|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Edition of The Ambassadors by Henry James:
expected; had acquired at a bound a fearless facility in French;
had had, as the afternoon waned, a watery bock, all pale and Parisian,
in the cafe of the furthest village, which was not the biggest;
and had meanwhile not once overstepped the oblong gilt frame.
The frame had drawn itself out for him, as much as you please;
but that was just his luck. He had finally come down again to the
valley, to keep within touch of stations and trains, turning his face
to the quarter from which he had started; and thus it was that he had
at last pulled up before the hostess of the Cheval Blanc, who met him,
with a rough readiness that was like the clatter of sabots over stones,
on their common ground of a cotelette de veau a l'oseille and a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce:
APOSTATE, n. A leech who, having penetrated the shell of a turtle
only to find that the creature has long been dead, deems it expedient
to form a new attachment to a fresh turtle.
APOTHECARY, n. The physician's accomplice, undertaker's benefactor
and grave worm's provider.
When Jove sent blessings to all men that are,
And Mercury conveyed them in a jar,
That friend of tricksters introduced by stealth
Disease for the apothecary's health,
Whose gratitude impelled him to proclaim:
"My deadliest drug shall bear my patron's name!"
The Devil's Dictionary
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence:
one that made her pant.
"Shall we stay out?" he said.
"Won't it rain?" she asked.
"No, let us walk a little way."
They went down the fields and into the thick plantation
of trees and pines.
"Shall we go in among the trees?" he asked.
"Do you want to?"
It was very dark among the firs, and the sharp spines pricked
her face. She was afraid. Paul was silent and strange.
Sons and Lovers
|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 Walden by Henry David Thoreau:
What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows
and makes him solitary? I have found that no exertion of the legs
can bring two minds much nearer to one another. What do we want
most to dwell near to? Not to many men surely, the depot, the
post-office, the bar-room, the meeting-house, the school-house, the
grocery, Beacon Hill, or the Five Points, where men most congregate,
but to the perennial source of our life, whence in all our
experience we have found that to issue, as the willow stands near
the water and sends out its roots in that direction. This will vary
with different natures, but this is the place where a wise man will
dig his cellar.... I one evening overtook one of my townsmen, who