|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Ferragus by Honore de Balzac:
where she left the accessories of her toilet, and whence she issued
mysteriously adorned for the mysterious fetes of her heart. Entering
their chamber, which was always graceful and elegant, Jules found a
woman coquettishly wrapped in a charming /peignoir/, her hair simply
wound in heavy coils around her head; a woman always more simple, more
beautiful there than she was before the world; a woman just refreshed
in water, whose only artifice consisted in being whiter than her
muslins, sweeter than all perfumes, more seductive than any siren,
always loving and therefore always loved. This admirable understanding
of a wife's business was the secret of Josephine's charm for Napoleon,
as in former times it was that of Caesonia for Caius Caligula, of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
Thistledown; but he was ashamed, and stole away.
When the flowers told their sorrow to kind-hearted Lily-Be]l, she wept
bitterly at the pain her friend had given, and with loving words
strove to comfort those whom he had grieved; with gentle care she
healed the wounded birds, and watched above the flowers he had harmed,
bringing each day dew and sunlight to refresh and strengthen, till all
were well again; and though sorrowing for their dead friends, still
they forgave Thistle for the sake of her who had done so much for
them. Thus, erelong, buds fairer than that she had lost lay on the
rose mother's breast, and for all she had suffered she was well repaid
by the love of Lily-Bell and her sister flowers.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Philosophy 4 by Owen Wister:
Delight rendered Bertie weak and helpless; he was caught and ducked; and
after some vigorous wrestling both came out of the icy water.
"Now we've got no towels, you fool," said Billy.
"Use your notes," said Bertie, and he rolled in the grass. Then they
chased each other round the apple trees, and the black gelding watched
them by the wall, its ears well forward.
While they were dressing they discovered it was half-past one, and
became instantly famished. "We should have brought lunch along," they
told each other. But they forgot that no such thing as lunch could have
induced them to delay their escape from Cambridge for a moment this
morning. "What do you suppose Oscar is doing now?" Billy inquired of
|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 The Europeans by Henry James:
listened to the church-bell; but she was not dressed for church.
She was bare-headed; she wore a white muslin waist, with an
embroidered border, and the skirt of her dress was of colored muslin.
She was a young lady of some two or three and twenty years of age,
and though a young person of her sex walking bare-headed in a garden,
of a Sunday morning in spring-time, can, in the nature of things,
never be a displeasing object, you would not have pronounced this
innocent Sabbath-breaker especially pretty. She was tall and pale,
thin and a little awkward; her hair was fair and perfectly straight;
her eyes were dark, and they had the singularity of seeming at once
dull and restless--differing herein, as you see, fatally from the ideal