|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain:
of doing the natural thing, the officer took me at my
word, and followed my instructions. And so, as I
came trotting out of that cul de sac, full of satisfaction
with my own cleverness, he turned the corner and I
walked right into his handcuffs. If I had known it was
a cul de sac -- however, there isn't any excusing a
blunder like that, let it go. Charge it up to profit and
Of course, I was indignant, and swore I had just
come ashore from a long voyage, and all that sort of
thing -- just to see, you know, if it would deceive that
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Wife, et al by Anton Chekhov:
vast memory of that soldier, and he will not only tell you the
year, the month and the day, but will furnish you also with the
details that accompanied this or that event. Only one who loves
can remember like that.
He is the guardian of the University traditions. From the porters
who were his predecessors he has inherited many legends of
University life, has added to that wealth much of his own gained
during his time of service, and if you care to hear he will tell
you many long and intimate stories. He can tell one about
extraordinary sages who knew _everything_, about remarkable
students who did not sleep for weeks, about numerous martyrs and
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin:
organ will be formed, as Paley has remarked, for the purpose of causing
pain or for doing an injury to its possessor. If a fair balance be struck
between the good and evil caused by each part, each will be found on the
whole advantageous. After the lapse of time, under changing conditions of
life, if any part comes to be injurious, it will be modified; or if it be
not so, the being will become extinct, as myriads have become extinct.
Natural selection tends only to make each organic being as perfect as, or
slightly more perfect than, the other inhabitants of the same country with
which it has to struggle for existence. And we see that this is the degree
of perfection attained under nature. The endemic productions of New
Zealand, for instance, are perfect one compared with another; but they are
On the Origin of Species
|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 Gobseck by Honore de Balzac:
house belongs to me now.'
"A sudden blow on the head from a bludgeon would have given me less
pain and astonishment. The Countess saw the look of hesitation in my
" 'Monsieur,' she cried, 'Monsieur!' She could find no other words.
" 'You are a trustee, are you not?' I asked.
" 'That is possible.'
" 'Then do you mean to take advantage of this crime of hers?'
"I went at that, leaving the Countess sitting by her husband's
bedside, shedding hot tears. Gobseck followed me. Outside in the