|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Deserted Woman by Honore de Balzac:
Was the charm of that delightful hour due after all to the coquetry of
the mistress of the house? She had been anxious to display her wit. He
bowed stiffly to the Vicomtesse, and went away in desperation.
On the way home he tried to detect the real character of a creature
supple and hard as a steel spring; but he had seen her pass through so
many phases, that he could not make up his mind about her. The tones
of her voice, too, were ringing in his ears; her gestures, the little
movements of her head, and the varying expression of her eyes grew
more gracious in memory, more fascinating as he thought of them. The
Vicomtesse's beauty shone out again for him in the darkness; his
reviving impressions called up yet others, and he was enthralled anew
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Golden Sayings of Epictetus by Epictetus:
--why should not such an one call himself a citizen of the world?
Why not a son of God? Why should he fear aught that comes to pass
among men? Shall kinship with Caesar, or any other of the great
at Rome, be enough to hedge men around with safety and
consideration, without a thought of apprehension: while to have
God for our Maker, and Father, and Kinsman, shall not this set us
free from sorrows and fears?
I do not think that an old fellow like me need have been
sitting here to try and prevent your entertaining abject notions
of yourselves, and talking of yourselves in an abject and ignoble
The Golden Sayings of Epictetus
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Hellenica by Xenophon:
eight, as the Spartan was eligible to serve at eighteen. Cf. Xen.
"Hell." III. iv. 23; VI. iv. 176.
 The outer Ceramicus, "the most beautiful spot outside the walls."
Cf. Thuc. ii. 34; through it passes the street of the tombs on the
sacred road; and here was the place of burial for all persons
honoured with a public funeral. Cf. Arist. "Birds," 395.
Watching how matters went, Thrasybulus began his advance with the
whole of his heavy infantry to support his light troops and quickly
fell into line eight deep, acting as a screen to the rest of his
troops. Pausanias, on his side, had retired, sorely pressed, about
half a mile towards a bit of rising ground, where he sent orders to
|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 Beast in the Jungle by Henry James:
settled and she was presented to him in that long fresh light of
waning April days which affects us often with a sadness sharper
than the greyest hours of autumn. The week had been warm, the
spring was supposed to have begun early, and May Bartram sat, for
the first time in the year, without a fire; a fact that, to
Marcher's sense, gave the scene of which she formed part a smooth
and ultimate look, an air of knowing, in its immaculate order and
cold meaningless cheer, that it would never see a fire again. Her
own aspect--he could scarce have said why--intensified this note.
Almost as white as wax, with the marks and signs in her face as
numerous and as fine as if they had been etched by a needle, with