|The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Study of a Woman by Honore de Balzac:
I have had the happiness of knowing this phoenix. She talks well; I
know how to listen; consequently I please her, and I go to her
parties. That, in fact, was the object of my ambition.
Neither plain nor pretty, Madame de Listomere has white teeth, a
dazzling skin, and very red lips; she is tall and well-made; her foot
is small and slender, and she does not put it forth; her eyes, far
from being dulled like those of so many Parisian women, have a gentle
glow which becomes quite magical if, by chance, she is animated. A
soul is then divined behind that rather indefinite form. If she takes
an interest in the conversation she displays a grace which is
otherwise buried beneath the precautions of cold demeanor, and then
|The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from King Henry VI by William Shakespeare:
And, madam, these for you, from whom I know not.
[They all read their letters.]
I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
Smiles at her news while Warwick frowns at his.
Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled;
I hope all's for the best.
Warwick, what are thy news?--and yours, fair queen?
|The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Kwaidan by Lafcadio Hearn:
symbolizing the five mystic elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, Earth.
(1) A kind of badger. Certain animals were thought to be able to transform
themselves and cause mischief for humans.
 O-jochu ("honorable damsel"), a polite form of address used in
speaking to a young lady whom one does not know.
(2) An apparition with a smooth, totally featureless face, called a
"nopperabo," is a stock part of the Japanese pantheon of ghosts and demons.
 Soba is a preparation of buckwheat, somewhat resembling vermicelli.
(3) An exclamation of annoyed alarm.
|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 Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman by Thomas Hardy:
"We'll hope, nevertheless," said Mr Clare. "And I
continue to pray for him, though on this side of the
grave we shall probably never meet again. But, after
all, one of those poor words of mine may spring up in
his heart as a good seed some day."
Now, as always, Clare's father was sanguine as a child;
and though the younger could not accept his parent's
narrow dogma he revered his practice, and recognized
the hero under the pietist. Perhaps he revered his
father's practice even more now than ever, seeing that,
in the question of making Tessy his wife, his father
Tess of the d'Urbervilles, A Pure Woman