|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad:
but the darkness in there was absolutely soundless. He, too,
was young and could sleep like a stone. Remained the steward,
but he was not likely to wake up before he was called.
I got a sleeping suit out of my room and, coming back on deck,
saw the naked man from the sea sitting on the main hatch,
glimmering white in the darkness, his elbows on his knees and his
head in his hands. In a moment he had concealed his damp body
in a sleeping suit of the same gray-stripe pattern as the one
I was wearing and followed me like my double on the poop.
Together we moved right aft, barefooted, silent.
"What is it?" I asked in a deadened voice, taking the lighted lamp
The Secret Sharer
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett:
fathers of families, but their true dwelling places were the sea,
and the stony beach that edged its familiar shore, and the fish-
houses, where much salt brine from the mackerel kits had soaked the
very timbers into a state of brown permanence and petrifaction. It
had also affected the old fishermen's hard complexions, until one
fancied that when Death claimed them it could only be with the aid,
not of any slender modern dart, but the good serviceable harpoon of
a seventeenth century woodcut.
Elijah Tilley was such an evasive, discouraged-looking person,
heavy-headed, and stooping so that one could never look him in the
face, that even after his friendly exclamation about Monroe
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from King James Bible:
the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with
EZR 2:64 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand
three hundred and threescore,
EZR 2:65 Beside their servants and their maids, of whom there were
seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and there were among them
two hundred singing men and singing women.
EZR 2:66 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules,
two hundred forty and five;
EZR 2:67 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five; their asses, six
thousand seven hundred and twenty.
King James Bible
|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 Lily of the Valley by Honore de Balzac:
fixed eyes, motionless and sullen. Misled by my puny appearance, a
woman--taking me for a sleepy child--slid softly into the place beside
me, with the motion of a bird as she drops upon her nest. Instantly I
breathed the woman-atmosphere, which irradiated my soul as, in after
days, oriental poesy has shone there. I looked at my neighbor, and was
more dazzled by that vision than I had been by the scene of the fete.
If you have understood this history of my early life you will guess
the feelings which now welled up within me. My eyes rested suddenly on
white, rounded shoulders where I would fain have laid my head,--
shoulders faintly rosy, which seemed to blush as if uncovered for the
first time; modest shoulders, that possessed a soul, and reflected
The Lily of the Valley