|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Alkahest by Honore de Balzac:
that devoured his soul were issuing from his nostrils.
The inspired feelings that animate great men shone forth on the pale
face furrowed with wrinkles, on the brow haggard with care like that
of an old monarch, but above all they gleamed in the sparkling eye,
whose fires were fed by chastity imposed by the tyranny of ideas and
by the inward consecration of a great intellect. The cavernous eyes
seemed to have sunk in their orbits through midnight vigils and the
terrible reaction of hopes destroyed, yet ceaselessly reborn. The
zealous fanaticism inspired by an art or a science was evident in this
man; it betrayed itself in the strange, persistent abstraction of his
mind expressed by his dress and bearing, which were in keeping with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Yates Pride by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:
which grazed a few sheep. There were no houses until she reached
the turn which would lead back to the main street, on which her
home was located.
Eudora was about midway of this street when she saw a man
approaching. He was a large man clad in gray, and he was
swinging an umbrella. Somehow the swing of that umbrella, even
from a distance, gave an impression of embarrassment and boyish
hesitation. Eudora did not know him at first. She had expected
to see the same Harry Lawton who had gone away. She did not
expect to see a stout, middle-aged man, but a slim youth.
However, as they drew nearer each other, she knew; and curiously
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne:
eight inches thick, like the armoured frigates."
"As you say, Ned. And think what destruction such a mass would cause,
if hurled with the speed of an express train against the hull of a vessel."
"Yes--certainly--perhaps," replied the Canadian, shaken by these figures,
but not yet willing to give in.
"Well, have I convinced you?"
"You have convinced me of one thing, sir, which is that,
if such animals do exist at the bottom of the seas, they must
necessarily be as strong as you say."
"But if they do not exist, mine obstinate harpooner, how explain
the accident to the Scotia?"
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
|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 A Horse's Tale by Mark Twain:
bull had scattered his persecutors for the moment, and stood
raging, panting, pawing the dust in clouds over his back, when the
man that had been wounded returned to the ring on a remount, a poor
blindfolded wreck that yet had something ironically military about
his bearing - and the next moment the bull had ripped him open and
his bowls were dragging upon the ground: and the bull was charging
his swarm of pests again. Then came pealing through the air a
bugle-call that froze my blood - "IT IS I, SOLDIER - COME!" I
turned; Cathy was flying down through the massed people; she
cleared the parapet at a bound, and sped towards that riderless
horse, who staggered forward towards the remembered sound; but his