|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from A Hero of Our Time by M.Y. Lermontov:
and I spoiled him. What a dare-devil the boy
was! Up to anything, picking up a cap at full
gallop, or bringing things down with his gun!
He had one bad quality; he was terribly greedy
for money. Once, for the fun of the thing,
Grigori Aleksandrovich promised to give him a
ducat if he would steal the best he-goat from his
father's herd for him; and, what do you think?
The very next night he came lugging it in by the
horns! At times we used to take it into our heads
to tease him, and then his eyes would become
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde:
PHIPPS. I will speak to the florist, my lord. She has had a loss in
her family lately, which perhaps accounts for the lack of triviality
your lordship complains of in the buttonhole.
LORD GORING. Extraordinary thing about the lower classes in England
- they are always losing their relations.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord! They are extremely fortunate in that respect.
LORD GORING. [Turns round and looks at him. PHIPPS remains
impassive.] Hum! Any letters, Phipps?
PHIPPS. Three, my lord. [Hands letters on a salver.]
LORD GORING. [Takes letters.] Want my cab round in twenty minutes.
PHIPPS. Yes, my lord. [Goes towards door.]
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
barnacle-covered object which on closer examination he discovered to
be an ancient bronze oil lamp. "Hah! Aladdin's lamp," he thought,
jokingly. "I'll rub it." To his surprise, when he did rub it, a
"Okay, Bud," said the genie, in a remarkably bored tone. "You have
one wish--anything you want. What is it?"
"Money," the man said instantly, his eyes widening. "Yes! Endless
money. Riches! Wealth! Ha! Ha! Huge, massive, obscene wealth!"
"I thought so," said the genie in the same bored tone.
"No, wait," the man said, his eyes suddenly narrowing. "Power. Yeah,
that's it. Complete and total power over everyone and everything
|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 The Commission in Lunacy by Honore de Balzac:
and ready to fall, where on each floor some grotesque evidence is to
be seen of the craft pursued by some lodger within. Here long poles
are hung with immense skeins of dyed worsted put out to dry; there, on
ropes, dance clean-washed shirts; higher up, on a shelf, volumes
display their freshly marbled edges; women sing, husbands whistle,
children shout; the carpenter saws his planks, a copper-turner makes
the metal screech; all kinds of industries combine to produce a noise
which the number of instruments renders distracting.
The general system of decoration in this passage, which is neither
courtyard, garden, nor vaulted way, though a little of all, consists
of wooden pillars resting on square stone blocks, and forming arches.