|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Gentle Grafter by O. Henry:
manipulate the ball to lose when I see real money bet. My fingers go
on a strike every time I try it.
"I set up my little table and began to show them how easy it was to
guess which shell the little pea was under. The unlettered hinds
gathered in a thick semicircle and began to nudge elbows and banter
one another to bed. Then was when Rufe ought to have single-footed up
and called the turn on the little joker for a few tens and fives to
get them started. But, no Rufe. I'd seen him two or three times
walking about and looking at the side-show pictures with his mouth
full of peanut candy; but he never came nigh.
"The crowd piked a little; but trying to work the shells without a
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Before Adam by Jack London:
terror of the grass-eating animals. We had watched
them following the herds of cattle and bison and
dragging down the calves, the aged, and the sick. We
had been chased by them ourselves, more than once. I
had seen one of the Folk, a woman, run down by them and
caught just as she reached the shelter of the woods.
Had she not been tired out by the run, she might have
made it into a tree. She tried, and slipped, and fell
back. They made short work of her.
We did not stare at each other longer than a moment.
Keeping tight hold of our prizes, we ran for the woods.
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Helen of Troy And Other Poems by Sara Teasdale:
The fire in ashes on the freezing hearth.
I was a queen, and he who loved me best
Made me a woman for a night and day,
And now I go unqueened forevermore.
A queen should never dream on summer eves,
When hovering spells are heavy in the dusk: --
I think no night was ever quite so still,
So smoothly lit with red along the west,
So deeply hushed with quiet through and through.
And strangely clear, and deeply dyed with light,
The trees stood straight against a paling sky,
|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 Recruit by Honore de Balzac:
nothing which conduced to their personal enjoyment, and gave them,
more especially, excellent dinners.
Toward seven o'clock on this memorable evening, her guests were all
assembled in a wide circle around the fireplace. The mistress of the
house, sustained in her part by the sympathizing glances of the old
merchant, submitted with wonderful courage to the minute questioning
and stupid, or frivolous, comments of her visitors. At every rap upon
her door, every footfall echoing in the street, she hid her emotions
by starting topics relating to the interests of the town, and she
raised such a lively discussion on the quality of ciders, which was
ably seconded by the old merchant, that the company almost forgot to