|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Herodias by Gustave Flaubert:
on its walls of snowy marble and the plates of purest gold that formed
its roof. The structure shone like a luminous mountain, and its
radiant purity indicated something almost superhuman, eclipsing even
its suggestion of opulence and pride.
Mannaeus stretched out his powerful arm towards Zion, and, with
clenched fist and his great body drawn to its full height, he launched
a bitter anathema at the city, with perfect faith that eventually his
curse must be effective.
Antipas listened, without appearing to be shocked at the strength of
When the Samaritan had become somewhat calmer, he returned to the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Richard III by William Shakespeare:
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past wrong'd by thee.
The children live whose fathers thou hast slaughter'd,
Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age;
The parents live whose children thou hast butcher'd,
Old barren plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misus'd ere us'd, by times ill-us'd o'erpast.
KING RICHARD. As I intend to prosper and repent,
So thrive I in my dangerous affairs
Of hostile arms! Myself myself confound!
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Memories and Portraits by Robert Louis Stevenson:
desires and pleasures. Something, we feel, should happen; we know
not what, yet we proceed in quest of it. And many of the happiest
hours of life fleet by us in this vain attendance on the genius of
the place and moment. It is thus that tracts of young fir, and low
rocks that reach into deep soundings, particularly torture and
delight me. Something must have happened in such places, and
perhaps ages back, to members of my race; and when I was a child I
tried in vain to invent appropriate games for them, as I still try,
just as vainly, to fit them with the proper story. Some places
speak distinctly. Certain dank gardens cry aloud for a murder;
certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set
|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 Across The Plains by Robert Louis Stevenson:
enter, like an ice-bound whaler for the spring. Alas! and it was a
worse country than the other. All Sunday and Monday we travelled
through these sad mountains, or over the main ridge of the Rockies,
which is a fair match to them for misery of aspect. Hour after
hour it was the same unhomely and unkindly world about our onward
path; tumbled boulders, cliffs that drearily imitate the shape of
monuments and fortifications - how drearily, how tamely, none can
tell who has not seen them; not a tree, not a patch of sward, not
one shapely or commanding mountain form; sage-brush, eternal sage-
brush; over all, the same weariful and gloomy colouring, grays
warming into brown, grays darkening towards black; and for sole