|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Summer by Edith Wharton:
preparations Charity had at first held aloof; but it
had been made clear to her that her non-appearance
might excite conjecture, and, reluctantly, she had
joined the other workers. The girls, at first shy and
embarrassed, and puzzled as to the exact nature of the
projected commemoration, had soon become interested in
the amusing details of their task, and excited by the
notice they received. They would not for the world
have missed their afternoons at Miss Hatchard's, and,
while they cut out and sewed and draped and pasted,
their tongues kept up such an accompaniment to the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
undertook the removal of the brandy bottle, the glasses and the
sugar. Then they both scudded to the kitchen, where they installed
themselves at the table in an empty space between the dishcloths,
which were spread out to dry, and the bowl still full of dishwater.
"We said it was three hundred and forty. It's your turn."
"I play hearts."
When Zoe returned she found them once again absorbed. After a
silence, as Mme Lerat was shuffling, Mme Maloir asked who it was.
"Oh, nobody to speak of," replied the servant carelessly; "a slip of
a lad! I wanted to send him away again, but he's such a pretty boy
with never a hair on his chin and blue eyes and a girl's face! So I
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Democracy In America, Volume 2 by Alexis de Toqueville:
Christianity also teaches that men ought to benefit their fellow-
creatures for the love of God. A sublime expression! Man,
searching by his intellect into the divine conception, and seeing
that order is the purpose of God, freely combines to prosecute
the great design; and whilst he sacrifices his personal interests
to this consummate order of all created things, expects no other
recompense than the pleasure of contemplating it. I do not
believe that interest is the sole motive of religious men: but I
believe that interest is the principal means which religions
themselves employ to govern men, and I do not question that this
way they strike into the multitude and become popular. It is not
|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 The Koran:
is said to them, 'Do not evil in the earth,' they say, 'We do but what
is right.' Are not they the evildoers? and yet they do not perceive.
And when it is said to them, 'Believe as other men believe,' they say,
'Shall we believe as fools believe?' Are not they themselves the
fools? and yet they do not know. And when they meet those who believe,
they say, 'We do believe;' but when they go aside with their devils,
they say, 'We are with you; we were but mocking!' God shall mock at
them and let them go on in their rebellion, blindly wandering on.
Those who buy error for guidance, their traffic profits not, and
they are not guided. Their likeness is as the likeness of one who
kindles a fire; and when it lights up all around, God goes off with