|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
With imposing rites, in the White Man's head.
HATRED, n. A sentiment appropriate to the occasion of another's
HEAD-MONEY, n. A capitation tax, or poll-tax.
In ancient times there lived a king
Whose tax-collectors could not wring
From all his subjects gold enough
To make the royal way less rough.
For pleasure's highway, like the dames
Whose premises adjoin it, claims
The Devil's Dictionary
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
Phoenix, and Cilix, her three sons, and Thasus, their
playfellow, went wandering along the highways and bypaths, or
through the pathless wildernesses of the earth, in this manner.
But certain it is, that, before they reached any place of rest,
their splendid garments were quite worn out. They all looked
very much travel-stained, and would have had the dust of many
countries on their shoes, if the streams, through which they
waded, had not washed it all away. When they had been gone a
year, Telephassa threw away her crown, because it chafed her
"It has given me many a headache," said the poor queen, "and it
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Options by O. Henry:
smoke, even if I do come from Pittsburgh.'
"'You are quite a distance from home,' says she.
"'I'd have gone a thousand miles farther,' says I.
"'Not if you hadn't waked up when the train started in Shelbyville,'
says she; and then she turned almost as red as one of the roses on the
bushes in the yard. I remembered I had dropped off to sleep on a
bench in the Shelbyville station, waiting to see which train she took,
and only just managed to wake up in time.
"And then I told her why I had come, as respectful and earnest as I
could. And I told her everything about myself, and what I was making,
and how that all I asked was just to get acquainted with her and try
|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 Captain Stormfield by Mark Twain:
to hug those old people, I judge; but it was the gladdest and
proudest multitude you ever saw - because they had seen Moses and
Esau. Everybody was saying, "Did you see them? - I did - Esau's
side face was to me, but I saw Moses full in the face, just as
plain as I see you this minute!"
The procession took up the barkeeper and moved on with him again,
and the crowd broke up and scattered. As we went along home, Sandy
said it was a great success, and the barkeeper would have a right
to be proud of it forever. And he said we were in luck, too; said
we might attend receptions for forty thousand years to come, and
not have a chance to see a brace of such grand moguls as Moses and