|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Louis Lambert by Honore de Balzac:
man as he indites his first love-letter--a letter he never will
forget, each line the result of a reverie, each word the subject of
long cogitation, while the most unbridled passion known to man feels
the necessity of the most reserved utterance, and like a giant
stooping to enter a hovel, speaks humbly and low, so as not to alarm a
No antiquary ever handled his palimpsests with greater respect than I
showed in reconstructing these mutilated documents of such joy and
suffering as must always be sacred to those who have known similar joy
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:
"Where are headquarters?"
"We are to spend the night in Znaim."
"Well, I have got all I need into packs for two horses," said
Nesvitski. "They've made up splendid packs for me- fit to cross the
Bohemian mountains with. It's a bad lookout, old fellow! But what's
the matter with you? You must be ill to shiver like that," he added,
noticing that Prince Andrew winced as at an electric shock.
"It's nothing," replied Prince Andrew.
He had just remembered his recent encounter with the doctor's wife
and the convoy officer.
War and Peace
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:
that the Fire People were ahead of us. They possessed
all these things of which we possessed so little.
Occasionally, however, especially in the realm of the
emotions, we were capable of long-cherished purpose.
The faithfulness of the monogamic couples I have
referred to may be explained as a matter of habit; but
my long desire for the Swift One cannot be so
explained, any more than can be explained the undying
enmity between me and Red-Eye.
But it was our inconsequentiality and stupidity that
especially distresses me when I look back upon that
|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 Soul of Man by Oscar Wilde:
and kept him there till he sickened with rage, and created unreal
visions for himself, and saw the gilded sun enter his room, and
grew so enamoured of it that he sought to escape, and crept out
from tower to tower, and falling through dizzy air at dawn, maimed
himself, and was by a vine-dresser covered with vine leaves, and
carried in a cart to one who, loving beautiful things, had care of
him. There is danger in Popes. And as for the People, what of
them and their authority? Perhaps of them and their authority one
has spoken enough. Their authority is a thing blind, deaf,
hideous, grotesque, tragic, amusing, serious, and obscene. It is
impossible for the artist to live with the People. All despots