|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from When a Man Marries by Mary Roberts Rinehart:
officious gentlemen from the board of health have taken their
grins and their formaldehyde and gone. Ye gods, how we cough!
The Carlton order will go through all right, I think. Phoned him
this morning. If it does, old man, we will take a month in
September and explore the Mercator property.
Do you know, Hal, I have been thinking lately that you and I
stick too close to the grind. Business is right enough, but
what's the use of spending one's best years succeeding in
everything except the things that are worth while? I'll be thirty
sooner than I care to say, and--oh, well, you won't understand.
You'll sit down there, with the Southern Cross and the rest of
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:
new name now, and no thanks to them: they are always changing the
names, instead of studying the live animals where Nature has put
them, in which case they would have no time for word-inventing.
Nay, I verify suspect that the names grow, like other things; at
least, they get longer and longer and more jaw-breaking every year.
The little bivalve, however, finding itself left by the tide, has
wisely shut up its siphons, and, by means of its foot and its
edges, buried itself in a comfortable bath of cool wet sand, till
the sea shall come back, and make it safe to crawl and lounge about
on the surface, smoking the sea-water instead of tobacco. Neither
is that depression what we seek. Touch it, and out poke a pair of
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Alcibiades I by Plato:
SOCRATES: But what is the other agreement of which you speak, and about
what? what art can give that agreement? And does that which gives it to
the state give it also to the individual, so as to make him consistent with
himself and with another?
ALCIBIADES: I should suppose so.
SOCRATES: But what is the nature of the agreement?--answer, and faint not.
ALCIBIADES: I mean to say that there should be such friendship and
agreement as exists between an affectionate father and mother and their
son, or between brothers, or between husband and wife.
SOCRATES: But can a man, Alcibiades, agree with a woman about the spinning
of wool, which she understands and he does not?
|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 Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
"Weren't they all starving, and wasn't it a mirage or
something of that sort?" I ventured to ask. But he looked at me
"Gaffett had got so that his mind ran on nothing else," he
went on. "The ship's surgeon let fall an opinion to the captain,
one day, that 'twas some condition o' the light and the magnetic
currents that let them see those folks. 'Twa'n't a right-feeling
part of the world, anyway; they had to battle with the compass to
make it serve, an' everything seemed to go wrong. Gaffett had
worked it out in his own mind that they was all common ghosts, but
the conditions were unusual favorable for seeing them. He was