|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad:
It seemed to me I had never breathed an atmosphere so vile,
and I turned mentally to Kurtz for relief--positively for relief.
`Nevertheless I think Mr. Kurtz is a remarkable man,'
I said with emphasis. He started, dropped on me a heavy glance,
said very quietly, `he WAS,' and turned his back on me.
My hour of favour was over; I found myself lumped along with Kurtz
as a partisan of methods for which the time was not ripe:
I was unsound! Ah! but it was something to have at least
a choice of nightmares.
"I had turned to the wilderness really, not to Mr. Kurtz, who,
I was ready to admit, was as good as buried. And for a moment
Heart of Darkness
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The House of Dust by Conrad Aiken:
And heard far off, as under the earth,
Discordant music in shuddering tones,
Screams of laughter, horrible mirth,
Clapping of hands, and thudding of drums,
And the long-drawn wail of one in pain.
To-night, he thought, I shall die again,
We shall die again in the red-eyed fire
To meet on the edge of the wood beyond
With the placid gaze of fed desire . . .
He walked; and behind the whisper of trees,
In and out, one walked with him:
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum:
their gay procession back to the Emerald City again. Of Dorothy's
recent traveling companions only Toto and the shaggy man remained,
and Ozma had decided to allow the latter to live in Oz for a time, at
least. If he proved honest and true she promised to let him live
there always, and the shaggy man was anxious to earn this reward.
They had a nice quiet dinner together and passed a pleasant evening
with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, Tik-tok, and the Yellow Hen
When Dorothy bade them good-night, she kissed them all good-bye at the
same time. For Ozma had agreed that while Dorothy slept she and Toto
should be transported by means of the Magic Belt to her own little bed
The Road to Oz
|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 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen:
fast; and she pulled down her stockings, but the shoes seemed to have grown to
her feet. And she danced, and must dance, over fields and meadows, in rain and
sunshine, by night and day; but at night it was the most fearful.
She danced over the churchyard, but the dead did not dance--they had
something better to do than to dance. She wished to seat herself on a poor
man's grave, where the bitter tansy grew; but for her there was neither peace
nor rest; and when she danced towards the open church door, she saw an angel
standing there. He wore long, white garments; he had wings which reached from
his shoulders to the earth; his countenance was severe and grave; and in his
hand he held a sword, broad and glittering.
"Dance shalt thou!" said he. "Dance in thy red shoes till thou art pale and