|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Maitre Cornelius by Honore de Balzac:
his chamber. Olivier de Daim, and his doctor, Coyctier, looked at each
other without a word, standing in the recess of a window and watching
their master, who presently seemed asleep. The only sound that was
heard were the steps of the two chamberlains on service, the Sire de
Montresor, and Jean Dufou, Sire de Montbazon, who were walking up and
down the adjoining hall. These two Tourainean seigneurs looked at the
captain of the Scottish guard, who was sleeping in his chair,
according to his usual custom. The king himself appeared to be dozing.
His head had drooped upon his breast; his cap, pulled forward on his
forehead, hid his eyes. Thus seated in his high chair, surmounted by
the royal crown, he seemed crouched together like a man who had fallen
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Dead Souls by Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol:
awhile by the entrance steps made it possible to overhear a portion of
their conversation from within.
"This is what you peasants had better do," the barin was saying.
"Purchase your release from your present master. I will lend you the
necessary money, and afterwards you can work for me."
"No, Constantine Thedorovitch," replied the peasant. "Why should we do
that? Remove us just as we are. You will know how to arrange it, for a
cleverer gentleman than you is nowhere to be found. The misfortune of
us muzhiks is that we cannot protect ourselves properly. The
tavern-keepers sell us such liquor that, before a man knows where he
is, a glassful of it has eaten a hole through his stomach, and made
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Hermione's Little Group of Serious Thinkers by Don Marquis:
ly, "shall ever darken my door again!"
Poor, dear, stupid Mamma! She gets things so
"As far as Swamis are concerned," I told her,
"the debt we owe to them in incalculable. Where,
for instance, would we have ever heard of Karma
if it had not been for the Swamis?"
She couldn't answer; she just looked stubborn;
unadvanced people always look stubborn and glare.
"Where," I said, "did we get the Vedantas and
Vegetarianism and Alternate Breathing from?"
|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 Astoria by Washington Irving:
days they continued westward upwards of forty miles along the
little stream, until they crossed it just before its junction
with Snake River, which they found still running to the north.
Before them was a wintry-looking mountain covered with snow on
In three days more they made about seventy miles; fording two
small rivers, the waters of which were very cold. Provisions were
extremely scarce; their chief sustenance was portable soup; a
meagre diet for weary pedestrians.
On the 27th of November the river led them into the mountains
through a rocky defile where there was scarcely room to pass.