|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from De Profundis by Oscar Wilde:
More than this, there is about sorrow an intense, an extraordinary
reality. I have said of myself that I was one who stood in
symbolic relations to the art and culture of my age. There is not
a single wretched man in this wretched place along with me who does
not stand in symbolic relation to the very secret of life. For the
secret of life is suffering. It is what is hidden behind
everything. When we begin to live, what is sweet is so sweet to
us, and what is bitter so bitter, that we inevitably direct all our
desires towards pleasures, and seek not merely for a 'month or
twain to feed on honeycomb,' but for all our years to taste no
other food, ignorant all the while that we may really be starving
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain:
around the country and petting yourself with the nickname
of Givenaught--intolerable humbug! Before I would be
such a fraud as that, I would cut my right hand off.
Your life is a continual lie. But go on, I have tried MY
best to save you from beggaring yourself by your riotous
charities--now for the thousandth time I wash my hands
of the consequences. A maundering old fool! that's
what you are."
"And you a blethering old idiot!" roared Givenaught,
"I won't stay in the presence of a man who has no more
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin:
centre and chief garden of Europe--where the two forms of parent
Christianity have had their fortresses--where the noble Catholics of
the Forest Cantons, and the noble Protestants of the Vaudois
valleys, have maintained, for dateless ages, their faiths and
liberties--there the unchecked Alpine rivers yet run wild in
devastation; and the marshes, which a few hundred men could redeem
with a year's labour, still blast their helpless inhabitants into
fevered idiotism. That is so, in the centre of Europe! While, on
the near coast of Africa, once the Garden of the Hesperides, an Arab
woman, but a few sunsets since, ate her child, for famine. And,
with all the treasures of the East at our feet, we, in our own
|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 Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane:
As he mused thus he heard the rustle of grass,
and, upon turning his head, discovered the loud
soldier. He called out, "Oh, Wilson!"
The latter approached and looked down.
"Why, hello, Henry; is it you? What you do-
"Oh, thinking," said the youth.
The other sat down and carefully lighted his
pipe. "You're getting blue, my boy. You're
looking thundering peeked. What the dickens
is wrong with you?"
The Red Badge of Courage