|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:
As long as he was in the city, Planchet kept at the respectful
distance he had imposed upon himself; but as soon as the road
began to be more lonely and dark, he drew softly nearer, so that
when they entered the Bois de Boulogne he found himself riding
quite naturally side by side with his master. In fact, we must
not dissemble that the oscillation of the tall trees and the
reflection of the moon in the dark underwood gave him serious
uneasiness. D'Artagnan could not help perceiving that something
more than usual was passing in the mind of his lackey and said,
"Well, Monsieur Planchet, what is the matter with us now?"
"Don't you think, monsieur, that woods are like churches?"
The Three Musketeers
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence:
playing with water, and utterly alone. Connie backed away round the
corner of the house, and hurried away to the wood. In spite of herself,
she had had a shock. After all, merely a man washing himself,
commonplace enough, Heaven knows!
Yet in some curious way it was a visionary experience: it had hit her
in the middle of the body. She saw the clumsy breeches slipping down
over the pure, delicate, white loins, the bones showing a little, and
the sense of aloneness, of a creature purely alone, overwhelmed her.
Perfect, white, solitary nudity of a creature that lives alone, and
inwardly alone. And beyond that, a certain beauty of a pure creature.
Not the stuff of beauty, not even the body of beauty, but a lambency,
Lady Chatterley's Lover
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Life of the Spider by J. Henri Fabre:
others, the swan's-down of the nest is manufactured. The Thomisus,
a first-class nest-builder, does like the rest: she hoards in her
abdomen, but without undue display of obesity, the wherewithal to
house her family snugly.
Can the expression onustus refer simply to her slow and sidelong
walk? The explanation appeals to me, without satisfying me fully.
Except in the case of a sudden alarm, every Spider maintains a
sober gait and a wary pace. When all is said, the scientific term
is composed of a misconception and a worthless epithet. How
difficult it is to name animals rationally! Let us be indulgent to
the nomenclator: the dictionary is becoming exhausted and the
The Life of the Spider
|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 Awakening & Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin:
Madame Lebrun knocked on the table with her knife handle.
"Please let Robert explain why he is going, and why he is
going to-night," she called out. "Really, this table is getting to
be more and more like Bedlam every day, with everybody talking at
once. Sometimes--I hope God will forgive me--but positively,
sometimes I wish Victor would lose the power of speech."
Victor laughed sardonically as he thanked his mother for her
holy wish, of which he failed to see the benefit to anybody, except
that it might afford her a more ample opportunity and license to
Awakening & Selected Short Stories