|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Soul of the Far East by Percival Lowell:
inevitable to any save those possessed of the mathematician's
prophetic sight. Once discovered, it requires much less imagination
to understand them. With the light coming from in front, it is an
easy matter to see what lies behind one.
So with other fabrics of human thought, imagination has been
spinning and weaving them all. From the most concrete of inventions
to the most abstract of conceptions the same force reveals itself
upon examination; for there is no gulf between what we call practical
and what we consider theoretical. Everything abstract is ultimately
of practical use, and even the most immediately utilitarian has an
abstract principle at its core. We are too prone to regard the
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Stories From the Old Attic by Robert Harris:
down her cheeks in little inky rivulets--even after observing all
this, not only was he seen escorting her frequently to other
entertainments, but eventually he offered her a ring.
The History of Professor De Laix
The world had long been promised a fifty-volume definitive analysis
on the meaning of life by the brilliant and internationally
respected Professor de Laix. Admirers from all across the surface
of the earth produced unremitting and enthusiastic requests--nay,
demands--for the wise professor to bestow upon the world his
penetrating insights into human nature. As the years passed,
however, even though he had been begged repeatedly for the first
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Exiles by Honore de Balzac:
heads seared away the shades as we passed, like impalpable dust. Far
above us the suns of all the worlds shone with scarce so much light as
the twinkling fireflies of my native land. I was soaring towards the
fields of air where, round about Paradise, the bodies of light are in
closer array, where the azure is easy to pass through, where worlds
innumerable spring like flowers in a meadow.
"There, on the last level of the circles where those phantoms dwell
that I had left behind me, like sorrows one would fain forget, I saw a
vast shade. Standing in an attitude of aspiration, that soul looked
eagerly into space; his feet were riveted by the will of God to the
topmost point of the margin, and he remained for ever in the painful
|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 Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
our bare feet made no sound; I let him in, closed the door
with care, and, after giving a call to the second mate,
returned on deck for my relief.
"Not much sign of any wind yet," I remarked when he approached.
"No, sir. Not much," he assented, sleepily, in his hoarse voice,
with just enough deference, no more, and barely suppressing a yawn.
"Well, that's all you have to look out for. You have got your orders."
I paced a turn or two on the poop and saw him take up his position face
forward with his elbow in the ratlines of the mizzen rigging before I
went below. The mate's faint snoring was still going on peacefully.
The Secret Sharer