|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy:
'We'll drink our tea and be off.'
Nikita said nothing but only shook his head, and carefully
pouring some tea into his saucer began warming his hands, the
fingers of which were always swollen with hard work, over the
steam. Then, biting off a tiny bit of sugar, he bowed to his
hosts, said, 'Your health!' and drew in the steaming liquid.
'If somebody would see us as far as the turning,' said Vasili
'Well, we can do that,' said the eldest son. 'Petrushka will
harness and go that far with you.'
Master and Man
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sanitary and Social Lectures by Charles Kingsley:
knowledge of the laws of electricity, one thrift I am sure it
would produce--thrift to us men, of having to answer continual
inquiries as to what the weather is going to be, when a slight
knowledge of the barometer, or of the form of the clouds and the
direction of the wind, would enable many a lady to judge for
herself, and not, after inquiry on inquiry, regardless of all
warnings, go out on the first appearance of a strip of blue sky,
and come home wet through, with what she calls "only a chill," but
which really means a nail driven into her coffin--a probable
shortening, though it may be a very small one, of her mortal life;
because the food of the next twenty-four hours, which should have
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Aspern Papers by Henry James:
My gondolier, behind me, must have seen my ears red as I wondered,
sitting there under the fluttering tenda, with my
hidden face, noticing nothing as we passed--wondered whether
her delusion, her infatuation had been my own reckless work.
Did she think I had made love to her, even to get the papers?
I had not, I had not; I repeated that over to myself for an hour,
for two hours, till I was wearied if not convinced.
I don't know where my gondolier took me; we floated aimlessly
about in the lagoon, with slow, rare strokes. At last I became
conscious that we were near the Lido, far up, on the right hand,
as you turn your back to Venice, and I made him put me ashore.
|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 Pierre Grassou by Honore de Balzac:
"Are you quite sure," said Virginie, "that he has done no harm to my
portrait? He frightened me."
"He has only done it good," replied Grassou.
"Well, if he is a great artist, I prefer a great artist like you,"
said Madame Vervelle.
The ways of genius had ruffled up these orderly bourgeois.
The phase of autumn so pleasantly named "Saint Martin's summer" was
just beginning. With the timidity of a neophyte in presence of a man
of genius, Vervelle risked giving Fougeres an invitation to come out
to his country-house on the following Sunday. He knew, he said, how
little attraction a plain bourgeois family could offer to an artist.