|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Old Indian Legends by Zitkala-Sa:
Iktomi would do, thus he lay still where he fell. Humming a
dance-song, one from his bundle of mystery songs, Iktomi hopped and
darted about at an imaginary dance and feast. He gathered dry
willow sticks and broke them in two against his knee. He built a
large fire out of doors. The flames leaped up high in red and
yellow streaks. Now Iktomi returned to the coyote who had been
looking on through his eyelashes.
Taking him again by his paws and hind feet, he swung him to
and fro. Then as the wolf swung toward the red flames, Iktomi let
him go. Once again the coyote fell through space. Hot air smote
his nostrils. He saw red dancing fire, and now he struck a bed of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
resurrection were taking place. In the prolonged silence it
occurred to me that there was a good deal of retrospective
writing in the story as far as it went. Was it intelligible in
its action, I asked myself, as if already the story-teller were
being born into the body of a seaman. But I heard on deck the
whistle of the officer of the watch and remained on the alert to
catch the order that was to follow this call to attention. It
reached me as a faint, fierce shout to "Square the yards." "Aha!"
I thought to myself, "a westerly blow coming on." Then I turned
to my very first reader, who, alas! was not to live long enough
to know the end of the tale.
A Personal Record
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson:
sprang above the foliage, we found that strange house which was
known in the country as "Cluny's Cage." The trunks of several
trees had been wattled across, the intervals strengthened with
stakes, and the ground behind this barricade levelled up with
earth to make the floor. A tree, which grew out from the
hillside, was the living centre-beam of the roof. The walls were
of wattle and covered with moss. The whole house had something
of an egg shape; and it half hung, half stood in that steep,
hillside thicket, like a wasp's nest in a green hawthorn.
Within, it was large enough to shelter five or six persons with
some comfort. A projection of the cliff had been cunningly
|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 A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:
"Oh, you bewitching little scamp, CAN'T you be quiet just a minute
or two, and let your poor old uncle attend to a part of his
"I'll try, uncle; I will, indeed," she said.
"Well, then, that's a good child - kiss me. Now, then, sit up in
that chair, and set your eye on that clock. There - that's right.
If you stir - if you so much as wink - for four whole minutes, I'll
It was very sweet and humble and obedient she looked, sitting
there, still as a mouse; I could hardly keep from setting her free
and telling her to make as much racket as she wanted to. During as