desolate island - along all its northern side
plunges a front of precipice into a sea of unusual profundity.
This range of cliff is, from east to west, the true end and
frontier of the island. Only in one spot there projects into the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
After scoring over my calmness in this graphic way he nodded wisely.
If I had seen the sight, he assured me, I would never forget it as long
as I lived. The weather was too bad to give the corpse a proper sea burial.
So next day at dawn they took it up on the poop, covering its face
with a bit of bunting; he read a short prayer, and then, just as it was,
in its oilskins and long boots, they launched it amongst those mountainous
seas that seemed ready every moment to swallow up the ship herself
and the terrified lives on board of her.
"That reefed foresail saved you," I threw in.
"Under God--it did," he exclaimed fervently. "It was by a special mercy,
I firmly believe, that it stood some of those hurricane squalls."
The Secret Sharer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Russia in 1919 by Arthur Ransome:
till later that we learned he had returned to Berlin, been
arrested, and put in prison.] She feared he might have been
in Bremen when that town was taken by the Government
troops, and did not believe he would ever get back to Russia.
She asked me, did I not feel already (as indeed I did) the
enormous difference which the last six months had made in
strengthening the revolution. I asked after old
acquaintances, and learnt that Pyatakov, who, when I last
saw him, was praying that the Allies should give him
machine rifles to use against the Germans in the Ukraine,
had been the first President of the Ukrainian Soviet
|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 Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:
them, in the sleeping water; all around them in a ring of
luxuriant vegetation bathed in the warm air charged with strong
and harsh perfumes, the intense work of tropical nature went on:
plants shooting upward, entwined, interlaced in inextricable
confusion, climbing madly and brutally over each other in the
terrible silence of a desperate struggle towards the life-giving
sunshine above--as if struck with sudden horror at the seething
mass of corruption below, at the death and decay from which they
"We must part now," said Dain, after a long silence. "You must
return at once, Nina. I will wait till the brig drifts down