|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:
lungs. To die of hanging at the bottom of a river! -- the
idea seemed to him ludicrous. He opened his eyes in the
darkness and saw above him a gleam of light, but how distant,
how inaccessible! He was still sinking, for the light became
fainter and fainter until it was a mere glimmer. Then it
began to grow and brighten, and he knew that he was rising
toward the surface -- knew it with reluctance, for he was now
very comfortable. "To be hanged and drowned," he thought,
"that is not so bad; but I do not wish to be shot. No; I
will not be shot; that is not fair."
He was not conscious of an effort, but a sharp pain in his
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
me in. The King has given me a room."
"Well, he has taken it back again," was the soldier's
reply. "His Majesty's orders are to turn you away if you
attempt to enter. I am also ordered to forbid the boy,
your companion, to again enter the King's castle."
"How 'bout Cap'n Bill?" she inquired.
"Why, it seems he has mysteriously disappeared,"
replied the soldier, shaking his head ominously. "Where
he has gone to, I can't make out, but I can assure you he
is no longer in this castle. I'm sorry, little girl, to
disappoint you. Don't blame me; I must obey my master's
The Scarecrow of Oz
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Nada the Lily by H. Rider Haggard:
aloud a shrill scream, and, flinging her arms about the neck of the
Dead One, she cried: 'It is my son whom I bore--my very son, whom for
twice ten years and half a ten I have not looked upon. Greeting, my
son, greeting! Now shalt thou find burial, and I with three--ay, I
"And once more she cried aloud, standing upon her feet with arms
outstretched. Then of a sudden foam burst from her lips, and she fell
forward upon the body of her son, and was dead.
"Now silence came upon the place again, for all were fearful. At last
one cried: 'How is this man named who has won the body from the
Nada the Lily
|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 Lemorne Versus Huell by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard:
half away when he caught my eye, and then darted toward me.
"You have not been much more interested in the music than you are
in the lawsuit," he said, seating himself beside me.
"The *tutoyer* of the Italian voice is agreeable, however."
"It makes one dreamy."
"Yes, a child; not a man nor a woman."
"I teach music. I can not dream over 'one, two, three.'"
"*You*--a music teacher!"
"For six years."
I was aware that he looked at me from head to foot, and I picked