|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf:
Choosing "affectionately," after some further speculation,
rather than sincerely, she signed the letter and was doggedly
beginning on another when Terence remarked, quoting from his book:
"Listen to this, Rachel. 'It is probable that Hugh' (he's the hero,
a literary man), 'had not realised at the time of his marriage,
any more than the young man of parts and imagination usually
does realise, the nature of the gulf which separates the needs
and desires of the male from the needs and desires of the female.
. . . At first they had been very happy. The walking tour in Switzerland
had been a time of jolly companionship and stimulating revelations
for both of them. Betty had proved herself the ideal comrade.
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
of doubt as to there being in the place another presence than his
own. This required an effort strong enough to sicken him; but he
had his reason, which over-mastered for the moment everything else.
There was the whole of the rest of the house to traverse, and how
should he screw himself to that if the door he had seen closed were
at present open? He could hold to the idea that the closing had
practically been for him an act of mercy, a chance offered him to
descend, depart, get off the ground and never again profane it.
This conception held together, it worked; but what it meant for him
depended now clearly on the amount of forbearance his recent
action, or rather his recent inaction, had engendered. The image
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:
He cut it clean in two just behind where the point was fastened
on to the shaft of the spear. Ajax, therefore, had now nothing
but a headless spear, while the bronze point flew some way off
and came ringing down on to the ground. Ajax knew the hand of
heaven in this, and was dismayed at seeing that Jove had now left
him utterly defenceless and was willing victory for the Trojans.
Therefore he drew back, and the Trojans flung fire upon the ship
which was at once wrapped in flame.
The fire was now flaring about the ship's stern, whereon Achilles
smote his two thighs and said to Patroclus, "Up, noble knight,
for I see the glare of hostile fire at our fleet; up, lest they
|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 Georgics by Virgil:
Or toad is found in hollows, and all the swarm
Of earth's unsightly creatures; or a huge
Corn-heap the weevil plunders, and the ant,
Fearful of coming age and penury.
Mark too, what time the walnut in the woods
With ample bloom shall clothe her, and bow down
Her odorous branches, if the fruit prevail,
Like store of grain will follow, and there shall come
A mighty winnowing-time with mighty heat;
But if the shade with wealth of leaves abound,
Vainly your threshing-floor will bruise the stalks