|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Adieu by Honore de Balzac:
countess's shawls, others wore the trappings of horses and muddy
saddlecloths, or masses of rags from which the hoar-frost hung; some
had a boot on one leg and a shoe on the other; in fact, there were
none whose costume did not present some laughable singularity. But in
presence of such amusing sights the men themselves were grave and
gloomy. The silence was broken only by the snapping of the wood, the
crackling of the flames, the distant murmur of the camps, and the
blows of the sabre given to what remained of Bichette in search of her
tenderest morsels. A few miserable creatures, perhaps more weary than
the rest, were sleeping; when one of their number rolled into the fire
no one attempted to help him out. These stern logicians argued that if
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Adventure by Jack London:
man, and I never shot a man in my life before."
"It's only a flesh-wound, and he isn't going to die," Sheldon
managed to interpolate.
"What of that? I shot him just the same. There was no need for
you to jump down there that way. It was brutal and cowardly."
"Oh, now I say--" he began soothingly.
"Go away. Don't you see I hate you! hate you! Oh, won't you go
Sheldon was white with anger.
"Then why in the name of common sense did you shoot?" he demanded.
"Be-be-because you were a white man," she sobbed. "And Dad would
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Silas Marner by George Eliot:
sound, until the repetition has bred a want, which is incipient
habit? That will help us to understand how the love of accumulating
money grows an absorbing passion in men whose imaginations, even in
the very beginning of their hoard, showed them no purpose beyond it.
Marner wanted the heaps of ten to grow into a square, and then into
a larger square; and every added guinea, while it was itself a
satisfaction, bred a new desire. In this strange world, made a
hopeless riddle to him, he might, if he had had a less intense
nature, have sat weaving, weaving--looking towards the end of his
pattern, or towards the end of his web, till he forgot the riddle,
and everything else but his immediate sensations; but the money had
|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 Theaetetus by Plato:
progress, for we no longer seek for knowledge in perception at all, but in
that other process, however called, in which the mind is alone and engaged
THEAETETUS: You mean, Socrates, if I am not mistaken, what is called
thinking or opining.
SOCRATES: You conceive truly. And now, my friend, please to begin again
at this point; and having wiped out of your memory all that has preceded,
see if you have arrived at any clearer view, and once more say what is
THEAETETUS: I cannot say, Socrates, that all opinion is knowledge, because
there may be a false opinion; but I will venture to assert, that knowledge