|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll:
But, if you mean the whole human race, then I think the minds have it:
everything, recorded in books, must have once been in some mind,
"Isn't that rather like one of the Rules in Algebra?" my Lady enquired.
("Algebra too!" I thought with increasing wonder.) "I mean, if we
consider thoughts as factors, may we not say that the Least Common
Multiple of all the minds contains that of all the books; but not the
"Certainly we may!" I replied, delighted with the illustration.
"And what a grand thing it would be," I went on dreamily, thinking aloud
rather than talking, "if we could only apply that Rule to books!
Sylvie and Bruno
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad:
or rather that the problem had dispossessed my intelligence and
reigned in its stead side by side with a superstitious awe. A
dreadful order seemed to lurk in the darkest shadows of life. The
madness of that Carlist with the soul of a Jacobin, the vile fears
of Baron H., that excellent organizer of supplies, the contact of
their two ferocious stupidities, and last, by a remote disaster at
sea, my love brought into direct contact with the situation: all
that was enough to make one shudder - not at the chance, but at the
For it was my love that was called upon to act here, and nothing
else. And love which elevates us above all safeguards, above
The Arrow of Gold
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Herbert West: Reanimator by H. P. Lovecraft:
flashlight. From the revolver I knew that he was thinking more
of the crazed Italian than of the police.
"We’d better both
go," he whispered. "It wouldn’t do not to answer it anyway, and
it may be a patient -- it would be like one of those fools to
try the back door."
So we both went down the stairs on tiptoe,
with a fear partly justified and partly that which comes only
from the soul of the weird small hours. The rattling continued,
growing somewhat louder. When we reached the door I cautiously
unbolted it and threw it open, and as the moon streamed revealingly
Herbert West: Reanimator
|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 To-morrow by Joseph Conrad:
round its firesides. Many sailors feel and profess
a rational dislike for the sea, but his was a pro-
found and emotional animosity--as if the love of
the stabler element had been bred into him through
"People did not know what they let their boys in
for when they let them go to sea," he expounded to
Bessie. "As soon make convicts of them at once."
He did not believe you ever got used to it. The
weariness of such a life got worse as you got older.
What sort of trade was it in which more than half