|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
You know the singular characteristics of English people, the distance
and coldness of their own Channel which they put between them and
whoever has not been presented to them in a proper manner. Humanity
seems to be an ant-hill on which they tread; they know none of their
species except the few they admit into their circle; they ignore even
the language of the rest; tongues may move and eyes may see in their
presence but neither sound nor look has reached them; to them, the
people are as if they were not. The British present an image of their
own island, where law rules everything, where all is automatic in
every station of life, where the exercise of virtue appears to be the
The Lily of the Valley
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
which hid almost his entire face except for two piercing
eyes, a great nose and a bit of wrinkled forehead. When
he spoke he accompanied his words with many shrugs
of his narrow shoulders and with waving of his arms
and other strange and amusing gesticulations. The child
was fascinated. Here was the first amusement of his
little starved life. He listened intently to the conversa-
tion, which was in French.
"I have just the thing for madame," the stranger
was saying. "It be a noble and stately hall far from the
beaten way. It was built in the old days by Harold the
The Outlaw of Torn
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Heroes by Charles Kingsley:
kind host, and laid him on a fair bed, and heaped a huge
mound over him, and offered black sheep at his tomb, and
Orpheus sang a magic song to him, that his spirit might have
rest. And then they held games at the tomb, after the custom
of those times, and Jason gave prizes to each winner. To
Ancaeus he gave a golden cup, for he wrestled best of all;
and to Heracles a silver one, for he was the strongest of
all; and to Castor, who rode best, a golden crest; and
Polydeuces the boxer had a rich carpet, and to Orpheus for
his song a sandal with golden wings. But Jason himself was
the best of all the archers, and the Minuai crowned him with
|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 Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:
Mrs. Almayer, who had been craning her neck to look round the
corner of the shed, drew back her head.
"There is nobody there," she said, reassured. "Is it not time
for the Rajah war-canoe to go to the clearing?"
"I have been waiting for it here, for I myself must go,"
explained Babalatchi. "I think I will go over and see what makes
them late. When will you come? The Rajah gives you refuge."
"I shall paddle over before the break of day. I cannot leave my
dollars behind," muttered Mrs. Almayer.
They separated. Babalatchi crossed the courtyard towards the
creek to get his canoe, and Mrs. Almayer walked slowly to the