|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Snow Image by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
many ages of delay, was at length to be made manifest to his
native valley. He knew, boy as he was, that there were a thousand
ways in which Mr. Gathergold, with his vast wealth, might
transform himself into an angel of beneficence, and assume a
control over human affairs as wide and benignant as the smile of
the Great Stone Face. Full of faith and hope, Ernest doubted not
that what the people said was true, and that now he was to behold
the living likeness of those wondrous features on the
mountain-side. While the boy was still gazing up the valley, and
fancying, as he always did, that the Great Stone Face returned
his gaze and looked kindly at him, the rumbling of wheels was
The Snow Image
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The First Men In The Moon by H. G. Wells:
I stood up and staggered. My one desire was to emerge. The manhole was
upward, and I wrestled with the screw. Slowly I opened the manhole. At
last the air was singing in again as once it had sung out. But this time
I did not wait until the pressure was adjusted. In another moment I had
the weight of the window on my hands, and I was open, wide open, to the
old familiar sky of earth.
The air hit me on the chest so that I gasped. I dropped the glass screw. I
cried out, put my hands to my chest, and sat down. For a time I was in
pain. Then I took deep breaths. At last I could rise and move about
I tried to thrust my head through the manhole, and the sphere rolled over.
The First Men In The Moon
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy:
'Just past two.'
'Are you going below?'
'Oh no; not to-night. I prefer pure air.'
She fancied he might be displeased with her for coming to him at
this unearthly hour. 'I should like to stay here too, if you will
allow me,' she said timidly.
'I want to ask you things.'
'Allow you, Elfie!' said Knight, putting his arm round her and
drawing her closer. 'I am twice as happy with you by my side.
Yes: we will stay, and watch the approach of day.'
So they again sought out the sheltered nook, and sitting down
A Pair of Blue Eyes
|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 Les Miserables by Victor Hugo:
caverns for the first time. When Javert laughed,--and his laugh
was rare and terrible,--his thin lips parted and revealed to view
not only his teeth, but his gums, and around his nose there formed
a flattened and savage fold, as on the muzzle of a wild beast.
Javert, serious, was a watchdog; when he laughed, he was a tiger.
As for the rest, he had very little skull and a great deal of jaw;
his hair concealed his forehead and fell over his eyebrows;
between his eyes there was a permanent, central frown, like an imprint
of wrath; his gaze was obscure; his mouth pursed up and terrible;
his air that of ferocious command.
This man was composed of two very simple and two very good