|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Bunner Sisters by Edith Wharton:
panes were always well-washed, and though their display of
artificial flowers, bands of scalloped flannel, wire hat-frames,
and jars of home-made preserves, had the undefinable greyish tinge
of objects long preserved in the show-case of a museum, the window
revealed a background of orderly counters and white-washed walls in
pleasant contrast to the adjoining dinginess.
The Bunner sisters were proud of the neatness of their shop
and content with its humble prosperity. It was not what they had
once imagined it would be, but though it presented but a shrunken
image of their earlier ambitions it enabled them to pay their rent
and keep themselves alive and out of debt; and it was long
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Protagoras by Plato:
functions, like the parts of a face. Which of these two assertions shall
we renounce? For both of them together are certainly not in harmony; they
do not accord or agree: for how can they be said to agree if everything is
assumed to have only one opposite and not more than one, and yet folly,
which is one, has clearly the two opposites--wisdom and temperance? Is not
that true, Protagoras? What else would you say?
He assented, but with great reluctance.
Then temperance and wisdom are the same, as before justice and holiness
appeared to us to be nearly the same. And now, Protagoras, I said, we must
finish the enquiry, and not faint. Do you think that an unjust man can be
temperate in his injustice?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:
no share, or but very little, in the matter.
That as my sister-in-law at Colchester had said, beauty, wit,
manners, sense, good humour, good behaviour, education,
virtue, piety, or any other qualification, whether of body or
mind, had no power to recommend; that money only made a
woman agreeable; that men chose mistresses indeed by the
gust of their affection, and it was requisite to a whore to be
handsome, well-shaped, have a good mien and a graceful
behaviour; but that for a wife, no deformity would shock the
fancy, no ill qualities the judgment; the money was the thing;
the portion was neither crooked nor monstrous, but the money
|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 Essays of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
had already been found and sent ashore; but by this time darkness had
fallen, they were out in the middle of the estuary, and the last
steamer had left them till the morning.
'Take him to the forecastle and give him a meal,' said the mate, 'and
see and pack him off the first thing to-morrow.'
In the forecastle he had supper, a good night's rest, and breakfast;
and was sitting placidly with a pipe, fancying all was over and the
game up for good with that ship, when one of the sailors grumbled out
an oath at him, with a 'What are you doing there?' and 'Do you call
that hiding, anyway?' There was need of no more; Alick was in
another bunk before the day was older. Shortly before the passengers