|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott:
amiably promised to make her hair curl, and fell asleep to dream of
living in her castle in the air.
The clocks were striking midnight and the rooms were very still
as a figure glided quietly from bed to bed, smoothing a coverlet here,
settling a pillow there, and pausing to look long and tenderly at each
unconscious face, to kiss each with lips that mutely blessed, and to
pray the fervent prayers which only mothers utter. As she lifted the
curtain to look out into the dreary night, the moon broke suddenly
from behind the clouds and shone upon her like a bright, benignant
face, which seemed to whisper in the silence," Be comforted, dear
soul! There is always light behind the clouds."
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Witch, et. al by Anton Chekhov:
in a long delicate chain floated away from the hut.
When little by little they had died away, Raissa got up and
nervously paced to and fro. At first she was pale, then she
flushed all over. Her face was contorted with hate, her breathing
was tremulous, her eyes gleamed with wild, savage anger, and,
pacing up and down as in a cage, she looked like a tigress
menaced with red-hot iron. For a moment she stood still and
looked at her abode. Almost half of the room was filled up by the
bed, which stretched the length of the whole wall and consisted
of a dirty feather-bed, coarse grey pillows, a quilt, and
nameless rags of various sorts. The bed was a shapeless ugly mass
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne:
supposes under the more immediate tutelage of Heaven)--it so happens, and
ever must, says Prignitz, that the excellency of the nose is in a direct
arithmetical proportion to the excellency of the wearer's fancy.
It is for the same reason, that is, because 'tis all comprehended in
Slawkenbergius, that I say nothing likewise of Scroderus (Andrea) who, all
the world knows, set himself to oppugn Prignitz with great violence--
proving it in his own way, first logically, and then by a series of
stubborn facts, 'That so far was Prignitz from the truth, in affirming that
the fancy begat the nose, that on the contrary--the nose begat the fancy.'
--The learned suspected Scroderus of an indecent sophism in this--and
Prignitz cried out aloud in the dispute, that Scroderus had shifted the
|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 Rewards and Fairies by Rudyard Kipling:
high hunched collar and a deep cape and a belt fastened with a steel
clasp. She wore a yellow velvet cap and tan gauntlets, and carried
a real hunting-crop. Her cheeks were pale except for two pretty
pink patches in the middle, and she talked with little gasps at the
end of her sentences, as though she had been running.
'You don't milk so badly, child,' she said, and when she smiled
her teeth showed small and even and pearly.
'Can you milk?' Una asked, and then flushed, for she heard
He stepped out of the fern and sat down, holding Kitty Short-
horn's tail. 'There isn't much,' he said, 'that Miss Philadelphia