|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Unconscious Comedians by Honore de Balzac:
"Yes," said Bixiou, "if a man, having built a great cage divided into
thousands of compartments like the cells of a beehive or the dens of a
menagerie, constructed to receive human beings of all trades and all
kinds, if that animal, calling itself the proprietor, should go to a
man of science and say: 'I want an individual of the bimanous species,
able to live in holes full of old boots, pestiferous with rags, and
ten feet square; I want him such that he can live there all his life,
sleep there, eat there, be happy, get children as pretty as little
cupids, work, toil, cultivate flowers, sing there, stay there, and
live in darkness but see and know everything,' most assuredly the man
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Wyoming by William MacLeod Raine:
"Well, you had better get first this year. We'll have to show
them the Lazy D hasn't gone to sleep."
"Sure thing," he agreed.
"Has that buyer from Cheyenne turned up yet?" she asked,
reverting to business.
"Not yet. Do y'u want I should make the cut soon as he comes?"
"Don't you think his price is a little low--twenty dollars from
"It's a scrub bunch. We want to get rid of them, anyway. But
you're the doctor," he concluded slangily.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:
had divined the secret meaning of some event their vanity led them to
appropriate to themselves the wisdom of their sanhedrim, and set the
tone to the gossip of their respective spheres. This idle but ever
busy fraternity, invisible, yet seeing all things, dumb, but
perpetually talking, possessed an influence which its nonentity seemed
to render harmless, though it was in fact terrible in its effects when
it concerned itself with serious interests. For a long time nothing
had entered the sphere of these existences so serious and so momentous
to each one of them as the struggle of Birotteau, supported by Madame
de Listomere, against Mademoiselle Gamard and the Abbe Troubert. The
three salons of Madame de Listomere and the Demoiselles Merlin de la
|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 Atheist's Mass by Honore de Balzac:
atheist, who had no mercy on the angels--who give no work to the
lancet, and cannot suffer from fistula or gastritis--in short,
this audacious scoffer kneeling humbly, and where? In the Lady
Chapel, where he remained through the mass, giving alms for the
expenses of the service, alms for the poor, and looking as
serious as though he were superintending an operation.
"He has certainly not come here to clear up the question of the
Virgin's delivery," said Bianchon to himself, astonished beyond
measure. "If I had caught him holding one of the ropes of the
canopy on Corpus Christi day, it would be a thing to laugh at;
but at this hour, alone, with no one to see--it is surely a thing