|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells:
I had recovered from my hysterical phase by this time
and answered his hail, as he approached, bravely enough.
I told him the dingey was nearly swamped, and he reached me a piggin.
I was jerked back as the rope tightened between the boats.
For some time I was busy baling.
It was not until I had got the water under (for the water
in the dingey had been shipped; the boat was perfectly sound)
that I had leisure to look at the people in the launch again.
The white-haired man I found was still regarding me steadfastly,
but with an expression, as I now fancied, of some perplexity.
The Island of Doctor Moreau
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from A Treatise on Parents and Children by George Bernard Shaw:
now oftener than it used to, because people remain much longer in the
sexual arena. The cultivated Jewess no longer cuts off her hair at
her marriage. The British matron has discarded her cap and her
conscientious ugliness; and a bishop's wife at fifty has more of the
air of a _femme galante_ than an actress had at thirty-five in her
grandmother's time. But as people marry later, the facts of age and
time still inexorably condemn most parents to comparative solitude
when their children marry. This may be a privation and may be a
relief: probably in healthy circumstances it is no worse than a
salutary change of habit; but even at that it is, for the moment at
least, a wrench. For though parents and children sometimes dislike
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin:
heavy squall with rain, -- settled into heavy gale with
large cumuli, -- cleared up, blowing very strong from S.S.W.
Temperature 60 degs., dew-point 42 degs., -- difference
 Rengger, Natur. der Saeugethiere von Paraguay. S. 334.
 Captain Fitz Roy informs me that in April (our October),
the leaves of those trees which grow near the base of the
mountains change colour, but not those on the more elevated
parts. I remember having read some observations, showing
that in England the leaves fall earlier in a warm and fine
autumn than in a late and cold one, The change in the colour
The Voyage of the Beagle
|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 Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy:
without being seen. Collar-straps, padlocks, perch-bolts, and
things even of greater value belonging to others found their way
with remarkable rapidity and in great quantities to Polikey's
home. He did not, however, keep such things for his own use, but
sold them whenever he could find a purchaser. His payment
consisted chiefly of whiskey, though sometimes he received cash.
This sort of employment, as his neighbors said, was both light
and profitable; it required neither education nor labor. It had
one drawback, however, which was calculated to reconcile his
victims to their losses: Though he could for a time have all his
needs supplied without expending either labor or money, there was
The Kreutzer Sonata