|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Fisherman's Luck by Henry van Dyke:
cheerful companion, and never scorning to take with a thankful heart
such small comforts and recreations as came to him.
It is a plain, homely, old-fashioned meditation, reader, but not
unprofitable. When I talk to you of fisherman's luck, I do not
forget that there are deeper things behind it. I remember that what
we call our fortunes, good or ill, are but the wise dealings and
distributions of a Wisdom higher, and a Kindness greater, than our
own. And I suppose that their meaning is that we should learn, by
all the uncertainties of our life, even the smallest, how to be
brave and steady and temperate and hopeful, whatever comes, because
we believe that behind it all there lies a purpose of good, and over
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Somebody's Little Girl by Martha Young:
girls were all left over the one hour in the long room where all the
rows and rows of the little arm-chairs sat, and where all the little
girls learned to Count, and to say Their Prayers, and to Tell the
Time, and to sing ``Angels Bright,'' and to know the A B C blocks.
Sister Theckla, who always stayed the one hour in that room, had
gone to say to the Sisters that the one hour was over, and that it
was raining, and what must the little girls do now?
While Sister Theckla was gone, all the little girls went to the
windows, and all the tiny girls looked at the rain coming down,
coming down in drops, so many drops; and so fast the drops came that
they seemed to come in long strings of drops straight from the sky.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from A Passion in the Desert by Honore de Balzac:
French army, the Maugrabins made forced marches, and only halted when
night was upon them. They camped round a well overshadowed by palm
trees under which they had previously concealed a store of provisions.
Not surmising that the notion of flight would occur to their prisoner,
they contented themselves with binding his hands, and after eating a
few dates, and giving provender to their horses, went to sleep.
When the brave Provencal saw that his enemies were no longer watching
him, he made use of his teeth to steal a scimiter, fixed the blade
between his knees, and cut the cords which prevented him from using
his hands; in a moment he was free. He at once seized a rifle and a
dagger, then taking the precautions to provide himself with a sack of
|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 Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe:
dread--and yet I found it impossible to account for such
feelings. A sensation of stupor oppressed me, as my eyes
followed her retreating steps. When a door, at length, closed
upon her, my glance sought instinctively and eagerly the
countenance of the brother--but he had buried his face in his
hands, and I could only perceive that a far more than ordinary
wanness had overspread the emaciated fingers through which
trickled many passionate tears.
The disease of the lady Madeline had long baffled the skill
of her physicians. A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of
the person, and frequent although transient affections of a
The Fall of the House of Usher