|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
something behind the veil of it, which was not vanity. It became to
me not a painted cloud, but a terrible and impenetrable one: not a
mirage, which vanished as I drew near, but a pillar of darkness, to
which I was forbidden to draw near. For I saw that both my own
failure, and such success in petty things as in its poor triumph
seemed to me worse than failure, came from the want of sufficiently
earnest effort to understand the whole law and meaning of existence,
and to bring it to noble and due end; as, on the other hand, I saw
more and more clearly that all enduring success in the arts, or in
any other occupation, had come from the ruling of lower purposes,
not by a conviction of their nothingness, but by a solemn faith in
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:
the room, arranged two or three packages on the shelves, shut the
damper of the stove, glancing at Marcel's back out of the corners of
her eyes. Then she came back to her chair, pushed her cup aside,
rested both elbows on the table and her chin in her hands, and
looked Marcel square in the face with her clear brown eyes.
"My friend," she said, "are you an honest man, un brave garcon?"
For an instant he could say nothing. He was so puzzled. "Why yes,
Nataline," he answered, "yes, surely--I hope."
"Then let me speak to you without fear," she continued. "You do not
suppose that I am ignorant of what I have done this night. I am not
a baby. You are a man. I am a girl. We are shut up alone in this
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith:
TONY. I'm sure I always loved cousin Con.'s hazle eyes, and her
pretty long fingers, that she twists this way and that over the
haspicholls, like a parcel of bobbins.
MRS. HARDCASTLE. Ah! he would charm the bird from the tree. I was
never so happy before. My boy takes after his father, poor Mr.
Lumpkin, exactly. The jewels, my dear Con., shall be yours
incontinently. You shall have them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my dear?
You shall be married to-morrow, and we'll put off the rest of his
education, like Dr. Drowsy's sermons, to a fitter opportunity.
DIGGORY. Where's the 'squire? I have got a letter for your worship.
She Stoops to Conquer
|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 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
lying there myself in the mornings. The idea calmed me somewhat: I
lay down. Silence composes the nerves; and as an unbroken hush now
reigned again through the whole house, I began to feel the return of
slumber. But it was not fated that I should sleep that night. A
dream had scarcely approached my ear, when it fled affrighted,
scared by a marrow-freezing incident enough.
This was a demoniac laugh--low, suppressed, and deep--uttered, as it
seemed, at the very keyhole of my chamber door. The head of my bed
was near the door, and I thought at first the goblin-laugher stood
at my bedside--or rather, crouched by my pillow: but I rose, looked
round, and could see nothing; while, as I still gazed, the unnatural