|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Sarrasine by Honore de Balzac:
long time Sarrasine's impetuous temperament and unruly genius.
Bouchardon, foreseeing how violently the passions would some day rage
in that youthful heart, as highly tempered perhaps as Michelangelo's,
smothered its vehemence with constant toil. He succeeded in
restraining within reasonable bounds Sarrasine's extraordinary
impetuosity, by forbidding him to work, by proposing diversions when
he saw that he was on the point of plunging into dissipation. But with
that passionate nature, gentleness was always the most powerful of all
weapons, and the master did not acquire great influence over his pupil
until he had aroused his gratitude by fatherly kindness.
"At the age of twenty-two Sarrasine was forcibly removed from the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Unseen World and Other Essays by John Fiske:
scientific habit of mind or influencing our scientific
To take a brief illustration: we have alluded to the fact that in
the history of our present world the development of mental
phenomena has gone on hand in hand with the development of
organic life, while at the same time we have found it impossible
to explain mental phenomena as in any sense the product of
material phenomena. Now there is another side to all this. The
great lesson which Berkeley taught mankind was that what we call
material phenomena are really the products of consciousness
co-operating with some Unknown Power (not material) existing
The Unseen World and Other Essays
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum:
but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first
few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly,
she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle.
Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now
there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor
and waited to see what would happen.
Once Toto got too near the open trap door, and fell in; and at
first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw
one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong
pressure of the air was keeping him up so that he could not fall.
She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him
The Wizard of Oz
|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 Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber:
Fanny, we didn't understand her so well, here in Winnebago,
among us Jewish ladies. She was different."
Fanny's face hardened. She stood up. "Yes, she was
"She comes often into my mind now, when I am here alone,
with only the four walls. We were aber dumm, we women--
but how dumm! She was too smart for us, your mother. Too
smart. Und eine sehr brave frau."
And suddenly Fanny, she who had resolved to set her face
against all emotion, and all sentiment, found herself with
her glowing cheek pressed against the withered one, and it