|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
where the five roads radiated. After what seemed an eternity to
me, I reached the place and recognized it by groping across
the entrances to the several corridors until I had counted five
of them. In not one, however, showed the faintest sign of light.
I listened intently, but the naked feet of the green men sent
back no guiding echoes, though presently I thought I detected
the clank of side arms in the far distance of the middle corridor.
Up this, then, I hastened, searching for the light, and stopping
to listen occasionally for a repetition of the sound; but soon I
was forced to admit that I must have been following a blind lead,
as only darkness and silence rewarded my efforts.
The Gods of Mars
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley:
stuck on the point of their bills, which is the hoodie-crow's
particularly clever feat, of which he is as proud as a gipsy is of
doing the hokany-baro; and what that is, I won't tell you.
And at last they brought out the prettiest, neatest young lady-crow
that ever was seen, and set her in the middle, and all began
abusing and vilifying, and rating, and bullyragging at her, because
she had stolen no grouse-eggs, and had actually dared to say that
she would not steal any. So she was to be tried publicly by their
laws (for the hoodies always try some offenders in their great
yearly parliament). And there she stood in the middle, in her
black gown and gray hood, looking as meek and as neat as a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Marriage Contract by Honore de Balzac:
going to speak in her interests as well as in those of Monsieur le
Silence reigned for a moment, during which time everybody present,
oppressed with anxiety, awaited the allocution of the venerable notary
with unspeakable curiosity.
"In these days," continued Maitre Mathias, after a pause, "the
profession of notary has changed from what it was. Political
revolutions now exert an influence over the prospects of families,
which never happened in former times. In those days existences were
clearly defined; so were rank and position--"
"We are not here for a lecture on political ceremony, but to draw up a
|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 Glasses by Henry James:
tide had ebbed I returned to America and to my interrupted work,
which had opened out on such a scale that, with a deep plunge into
a great chance, I was three good years in rising again to the
surface. There are nymphs and naiads moreover in the American
depths: they may have had something to do with the duration of my
dive. I mention them to account for a grave misdemeanor--the fact
that after the first year I rudely neglected Mrs. Meldrum. She had
written to me from Florence after my mother's death and had
mentioned in a postscript that in our young lady's calculations the
lowest figures were now Italian counts. This was a good omen, and
if in subsequent letters there was no news of a sequel I was