|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift:
gratitude to his honour, although I concluded the thing to be
impossible, and therefore looked on myself as already devoted to
destruction; that the certain prospect of an unnatural death was
the least of my evils; for, supposing I should escape with life
by some strange adventure, how could I think with temper of
passing my days among YAHOOS, and relapsing into my old
corruptions, for want of examples to lead and keep me within the
paths of virtue? that I knew too well upon what solid reasons all
the determinations of the wise HOUYHNHNMS were founded, not to be
shaken by arguments of mine, a miserable YAHOO; and therefore,
after presenting him with my humble thanks for the offer of his
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
do not care for office, nor name, but for secret influence, and do
all things occultly and cunningly, consenting to any servility of
office or conduct, so only that they may intimately discern, and
unawares direct, the minds of men. Then those who "intrude"
(thrust, that is) themselves into the fold, who by natural insolence
of heart, and stout eloquence of tongue, and fearlessly perseverant
self-assertion, obtain hearing and authority with the common crowd.
Lastly, those who "climb," who, by labour and learning, both stout
and sound, but selfishly exerted in the cause of their own ambition,
gain high dignities and authorities, and become "lords over the
heritage," though not "ensamples to the flock."
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas:
that he, in agreement with the vow he had formed, did not
pass over the threshold of his door.
This day of reunion was the same day as that on which Kitty
came to find D'Artagnan. Soon as Kitty left him, D'Artagnan
directed his steps toward the Rue Ferou.
He found Athos and Aramis philosophizing. Aramis had some
slight inclination to resume the cassock. Athos, according
to his system, neither encouraged nor dissuaded him. Athos
believed that everyone should be left to his own free will.
He never gave advice but when it was asked, and even then he
required to be asked twice.
The Three Musketeers
|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 House of Mirth by Edith Wharton:
She was beginning to have fits of angry rebellion against fate,
when she longed to drop out of the race and make an independent
life for herself. But what manner of life would it be? She had
barely enough money to pay her dress-makers' bills and her
gambling debts; and none of the desultory interests which she
dignified with the name of tastes was pronounced enough to enable
her to live contentedly in obscurity. Ah, no--she was too
intelligent not to be honest with herself. She knew that she
hated dinginess as much as her mother had hated it, and to her
last breath she meant to fight against it, dragging herself up