|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:
asparagus over it. Then she crept in to see how it looked. There was a
glorious soft green light. Then she went out and picked some of those
purple little ground flowers--you know them--those that keep their faces
close to the ground, but when you turn them up and look at them they are
deep blue eyes looking into yours! She took them with a little earth, and
put them in the crevices between the rocks; and so the room was quite
furnished. Afterwards she went down to the river and brought her arms full
of willow, and made a lovely bed; and, because the weather was very hot,
she lay down to rest upon it.
She went to sleep soon, and slept long, for she was very weak. Late in the
afternoon she was awakened by a few cold drops falling on her face. She
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad:
in common, that before the one and the other the answering back,
as a general rule, does not pay.
Yes, you find criticism at sea, and even appreciation--I tell you
everything is to be found on salt water--criticism generally
impromptu, and always viva voce, which is the outward, obvious
difference from the literary operation of that kind, with
consequent freshness and vigour which may be lacking in the
printed word. With appreciation, which comes at the end, when
the critic and the criticised are about to part, it is otherwise.
The sea appreciation of one's humble talents has the permanency
of the written word, seldom the charm of variety, is formal in
A Personal Record
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from My Aunt Margaret's Mirror by Walter Scott:
you when you hear a tale of terror--that well-vouched tale which
the narrator, having first expressed his general disbelief of all
such legendary lore, selects and produces, as having something in
it which he has been always obliged to give up as inexplicable.
Another symptom is a momentary hesitation to look round you, when
the interest of the narrative is at the highest; and the third, a
desire to avoid looking into a mirror when you are alone in your
chamber for the evening. I mean such are signs which indicate
the crisis, when a female imagination is in due temperature to
enjoy a ghost story. I do not pretend to describe those which
express the same disposition in a gentleman."
|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 The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie:
and wife will deter me." I conjectured, and conjectured rightly,
that these words were addressed, not to her husband, but to Mr.
John Cavendish. At 5 o'clock, an hour later, she uses almost the
same words, but the standpoint is different. She admits to
Dorcas, 'I don't know what to do; scandal between husband and
wife is a dreadful thing.' At 4 o'clock she has been angry, but
completely mistress of herself. At 5 o'clock she is in violent
distress, and speaks of having had a great shock.
"Looking at the matter psychologically, I drew one deduction
which I was convinced was correct. The second 'scandal' she
spoke of was not the same as the first--and it concerned herself!
The Mysterious Affair at Styles