|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce:
livers," cried the Fogy, "that water will cause grass to spring up
here, and trees, and possibly even flowers? Knowest thou not, that
thou art, in truth, producing an oasis?"
"And don't you know," said the Sheik of the Outfit, "that caravans
will then stop here for rest and refreshments, giving you a chance
to steal the camels, the horses, and the goods?"
"May the wild hog defile my grave, but thou speakest wisdom!" the
Fogy replied, with the dignity of his race, extending his hand.
At Heaven's Gate
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
You know the foolish notions that come to one sometimes.
The high stillness confronted these two figures with its ominous
patience, waiting for the passing away of a fantastic invasion.
"They swore aloud together--out of sheer fright, I believe--then pretending
not to know anything of my existence, turned back to the station.
The sun was low; and leaning forward side by side, they seemed to be
tugging painfully uphill their two ridiculous shadows of unequal length,
that trailed behind them slowly over the tall grass without bending
a single blade.
"In a few days the Eldorado Expedition went into the patient
wilderness, that closed upon it as the sea closes over a diver.
Heart of Darkness
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne:
representatives of the conifers. were linked together by a tangled
network of long climbing plants. A soft carpet of moss and hepaticas
luxuriously clothed the soil. A few sparkling streams ran almost in
silence under what would have been the shade of the trees, but that
there was no shadow. On their banks grew tree-ferns similar to those
we grow in hothouses. But a remarkable feature was the total absence
of colour in all those trees, shrubs, and plants, growing without the
life-giving heat and light of the sun. Everything seemed mixed-up and
confounded in one uniform silver grey or light brown tint like that
of fading and faded leaves. Not a green leaf anywhere, and the
flowers - which were abundant enough in the tertiary period, which
Journey to the Center of the Earth
|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 Little Rivers by Henry van Dyke:
fine stone campanile with excellent bells, and seven or eight
little inns. But it is more important than its size would signify,
for it is the capital of the district whose lawful title is
Magnifica Comunita di Ampezzo--a name conferred long ago by the
Republic of Venice. In the fifteenth century it was Venetian
territory; but in 1516, under Maximilian I., it was joined to
Austria; and it is now one of the richest and most prosperous
communes of the Tyrol. It embraces about thirty-five hundred
people, scattered in hamlets and clusters of houses through the
green basin with its four entrances, lying between the peaks of
Tofana, Cristallo, Sorapis, and Nuvolau. The well-cultivated grain