|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:
actions first exhibited in romance, that has since renewed
and vivified history. For art precedes philosophy and even
science. People must have noticed things and interested
themselves in them before they begin to debate upon their
causes or influence. And it is in this way that art is the
pioneer of knowledge; those predilections of the artist he
knows not why, those irrational acceptations and
recognitions, reclaim, out of the world that we have not yet
realised, ever another and another corner; and after the
facts have been thus vividly brought before us and have had
time to settle and arrange themselves in our minds, some day
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle:
unnatural if you consider that he stood beside the dead body of
his father, and that there is no doubt that he had that very day
so far forgotten his filial duty as to bandy words with him, and
even, according to the little girl whose evidence is so
important, to raise his hand as if to strike him. The
self-reproach and contrition which are displayed in his remark
appear to me to be the signs of a healthy mind rather than of a
I shook my head. "Many men have been hanged on far slighter
evidence," I remarked.
"So they have. And many men have been wrongfully hanged."
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Danny's Own Story by Don Marquis:
want to do it without that doctor says to go ahead."
"They ain't his'n no longer," says Jake.
"I dunno," says I, "as you got any right to make
me do it, Jake. It don't look to me like it's no
harm to beat a couple of fellers like them out of
their medicine. And I DID want to go fishing this
But Jake was that careful and stingy he'd try
to skin a hoss twicet if it died. He's bound to
get that job done, now.
"Danny," he says, "you gotto do that work.
|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 Elixir of Life by Honore de Balzac:
fresh, fragrant lips of a woman with kisses, for like Death, he
devoured everything without scruple as he passed; he would have
full fruition; he was an Oriental lover, seeking prolonged
pleasures easily obtained. He sought nothing but a woman in
women, and cultivated cynicism, until it became with him a habit
of mind. When his mistress, from the couch on which she lay,
soared and was lost in regions of ecstatic bliss, Don Juan
followed suit, earnest, expansive, serious as any German student.
But he said I, while she, in the transports of intoxication, said
We. He understood to admiration the art of abandoning himself to
the influence of a woman; he was always clever enough to make her