|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
And again she cried, "Holy Virgin, Mother of God, have pity upon me!"
"Be comforted, mother. God is not a Lombard usurer. I may have killed
people good and bad at random in my time, but I am not afraid of the
"Ah! master Lancepesade, how happy those fair ladies are, to be so
near to a bishop, a holy man! They will get absolution for their
sins," said the old woman. "Oh! if I could only hear a priest say to
me, 'Thy sins are forgiven!' I should believe it then."
The stranger turned towards her, and the goodness in his face made her
"Have faith," he said, "and you will be saved."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:
thinking little that he was to die in an Indian jungle in quest
There is so much more of remembrance about the little walk, that
--as I stop, rest on my crutch-headed cane, and look round with
that species of comparison between the thing I was and that which
I now am--it almost induces me to doubt my own identity; until I
find myself in face of the honeysuckle porch of Aunt Margaret's
dwelling, with its irregularity of front, and its odd, projecting
latticed windows, where the workmen seem to have made it a study
that no one of them should resemble another in form, size, or in
the old-fashioned stone entablature and labels which adorn them.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Christ in Flanders by Honore de Balzac:
pray to her for you and for me."
The two peasants, father and son, were silent, patient, and submissive
to the will of God, like folk whose wont it is to fall in
instinctively with the ways of Nature like cattle. At the one end of
the boat stood riches, pride, learning, debauchery, and crime--human
society, such as art and thought and education and worldly interests
and laws have made it; and at this end there was terror and wailing,
innumerable different impulses all repressed by hideous doubts--at
this end, and at this only, the agony of fear.
Above all these human lives stood a strong man, the skipper; no doubts
assailed him, the chief, the king, the fatalist among them. He was
|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 When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
swelled up alarmingly in order to sigh.
"This is the worst day of the year for me," he affirmed, staring
straight ahead, "and the longest. Look at that crazy clock over
there. If you want to see your life passing away, if you want to
see the steps by which you are marching to eternity, watch that
clock marking the time. Look at that infernal hand staying quiet
for sixty seconds and then jumping forward to catch up with the
"See here, Jim," I said, leaning forward, "you're not well. You
can't go through the rest of the day like this. I know what
you'll do; you'll go home to play Grieg on the pianola, and you