|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Night and Day by Virginia Woolf:
Mr. Hilbery replied imperturbably. "It's a little too complicated for
me to take in all at once, I confess--and, if you won't think me rude,
Celia, I think I'll be getting along towards Knightsbridge."
Mrs. Milvain rose at once.
"She has condoned Cassandra's conduct and entangled herself with Ralph
Denham," she repeated. She stood very erect with the dauntless air of
one testifying to the truth regardless of consequences. She knew from
past discussions that the only way to counter her brother's indolence
and indifference was to shoot her statements at him in a compressed
form once finally upon leaving the room. Having spoken thus, she
restrained herself from adding another word, and left the house with
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Jolly Corner by Henry James:
making out in his face that he drew back from this, that he had
some idea which, however absurd, he couldn't yet bargain away: "Oh
you don't care either - but very differently: you don't care for
anything but yourself."
Spencer Brydon recognised it - it was in fact what he had
absolutely professed. Yet he importantly qualified. "HE isn't
myself. He's the just so totally other person. But I do want to
see him," he added. "And I can. And I shall."
Their eyes met for a minute while he guessed from something in hers
that she divined his strange sense. But neither of them otherwise
expressed it, and her apparent understanding, with no protesting
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Little Britain by Washington Irving:
Long Lane on the north; Aldersgate Street, like an arm of the
sea, divides it from the eastern part of the city; whilst the
yawning gulf of Bull-and-Mouth Street separates it from
Butcher Lane, and the regions of Newgate. Over this little
territory, thus bounded and designated, the great dome of St.
Paul's, swelling above the intervening houses of Paternoster
Row, Amen Corner, and Ave Maria Lane, looks down with an
air of motherly protection.
This quarter derives its appellation from having been, in
ancient times, the residence of the Dukes of Brittany. As
London increased, however, rank and fashion rolled off to the
|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 Cavalry General by Xenophon:
We take as our basis, then, the constitutional division of ten
tribes. Given these, the proper course, I say, is to appoint, with
the concurrence of the several phylarchs, certain decadarchs
(file-leaders) to be selected from the men ripest of age and
strength, most eager to achieve some deed of honour and to be known to
fame. These are to form your front-rank men; and after these, a
corresponding number should be chosen from the oldest and the most
sagacious members of the squadron, to form the rear-rank of the files
or decads; since, to use an illustration, iron best severs iron when
the forefront of the blade is strong and tempered, and the momentum
at the back is sufficient.