|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
As she uttered these last words, she fell unconscious.
Nagao married her; and the marriage was a happy one. But at no time
afterwards could she remember what she had told him in answer to his
question at Ikao: neither could she remember anything of her previous
existence. The recollection of the former birth,-- mysteriously kindled in
the moment of that meeting,-- had again become obscured, and so thereafter
Three hundred years ago, in the village called Asamimura, in the district
called Onsengori, in the province of Iyo, there lived a good man named
Tokubei. This Tokubei was the richest person in the district, and the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott:
"The Fire-Spirits' home is far, far away, and I cannot guide you
there; but Summer is coming behind me," said Spring, "and she may know
better than I. But I will give you a breeze to help you on your way;
it will never tire nor fail, but bear you easily over land and sea.
Farewell, little Spirit! I would gladly do more, but voices are
calling me far and wide, and I cannot stay."
"Many thanks, kind Spring!" cried Ripple, as she floated away on the
breeze; "give a kindly word to the mother who waits on the shore, and
tell her I have not forgotten my vow, but hope soon to see her again."
Then Spring flew on with her sunshine and flowers, and Ripple went
swiftly over hill and vale, till she came to the land where Summer
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Lesser Bourgeoisie by Honore de Balzac:
The house was humid with saltpetre; the walls, sweating moisture, were
enamelled all over with large slabs of mould. Standing at the corner
of the rue des Postes and rue des Poules, it presented first a ground-
floor, occupied partly by a shop for the sale of the commonest kind of
wine, painted a coarse bright red, decorated with curtains of red
calico, furnished with a leaden counter, and guarded by formidable
iron bars. Above the gate of an odious alley hung a frightful lantern,
on which were the words "Night lodgings here." The outer walls were
covered with iron crossbars, showing, apparently, the insecurity of
the building, which was owned by the wine-merchant, who also inhabited
the entresol. The widow Poiret (nee Michonneau) kept furnished
|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 Songs of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson:
Keep up a ceaseless noise of play,
Play in the sun, play in the rain,
Nor ever quarrel or complain; -
And late at night, in the woods of fruit,
Hark! do you hear the passing flute?
I threw one look to either hand,
And knew I was in Fairyland.
And yet one point of being so
I lacked. For, Lady (as you know),
Whoever by his might of hand,
Won entrance into Fairyland,