|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Nana, Miller's Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille by Emile Zola:
believed that Nana had always lived decently, and now it was enough
for her to have found her again in a fine position and to observe
her kind feelings toward her son. Virtue and hard work were still
the only things worth anything in this world.
"Who is the baby's father?" she said, interrupting herself, her eyes
lit up with an exhad crossed two knives on the
table in front of her. Notwithstanding this, the young woman
defended herself from the charge of superstition. Thus, if the salt
were upset, it meant nothing, even on a Friday; but when it came to
knives, that was too much of a good thing; that had never proved
fallacious. There could be no doubt that something unpleasant was
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde:
JACK. Good heavens!
[Enter LADY BRACKNELL. The couples separate in alarm. Exit
LADY BRACKNELL. Gwendolen! What does this mean?
GWENDOLEN. Merely that I am engaged to be married to Mr. Worthing,
LADY BRACKNELL. Come here. Sit down. Sit down immediately.
Hesitation of any kind is a sign of mental decay in the young, of
physical weakness in the old. [Turns to JACK.] Apprised, sir, of
my daughter's sudden flight by her trusty maid, whose confidence I
purchased by means of a small coin, I followed her at once by a
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Night and Day by Virginia Woolf:
well as alarm in this sudden release of what appeared to be a very
powerful as well as an unreasonable force. An aching in the muscles of
her right hand now showed her that she was crushing her gloves and the
map of Norfolk in a grip sufficient to crack a more solid object. She
relaxed her grasp; she looked anxiously at the faces of the passers-by
to see whether their eyes rested on her for a moment longer than was
natural, or with any curiosity. But having smoothed out her gloves,
and done what she could to look as usual, she forgot spectators, and
was once more given up to her desperate desire to find Ralph Denham.
It was a desire now--wild, irrational, unexplained, resembling
something felt in childhood. Once more she blamed herself bitterly for
|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 Aesop's Fables by Aesop:
In the old days, when men were allowed to have many wives, a
middle-aged Man had one wife that was old and one that was young;
each loved him very much, and desired to see him like herself.
Now the Man's hair was turning grey, which the young Wife did not
like, as it made him look too old for her husband. So every night
she used to comb his hair and pick out the white ones. But the
elder Wife saw her husband growing grey with great pleasure, for
she did not like to be mistaken for his mother. So every morning
she used to arrange his hair and pick out as many of the black
ones as she could. The consequence was the Man soon found himself