|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:
this place was a great number of beautiful white horses, perhaps a
hundred. They were eating barley from a plank placed on a level with
their mouths. Their manes had been coloured a deep blue; their hoofs
were wrapped in coverings of woven grass, and the hair between their
ears was puffed out like a peruke. As they stood quietly eating, they
switched their tails gently to and fro. The proconsul regarded them in
They were indeed wonderful animals; supple as serpents, light as
birds. They were trained to gallop rapidly, following the arrow of the
rider, and dash into the midst of a group of the enemy, overturning
men and biting them savagely as they fell. They were sure-footed among
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad:
well. He had a notion it must have been a certain Member of
Parliament of illustrious parentage and unconventional sympathies,
which were the standing joke of the comic papers. The notabilities
and even the simple notorieties of the day brought each other
freely to that temple of an old woman's not ignoble curiosity. You
never could guess whom you were likely to come upon being received
in semi-privacy within the faded blue silk and gilt frame screen,
making a cosy nook for a couch and a few arm-chairs in the great
drawing-room, with its hum of voices and the groups of people
seated or standing in the light of six tall windows.
Michaelis had been the object of a revulsion of popular sentiment,
The Secret Agent
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Maitre Cornelius by Honore de Balzac:
"You need not be uneasy; you are more valuable to bleed than to kill.
You can get out of the claws of MY justice by payment of a good round
sum to my treasury, but if you don't build at least one chapel in
honor of the Virgin, you are likely to find things hot for you
"Twelve hundred and thirty, and eighty-seven thousand crowns, make
thirteen hundred and seventeen thousand crowns," replied Cornelius
mechanically, absorbed in his calculations. "Thirteen hundred and
seventeen thousand crowns hidden somewhere!"
"He must have buried them in some hiding-place," muttered the king,
beginning to think the sum royally magnificent. "That was the magnet
|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 Out of Time's Abyss by Edgar Rice Burroughs:
should be accustomed by this time."
Tippet looked up. His face was still ashy. "Yer cawn't tell
me," he cried. "Hi seen hit. Blime, Hi seen hit. Hit was ha
dead man flyin' through the hair. Didn't Hi see 'is heyes?
Oh, Gord! Didn't Hi see 'em?"
"It didn't look like any beast or reptile to me," spoke up Sinclair.
"It was lookin' right down at me when I looked up and I saw its
face plain as I see yours. It had big round eyes that looked all
cold and dead, and its cheeks were sunken in deep, and I could see
its yellow teeth behind thin, tight-drawn lips--like a man who had
been dead a long while, sir," he added, turning toward Bradley.
Out of Time's Abyss