|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
whose inhabitants, if my intelligence deceives me not, are so wonderfully
gifted, as to syllogize after the same fashion, and oft-times to make very
well out too:--but that's neither here nor there--
The gift of doing it as it should be, amongst us, or--the great and
principal act of ratiocination in man, as logicians tell us, is the finding
out the agreement or disagreement of two ideas one with another, by the
intervention of a third (called the medius terminus); just as a man, as
Locke well observes, by a yard, finds two mens nine-pin-alleys to be of the
same length, which could not be brought together, to measure their
equality, by juxta-position.
Had the same great reasoner looked on, as my father illustrated his systems
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Summer by Edith Wharton:
It's curious that a house with traces of real
architecture should have been built in such a place.
But the people were a sulky-looking lot--do you suppose
they'll let us in?"
"They'll do whatever I tell them," she said with
He threw himself down beside her. "Will they?" he
rejoined with a smile. "Well, I should like to see
what's left inside the house. And I should like to
have a talk with the people. Who was it who was
telling me the other day that they had come down from
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe:
which we found in a terrible fright and all in arms; for, it seems,
the night before the wolves and some bears had broken into the
village, and put them in such terror that they were obliged to keep
guard night and day, but especially in the night, to preserve their
cattle, and indeed their people.
The next morning our guide was so ill, and his limbs swelled so
much with the rankling of his two wounds, that he could go no
farther; so we were obliged to take a new guide here, and go to
Toulouse, where we found a warm climate, a fruitful, pleasant
country, and no snow, no wolves, nor anything like them; but when
we told our story at Toulouse, they told us it was nothing but what
|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 Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
time we catch him in an impossibility, he tells us the explanation
is in the sky." Then turning to the traveler to say goodbye, he
added, "We cannot believe something when the weight of scientific
evidence is against it."
"But when the physical evidence is clearly before you," said
the traveler, "how can you not believe, even if your theories cannot
"Because such an event would be a miracle, and science has
nothing to do with miracles."
"Then perhaps science is the poorer for it," said the
traveler, sitting down to watch his television, which just then