|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
notwithstanding the fluffy growth of golden hair on his cheeks. He
pouted in a scared way like a child. The cabman, short and broad,
eyed him with his fierce little eyes that seemed to smart in a
clear and corroding liquid.
"'Ard on `osses, but dam' sight `arder on poor chaps like me," he
wheezed just audibly.
"Poor! Poor!" stammered out Stevie, pushing his hands deeper into
his pockets with convulsive sympathy. He could say nothing; for
the tenderness to all pain and all misery, the desire to make the
horse happy and the cabman happy, had reached the point of a
bizarre longing to take them to bed with him. And that, he knew,
The Secret Agent
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Two Brothers by Honore de Balzac:
families were assembled in the salon, the Hochons on one side, the
Borniches on the other,--all in their best clothes. While the contract
was being solemnly read aloud by young Heron, the notary, the cook
came into the room and asked Monsieur Hochon for some twine to truss
up the turkey,--an essential feature of the repast. The old man dove
into the pocket of his surtout, pulled out an end of string which had
evidently already served to tie up a parcel, and gave it to her; but
before she could leave the room he called out, "Gritte, mind you give
it back to me!" (Gritte is the abbreviation used in Berry for
From year to year old Hochon grew more petty in his meanness, and more
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sophist by Plato:
imply 'opposition.' And difference or opposition may be either total or
partial: the not-beautiful may be other than the beautiful, or in no
relation to the beautiful, or a specific class in various degrees opposed
to the beautiful. And the negative may be a negation of fact or of thought
(ou and me). Lastly, there are certain ideas, such as 'beginning,'
'becoming,' 'the finite,' 'the abstract,' in which the negative cannot be
separated from the positive, and 'Being' and 'Not-being' are inextricably
Plato restricts the conception of Not-being to difference. Man is a
rational animal, and is not--as many other things as are not included under
this definition. He is and is not, and is because he is not. Besides the
|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 In a German Pension by Katherine Mansfield:
in all her movements that was terrifying to anyone so small.
"Sit in the corner, and peel and wash the vegetables, and keep the baby
quiet while I do the washing."
Whimpering she obeyed, but as to keeping the baby quiet, that was
impossible. His face was hot, little beads of sweat stood all over his
head, and he stiffened his body and cried. She held him on her knees, with
a pan of cold water beside her for the cleaned vegetables and the "ducks'
bucket" for the peelings.
"Ts--ts--ts!" she crooned, scraping and boring; "there's going to be
another soon, and you can't both keep on crying. Why don't you go to
sleep, baby? I would, if I were you. I'll tell you a dream. Once upon a